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Travelcat2

What is being done about coronavirus.....

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Just popping in to share information about the coronavirus and some news that I've read and learned today.

 

At least three cruise lines are not allowing people to board that have been or or from affected areas.  Of course, ships are not visiting the area.

 

After the SARS outbreak, we purchased 3M masks that are suppose to help protect you.  So, today I went searching for some more (as we will be on a plane in 6 weeks).  the masks that I wanted were backordered almost everywhere (U.S. and Canada).  They made be made by many companies but I only see those sold by Nexcare and 3M.  According to a doctor on another site, the masks must be "N95".  Within the "N95" group, there are some that are better than others.  The medical grade are the ones that are sold out (but saw some "small" size masks on a few medical sites).  This is the best one https://www.vitalitymedical.com/3m-1860-surgical-mask.html - if you can find it.  

 

Since we are all world travelers, it is a good idea to protect ourselves.  It is not yet known whether anything that we currently take for the flu or other viruses is effective.  The easiest way that it is transmitted is through "spittle" (coughs, sneezes, etc.) which is why masks make sense.  We arrived at Vancouver airport at the same time as a planeload of Asian's arrived (think they were Chinese - mainly because of the very large population of Chinese in Vancouver.  Almost every passenger was wearing a mask.  

 

Just wanted to share.  Over and out!

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Thanks for your information.  We also are supposed to be leaving for a March 1 cruise on The Voyager.  Starts in Hong Kong ends in Bangkok 28 days later.  Needless to say that along with the riots in HK as well as the virus, we are questioning this trip ( we are seasoned travelers but have never been faced with quite this much doubt). Unless Regent takes some serious steps, the travel insurance  that we purchased won’t allow us to cancel.

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Well, that arrival of a planeload of Chinese at Vancouver airport at the same time as your arrival doesn't sound good. I hope you tried to notice if anyone was coughing, and held your breath while you passed them in the immigration lines. That's what I tried to do when we arrived in Vancouver for our Alaska cruise back in 2018. And there were many Chinese tourists arriving at the same time that were coughing and made no attempt to cover their mouths.

We recently came through Dubai from FLL to Singapore on our Voyager cruise from Singapore to Singapore, and then on from Singapore to Syndney.

When we arrived in Singapore from Dubai, we were all shot with IR thermometers as we left our flight. We were not warned ahead of time, and there were many thermometers involved. Once at our hotel, we were told that we were screened for MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome), since we had flown through Dubai. At one of our ports, we were also screened without notice, using IR thermometers as we left the ship for the day. We were happy to see these screenings since we had many people onboard who were obviously sick, and some told us that they or their spouse had pneumonia. That didn't keep them from eating in the restaurants, but hopefully they didn't get off the ship and spread it elsewhere.

I always bring Lysol wipes when I travel. I wipe down everything that I , or my husband might touch on the plane. I wipe down everything that I will touch in our cabin. My problem onboard the ship is that I don't always see the table cloth changed between guests, and despite my complaints, the tables at the Coffee Connection are not wiped between guests. I bring my Lysol wipes and made a point of showing them that I'm wiping the table, but after 36 nights onboard, it was still up to me to clean the table at the Coffee Connection.

Those masks are not necessarily effective. If you have a cough, it will go around the mask. We saw people cough into their masks, take them off,  and lay them on the table in restaurants (not on the ship). After eating, they left them on the table, along with their plates. And the table wasn't cleaned at all.

It's more about not touching your face without sanitizing your hands. We didn't get sick on our last cruise, but my husband caught a cold within 4 days of arriving back home in SW Florida with all of our snowbird condo residents who brought new viruses to us from the North. We both had flu shots, and I didn't catch the cold from him (with separate hand towels and separate tooth paste, and plenty of Lysol wipes on any surface that he might touch).

At this point, I'm not thinking that then new Corona virus isn't any worse than the flu, but without a vaccine, that could still be bad.

 

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26 minutes ago, geegeecruiser said:

Thanks for your information.  We also are supposed to be leaving for a March 1 cruise on The Voyager.  Starts in Hong Kong ends in Bangkok 28 days later.  Needless to say that along with the riots in HK as well as the virus, we are questioning this trip ( we are seasoned travelers but have never been faced with quite this much doubt). Unless Regent takes some serious steps, the travel insurance  that we purchased won’t allow us to cancel.

