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Everything posted by djh1959

  1. notarmermaid, yes, you are correct. Things have improved dramatically in Melbourne, but we have been in a harsh stage 4 lockdown for over 16 weeks now. Unemployment is through the roof, many, many business are permanently closed. None of us have seen our families or friends, other than with Zoom, since early July. We have had to endure a curfew (not lifted), and not being able to leave our homes unless for medical care or food shopping. Even then we could not go further than 5km. While it has certainly worked the damage has been incalculable. I really do not know what the answer is, but locking down like this again is certainly not it. Currently we still can't socialise, but can now go 25km (even though there is nowhere to go). There are no shops, other than food ones, and no cafes, bars or restaurants although take away is allowed. At this stage it looks like on Sunday, a lot of these restrictions might be lifted. I feel though that within a short amount of time, the cases will climb back up again. Then what? I cannot imagine that Melburnians would ever agree to a lockdown like this again, so we will have to learn to live with the virus somehow. I hope that Germany, and other European countries, can come up with a better idea than total lockdown.
  2. Thanks for the cheer up posts Canal Archive and notamermaid. I'm sure we will get through this, it is just depressing to be so locked down when the rest of the world is opening up, and they are in a far worse state than us. Virtually all of our cases are in aged care and health care, not simply out in the community. The problem is of course, that it is so hard to lock them away. Canal archive, one of my cousins in England has only just been let out. She has severe lung disease, amongst other things, so it was obviously too dangerous for her. My mother is in the same situation here. Steamboats, looking forward to your review, anything to cheer us up. What a shame if you don't get to Strasbourg, we loved it there last year, although living in Germany you can probably go at any time, if this business wasn't happening.
  3. Here in Melbourne we have been given our "roadmap" out of our extremely stringent restrictions, and unfortunately the roadmap appears to be a road to nowhere. Effectively we are still in lockdown with a curfew until at least the end of September, followed by a month when curfew moves back to 9pm and we can exercise outdoors for two hours rather than one. From late October, so long as we can get cases down to a 14 day average of around 30-50 we can gather in groups of 5 (!!) outdoors. No dining or entertainment though. Finally from later in November, so long as we average only 5 cases per day, we can gather in groups of 10, and have up to 5 visitors from one family only in our homes. The final stage involves no cases whatsoever for 14 days, then we can have groups of 20 in homes and 50 outside. Dining and entertainment will then start to open up. It is really very, very depressing as I simply cannot imagine that we will get cases that low, because virtually all our cases are in aged, hospital or disability care. At this stage I cannot see a Christmas lunch with my family sadly.
  4. Oh you have so few restrictions compared to us! Having said that the situation seems an awful lot worse. I have no idea which way is the correct way to be dealing with this. We will have many less corona virus deaths, but suicides and deaths from other things are way up. So many people and businesses are now destitute and who knows if they will all get back to normal, I very much doubt it. Thanks for your kind wishes notamermaid. I am lucky. I have a wonderful husband, and an adult son living at home, so company isn't a problem. I only worked one day a week and I still have that. I am considered an "essential" worker, which seems somewhat odd as I do administration, but it is for an artisan baker, so presumably that is why. We do Zoom get togethers with friends and keep in touch with family by phone or Messenger, so it's not too bad really. The frightening thing is that there is talk that we will be like this until well into next year. That might be a bridge too far for a lot of people.
  5. Good heavens. here in Victoria we had around 281 cases today. The most we have ever had in one day is 750 from memory. Yet we are in stage 4 lockdown, with a curfew and can only leave the house to shop for food for one hour and one hour of exercise, all with masks. What sort of restrictions do you have in Germany, Notamermaid? And what about in Florida, Lois R? I would love to have our restrictions loosened but it is unlikely to happen until we get down to less than 20 cases a day, if then, unfortunately.
