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Coronavirus along the Rhine... #2

 

But first, big news: according to Berlin TV station RBB, the ITB in Berlin, the world's biggest tourism fair, has been cancelled.

 

In Baden-Würrtemberg there are now 14 confirmed cases. Most of those are in areas that do not border on the Rhine. Closer to the Rhine, in Karlsruhe a man has been infected who was supposed to speak at a fair. The fair was ended early.

 

The state government still declares the risk of infection in that state to be low to moderate.

 

notamermaid

 

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have you heard of any river lines cancelling cruises?

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No, nothing about those in Europe. I have searched up and down the internet about German companies (in German) but nothing has come up. Other than the odd general bit about Asia.

steamboats is actually closer to the industry than me, perhaps she will hear of things first. 

The news tonight mentioned cancelling one's holiday. Cancellations and refunds are a tricky business and currently an official warning only stands for parts of China.

 

New messages in German on live tickers come up by the hour. Difficult to keep up with just reading.

 

Edit: there are cancellations of river cruises for the Chinese reported from Basel.

 

So, Coronavirus #3 is

Germany has 60 cases with 35 of those clustered in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Edit: Switzerland now has 17 cases, two of those are in Basel and its area.

 

notamermaid

Edited by notamermaid
Added info

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notarmermaid;  thanks for the updates;  we sail in May

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Coronavirus #4

Connected with a case of a woman in North-Rhine Westphalia four children have been tested positive with the virus. The woman works in the affected Kindergarten. Another primary school worker has the virus, that one is the first case in Bonn. His school has been closed.

The cluster area of Heinsberg now has 60 cases, up from 35. A few more cases in states bordering on the Rhine have been confirmed. Fortunately, few of those infected have had to be hospitalised so far.

 

For the whole of Germany the rate of infection was still declared low to moderate yesterday.

 

Weather: unsettled, rainy, storm warning level 2 for most of the Rhine valley and also the Swabian Jura.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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On 2/28/2020 at 2:11 PM, notamermaid said:

No, nothing about those in Europe. I have searched up and down the internet about German companies (in German) but nothing has come up. Other than the odd general bit about Asia.

steamboats is actually closer to the industry than me, perhaps she will hear of things first. 

The news tonight mentioned cancelling one's holiday. Cancellations and refunds are a tricky business and currently an official warning only stands for parts of China.

 

New messages in German on live tickers come up by the hour. Difficult to keep up with just reading.

 

Edit: there are cancellations of river cruises for the Chinese reported from Basel.

 

So, Coronavirus #3 is

Germany has 60 cases with 35 of those clustered in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Edit: Switzerland now has 17 cases, two of those are in Basel and its area.

 

notamermaid

We sail from Basel for our 50th wedding anniversary on April 14, 6 weeks away. I would love to see this virus issue stabilize or, better yet, be contained by then, not just for us but for all those affected and infected. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

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2 minutes ago, Wannawander said:

We sail from Basel for our 50th wedding anniversary on April 14, 6 weeks away. I would love to see this virus issue stabilize or, better yet, be contained by then, not just for us but for all those affected and infected. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

 I hope you have a fantastic anniversary!

 

We're departing Amsterdam for Basel about 3 weeks later.   We're praying for the same result.

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Coronavirus along the Rhine # 5

This morning I woke for the first time in my life hoping there aren't any cases of a disease near me. But the latest figures are sort of comforting - for the time being. Published this morning by the German officials: North-Rhine Westphalia 66, Rhineland-Palatinate 2, Hesse 8, Baden-Württemberg 15. In Germany overall 117. Some of those have already recovered. The quarantine in the district of Heinsberg has officially ended.

 

I have actually changed my plans for the weekend, will not go to an exhibition I wanted to see. Other than that no changes to normal life near me. Fairs in Cologne and Düsseldorf have been cancelled or postponed, though.

