Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

Everything posted by NorthwestCruiser

  1. I think we have learned that this hardy little bug has at least the theoretical ability to infect from surfaces (fomite transmission), so pretty much all bets are off. They could have brought it aboard with the supplies. What surprises me is that it lasts much better on hard surfaces such as plastic than cardboard, and we use a lot of plastic in our civilization. Talk about the earth's revenge. When I unbox stuff from Amazon (stores are pretty much closed around here) I do it in the driveway with a mask and gloves, and then wipe down the plastic with my remaining wipes. (Soap would probably work as well or better.)
  2. Soap does a pretty good job of deactivating the virus (better than alcohol) so go crazy, especially on any hard surfaces. It is counter-intuitive but the stuff lives the longest on hard plastic and stainless. Wash your hands *for 20 seconds* any time you pick up anything, and when you come in from the balcony. If your hands aren't chapped by now, you are not doing it right. I would not be out where somebody is coughing and I would avoid their side as much as possible if I went out at all. Wash down surfaces if you must go out. Your situation is not good at all, but with care you can do well. Be careful of disembarkation, I would request that they let you leave before the sick person. Also request gloves (they have a lot of them) in addition to the mask. The gloves are probably more important, honestly.
  3. I suppose that it helps with social distancing but this is really like closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out. The genetics apparently show that about %80 of our nearly 6,000 cases came from a single person, who immediately called the health department and went into voluntary isolation as soon as he felt sick. (We didn't know about the pre-symptomatic infections back then.) At some point we will have to decide if closing the border is worth it, since the infections are on both sides. Really, if we want to close anything we should shut down aviation and the interstates to all but trucks and emergency personnel.
  4. Well, I live in Anacortes (Skagit County) and it was a bit surprising to find my county in the New York Times, The Guardian, Daily Mail, and others. We have a choir that plays in Mt Vernon and many of their members got infected at a choir practice, and unfortunately at least two have died. We looked up (on the county assessor's website) the people who were infected and then interviewed for the story and one of them lives about two blocks away from my house. Another lives about three blocks away near a friend of ours, and one of the people who died lives near our grocery store. That brings this whole thing uncomfortably close, we have two grocery stores so obviously these unfortunate people shopped at the same store that I did. It is also depressing and scary to see people younger than me perishing from this plague in other parts of the country. We have been self isolating to an increasing degree; if you have read my posts from early on you will see that I have been worried about this for several months, so we are reasonably well supplied so that we don't have to go out. We are going through our paper towels a lot faster than I anticipated, though. Amazon is our lifeline, now when a package arrives I disinfect it with Chlorox wipes, unbox it out in the driveway, disinfect the plastic wrapped items, and then quarentine them in the garage for a few days. I feel like a paranoid person, but this stuff lasts for several days on plastic and many Amazon workers are infected. I think this lifeline will break pretty soon unless we come up with something clever. We (the state) are under an isolation order, we are able to drive to a place where we can take a walk, unfortunately the very good state parks near us are closed. Whidbey Naval Air station is still operational, we hear the jets practicing quite a bit now that we are stuck at home. (They are *loud*, nothing like a commercial jet, but that is an issue for another day.) I have a boat that most likely needs attention, at least washing, but I'm not sure if I can justify the trip to the marina. It is a little enough thing to worry about compared to the heartbreak that others are experiencing but it does make me sad to think of it just sitting there decaying covered in seagull droppings. Another small issue is that lawn mowing is not considered essential, perhaps not much of an issue since we can't go anywhere but a lot of people around here do not even own lawnmowers so this area is going to get pretty shaggy.
  5. The passengers are going to come back to a very different world when they are finally let home -- which might not be long since current practice in New York is apparently to send people home after their symptoms resolve, rather than testing negative twice as was done in China. (We just don't have the ability to keep people longer.) I hope they stocked up on toilet paper, beans, rice, and pasta before they left, maybe Holland America could send them out with a roll or two?
