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About helengp

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  1. At last some definite news....All cruises cancelled until end of May. I hope Marella contact me soon. I get what people are saying about Marella being stretched and staff working from home etc., but as a key worker myself, my employer would very much like to know if I will still be taking 2 weeks off in May.....we were supposed to be visiting Italy and slotting the cruise in the middle of the trip. I also can not just switch to another cruise/holiday, as getting time off from work has to be booked months in advance and as so many holidays are being cancelled, and staff cancel their annual leave, when holidays do start up again there’s going to be a rush to book time off.....so no way can we just switch to another cruise. I also need to cancel associated hotels and flights for the May holiday...something I have been reluctant to do without Marella confirming first that the cruise was cancelled. Hopefully we can now get something sorted with them re a refund soon. Maybe we will attempt a cruise again some time, but I don’t think it will be this year ☹️
  2. Hello. I wondered if anyone knows when Marella might update their website re cancellations for May cruises. I can’t get through on phone. It would appear from looking at other companies’ cancellations, that most cruise companies are cancelling through June and some even to end of year. Marella seems to be offering me to change my booking but nothing about what to do if I want a refund. They say that if I have not been contacted yet by email, then the cruise is still going ahead. I find this incredible given the state we are in. It would appear that if I cancel, I will lose my money. Does anyone have any experience of this company and its cancellation policy? Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere. Thanks Heidi
  3. Yep....Marella still insisting our May cruise still going ahead. Leaving Naples and visiting 3 other Italian locations. Unless a miracle happens, Italy is not going to be open for tourism in 6 weeks time! And I don’t believe in miracles. I agree that Marella should just come clean and cancel all cruises until June earliest. And process refunds. Then at least we could set about cancelling our flights, hotels and the rest of the associated costs (airport parking, dog sitter) that we have booked independently for this trip. Leaving people dangling is just not on.
  4. helengp


    I have had my doubts about the comparative seriousness of this virus when compared with annual death rates and previous bad flu years. Here a pathologist puts it very clearly. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/The-evidence-on-Covid-19-is-not-as-clear-as-we-think
  5. helengp


    Replying to T Tail..... Are you working on the frontline in the fight against CV? I am. All the WHO figures published do not include or take in to account the hundreds of thousands of people with active infections that either give very mild or no symptoms, and are therefore NOT TESTED. So the figure you quote for active infections is way too low. These people will never be counted as either infected or recovered. So the real number of recovered is massively higher than WHO figures. So that brings the death rate right down. The number that is crucial is the ‘serious’ figure...but only when applied to the total of all active infections....the figure we will never know. In the UK we are now only routinely testing people in hospital.....many who are already ill or frail, with other underlying health conditions. It is therefore highly likely that those patients will go on to need critical care and they will possibly die. This fact alone makes all the WHO figures skewed. So in reality the death rate remains tiny, particularly when you also remember that a large percentage of the people who have died were already in a terminal condition or living with a life limiting illness before contracting CV. They would have died soon anyway. Italy also has skewed figures, as it seems they are reporting anyone who dies after testing positive for CV as a CV statistic, even if they were already terminal or had serious life limiting conditions. So you see, you can not compare one country to another, even using WHO stats. The press would have us believe all hospitals are bursting with CV patients, and that ICUs are already full. That is simply not true. In my hospital we currently have no CV infection, and in the whole county only 11 reported cases. 3 are hospitalised. ICUs are busy...but with people with other intensive needs. Social distancing is now key to stop a rapid spread. Unfortunately, too many people are not taking that seriously. And sadly, more people continue to die of pneumonia caused by bog standard flu or the common cold. And heart disease is still the biggest killer of all.....a day doesn’t go by when I don’t sign my name on a death certificate of someone who has died prematurely. A completely unnecessary situation if people would only look after their health better. CV is a challenge, and a real worry. It will never be beaten, but we will learn to live with it as we do all the viral diseases we encounter. The longer lasting and more serious effect will be the destroyed economies of many nations.....and the indirect suffering caused by that.
  6. helengp


    Current UK stats, based on people actually tested ( so not including the huge amount that don’t ever get tested as either a symptomatic or have very mild illness) 3,741 Currently Infected Patients 3,721 (99%) in Mild Condition 20 (1%) Serious or Critical
  7. helengp


    Where are you getting this info from? How can anyone know what long term damage is being done when the virus has only been around a few months? I think your figures are spurious. Here in UK the proportion of infected people (tested positive) currently requiring hospital care is less than 1%. And not all of them are in respiratory distress! And that’s also based on figures of people actually tested....there are undoubtedly 1000s if not tens of 1000s who have this disease but show no symptoms so have not been tested. Please direct me to the actual medical source of your comment.
  8. So if you have a cruise booked before 30 June but can’t reschedule and don’t want another holiday, will you get a refund? Are they cancelling holidays or not?
  9. Kevin York...I agree, I want to get this thing and get it over and done with. Then I can go to work and help others without worrying about it. We are currently in France and now need a piece of paper stating our purpose to leave the house. Not sure what that will achieve as it’s easy to print off the form and tick the box....can go shopping, walks, walk dogs, go to Dr and so on but no social gatherings. People here are not happy! We have brought our return home forward a week as there’s not a lot we can do here...all the DIY shops are closed. So no decorating possible and hubby can’t get out on long cycle rides as he’d planned, so might as well be at home. Well, apart from the fact the sun is shining here 😁 As you say, cruises seem a long way off.....still waiting to see what Marella do next about May cruises.
  10. helengp