We have a Paul Gauguin cruise that ends in Bali near the end of April. Our flight, provided by PG cruises (now Ponant), is through Hong Kong on the way home. Our TA, who we also use for Regent, assured us that the cruise line will take serious steps to avoid problems with in Hong Kong. We might not go were we expected to go, but we won't be put in danger. I'm hoping for the best.

There's still plenty of time until March. Our last Voyager trip at the beginning of December, the ship came through the Middle East before arriving in Singapore where we embarked. With the problems in Iran, we worried about the passing through the area, but we didn't worry that our trip would be cancelled without compensation.

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I've been giving this some thought too. For what it's worth, I think the next 2-3 weeks are going to really play out where this goes. It'll either start to propagate worldwide or maybe, just maybe, be contained. I'm not holding my breath (pun intended!) or changing plans, but I think I might get cancellation insurance for the first time ever. Just in case. SARs really helped the western world get contingency plans in place.This might be the first real test to see if the public health efforts work. Here's to hoping!

 

 

4 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

After the SARS outbreak, we purchased 3M masks that are suppose to help protect you.  So, today I went searching for some more (as we will be on a plane in 6 weeks).  the masks that I wanted were backordered almost everywhere (U.S. and Canada).  They made be made by many companies but I only see those sold by Nexcare and 3M.  According to a doctor on another site, the masks must be "N95".  Within the "N95" group, there are some that are better than others.  The medical grade are the ones that are sold out (but saw some "small" size masks on a few medical sites).  This is the best one https://www.vitalitymedical.com/3m-1860-surgical-mask.html - if you can find it.  

 

 

 

These are literally the exact same thing, just not green.

 

https://www.3mcanada.ca/3M/en_CA/company-ca/all-3m-products/~/3M-Particulate-Respirator-8210-N95-/?N=5002385+3293805876&rt=rud

 

I know you are aware of this, but masks aren't go to do much if it's spread by water droplets and you get them on your hands and rub your eyes, which by most reports seems to be the most likely method. Good hygiene, washing your hands all the time is about the best we can do and arguably far, far more effective than a mask based on what news has been released. The pictures you see with all the people in asia wearing masks are generally not true rated masks like the ones you or I linked, you can tell by how they fit on their faces. The look more like dollar store cloths with elastics which would be questionable at best. More mental security than anything real. That said, if you really, really want some masks I suggest trying industrial wholesalers. Most manufacturing facilities use masks like that for everything from food production to any manufacturing process which are dirty... which is most of 'em. Even farm supply places, think grain dust and the like. If there is a shortage on the horizon in industrial channels you can bet they'll be focusing on stock for their clients and "cash customers" will not be a priority.

 

All the latest medical news I have seen say that the flu shots have no known effect for this virus, which is to be entirely expected.

 

You're right though - it's always good to practice good hygiene! Let's hope the world is able to contain this thing for everyone's sake!

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My wife and I are currently in Da Nang, Vietnam on a 16 Night cruise (not Regent) from Singapore to Hong Kong. Quick aside: it’s been great! We’re supposed to dock in Hong Kong this Friday for an overnight, debark on Saturday, spend the night, then fly home Sunday. 
 

We haven’t really received any further info yet, but I was told that our cruise line (HA) generally follows the CDC guidelines for travellers, which have not been updated yet to include Hong Kong. If that does happen, or if they expand beyond Wuhan to include other cities in China, a whole lot of cruise itineraries might have to change. But even now, why stop in a Beijing at all with both the wall and the Forbidden City closed?

 

Also, was quite glad that I had booked our air through the cruise line. Originally, we were planning to spend a few more nights in Hong Kong, but it seemed a wise choice to fly home a little earlier. All it took was a quick stop yesterday afternoon at guest services, who contacted their 24 hour flight/travel department, and the flight was changed within a half hour for a nominal $200 total fee. If I had booked the flight myself, I’d probably still be working on it, and I’m certain I wouldn’t have had the same flexibility and ease. 