  6. I guess I just can't imagine why anybody would *want* to go to a formal dinner without dressing formally. Seriously, help me understand -- what is the point? It would be like going to the symphony and whistling and humming (or talking, which people do) because you don't like music. OK, great, I get that you are indicating that you are a rugged individualist, but why did you make the choice to go? What is the pleasure in it? Just to annoy people? Honestly, I am not that crazy about dressing up, or even formal dinners. I think we have done it twice, but when I am on a ship I want to feel like I am on a ship and would rather take in the view or whatever is going on. I can eat out any time, but if people like to dress up and eat out while ignoring the reason that so much fuel has been spent to get them to Aruba rather than Queens, that is their business. At least on the large ships that I have been on there are plenty to eat informally and that is where we usually eat. The same on land, if I am going to a nice place I make some effort to dress up because the people who work there have to dress up, so it is a measure of respect. The point of living isn't to prove that other people are wrong by being annoyed by your actions. Mostly I crusie on my own boat now, and I find it interesting that a very tiny minority of people will take a great deal of effort to get to a beautiful, remote place with a few other boats or kayaks, crank up the tunes really loud and roar around in their dinghy like they are in Lake Washington during Sea Fair. Sometimes they are rather aggessive about it, as if they are taking pleasure in spoiling the experience for other people, and I seriously do not understand why they go to the effort.
  7. Anacortes at first seems strangely normal, although the stores have been hit there still seem to be some groceries. Our local market has a call in service, so we did that yesterday and drove through town (still traffic out and about). The only jarring indication was the big flashing signs near the hospital announcing "Flu clinic" and the big what I call "mass casualty" tents set up outside. There was a bit more contact getting the groceries than I had wanted, the millenial who took my card (why can't we do it by phone) wanted to get close and talk. We are still working our way through how to do this I think. All of restaurants were closed which is really sad, we have some great ones that I hope survive this economic tsunami, but I doubt that they will. The only ones with people were the fast food places. Calling in groceries is an experience, we asked for six salmon fillets and they were huge! We have enough salmon for awhile (we plan to smoke some, which is normal for us this time of year.) Somehow we ended up with a huge bunch of radishes that we didn't order, I'm not really sure what to do with them. However, there was no organic chicken and when we called today the shipment had not come in, we are added to the 'list' which may or may not exist. Grocery workers are very stressed out, but handling it cheerfully. The clerk said that there are plenty of supplies, people are just stocking up like crazy, which is not entirely crazy if we are to spend the next several weeks (months?) indoors. So far no travel restrictions but I'm sure that is coming. I was a bit shocked to find that we have nine positive cases in town already. I have been preparing for two months but now it is becoming real I see things that I didn't think of. I should have bought a freezer. I teeter between resignation and despair (my mom is 90 and in a different state, my sister has all sorts of health issues), if I could see this coming why is the country not more ready for it? I hope we come out as well as China has so far, I don't see much reason to think so. Our governor is doing a good job with the situation, but I look at the rest of the politics and despair for our species. If this is how we handle a garden variety epidemic, how are we going to handle climate change? We ordered a bidet on Amazon for the TP issue, it turns out to require changing the shut off valve in the bathroom which is within my capabilities but if you want to do the same make sure to read the instructions beforehand.
  8. It is not a great idea, and in some ways illustrates the sort of simple idea that is attractive to politicans and horrifying to people in the business. I don't know anything about hospital wiring other than that it is an extremely different subject than ship wiring with a whole host of electrical codes that I barely have the vaguest idea of. I'm sure there is an expert here who can sound off, but as I understand it the basic difference is that hospitals deal with a lot of oxygen, and oxygen is flammable. When I have been in a hospital I have noticed different markings on the plugs, some for normal stuff and some for medical stuff (like I say, I have the vaguest idea of the difference between marine/consumer wiring and hospitals.) Additionally, a tripped GFI or breaker on a ship might lead to some inconvenience, a tripped GFI or breaker on hospital equipment will kill somebody. I would be horrified if any of the electrical work that I have done at various times in my checkered life were used to support life critical applications. Having worked on boats, I can say with some confidence that as hard as it would be, it would be a heck of a lot easier to rewire a hotel to be a hospital than it would be to rewire a ship. You can't just drill a hole from the outside to add in a new electrical service on a ship. I really see this as a way to sugarcoat the idea of bailing out an industry that has worked incredibly hard over the years to avoid US taxes with ships not built in the USA, crewed mainly by foreigners. There is a reason that ships are registered in the British Virgin Islands, and it is not a particularly nice one if the industry wants a bailout from the United States and the hard working shipwrights who work on US ships and pay their taxes.
  9. From home, no doubt. I suspect we are about to see a tidal wave of IT issues throughout the country. In theory you can work on IT problems remotely but in practice is a different story.