 

At the moment I cannot see real problems from my amateur perspective for river cruisers along the Rhine coming up. But I think we have all realized by now that this can change quickly. The thing you need to be aware of is that if you have a pre-cruise extension starting in Milan, you are likely to be under more scrutiny from official sources when entering the country, i.e. Germany and probably also Switzerland.

 

Yesterday I read a statement by Phoenix Reisen which says that they follow the advice of CLIA, the cruise association. Here is the CLIA website: https://cruising.org/ 

 

Finally: the WHO warns of fake news on the internet. I take this very seriously. My sources for information for you are Deutsche Welle, WDR television online, SWR online, Basler Nachrichten and the German government's official website and related bodies. Also Clia and official statements by cruise lines.

 

notamermaid

 

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Once again notamermaid;   you are providing such a wonderful service; to all who are scared about the Coronavirus.   It it re-assuring to know you are on top of this.  Happy Sunday

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44 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Once again notamermaid;   you are providing such a wonderful service; to all who are scared about the Coronavirus.   It it re-assuring to know you are on top of this.  Happy Sunday

Thank you AF-1,

 

hope I can keep on top of this, and the authorities even more so. Here in Germany we have excellent logistics, a very good health care system (a few minor things excepted) and I as a member of the public feel well informed without being overwhelmed with panicky announcements or false assurances. I just need to be aware of the impact my interactions with colleagues and the general public can have on me and my family. A slight worry is there, I have not stockpiled food and do not panic. Will see how things go, the figures are going up, the live feeds reacting almost every hour with more news. But tomorrow and Tuesday will be more revealing when test results of more people have come in.

 

A small correction to my post above, the quarantine in Heinsberg has ended for the majority of the people, but not all of them yet.

 

North-Rhine Westphalia now officially has 74, Rhineland-Palatinate still stands at 2, but a third case has been reported that could enter the statistics soon. For the whole of Germany the figure is now 129 due to a few new cases in Bavaria as well.

 

The book fair in Leipzig will go ahead. It is a huge event. There are no cases in the Eastern states of Germany yet. Risk assessment has obviously ruled in favour of letting the fair be held as planned.

 

Oh, and thanks for the wishes, I have had a pleasant afternoon away from crowds, exploring a local village that I had not been to for quite some months.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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On 2/26/2020 at 12:38 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

Well, that was a lot more work that I expected!  There is supposed to be a function to let me split posts from one thread and merge them with another, but it doesn't seem to be working – so I MacGyver'd it...

My sweet mother loved the Rhine and is very grateful to be there I am sure. As for me, 20 lashes for subjecting her to the virus! You are a very good doctor and I thank you!

 

6 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Thank you AF-1,

 

hope I can keep on top of this, and the authorities even more so. Here in Germany we have excellent logistics, a very good health care system (a few minor things excepted) and I as a member of the public feel well informed without being overwhelmed with panicky announcements or false assurances. I just need to be aware of the impact my interactions with colleagues and the general public can have on me and my family. A slight worry is there, I have not stockpiled food and do not panic. Will see how things go, the figures are going up, the live feeds reacting almost every hour with more news. But tomorrow and Tuesday will be more revealing when test results of more people have come in.

 

A small correction to my post above, the quarantine in Heinsberg has ended for the majority of the people, but not all of them yet.

 

North-Rhine Westphalia now officially has 74, Rhineland-Palatinate still stands at 2, but a third case has been reported that could enter the statistics soon. For the whole of Germany the figure is now 129 due to a few new cases in Bavaria as well.

 

The book fair in Leipzig will go ahead. It is a huge event. There are no cases in the Eastern states of Germany yet. Risk assessment has obviously ruled in favour of letting the fair be held as planned.

 

Oh, and thanks for the wishes, I have had a pleasant afternoon away from crowds, exploring a local village that I had not been to for quite some months.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

I just finished communicating with my first  cousin’s daughter outside of Cologne and apparently she knows of a case of an infected teacher in her childrens’ school. Her kids have to stay home and she works in Cologne and has been asked to stay home as well until more info is available. So there is much caution which is good but she says panic has set in by some. Well, here in So Ca our church this morning had stations set up for hand sanitizer which were donated.  And my daughter said Costco was out of bottled water and paper towels and staff at the door was handing out wipes. So in the whole country we have about half of the cases in Germany and people are nuts! Hoping and praying that panic doesn’t continue because it does not help anything. Why doesn’t anyone create news about people recovering ?

