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Psoque

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About Psoque

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Fishers, Indiana
  • Interests
    travel, gardens, photography, entertaining
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    New Zealand

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  1. Many hospitals, including the ones I work for, as well as many others are reporting hospital admissions, ICU occupancy, and ventilator utilization for COVID-19 vs. non-COVID-19 separately. However, most state health departments and for that matter, CDC has not managed to set up a consistent data portal for all data to be gathered consistently. But we know for places like Houston and Phoenix, the surge in utilization of regular hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators are from actual COVID-19 patients, not from a "surge" of deferred medical issues, as far as data that I have seen from the largest hospitals from these cities. In a crisis like this, the exact numbers are not as important as trends as well as the numbers in relationship to our capacity to deal with it. Also, since some of us may not understand it, the clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 is not done willy-nilly, as some her has suggested. It should require a constellation of symptoms, as well as testing negative for other common infections (though co-infection with, for example, influenza was seen in March, which makes it even difficult.) Also a chest CT characteristic of this particular disease is usually required to make a clinical diagnosis. The reasons some local/state agencies are reporting "presumptive" cases are several. One is the shortage of test kits, or people to perform them properly. Another is that some of these cases are identified post-mortem. I don't have a comprehensive dataset of these "presumptive cases" reported by all US states, but the Indiana numbers, which I have good access to show that these "presumptive cases" are a small minority compared to the "test positive" cases. The biggest elephant in the room is the actual number of those in the community who are infected, many of them asymptomatic but perfectly capable of transmitting the virus and acting as a reservoir of the virus. We still don't know how much of that population we are catching in our testing program, since we still haven't started doing a random population sampling program to estimate this number nationwide. Indiana is one of the few states that are doing this, and last time I read about it, the % positive rate in approx. 5,000 people selected randomly was about 2.8%. But that was in May.
  2. Is this your guess, or were you one of the people at Crystal who made this decision? I would personally like to know exactly what kind of conversation are occurring in the virtual boardrooms of the various cruise lines. It would be very interesting to hear exactly what they are thinking/talking about regarding this outbreak.
  3. I am not aware of what other river cruise lines are/were offering, but Crystal was definitely offering 25 % FCC bonus on river cruise cancellations earlier this year. I think the change from 25 % to 15 % is very much deliberate, and I would really like to know why.
  4. Things are different now already, and things will be different. Whether we like it or not. Is the future going to be better? I certainly hope so. But I am convinced that, if we want to survive the next outbreak (by the way, the chance of an another outbreak of some kind is much higher than that of the earth being obliterated by an asteroid...which is a good thing) we need to make some permanent changes to how we do everything.
  5. I am not making argument re: hope vs no hope. I am just a bit disappointed by this assumption by many that a vaccine will change everything overnight: I hear people say "I will start traveling as soon as the vaccine is available." Or "everything will be back to normal when the vaccine is made available" This is total nonsense. Let me repeat this again. Let's assume that a vaccine will be available on January 1, 2021. What could this vaccine do? There are a few possibilities: 1. The vaccine will protect a percentage (hopefully high percentage) of those vaccinated from ever infected by this coronavirus. 2. The vaccine will NOT prevent infections, but may prevent those infected from becoming symptomatic. 3. The vaccine will just make the symptom less severe (not die, etc.) at best. The best case scenario would be just scenario 1 for everyone who is vaccinated. However, in real-life observations, it would be a combination of all three scenarios (put simply....there are more scenarios than these three). Obviously, we want the first scenario, but all three and few others are possible. But what I didn't list in the possibilities is the instantaneous eradication of the virus. Looking at actual observations of successful vaccination programs, we know that these programs can reduce the incidence of the illness. However this process is going to be very gradual. Most likely, there will be outbreaks of various extents even after this vaccination is widely available, just like what we have been with other newly introduced vaccines. I believe Dr. Fauci has eluded to what I just said. The problem with what we hear from Dr. Fauci is that some of the things he wants to say, he is not allowed to say in the most clear manner. Also I am not sure where Dr. Fauci came up with 70-75% efficacy....I can only imagine that he either pulled that number out of his behind, or he was strongly urged to say this by someone because he had to be upbeat. My scientific understanding of what has been going on in the current vaccine development and the science behind it, it is absolutely premature to come up with a number at this time. I think what he is saying is that efficacy as high as 70-75 % has been seen in some non-live viral vaccines. We know that some "successful vaccines" have even lower efficacy. Also, we know that there is a herd immunity effect: Most vaccines are more effective when the vaccination rate is high. Based on all of this, just saying "about 75 % efficacy is more of a "theoretical ceiling" of the effectiveness of the vaccine. In real live, the first generation vaccine may end up much less efficacious. I'm not saying that the sky is falling, or that we are all going to die. I am just saying that a vaccine, even a very good one, will not solve this problem as quickly or as completely as some may think. Also, it is important that we need to be much better prepared for the next outbreak of something different. Everyone, including the cruise lines needs to think of creative and innovative ways to be better prepared for the immediate future as well as long-term future. Just saying "we do everything we can to make you safe at sea" is neither correct or helpful.