 

I’m hoping that at least the newly remodeled Hong Kong art museum remains open. We also have a quick ship excursion on Friday out to the Big Buddha that I’m hoping will still occur. 

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Personally I think this will get far worse before it gets better but it does seem that the Chinese authorities are doing their best to contain it - and taking steps that probably only they and a few other  "totalitarian" governments can do.   I also think that now we know about this flu (if it is a flu?) it will be easier to identify cases and treat them.  WHO doesn't think at the moment that this is a World wide epidemic.  I hope they are right.

 

Statistics are what they are - the population in China is so enormous compared to other countries that clearly the numbers of people dying will be high there.  It would be interesting to have a comparison of percentage of people who would normally die when they get the flu in winter and the percentage of those who have died due to the Coronavirus so far.

 

Not much we can do about it anyway.  And apparently masks are not very effective either - though if they make you feel safer, that's nice!  Disinfecting and especially very frequent hand washing is essential.

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19 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

Personally I think this will get far worse before it gets better but it does seem that the Chinese authorities are doing their best to contain it - and taking steps that probably only they and a few other  "totalitarian" governments can do.   I also think that now we know about this flu (if it is a flu?) it will be easier to identify cases and treat them.  WHO doesn't think at the moment that this is a World wide epidemic.  I hope they are right.

 

Statistics are what they are - the population in China is so enormous compared to other countries that clearly the numbers of people dying will be high there.  It would be interesting to have a comparison of percentage of people who would normally die when they get the flu in winter and the percentage of those who have died due to the Coronavirus so far.

 

Not much we can do about it anyway.  And apparently masks are not very effective either - though if they make you feel safer, that's nice!  Disinfecting and especially very frequent hand washing is essential.

I do not believe this is a world wide epidemic. Maybe I’m parsing words here, but I believe it is a China wide epidemic that has shown the potential  to spread to many other parts of the world. But, as the CDC has clarified, the chances of getting infected in the US remain relatively low. Of course that can certainly change, but it hasn’t yet. 

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We are on the May 4th cruise out of Lisbon on the Explorer. Final payment due on Tuesday, and we did not buy 'cancel for any reason' insurance.  Very concerned...I want to hear from Regent.  Also the airlines...Regent may have more control over who boards that Lufthansa..........

 

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:54 PM, BarbarianPaul said:

I do not believe this is a world wide epidemic. Maybe I’m parsing words here, but I believe it is a China wide epidemic that has shown the potential  to spread to many other parts of the world. But, as the CDC has clarified, the chances of getting infected in the US remain relatively low. Of course that can certainly change, but it hasn’t yet. 

 

So far three cases in Canada, don't know how many in the US.

 

The way I see it is that if it gets dispersed world wide, then cruise ships are a perfect place to incubate it, right.  Look at the Costa ship, the Smeralda, currently being held in Rome I believe.

 

Wash your hands a lot, keep your hands away from your mouth and eyes.  On a cruise ship, even more important, always.

 

(Back in SARS days, we were due to go on the Paul Gauguin.  Since Toronto was at the epicentre in North America, we were initially afraid they would quarantine the city.  Then worried we wouldn't be able to fly, or board the ship.  Lots of people in airports with masks at that point.  I had a supply of N95's--never used them.)

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Just now WHO (in Geneva) declared this a world-wide epidemic.  That said - today's paper told us that in the US this "flu season" - late 2019 to now - some 8'000 people have died from the "ordinary flu" in the US alone.  This season.   By comparison, so far, this Coronavirus is not so bad.  Just well publicised.

 

Get a flu shot. Get Broncho Vaxom if you can.  Wash your hands properly (hot water, soap and sing "Happy Birthday" for the entire song)  every 30 mins (The Beijing International School stayed open during the SARS virus some years ago and insisted that ALL students and teachers do this.  Result ?  Far fewer absences of students and NONE due to the SARS epidemic.) .  Stay calm.  Carry on...

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19 minutes ago, Hambagahle said:

Just now WHO (in Geneva) declared this a world-wide epidemic.  That said - today's paper told us that in the US this "flu season" - late 2019 to now - some 8'000 people have died from the "ordinary flu" in the US alone.  This season.   By comparison, so far, this Coronavirus is not so bad.  Just well publicised.