Thanks for all the info. I now follow the sources you have given us. It’s good I can still understand my mother tongue!

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Wannawander,

Sorry to hear that your family member has been affected by this with the school closures. That sort of thing takes some coordinating when you have children. Unfortunately, a few teachers have been tested positive which has indeed led to closures of schools.

 

Coronavirus update: WDR reports this morning that a ban on Sunday work in supermarkets for restacking shelves for dry/non-perishable foods could be lifted in North-Rhine Westphalia. Germany has a general shop closure on Sundays and strict rules what you can and cannot do on Sundays as regards the public life. That measure is intended to assure people that there is no need to panic buy food. The shops will not run out of food.

 

The figures for confirmed cases: Baden-Württemberg 19, Hesse 10, Rhineland-Palatinate 2, North-Rhine Westphalia 86. One case has now been confirmed in Berlin, the first one in our capital. 150 for all of Germany. That includes a few recovered people. According to the experts of the Robert Koch institute 4 out 5 cases show mild symptoms only.

 

Next, let us look at the river and how it is doing shortly before the beginning of the river cruising season.

 

notamermaid

 

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Update on Coronavirus. The Robert Koch Institute (the organisation that deals with infectious diseases) has just adjusted the risk for the public in Germany from low to moderate. Eek!

 

notamermaid

 

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Water levels on the Rhine

 

It is March and we are fast approaching the beginning of the river cruising season in Europe. A quick look at the weather: it is still grey with rain on many days, unsettled and in parts quite stormy on some days. Temperatures vary between zero in the hills at night and 10 to 12 degrees in the valley during the day. The outlook for this week and the weekend is for a continuation of the current situation. Next week could be dryer and only minimally warmer.

 

For those new to the subject of water levels here are some explanations. The Rhine is susceptible to both flooding and drought. Drought will become a matter of interest come Summer and from July the level at Kaub will be the one to look at. Kaub is a gauging station in the Rhine Gorge that is in the middle Rhine valley. There the Rhine has its stretch of the shallowest navigation channel of all its navigable course.

 

Before Summer the Rhine can have flooding any time. Its timing and duration varies from year to year. The amount of rain and the time of snow melt determine it. For that we look at Maxau as the best indicator. That gauging station is in the upper Rhine valley. For both drought and flooding we often look at Koblenz as well. To see what could be in store for the lower Rhine valley we may also look at Cologne sometimes.

 

It is important to know that the figures I post are official figures that you can follow along yourself. Here is the map: https://www.bafg.de/EN/06_Info_Service/01_WaterLevels/waterlevels_node.html

 

Please note also that the figures do not show the depth of the navigation channel but the overall depth of the river at this point in the topography only. They need to be translated.

 

In times of flooding, each section of the river can be closed to traffic by the respective regional authorities, in drought there is no official ban on river traffic on the French/German Rhine. The responsibility for sailing or not sailing lies with the companies and captains.

To start us off, here are the first figures: Maxau 602cm, Kaub 396cm, Koblenz 483cm. All three figures are above the long-term mean. With more rain coming they could rise to mild flooding.

As we go along during the season please feel free to ask questions. I am happy to answer to the best of my knowledge as a laywoman.

 

notamermaid

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Posted (edited)

Coronavirus update

 

The figures for today in Germany along the Rhine: Baden-Württemberg 26, Hesse 10, Rhineland-Palatinate 2 (SWR news says 4), North-Rhine Westphalia 101. Most of those in NRW can be traced to the attendance of the Carnival event or subsequent contact with those that had attended.

 

Bavaria now has 35, but that includes those that have recovered from the infection due to a Chinese visitor in a company.

 

The whole of Germany has 188.