  6. I'm not telling you to do anything in particular, but I'm curious to know why you want to cancel the cruise before Crystal cancels it, especially if you want the option of getting a full refund (after 90++++++ days).
  7. I’m curious to know why the FCC bonus is 15 % instead of 25 %. Are those booked on these river cruises require less enticement to take the FCC than those booked on ocean cruises?
  8. I’m not saying that CDC data is useless. It’s just that CDC is currently not capable of doing what their equivalents in other medically advanced countries are capable of doing, which includes: -definitive (not necessarily perfect, but definitive enough that there would be no need for “volunteer web sites” to help out) count of cases, published DAILY -politically independent and fact-of-the-matter reporting of the data and the scientifically vetted interpretation of the data Both of these are current lacking from CDC. And don’t even get me started on the fact that some states (including Florida) have been manipulating the epidemiological data regarding this outbreak since the onset. But using the lack of the “best” data to say that “science” or “scientists” have no clue is rather humorous and sad. I feel the contrary. Because we don’t have the best and timely warning system that this country with our large national budget SHOULD have, we are totally hosed. It does keep me awake at night that the actual problem might be much worse that we “know.”
  9. Different US states report their breakdown of "PCR positive" numbers vs. "probable" numbers, to different organizations. Sadly, at the current state of CDC, there isn't a robust organization that is the definitive source that collects state-level numbers in a consistent way and reports it in a timely manner. CDC numbers are very much behind the other "volunteer" sources such as the one from Johns Hopkins. Also, the definition of "probable" is different depending on which organizations you get the numbers from. Some are those who died before testing could be performed, some are those who were hospitalized AND showing symptoms of the disease AND testing negative for other "common" illnesses. It's all over the place, and in most states, more than one organization is analyzing the reporting the numbers independently (with overlapping geographical coverage). Also, the rapid test for this virus is known to have a really unacceptably low sensitivity, especially if the swabs were taking from anterior nasal cavity (sadly, a common practice these days). So, we don't know exactly the "real" numbers are. However, the fact that the ICU/ventilator use for the coronavirus patients are surging at an unprecedented levels in some large and small cities in the US (Houston, Phoenix, Montgomery, Birmingham...I don't have the comprehensive list, but it is much longer) means that we have a much less handle on this disease than March/April of this year. I sympathize with those in the travel industry, who wants their customers to be "more comfortable" about traveling, but, as I said before, the comfort level has nothing to do with the actual outbreak and the risk of the worsening of this ourbreak to both individuals and the society at large (including the economic ramifications of the outbreak prolongation.).
  10. Hospitalizations and ICU/ventilator usage are going up in US states that are leading the current surge (Texas, Florida, and Arizona). The mortality rate follows this surge by 2-3 weeks. The % of those testing positive for the coronavirus test is also going up in these states.
  11. In my opinion, it is more accurate to say that businesses that survived the initial impact from the outbreak are starting to use their coping mechanisms to survive even longer. I think it is delusional to think that things are getting better in any form for any of us, since the actual cause of the problem (the outbreak), especially in the US, hasn't gone away. In fact the outbreak is worse now than in March/April, here is the US.
  12. Thanks for the answers. So, basically, what you are saying is that insurance will only work if the FCC turns into an actual cruise booking. That is not acceptable to me, since I can't just book a cruise just to preserve my FCC, when I don't know my plans, and that's why I requested a refund, knowing that Crystal will take as long as they wish to process this. Also, even though you said the second paragraph is not related to insurance (which I knew), I think it is a very relevant question. How would/should Crystal deal with cancellation of a cruise that was funded by FCC? It is quickly becoming a reality for many, and I would not be surprised that this has already occurred to some of us who had their spring cruise cancelled who used the FCC for a fall itinerary.
  13. I just want to know....it is the case that some insurance policies cover the value of the FCC after the cruise is cancelled, if the cruise line go belly up? Or is the only way to insure the value of FCC is to use the value to book another cruise and insure that? Also, if that cruise gets cancelled, would Crystal offer option or a cash refund then? Or is that money permanently changed to FCC and the refund will be in the form of another FCC? Finally, if the cruise line goes belly up, in what form would we receive the cost of the (properly insured) cruise, if used FCC to book it? Perhaps these are commonly known scenarios, but I, for certain, do not know the answers.
  14. It took decades with a large scale WHO vaccination program to decrease the incidence of measles, but we still haven’t eliminated it. I never thought a vaccine will make any meaningful “overnight” difference to the travel industry as a whole. People need to understand that, a vaccine, even if it is a very effective one, does not eliminate the virus from the population. It, at best, prevents additional infection to those who are not currently infected. If previous studies to come up with a vaccine for a garden variety coronaviruses is any indication, the chance of a good vaccine against this coronavirus miraculously being created is very low. And that does not really solve the problem of the next outbreak of an entirely different pathogen. So, actually, whether we like it or not, we are facing the future with a lot of potentially permanent changes. We just don’t know what these changes are going to be permanent.
  15. Just submitted the refund request today (June 29, 2020) for September 20, 2020 cruise on Crystal Symphony which was cancelled on June 24, 2020.
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