 

Get a flu shot. Get Broncho Vaxom if you can.  Wash your hands properly (hot water, soap and sing "Happy Birthday" for the entire song)  every 30 mins (The Beijing International School stayed open during the SARS virus some years ago and insisted that ALL students and teachers do this.  Result ?  Far fewer absences of students and NONE due to the SARS epidemic.) .  Stay calm.  Carry on...

The voice of reason. The Happy Birthday song being the key.

My wife works within a busy city hospital as a critical care outreach manager, they have already been treating for coronavirus. Barrier nursed with simple hand cleansing disposable apron and mask. This was before the media outbreak.

Like SARS the media grab hold of this and everybody in the world is at risk. Mitigating the risk is good hygiene and if somebody starts coughing next to you then run. 😁

Masks do work but are very limited as to duration. Standard OR masks last 15 minutes on average and then become saturated with moisture and they are then are next to useless. 
This is not intended to say you shouldn’t wear a mask, that is an individual choice on the information they have. Having worked in the medical industry for 30 years specially OR theatres I won’t be bothering to order any.

 

 

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Well, yes, get a flu shot, but it's not going to protect you from this new virus, as it wouldn't have for SARS.  Yes, let's hope it is not as severe as SARS, as they say.  The thing about SARS was that it caused permanent damage in some people--they still have not recovered.  And the death rate from these viruses is much higher than the flu.  So be careful out there, people.

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On 1/27/2020 at 1:49 AM, Hambagahle said:

  It would be interesting to have a comparison of percentage of people who would normally die when they get the flu in winter and the percentage of those who have died due to the Coronavirus so far.

 

2 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

Just now WHO (in Geneva) declared this a world-wide epidemic.  That said - today's paper told us that in the US this "flu season" - late 2019 to now - some 8'000 people have died from the "ordinary flu" in the US alone.  This season.   By comparison, so far, this Coronavirus is not so bad.  Just well publicised.

 

The CDC estimates that there have been 8,200 deaths in 15,000,000 cases of flu in the US so far in the 2019 -2020 season.  That's a mortality rate of about 0.055% 

 

As of today (January 30, 2020, 11 am EST) there have been 171 deaths in 8236 confirmed cases of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV worldwide.  That's a mortality rate of about 2.1%.

 

WHO estimated the mortality rate for SARS was between 14 and 15%.

 

 

Edited by 1985rz1

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12 minutes ago, 1985rz1 said:

 

 

The CDC estimates that, there have been 8,200 deaths in 15,000,000 cases of flu in the US so far in the 2019 -2020 season.  That's a mortality rate of about 0.055% 

 

As of today (January 30, 2020, 11 am EST) there have been 171 deaths in 8236 confirmed cases of Coronavirus 2019-nCoV worldwide.  That's a mortality rate of about 2.1%.

 

WHO estimated the mortality rate for SARS was between 14 and 15%.

 

 

The mortality rate that I saw for SARS was 9.5 percent, which is still a scary percentage. The 2.1 to 2.2 percent mortality rate seems to be holding steady for a number of days now.  But the number of infected this time is already more than SARS, and it seems to be escalating. An expert from the SARS epidemic in China said that he expects the peak to be 7 to 10 days from now, which I assume is based on the Wuhan quarantine having started a week ago.

I hope that the WHO declaration shuts down flights to the rest of the world from the affected areas. If China keeps sending flights to other countries, it's going to continue to spread.

The husband of the Chicago woman in the US now tests positive as well. They're saying that he contracted if from her, so I assume that means that he did not accompany here to Wuhan, and stayed in close contact with her even though she was sick on arrival and diagnosed quickly. That doesn't give me a good feeling about how it will go in the US as more cases arrive.

As for us,  our TA spoke to PG and worked some of her magic, and we ended up with a flight on Qantas through Sydney to LAX, which leaves later from Bali, but takes less time, and lines up well with our JetBlue flight from LAX to FLL.  It was slightly cheaper, and PG will be refunding our return flight expense, but we are now on our own for that return flight. I'm hoping that this is all over by April.

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18 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

The mortality rate that I saw for SARS was 9.5 percent, which is still a scary percentage. The 2.1 to 2.2 percent mortality rate seems to be holding steady for a number of days now.  But the number of infected this time is already more than SARS, and it seems to be escalating.