 

Looking to Switzerland, Basler Zeitung (I had called it Nachrichten before, sorry) reports that there are 45 cases spread throughout the country.

 

France in the region called Grand Est that includes Alsace has 8 apparently. The clusters are elsewhere.

 

The Netherlands has 18.

 

Deutsche Welle has an interesting article today: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-world-is-in-uncharted-territory/a-52617833 

 

Edit: The Leipzig book fair has now been cancelled. The health authorities' requirements for large  scale events could not be met.

 

notamermaid

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
Added info

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Once again; thank you for the update

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34 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Coronavirus update

 

The figures for today in Germany along the Rhine: Baden-Württemberg 26, Hesse 10, Rhineland-Palatinate 2 (SWR news says 4), North-Rhine Westphalia 101. Most of those in NRW can be traced to the attendance of the Carnival event or subsequent contact with those that had attended.

 

Bavaria now has 35, but that includes those that have recovered from the infection due to a Chinese visitor in a company.

 

The whole of Germany has 188.

 

Looking to Switzerland, Basler Zeitung (I had called it Nachrichten before, sorry) reports that there are 45 cases spread throughout the country.

 

France in the region called Grand Est that includes Alsace has 8 apparently. The clusters are elsewhere.

 

The Netherlands has 18.

 

Deutsche Welle has an interesting article today: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-world-is-in-uncharted-territory/a-52617833 

 

Edit: The Leipzig book fair has now been cancelled. The health authorities' requirements for large  scale events could not be met.

 

notamermaid

 

 

My cousin’s 14 year old has been quarantined outside of Cologne since she was in contact with the teacher in her school who is infected. Her family is not going to school or work. Hopefully the Recoveries  will be publicized as well as  the outbreaks. We need to see the positives not only the negatives. Praying that my family and all affected are safe and recover. 🙏🙏🙏

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Wannawander,

Sorry to read that. All the best for your family.

About the positives: more people in Germany will leave their quarantine soon and most infected are doing well. In Germany in 93 percent of cases the history and where the infection has stemmed from could be traced. Although latest data has resulted in the BBC calling Germany last night a "high spot" and Saudi Arabia advises against non-essential travel to Germany we are doing well overall. For the time being.

 

My biggest worry at the moment comes from the fact that two colleagues of mine are supposed to attend a fair in Bonn soon. Bonn being close to a cluster of cases the risk assessment is already happening. I do not like the idea of being quarantined. Decision making lies with the organizers of the event and the regional authorities. Will see how it goes.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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On 2/28/2020 at 1:15 PM, notamermaid said:

Coronavirus along the Rhine...

 

We are booked on a Viking Rhine cruise in mid May.   Yesterday,  we received an email from Viking that says 

 

"we are for the time being making a temporary exception to our cancellation policy so that you can be free to postpone your cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any cancellation fees. You will be issued a voucher for future travel valid for 24 months, which can be used on any Viking product (river, ocean or expedition). This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all guests who currently have a reservation with Viking and for all new reservations made through April 30, 2020."

 

At this point we don't plan to cancel our river cruise but Vikings "temporary exception" sure takes the pressure off of making a decision prematurely and gives us time to see how this Coronavirus plays out.

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It is not easy for the river cruise companies, for sure. And the liabilities are enormous. A pro-active approach to assure passengers I am sure is a good idea, also in that respect. I do not know what it is like with you, but in Germany there is a distinct difference between an "advise against" and a "warning against" travelling to a country or region. It affects the consumer laws and cancellation of a journey. So far only parts of China have a warning.

 

This is how Phoenix Reisen is reacting to the situation (in German): https://www.phoenixreisen.com/coronavirus.html

 

So, the update in brief: according to Johns Hopkins CSSE Germany has 244 confirmed cases, 16 of those have already recovered.

 

A bit of background, i.e. what I have learned. It says face masks do not protect you from getting it, there is no shortage of food in Germany, more than 90 percent of cases in this country can be traced back to their origin, 80 percent of cases in Germany are mild (some of those have almost no symptoms), not many children get it (so far), you are more likely to suffer as a male (something to do with estrogen - sorry guys!), smoking makes it worse (no surprise there) and it will hit you harder when you are over 60.

