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About mcloaked

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    Ballroom dancing
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  1. and with only one person instead of two that means half the risk for getting or transmitting covid!
  2. I see a list of locations but just a big empty space on the left of the list - is there supposed to be any imagery on that page?
  3. Was he doing the ballroom dance teaching during the world cruise that you were on?
  4. That is really good to hear - I wonder where Jeffrey is now?
  5. Thanks, tesni, I had seen that Facebook page but it seems not much has been posted there for some time, so I don't know if he is still using that page or not. I had hoped someone might have been in direct contact with him in the past year or so.
  6. Does anyone know if Jeffrey Dobinson, who we knew from about 6 years ago and was a superb Ballroom and Latin dance teacher on P&O cruises, has been teaching on the ships in recent years? Or if anyone has any news about him from the last year or so? He was a really nice guy so wanted to know if he was still helping people learn to dance?
  7. From the available information, it isn't realistic to expect that a vaccine, once approved, would be available to everyone in a short period. If one or more of the current vaccine candidates completes its phase 3 trial successfully in the next few months, then it is possible that one might be given approval for use early next year, or possibly by the spring. As Dermotsgirl said, it would then be most likely to be rolled out in a phased way, with key workers, and health workers as well as the most vulnerable being at the top of the priority list, and in fact a few days ago there was a document on the news showing a list of priority for when a vaccine reaches that stage, with around 10 levels from the top priority down to the rest of the population at the bottom of the list. There is increasing hope that one or more vaccine will become available after completion of the phase three trials. It is still not clear that vaccination would be a single jab or need a booster after a month, but it would be reasonable to assume that it would not give protection longer than a year, and could be less. It would seem reasonable also to expect that once a vaccine is approved that the whole population could be vaccinated for anyone wanting to have the vaccine, within a year or so. It would be unlikely that the main bulk of availability would be before Easter though, if the available information is indicating anything like reality.
  8. I think we would all like to know the answer to those questions - and I imagine that the conditions of booking would make it clear what happens in the event of testing positive. I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted to offer FCC towards an alternate booking, but having the option of a refund would surely be there too. Although I have never had an illness issue in the past, what were the options prior to the pandemic if you arrived to check in but were then suffering from a fever on the day and were not fit to board? I would be really surprised if you would lose your money in the event of testing covid positive when the pause is ended.
  9. I guess the dance host cancellation at Crystal Cruises is reflecting the fact that on land, at least here in the UK, social dancing is not permitted at present as the risks cannot be mitigated with people unable to keep a suitable distance, and of course during exercise breathing more and therefore droplet transmission is increased. We also feel the desire to have ballroom dancing as a central essential of our cruises, so hopefully when a vaccine allows more normal activities to resume we will be keen to get back on board provided we can still dance! It would not surprise me if Cunard also temporarily cancels their dance host programme, though I have not heard anything confirming that expectation.
  10. By the way a similar analysis of the numbers for viable financing and covid hospitalisation and treatment costs would apply at the country level or the city level, or the State level. Private medical insurance has to be able to cover the cost of policy holders' costs in the event of being unlucky enough to fall victim to covid. Whether or not the insurance scheme can survive may ultimately also depend on whether its policy holders are vaccinated or not. So it is not too difficult to see just why governments are prepared to spend previously unheard of amounts of cash on vaccine development. Whether that investment works out will be evidenced by what happens to the level of covid cases and deaths this coming winter in the northern hemisphere, and of course next year in the southern hemisphere winter too. If the virus is not controlled then the health care systems will be overwhelmed since even if the finances are kept viable, there still has to be enough hospital capacity to handle the number of cases at all times as we go through the winter. So although levels of ill patients around 1% seem low at first sight, in fact even at that level it is close to the capacity available in many situations, and as we can see paying for the outcome is a serious issue. So we all have to do what we can to keep the virus at bay until a vaccine becomes available by adhering to the various restrictions and controls that each government has brought in and will change as the situation changes. I am keen to get on with life and enjoy cruises but I know that we have a period of hunkering down so that as many of us as possible will survive through to when cruising is viable and safe (hopefully next year!).
  11. Concerning travel medical insurance it is easy to see what the issues are. If you take some illustrative figures so, for example, if a passenger is prepared to pay $500 for covid cover medical insurance for travel, and let's say 1 in 100 people who are on a cruise are unfortunate enough to be infected and become ill enough to need hospitalisation and possibly repatriation, and then if, say, the medical treatment and related costs are $100,000 then it would take 200 people who have paid the same insurance premium for the same cover to provide sufficient funds to pay for the treatment. So the insurance would be unviable. In reality costs for a passenger who was seriously ill and need a ventilator bed in ICU for several weeks, might run up costs considerably in excess of $100,000 and therefore, since the insurance company would need to cover all the other usual risks as well as pay for its staff and buildings as well as taxes, then in order to be financially viable, under these assumptions the premium might be well in excess of $1000 to $2000 which many passengers might find unacceptable. On the other hand if a vaccine became available that changed the number of passengers who may contract covid to around 1 passenger in 1000, then there could be insurance premiums of order several hundred dollars, and the insurance policy could become financially viable. So it would need really up to date reliable statistics for the insurance actuaries to be able to work out of a sensible insurance premium could be offered for a travel policy to cover people who have been vaccinated, and still allow the insurer to be financially viable, and not go bust. In that case the choice would be that the insurer could only offer covid cover for people who had documented evidence if having been vaccinated, so that the risks could be paid for. Anyone not wishing to be vaccinated would not be offered cover in that case since their risk of needing costly treatment would be higher than the insurer could take on board and still be financially viable. So the insurance is not a question of people's opinion about vaccination but a hard mathematical consequence of the risks being much less to both passengers and the insurer if a policy holder is vaccinated as opposed to those who are not. If anyone would not accept vaccination then they may be unable to get travel insurance that covered covid hospitalisation costs whilst on a cruise, and they may not have their own resources to pay for extremely costly medical treatment - which means that the cruise company may be in a possible difficult position and have to cover some costs - which the cruise company may not accept as a risk, and therefore the cruise companies may well not allow passengers on board without insurance that would cover that risk. I guess that is the reason for the Crystal policy requiring passengers to provide evidence of valid insurance cover. So having a covid vaccine could make the difference between having medical travel cover, or not, and also would then lead to a far greater improvement in the restrictions that the cruise companies would need to apply to passengers and crew, and a viable return to the kind of cruise life we would all like to enjoy would become possible. Hopefully in the next year one or more vaccines will become available to us all, and then life on board will be fun again!