  6. Here in Melbourne, we were originally lucky enough to start opening up. My husband and I had a dinner party with friends, and two restaurant visits, one outside and one in. They were all well over a month ago now, so no problems whatsoever. However, we are now in Stage 4 lockdown, which is far, far worse than what we had at the start of this. Basically this means that no business apart from the essential medical and food related ones can open. We can travel no further than 5km from our homes, can only shop alone once per day, and have one hour of fresh air and exercise once per day. There is also a curfew from 8pm to 5am. It is very tough indeed, but it needs to be done to get back to where we were. In our case, it was government errors in hotel quarantine and contact tracing that caused all this, not the opening up of restaurants or allowing people to visit each other. Every other Australian state is doing that, including allowing interstate travel and so on, and they are all fine. It is a worry with Spain and Manchester too, does anyone know what has caused their relapses? Good luck to all, but there is definitely a very long way to go before this is over.
  7. We spent a night there last year at the Hotel Krafft. It is right on the river and we booked a room with a balcony overlooking Basel, which was on the other side of the river. Easily walkable to the old town, or can ride on one of the little boats to the other side. Excellent tram service as well, all free if you stay in a Basel hotel. Only had breakfast there, but it was very nice, as was the room and view. I would highly recommend it. The price was quite reasonable for a Swiss hotel, from memory I think we paid around 330Chf for the balcony room.
  8. Unfortunately here in Melbourne we have been having a second wave with spikes happening in various suburbs. We tried locking down the specific suburbs where the problem was at its worst, then we tried locking down specific high rise buildings. Things have continued to spiral out of control so as from tomorrow night we are back to full lock down, just as we had back in March at the start of all this. We are the only state in this situation, and every other state has locked their borders against us. Most Melburnians are very angry how this was botched by the government as we had zero new cases for a couple of days only one month ago, now we are back to 200 or so per day. Having said that, we will of course do as we are told once more.
  9. Thanks for your good wishes Notamermaid. Unfortunately things are not getting better, but quite a lot worse. We have now had three days in a row of 60-70 new cases per day, when only a few weeks ago we had zero. It is definitely a message to everyone that it is certainly not over and you can never be too careful. Now ten of our northeast suburbs are back in total lockdown for at least four weeks, and if things do not improve, the will lock down more of the city. It is very sad and depressing, and I simply cannot see how travel will open up anytime soon for us.
  10. It is great news that they will let Australians in, but we aren't allowed to get out! Also I live in State of Victoria, which is now getting a whole new lot of cases unfortunately. Most of the other states have their borders closed against us, so I am not sure if Victorians would be let in. Having said that, we are getting 60-70 cases a day, so nothing like what is still happening in Europe and the US.
  11. Here in Melbourne Australia, we have also had a large outbreak in a meat processing plant. There were over 100 cases linked to the plant, and then of course it spread to their families.
  12. I would imagine that Australians would be allowed in, judging by that article, but the problem will still be that our government does not allow travel. There would also be the issue of being able to get travel insurance. I can't imagine any country allowing US citizens in at the moment, it is quite incredible what is happening there.
  13. Notamermaid, the pizza party moved into a Thai food party, but it was terrific. So good to see our friends again live, rather than on Zoom. I expected more social distancing, but we all sat at a large table for ten, so side by side. I am not too worried though because all of the people there were pretty much staying in their houses the entire time, other than the regular supermarket run. The only dodgy part was when the host's daughter and her boyfriend turned up unexpectedly. The daughter immediately gave me a hug and the boyfriend shook my hand as we had never met. I was a bit stunned, and said I don't thing we are supposed to do this. It was a bit late to be worried about it though and they have been fairly isolated at home too. Here in Melbourne, we only have about 50 active cases, so really the chances of catching it are fairly remote, although everyone is slightly concerned that after the Black Lives Matter march last weekend, one of the marchers has tested positive. We now have to wait and see if a cluster starts up from the march. Let's hope not. It is very interesting the difference between the countries, here masks are not mandatory and very few people wear them. I wore one in the Uber to the dinner, but the driver didn't which surprised me. We have also been told to avoid air conditioning in offices and so on as it is too dangerous, in fact employers are not allowed to have their employees back in the office. The official rule is that "If you can work from home, you must".