    Actually you are both correct and incorrect at the same time. This virus is a ‘flu’....a new strain of it. Every year flu comes around it is slightly different, and the vaccine we are given every year is different, based on which strain of the flu the scientists think is going to be most prevalent. The difference is, this one is totally new and spreads so easily and for many, has no symptoms, so people are inadvertently spreading it. So when we talk about ‘flu’ we are actually talking about a whole host of viruses that cause respiratory distress, including this new one. Secondly, flu itself never kills anyone...it is the complications from respiratory distress that kill people....chest infection, pneumonia and sepsis. The ‘flu’ vaccine each year gives us a small amount of several viruses, and then our bodies create antibodies to fight those viruses. Then if we become exposed to that virus again, our bodies are ready primed to start fighting. For most healthy people, that is sufficient to knock it on its head, and each of us will suffer varying degrees of illness, which will pass. The problem comes when people who are already ill (and whose immune systems already stressed), have compromised immune systems...like after cancer treatment, or are simply weak and frail due to old age, become exposed and their bodies can not fight off the disease...they succumb to chest infections, that can lead to pneumonia and sometimes sepsis, organ failure etc and ultimately death. So people with diseases like COPD, heart disease, diabetes and so on will have a much bigger fight on their hands. BUT this is the case for all flu strains and even the common cold can lead to death. So, whilst this virus is scary, it will settle down in the community, as all others have before...think SARS, bird flu, swine flu and so on....and will in future be part of the flu jab we are given, and as a species, we will build immunity against it....in time. In the meantime, something like 95% of people who catch it will have a mild illness that will not do any long lasting harm. For the remainder, it is indeed a worry, but keeping a distance, washing your hands and being sensible will all limit the spread.
  11. Just arrived in France yesterday for 2 weeks....and bearing in mind that as of last night all restaurants, cafes etc are to close, I went to the supermarket with trepidation this morning, expecting everything to be sold out. What a pleasant surprise.....shops very busy but no one loading up trolleys, and pretty much everything available in store....even loo rolls😁.
  12. I agree.....Marella are leaving everything far too late....it is highly unlikely that Italy will be safe by next month, yet when I’ve asked them repeatedly what their plan is in that event they give me the standard....’all our cruises will be running as scheduled’ response....still! And people should not have to claim off their own travel insurance if a cruise is cancelled because of FCO advice not to travel....this is where Marella are being devious I feel....leave it so late to cancel that most will already have cancelled themselves, leaving Marella with a much smaller payout. Marella will have their own insurance that should cover them for loss of income in such a case......so why are they so reluctant to cancel?
  13. Saga have cancelled all cruises
  14. Not sure if this link will work, but a coronavirus patient’s first hand experience is interesting... https://www.bing.com/videos/search?view=detail&mid=60AC23E15225D7B06AA860AC23E15225D7B06AA8&shtp=GetUrl&shid=1c681cfd-5903-4164-b3fd-545e2d9db061&shtk=Q29yb25hdmlydXMgcGF0aWVudCBmcm9tIERpYW1vbmQgUHJpbmNlc3MgZXhwbGFpbnMgd2hhdCB0aGUgaWxsbmVzcyBmZWVscyBsaWtl&shdk=Q2FybCBHb2xkbWFuIHNoYXJlcyB3aGF0IGl0J3MgYmVlbiBsaWtlIHRvIGJlIGRpYWdub3NlZCB3aXRoIGNvcm9uYXZpcnVzIHdoaWxlIGFib2FyZCB0aGUgRGlhbW9uZCBQcmluY2VzcyBjcnVpc2Ugc2hpcCBhbmQgbGlmZSBpbiBxdWFyYW50aW5lIHNpbmNlLg%3D%3D&shhk=qfXfaF%2Be3qap3uC8ZKmb%2BjUXewRy%2F%2FnMXrlNrWIqJ6Y%3D&form=VDSHOT&shth=OSH.YKgaC6pJ8ARU90xHNvciEw
  15. Interesting developments. Still no news on Italy though. That said, I really think we are all letting this whole virus thing get out of hand. It really is not going to affect many people that badly....heart disease and type 2 diabetes will prematurely kill more people each day in the UK than this virus ever will, yet millions of people plough on each day destroying their own bodies without any concern. Maybe the press should be jumping up and down about that and the tremendous strain that puts on the NHS! So let’s keep a perspective on all this.....hopefully our cruises won’t be cancelled and FCO advice will change so that we can all enjoy what should be an excellent cruise! But in the meantime, confirmation of Marella’s plan should that not happen would be nice.
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