  10. I'm not really big on dressing up normally but it is part of the cruising experience in my opinion. We have a hilarious photo somewhere of us at formal night with our table mates (strangers to us) who must not have gotten the memo. I'm in my Tux and my wife dressed up in black, and they are in shorts and tee shirts. It did kind of ruin that moment. (This was on Celebrity, now I recall.) I'd make the effort. Part of it is the fun for other people, it really was rather annoying to be in a room full of people in tuxes and to be seated next to people in shorts and tee shirts. Maybe I misremember, it might have been jeans, but it is kind of like people who make a point of 'dressing down' for the Opera or something. I get it, but really is it necessary to spoil other people's fun? On the other hand if everybody is dressed up you can pretend that you are in another era, or is some really special occasion with special people.
  11. Well, now that we can't do it we can dream. I boat to Victoria Harbor rather a lot and rather than a land tour, I'd recommend taking tours on the Victoria Harbor ferries. They are inexpensive, everywhere (cute little green boats), and from them you get an idea of what is really special about Victoria. Do a little research and in two or three hours you will have a lot more fun than walking or driving around the city, which honestly looks a lot like cities anywhere with traffic, noise, construction, tourists, etc. (Maybe I'm spoiled). Real people take these little ferries to interesting places, there are parks and gardens and even places to see that serve lunch but the real reason to go to Victoria is to see the harbor. Unless the weather is unusually bad the water will be flat (aside from boat wakes but there is a speed limit that is somewhat enforced). If you are on land many people don't know that there is a fine cafeteria in the Parliament building which is as much fun as the Empress, I shouldn't give away all the secrets though. Side note -- except for the clearly marked commercial boats, the boats at the Empress dock and others are private and not there for tourists and should not be boarded or touched in any way. I have had tourists board my boat, which is definitely not a tour boat! If you are up for it, rent a bike (although you have to be comfortable with hills and cities.) You can take bikes on the ferry.
  12. This hardly makes the news but will have a huge impact on Bellingham and Vancouver. Even as far down as Smokey Point it seems like there are as many Canadian cars as American ones at the big malls. (Much less tax here, I think.) Most of my summer and fall is spent in British Columbia, only a few miles away by boat. I'll miss Sidney this year, and Nanaimo, and the Sunshine Coast, and Schelt and Port McNeil and of course Vancouver. I was planning to go to Cyprus Mountain just before this virus hit. Sad days. When this is all over, I'm going to have a *very* organized house. I wonder if you can teach a cat to play the piano?
  13. Well, the Prime Minister is getting a lot of grief in the press for leaving the border open to Americans so I don't really hold out much hope that Canada will move up or eliminate the July 1 date. I suppose we could hope that everything blows over in a month (the virologists I listen to on TWIV think this will be a one to three year pandemic), but neither Princess nor the Canadians have any control over that. (TWIV: This Week In Virology.)
  14. Public Health Seattle King County Cases double every 5 to 7 days Decrease spread "flatten the curve" Most won't get seriously ill, but the number who need attention may exceed capacity of healthcare system All need to work together to avoid nonessential gathering and close contacts Continued increase in new cases, 2 week lag between sick and needing health care. More pnunomia than expected. Comparable to peak of flu season, increasing, when season should be declining. Urgent situation. All events >50 prohibited until further notice Events < 50 discouraged, prohibited unless compliant Bars, nightclubs, social and recreational closed until march 31 No inside service Other retail should remain open as long as they observe the precautions
  15. Washington Press Conference: King County Executive (Seattle): Grateful for the people who are social distancing but not enough are Critical moment, entering phase of rapid widespread infection Assume that you are potentially infected and everybody else is Postpone anything that you can, two weeks of self quarentine Take out at resturants, donate to arts and charities don't ask for refund. Help our economy. Governor of Washington State wide shut down food establishments, bars, entertainment and something else for two weeks or longer Normal is not in our game plan. Mandatory rules coming Hours count. Need strong measures. This is our only weapon. Take out and delivery allowed. No in person on site. Grab-and-go college dorms. Not grocery stores and pharmicies Retail outlets must have designated social distancing officer Food courts banned. Wine & Beer No Barbers, nail salons, gyms, art galleries, youth sports, bunch of other stuff Supply chain is strong Think of your neighbors when purchasing to keep supply chains Pharmicies, child care, convenience stores, banks still open No gatherings more than 50 Gatherings under 49 must meet guidelines, but discouraged if any way to do otherwise Spoke to Pres & VP, not enough PPE for medical care, need federal stockpile. Pres changed allocation ratio of equipment from per capita to per case. (or said he would) If living a normal life you are not doing your job, you can't do that anymore. If you are 60 and over or have conditions YOU ARE AT SUBSTANTIAL RISK YOU NEED TO SELF ISOLATE STARTING RIGHT NOW. If Grandma is going out, tell her not to for a couple of weeks or longer. We need to save them. If you are under 60 need to figure what is required and what is not. If you don't have to go out STAY HOME. Attempting to build surge capacity for hospitals, all stay 6' away. Elective surgery will probably be cancelled. Proud of our response.