  14. Notamermaid, I too thank you for your updates. We have travel booked to Europe in December, but not a cruise this time. We are hoping to visit France, Spain and Portugal, but obviously can't go if there is quarantine. Also travel insurance might be a big problem. Your posts are helping us to decide, so thankyou.
  15. Here in Melbourne, we are finally starting to open up. Today cafes, and restaurants can open. They are limited to only 20 customers, they must have a full meal, not just a snack and/or drinks, and cannot stay for more than two hours. I am not sure how it will work out, but our country only has 400 active cases now, so I doubt it will be too bad. On Saturday we are going to visit our friends for the first time since February. There will be ten of us getting together for take away pizzas. Presumably we will all be social distancing, but the house we are meeting at is easily big enough to allow it. We can't wait!
  16. There are two branches of Figlmuller in Vienna. One of them only sells pork schnitzel, rather than veal, and the other has both.
  17. That is a little like here in Australia. We celebrate the Queen's Birthday with a long weekend in June (which isn't her birthday anyway). I don't believe that they do this in England. Canada sounds a little like us here in Melbourne, golf courses have just opened, five visitors are allowed and now we have been told that cafes and restaurants will reopen from 1st June, with a maximum of twenty guests to start.
  18. Yes, I think that is probably the case. Certainly anyone arriving here must do two weeks quarantine, and I cannot imagine them changing that for a very long time. We could probably manage to travel and have quarantine when we got home, because I only work one day a week and my husband can usually work from home. The problem would be if we had to quarantine going into Europe. I am quite sure that we couldn't afford an extra two weeks accommodation, on top of what is probably going to be much more expensive travel in the future. The US and the UK at this stage appear to be the two places that Australia isn't likely to want travellers from, in fact a lot of the cases that we actually did get here were from the US, because we didn't close the borders quickly enough.
  19. Notamermaid, I have been reading in the Australian press that since Germany has relaxed its restrictions, Covid-19 cases are building up again. Is this true? How exciting about the borders opening. I just heard on the news here that they expect it to be three years before we could fly into Europe or the US. How depressing!
  20. Do try and visit and see it. We were lucky enough to be there in January 2014. It was magnificent, as was the entire museum, probably one of the best museums I have seen.
  21. Notamermaid, Jacinda Adern is apparently meeting (virtually of course) with our prime minister and State premiers tomorrow. We have an app for iphone and android here that uses bluetooth to keep track of our contacts. We have been assured that it is safe. Apparently all data is stored on our phones, if you are then confirmed positive, with your permission they can track all contacts and then contact them. Sounds like a good idea to me, security doesn't worry me, because I am not doing anything wrong. Thanks too for the link to the Deutsche Welles article.
  22. Here in Melbourne we have these screens now at all supermarkets. Great idea, and one I hope that they keep when this is all over, if it ever is. Thanks so much for the reports, notamermaid. Really interesting to hear what is going on in Europe. I did read today in the newspaper though that there had been a spike in new cases in Germany since a slight relaxing of the regulations. Is that true or like much in the newspapers, total nonsense?
  23. ikesyd, we had six days in Budapest last year. Beautiful place! We stayed at the Marriott in an Executive Room - the views from both our room and the Executive Lounge were simply stunning. Highly recommend.
  24. Herman, I have been told by other Scenic fans that the probable reason for the lack of Aussies was the fact that it was a short trip from Amsterdam to Basel. Apparently, most Australians prefer to the lengthier cruises. I sort of understand that, but we obviously didn't fly to Europe for 7 days, we also had two weeks land touring on either side. It was our first river cruise and we didn't want to book a longer one first off. I must say that while I didn't mind it, my husband wasn't that impressed and I would struggle to get him to do another. I didn't really think it was the "5 star luxury" that it is billed as. While it was pleasant and enjoyable, I have had far better food and service in a 5 star hotel for half the price. The scenery along the Rhine made it worthwhile for me though. I hope you enjoy yours when you finally get to go.
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