 

The article I read was a May, 2003, news article (http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2003/05/estimates-sars-death-rates-revised-upward) which said the 14-15% was a revision by WHO.  I assume it's legit since it's from U Minn.This is the first paragraph:

 

"May 7, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today estimated the overall fatality rate for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) patients at 14% to 15%, significantly higher than previous estimates. The agency estimated the rate for people older than 64 years to be more than 50%.

The revised WHO estimates, based on data from four countries, came on the heels of a Lancet article in which researchers studied case records from Hong Kong and calculated a case-fatality ratio as high as 55% for patients aged 60 and older."

 

Both numbers is scary!

 

18 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

The husband of the Chicago woman in the US now tests positive as well. They're saying that he contracted if from her, so I assume that means that he did not accompany here to Wuhan, and stayed in close contact with her even though she was sick on arrival and diagnosed quickly.

 

Yep that's what the latest news stated.

Edited by 1985rz1

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And that 55% mortality rate for those over 60 could be a deal breaker for us, cruising to Bali, and flying back through Sydney if they haven't completely closed down their China flights by then. If the Chinese are still boarding in China and fleeing to other countries where they can board US bound flights with us, then it's not safe to go. I'll be checking to see if the 2.2% goes up, and if it gets broken down by age before April.

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We gone thought this before with other viruses and most are OK---that said I wouldn't be cancelling any cruise at this time.  Most lines including Regent aren't going to be sending into danger.  Just going to the grocery store, you can catch anything the person before you had by touching the cart they used.  Wipe things down and wash your hands-just be smart about it.

Edited by ronrick1943

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7 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

Just now WHO (in Geneva) declared this a world-wide epidemic.  That said - today's paper told us that in the US this "flu season" - late 2019 to now - some 8'000 people have died from the "ordinary flu" in the US alone.  This season.   By comparison, so far, this Coronavirus is not so bad.  Just well publicised.

 

Get a flu shot. Get Broncho Vaxom if you can.  Wash your hands properly (hot water, soap and sing "Happy Birthday" for the entire song)  every 30 mins (The Beijing International School stayed open during the SARS virus some years ago and insisted that ALL students and teachers do this.  Result ?  Far fewer absences of students and NONE due to the SARS epidemic.) .  Stay calm.  Carry on...

 

I do not think that people should get into a panic over this.  As has been stated repeatedly on the news this week, 11,000 people/year die from the flu I'm the U.S.  What amazes me is that so many will not get the flu shot.  While the flu shot won't do anything for coronavirus, it does protect you from a fly that is likely more deadly.

 

While there have been pro's and con's about wearing a mask, I still believe that wearing a proper one (not the type that you see a lot of Chinese people wearing) can help.  In any case, it can't hurt.  So, for our upcoming Splendor cruise, we will wear a mask at Vancouver Airport as they have a high population of people from China and may wear one on the plane (depends upon how things are in 6 weeks).  

 

Agree with you Gerry ..... "Stay calm.  Carry on......."

 

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TC2 - Welcome back!   Your absence from this board has been quite evident and noted.   Please give our sincere best wishes to Dennis.

I agree heartily with you that the number of casualties involved in this new illness as compared to the enormous numbers of people who die every year from the flu are quite small.  I further agree with you that it is quite incomprehensible that so many people refuse to get the flu shot.   

However, I am confused regarding your reference to a "fly that is likely more deadly", as sleeping sickness from the bite of the tsetse fly is fairly rare outside of Africa.   Neither the flu nor coronavirus is transmitted by flies.

In any event, mask on!!!

Edited by freddie

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Jackie - hope you have had the flu shot because even though the "cocktail" for this didn't include the Coronavirus it does give some protection.

 

Got our cruise documents yesterday!  Nice surprise!!

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44 minutes ago, Pcardad said:

Staff on Voyager suggesting a diversion from Hong Kong on the 28th....

 

Debarkation/embarkation day is 01 March in Hong Kong after 29 February arrival cannot imagine diverting from Hong Kong.

 

Marc

 

PS Great planning that Regent not stopping in mainland China this year.

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