  12. I would imagine that insurers (or their actuaries) will be looking carefully at premiums and covid cover details as the time when cruising really gets going again becomes closer, and might depend on how the pandemic unfolds over the coming winter. I would imagine it would be necessary to look at the policy details of existing annual policies to see if they cover covid or not, and possibly take out a new policy when it gets nearer to the time. Those in the UK that I have seen would not cover cancellation before the start of a cruise, or cancellation due to 'concerns' about covid ahead of embarkation, but might cover becoming ill with covid whilst on board. Maybe those with more knowledge will post here too.
  13. I saw that Crystal Cruises has implemented a strict new policy on how they will manage covid safe cruising when they return to cruising after the New Year. I wonder if Cunard may implement something quite similar? The Crystal covid policy is at https://www.crystalcruises.com/health-and-safety-hub and the full details are on their web page. Their policy includes things like: passengers will be required to complete a Covid-19 test prior to departure and also provide a printed copy of their negative test result at check-in. Along with the pre-check-in test, passengers will also be required to have a test taken upon arrival for boarding. Only passengers with a negative test result will be able to board the ship. In accordance with the protocols, passengers will have to social distance on board, have valid Covid-friendly travel insurance and undergo regular temperature checks. Self-serve and buffet dining will be eliminated, as well as self-guided shore excursions and all public areas and guest accommodation will be regularly deep cleaned. Other protocols include high-frequency purification, which will stretch to every restaurant, lounge, gym, casino, restroom, corridor, nightclub and theatre. This will also include the cleaning of these areas with hospital-grade disinfectant. Discussing the new double testing measures, a spokesperson for the brand said: “Guests who do not comply with this requirement will not be permitted to re-board the ship.” Perhaps this will become fairly typical across other cruise lines including Cunard?
  14. You might like to quote the figures in a month's time when the huge increase in positive cases feeds through to the delayed rise in hospital cases, and the subsequent rise in deaths. Yes it is true that today the number of severe cases is not that high - but of the large number of people who have been infected the past few weeks, it will take a couple of weeks for those among them to reach the stage where they require hospitalisation - that is what happened in the first wave, and although treatments today are much better than they were in March/April only a small fraction of people who get the severe pneumonia will avoid death even with current best treatment. If nothing is done and positive cases continue to rise then it is a matter of science, and not speculation that the result of pressure on hospital beds and death will follow - that is why the governments are taking action to change the rules on what people can and cannot do for the coming months - you may not believe it, but the science is there to see. Unless everyone does their own bit to prevent transmission of the virus then the outcome will be many more people suffering and dying than need be. Flu adds to the misery. Yes we all take it for granted that we personally won't die of flu - but as you can look up the figures not everybody who gets flu survives. If you are young, and fit, the chances are you will have a miserable couple of weeks, and then get back to normal life again, but if you have underlying medical conditions, or are on the older end of the demographic spectrum, that is not necessarily the path the flu will take if you are unlucky enough to be infected. So having the flu jab will not only reduce your own chances of getting flu, but also reduce the chance of others getting it - the more flu virus there is in circulation in society the more any one individual is likely to be infected - and the same applies to coronavirus - the difference is there is no vaccine yet for coronavirus so the only mechanism we as a society has to limit the number of people who become severely ill and/or die is to get everyone to follow the rules that the science indicates will limit transmission. Whether the outcome is a lot of suffering and death or less this winter will depend on what proportion of members of society have the view that their own personal choice and freedom to do as they wish as opposed to those members of society who are happy to do what they can to minimise the chance that they are personally responsible for onward spread of the virus. In some places that personal responsibility will be widespread, but in other places collections of people will say their own freedom of choice overrides any responsibility they have to others in society - we will see what takes place when we get to the spring of next year.
  15. On other consideration about covid and cruises - let's say there was a cruise where 1% of the 2000 passengers became ill and needed a hospital bed with a ventilator. That would be 20 passengers needing an ICU bed on the ship if the ship was at sea and with nowhere to dock. How many ICU beds does a typical ship have in its medical unit? It is a similar consideration for populations on land - how many countries have readily available ICU beds with a ventilator, that would still have capacity over and above the non-pandemic need for ventilator beds, as well as around 1% or more of the population becoming seriously ill with covid-19. That is the problem that countries around the world are grappling with, and trying to prevent the terrible situation that arose during the first wave in countries like Italy where doctors had to make the impossible decision about which of the patients who may be most likely to survive gets the ICU bed, and which patients should be allowed to die. Covid-19 is not a game, and not a disease anyone would have predicted or wanted, but those in charge of countries, and companies have to try to traverse the minefield of trying to protect life, as well as trying to protect the economy - and it is one of the toughest problems the world has had to deal with in a century.
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