  16. Here we go -- Canada just announced border closures to all foreigners. It sounded like there might be an exception for Americans but I'm not seeing that in the media reports. The land border remains open, no mention of the ports. Trade and business will remain open somehow but no visitors. Governor of Washington to speak soon. Most international airports closed, four left open.
  17. Stay on the ship. You really don't want to experience international travel right now, especially to the USA. On the ship they have to take care of you, otherwise expect to stand in line for six hours or more just to stand in line to go to quarentine. Not much to come home for anyway. It will get sorted out eventually but now is not the time to leap into the void.
  18. Most gathering places except groceries to be closed. TSA called me to tell me that my interview for a Nexus card next week was off, they are shutting down. (They extended it a year.) Even if this only lasts a month it will take a long time to get everything restarted, the workers that you depend upon are out of work and won't be able to afford rent here. Training new ones takes time. I feel like I am looking into a black abyss, the disease is really bad but the mitigation may be worse.
  19. I'm pretty sure they are not happening. Washington state is shutting down pretty much, see the news tomorrow for more details which I don't have either. No gatherings of more than 50 is the latest I think.
  20. I would not press to hard to get off the ship. If nobody is sick onboard then you might want to be quarantining from the rest of us. If they have fishing poles and crab traps onboard I'd be tempted to find a sheltered uninhabited island and ride it out for awhile. Maybe rename the ship "Noah's Ark." I am almost serious. Stay aboard a cruise ship or be locked in your home defending against toilet paper bandits.. Tough choice. Any event that you think that you had to get back for has been cancelled.
  21. It is an interesting dilemma. The big cruise ships are going to be white elephants for awhile*, maybe for a generation if this gets really bad. If it looks like the industry is not coming back soon, then Princess doesn't have a lot of incentive to keep spending money to keep them up and if the crew are about to be laid off and abandoned then you could imagine that they don't have a lot of incentive either. Would you really want to risk exposing yourself even more to the virus by mucking about with the sanitation system, especially if you have been told that your check stops next week? I think that at some point whoever financed the ship is going to have to finance some of the crew to keep the lights on. Princess is in the business of selling cruises (and that market is gone for now), not ships. *When the market comes back, I imagine it will be smaller high-end ships rather than sales based on volume and lots of people massed into small spaces.
  22. Unlikely to happen. A fairly minor violation/interpretation issue of the Jones Act (some steel was bent in Germany) grounded a big fishing vessel built here in Anacortes for years, and I'm not sure that it has been completely resolved yet. Cruise lines don't have a lot of leverage, the ships are mostly foreign flagged, foreign built, and and foreign staffed, they don't pay US taxes so the attitude will be "why should we help them when so many other industries are going to need help?" Besides, have you been following the situation in Seattle? Maybe it seems like a nothingburger if you aren't at ground zero so to speak, but we are pretty disrupted and will be for some time.
  23. It isn't ageism, it is trying to keep you aliveism. Read up on the situation in Italy right now, they are very close to having to decide to take people off of ventilators based on, well, basically age. Tragic for us but I think we all would agree that it is more important to protect a young mother -- and despite popular belief, young mothers are dying as well. From the Washington website, which defines "higher risk of getting very sick" as "being an older adult": If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: Stock up on supplies. Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others. When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often. Avoid crowds as much as possible. Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel. During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
  24. The ships will anchor out, like normal cargo ships -- although the cruise lines do own some of their own docks. I know of a cove in BC that is filled with decaying old ships, they are occupied by vagarants. Disposal of old ships is a real problem around here, one sank and contaminated our oyster beds a few years ago. Drydocking is not used for storage ever, think of it like the lift at the shop for your car. Nobody stores cars up on the lift. I can't imagine that these things can be stored on land, until the "final curtain" when they are driven on a beach in India and cut up. The fact that a large number of potential customers can't even fly to Europe probably puts a bit of a crimp in the cruise season.
  25. That is basically the challenge -- planes and cruise ships have to assume that a passenger will be infected and figure out a way to keep them from infecting others. We haven't really figured that out yet, hence the worldwide disruption.
  • Create New...