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Safety Squirrel

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  1. I always fly in at least three days prior to my cruise if flying from U.S.A. - more if cruising from Europe or U.K. Great to sight see and not be stressed in case of unforeseen difficulties. Remember the 2017 shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport??? I flew out three days before my cruise on Westjet. Winnipeg, Manitoba --> Calgary, Alberta --> Fort Lauderdale. When we were within an hour or two of Fort Lauderdale, the pilot came on saying that there was a shooting and there was no room even on the tarmac to land a plane. We were re-routed to Montreal, Quebec and arrived at approximately 11:00 p.m. (The flight was full) The West Jet attendants were great. They had to billet a full plane plus get hotel reservations. Some passengers were put on a flight from Montreal the next morning. However, I was flown to Toronto, Ontario where I got to the hotel approximately 2:00 a.m. Had to be at the Toronto airport by 7:00 a.m., so only time for a quick nap & shower. The Toronto airport was crazy as so many flights had been cancelled. I had reservations at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale and had phoned them when I got to my hotel in Toronto. and they kept my reservation (I have Hilton points). Arrived safely in Fort Lauderdale the next morning and again, the airport was just bedlam and you could hardly get through the people whose flights had been delayed or cancelled. The nice thing was I could immediately check into my room as I had paid for the night before. I then had two days to relax instead of three. Having been to Fort Lauderdale several times, I was just able to enjoy my time before the cruise. My insurance covered the one night in the hotel, I just had to provide the receipts from the hotel and proof my flight was re-routed. Another time, son, DIL, granddaughter and myself were watching very carefully when the volcano in Iceland erupted in 2010 as we were boarding the Equinox to cruise the Mediterranean. Again - several days before. We were fortunate and able to go on the cruise. We did have insurance which covered it. Whether cruising solo or with family or friends, I always have insurance plus go ahead several days ahead of the cruise. I agree with all those who have posted - it is wise to go at least one day before when you are flying (or even driving) as there can be so many unforeseen things that can happen. Insurance is a must!!! As so many other people, I/we are looking forward to travelling again, including cruising and trips to Europe.
  2. Well today, November 19th, the Manitoba government mandated even more stricter rules regarding Covid. We have been Code Red since November 12th and unfortunately some people are not taking this virus seriously. They showed huge lines of shoppers (mainly at the big box stores) and some not social distancing. We also had a rally about 100 people last Saturday objecting to wearing masks in a small city that has one of the highest rates; they had to transfer patients to Winnipeg as the hospital had no available beds. The new health orders are in effect until December 11th. Effective November 20th at 12:01 a.m., people are restricted to their household only – no visitors, including family members. Following is a partial release. New COVID-19 public health orders will forbid people from having anyone inside their home who doesn't live there, with few exceptions, and prohibit businesses from selling non-essential items in stores. Previous orders that came into effect last week allowed gatherings at private residences of up to five people beyond those who normally live there, although Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin and others pleaded with Manitobans to stay home and only go out for essential items. Exceptions to the no visitors rule include parents who do not live with their child, people providing child care and other services deemed essential, such as education, construction or repairs, and deliveries. Exceptions will also be made for people who live alone, who will be allowed to have one other designated person over, and they can also visit that one other person. Businesses that sell essential and non-essential items will be required to remove the non-essential goods from the shelves or rope off those areas. The new orders also further restrict capacity at large retailers to either 25 per cent of normal capacity or a maximum of 250 people, whichever is lower. The orders come into effect on Friday, except for the rule requiring businesses to prevent access to non-essential items, which comes into effect on Saturday. They will remain in effect until at least Dec. 11. Items deemed essential under the new orders include food, personal care and health products, baby and child-care items, outdoor winter clothing and pet supplies. Liquor and cannabis sales will also be permitted. Non-essential items include books, toys, jewelry, flowers, perfume, consumer electronics and sporting equipment. Before anyone comments about the liquor and cannabis sales – it has been determined in most provinces that people who are alcoholics will go into withdrawal symptoms and go to hospitals, which are already overburdened with Covid patients. Cannabis is legal in our province and is supposed to be mainly for medical purposes. I know that everyone will not agree with still being permitted to sell liquor and cannabis; however, it will stop SOME of the illegal market for these products. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The province has hired more enforcement officers and people will be fined and stores shut down if required. Small businesses have already been impacted. In my own case, my hairdresser said that if we had another lockdown, she might not be able to open her salon again. It is the small businesses, including restaurants that are really affected by the shut downs. As I am a widow, my oldest son and DIL have invited me to stay with them. I will really appreciate the company. They like to cook, so that is an added bonus. They have two shelties (Shetland Sheepdogs) and as I live in a no-pet condo, it will be nice to have the dogs around also. My husband and I used to show dogs and I really miss not having a dog around. Taking several books with me to read. So, we just have to hope that this mandate will slow the virus down and we may be able to have five family members for Christmas. If not -- Christmas may be celebrated in the spring. Stay safe everyone and PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS. The life you save may be someone you love.