 

Nearer me - sort of - a case has been confirmed in Mainz. Woman came back from Iran. One out of a population of over 200,000.

 

Breaking news: A student in Koblenz has just been confirmed as the eighth case in Rhineland-Palatinate. She was infected during a congress in Karlsruhe, where an earlier case had been confirmed. She is doing okay. Koblenz has a population of just over 100,000.

 

I am vigilant, but not overly worried. I am so sorry for people who have been affected with quarantine and grieve for a loved one. I have been to the regions of Italy that are affected and it makes me sad.

 

 

Now to happier matters: The Geoffrey Chaucer is due in Rüdesheim and I need to do some internet ship spotting.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

It is not easy for the river cruise companies, for sure. And the liabilities are enormous. A pro-active approach to assure passengers I am sure is a good idea, also in that respect. I do not know what it is like with you, but in Germany there is a distinct difference between an "advise against" and a "warning against" travelling to a country or region. It affects the consumer laws and cancellation of a journey. So far only parts of China have a warning.

In Canada, my travel insurance kicks in when:

"A new and unexpected Travel Advisory, issued by Global Affairs Canada, after the purchase of this insurance and prior to the departure of your trip, or during your trip, that warns Canadian residents to avoid all non-essential travel or avoid all travel to a specific region of any country included in your trip." (Highlight is mine.) Related to COVID-19, these currently cover China, Iran, and Northern Italy.

 

There are lesser warnings for other countries, but insurance doesn't kick in as an insured risk; you would have to claim under a "cancel for any reason" clause, which in my case, would only pay out 50% of the cost. (It would have been 75% if I had booked the trip with CAA - the insurer - but the bike and barge trip itself I had to book directly with a broker, so I couldn't have booked that part with them.)

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On 3/3/2020 at 5:33 AM, notamermaid said:

Coronavirus update

 

The figures for today in Germany along the Rhine: Baden-Württemberg 26, Hesse 10, Rhineland-Palatinate 2 (SWR news says 4), North-Rhine Westphalia 101. Most of those in NRW can be traced to the attendance of the Carnival event or subsequent contact with those that had attended.

 

Bavaria now has 35, but that includes those that have recovered from the infection due to a Chinese visitor in a company.

 

The whole of Germany has 188.

 

Looking to Switzerland, Basler Zeitung (I had called it Nachrichten before, sorry) reports that there are 45 cases spread throughout the country.

 

France in the region called Grand Est that includes Alsace has 8 apparently. The clusters are elsewhere.

 

The Netherlands has 18.

 

Deutsche Welle has an interesting article today: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-world-is-in-uncharted-territory/a-52617833 

 

Edit: The Leipzig book fair has now been cancelled. The health authorities' requirements for large  scale events could not be met.

 

notamermaid

 

 

My cousin’s 14 year old has been quarantined outside of Cologne since she was in contact with the teacher in her school who is infected. Her family is not going to school or work. Hopefully the Recoveries  will be publicized as well as  the outbreaks. We need to see the positives not only the negatives. Praying that my family and all affected are safe and recover. 🙏🙏🙏

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gnome12,

complicated stuff, especially when you combine air travel with land travel. I was discussing my Summer holiday last night and I do not know what I will do. Even with the easy travelling arrangements that I need to make, I find waiting is best for me at the moment.

 

Us Germans love to go to South Tyrol in Spring on coach tours. A less and less exciting prospect with travellers returning from winter break being reported as having been infected in South Tyrol. It will be a major blow to tourism in the region. I can imagine this will be of an even greater concern to Austria than it is already now. Remember, the Schengen agreement is still in place but will this remain so? Who knows.

 

Oh, and my local pharmacy has sold out of hand sanitizing gel, etc. Luckily I have still got some at work which is issued to us by the employer for the flu season. As I said: not worried but vigilant.

 

notamermaid

 

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