  3. Yes the businesses are complying with masks for employees. Most businesses, banks, public offices, doctors' offices etc. also have shields between the customer and staff member. I can see the shields becoming a fixture when/if the pandemic is over. Masks are mandatory and the owner would be fined or even shut down if masks are not worn. Several have been fined/closed down (orange code) before the red code was announced this week. Example - when grocery shopping - besides staying six feet apart (they have arrows/X's on the floor) before you can put your groceries on the belt -- you must wait until the cashier disinfects the entire belt. You must bag your own groceries. The cashier is behind a shield with a mask on. When paying, they prefer credit/debit. If possible - touch screen. If not - the debit/credit machine has a plastic cover which is disinfected between each customer. Most businesses, banks etc. have hand sanitizer at the entrance to use (although I am sure there are those who do not use it!). Like the U.S. - there are those who think that is just a hoax etc. The majority of grocery stores have an employee disinfecting the carts before you take one. My son who is in the hospitality industry joked that he could probably disinfect the tables, etc. with pure vodka cheaper than sanitizer. The price for sanitizer (and masks) has increased significantly at the wholesalers of industrial supplies. They are now shopping at Costco and find the price significantly less. My oldest son & DIL have owned a condo in Kissimmee since 2008 but unfortunately we won't be going there for quite awhile. A couple of my friends have texted, etc. saying "isn't this about the time you leave for Florida and/or cruises??" So I can only wish it will be sometime in the future -- as I look out the window and see the snow falling. As an aside, beside cruising, we cancelled our land trip to Europe in May; rescheduled to September and we all know how that went!! With cases in Europe, Canada, USA and other countries around the world, I cannot see travelling in the near future. One can only hope. Again -- keep safe everyone.
  4. I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) and effective today, the entire province is in Code Red. We have seen a huge uptick in cases (for us) and yesterday the death toll was nine with 431 new cases. I know that does not seem like a lot compared to other provinces, states, countries etc. but is a huge increase for the province. We are in code red for at least two weeks and hint from the government that it will be extended a further two weeks to cover two incubation periods. All non-essential businesses are closed (most retail stores, salons etc.). You can order on-line for some businesses but only non-contact delivery. Essential businesses (i.e. grocery stores, pharmacies) are limited to 25% capacity. Restaurants are only take-out and we are encouraged to support local restaurants as many will not be able to survive this closure. The hospitality industry has been hit very hard with several previous two week closures. The last lockdown included dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists, etc. but this time they have very strict rules and capacity and can remain open. Many doctors are having telephone visits to determine the necessity for an in-person visit. All libraries, community centres, senior centres, playgrounds, arenas, gyms etc. are closed. Churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship have gone to virtual services. No team sports such as hockey, curling, basketball allowed. No gatherings of more than five people which includes weddings and funerals. Visits to hospitals only for end-of-life patients and then extremely limited to two family members at a time. We have had a mandatory mask policy in Winnipeg in all public places for over a month. The majority of people complied but businesses had the right to refuse entry into their premises and many had signs posted in their windows. Initially, last Tuesday, no visits were permitted between families etc. Last night the government backed down on visits within households as many grandparents etc. are responsible for taking children to school while parents work in essential businesses such as hospitals, police & fire departments, schools etc. Today, we can have five relatives in our ‘bubble” which enables caregivers to take children to school, visit relatives who have other health issues etc. not related to Covid. Schools remain open at this time. My youngest son, DIL, & granddaughter are teachers. I worry about them coming into contact with people who are ill although they have been provided with face shields & masks and desks are six feet apart. My oldest son and DIL are in the hospitality business so their businesses are closed. I consider myself fortunate to be healthy. I recently cancelled B2B cruises in 2021 on the Equinox (Mardi Gras) and my oldest son cancelled their March 2021 cruise to take the grandchildren on their first cruise. Perhaps in 2022 we will be able to cruise and travel once again. Let us hope that the world gets this under control. The possibility of a vaccine looks promising. Stay safe everyone wherever you live.
  5. Century Cruises -- Only in America… are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink. It could be a parent/grandparent who is watching someone skate Only in America… do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front. So true Only in America… do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering. Could be a person with vision problems, who chooses to walk and use the ATM machine instead of going to as bank.
  6. How some people think we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada!!
  7. Recently cancelled B2B cruises in January//February 2021 (including the Mardi Gras cruise). I had paid the refundable deposits. Celebrity rep told TA it would take 4-5 weeks. THREE days later - deposits were credited back to credit card. Was very surprised. Not sure when I will cruise again.
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