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River Cruisers: How Are Things Where YOU Are?


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Right, it has happened. For the first time the authorities have used the emergency break and installed a lock down in Germany during our reopening phases. The district of Gütersloh has gone back to the rules that were in place in March (!) and part of one adjacent district is also similarly affected. All because of the meat processing plant in which now 1,553 employees out of 7,000 have tested positive. Needless to say, the plant is temporarily closed. The authorities will look into liability and compensation by the company owners under civil law. The company is huge and also supplies Lidl and Aldi.

 

Thankfully, Gütersloh is not near the Rhine so no real worries for river cruisers there.

 

Briefly read about the problems in Melbourne, and a family friend near Charlotte is sending frustrated desperate What's App messages. If I could I would get him out of there, he wants to move to Germany again.

 

One week into the launch the German tracing app has been downloaded 12 million times.

 

Got the 2021 early bird river cruise info from CroisiEurope through the post today. So many nice itineraries... Perhaps, when time and money coincide favourably I may book...

 

Oh, and Spain has opened up to Europe including the UK without quarantine requirements. The country with its holiday islands is desperate to salvage the Summer holiday tourists season it seems. The staggered school holidays in Germany have just started in the first state with more to follow soon, so "off to the beaches!" No, not me, definitely not.

 

Look after yourselves, it is still a dangerous world out there.

 

notamermaid

 

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Notamermaid, is your family friend near Charlotte, NC?  If he is, that is where we are, so if there is something we can do to help him, please let us know and we will do our best.  We are not spring chickens so we are being really careful, but at the same time trying to carry on with some degree of normalcy.  Sometimes it helps to be able to connect with a kindred spirit.

 

Take good care,

Cindy & John

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2 hours ago, TheKingD said:

Notamermaid, is your family friend near Charlotte, NC?  If he is, that is where we are, so if there is something we can do to help him, please let us know and we will do our best.  We are not spring chickens so we are being really careful, but at the same time trying to carry on with some degree of normalcy.  Sometimes it helps to be able to connect with a kindred spirit.

 

Take good care,

Cindy & John

Cindy & John, indeed he is near Charlotte NC. Thank you, that is very kind. I think the longing for Europe for him has much increased during this pandemic. The stuff like too much work, too high a medical bill, politics and "the grass is greener" across the pond. Well, he has seen the German grass so I can understand it. He had some happy years working in Germany. I hope the situation improves for him - for all of you -, for the moment I reckon his relatives will keep him in at least satisfactory spirits. If you happen to have connections to a big German company, though, looking for an employee from the US I will certainly consider connecting you to each other.

 

Do keep in touch here - hope to hear good news soon from Canada and the US. Progress in Germany is still fragile, most of the time I am happy with the situation but who knows what will be when the Summer sun worshippers return from holiday.

 

Miss seeing the river cruise ships on the river. Especially as the weather is lovely and all the rivers in Germany have enough water. Yes, even the Elbe!

 

notamermaid

 

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Toronto moves to phase 2 just after midnight tonight. That means that all of Ontario except one area where there are major outbreaks among migrant farm workers, are all in phase 2.

Hair salons are open, patio dining, and malls are allowed to open.

Personally, I managed to get a haircut for tomorrow. Yea! I don’t think I’m rushing to eat out, and I have no interest in a trip to the mall, but this is a big change for us.


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Well, the state of Florida is going in the wrong direction☹️.....we are having lots of increased cases and it is NOT just

because of more testing.😦 

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53 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Well, the state of Florida is going in the wrong direction☹️.....we are having lots of increased cases and it is NOT just

because of more testing.😦 

 

I saw the big jump you guys are having Lois, your state has almost as many cases as Canada now.  I hope your medical teams are able to handle it.

 

Not much changing in Canada, as @gnome12 says, Ontario's largest city is finally moving to stage 2.  I feel for the poor area still left in stage 1 as it is mostly immigrant workers for the farms, however they do have to make sure that our hospitals don't get overwhelmed.  The east coast is still blocking all travel unless approved by government - my Uncle finally got permission to go to PEI next month to his cottage for the summer, but has to self-isolate - no going off his property - for 14 days, and will have a long drive from the border of NB to his cottage as he's not allowed to stop.  At least we can pack him up with stuff for family that we couldn't take as we couldn't go.  Some provinces are a bit ahead of others, with restaurants up to indoor service instead of just patios, and camping has almost fully opened.  One cousin of mine runs a trail riding experience in Banff, and they expect to get their first customers out next month.

 

There were some tourists who told Border Security that they were just travelling through Canada to get to Alaska...and then decided to have a nice holiday in Canada...the ones who got caught got fined $1200.00 CDN for doing so.  I am sure some are getting missed, but it made an expensive holiday.

 

We are in a major heat wave right now, and when we were down along the river (St. Lawrence) on Sunday for a drive, there were lots of cars parked along the roads for swimmers - beaches still aren't open.so no parking in the parking lots, but you can still walk in and cool off.  

 

Hope all's well with everyone, and we can cruise again soon.

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Hi Daisi, well, we are not the only state going the wrong way.........TEXAS, CAL, ARIZONA, just to name a few are all

going up.  And it just seems to be getting worse........you know they kept saying there would be a "2nd wave" but we

have never even gotten out of the 1st one😲

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My sister lives in Rochester, NY about a 4 hour drive from here. I haven't seen her since Christmas, and unless I fly (an expensive proposition even if I can find a flight and I don't think I would want to anyway) it may be quite a while yet before I can see my closest relative in person.

 

Strangely, despite not being able to drive across the border, you can fly, and there would be no self-isolation in the States. I would have to self-isolate for 14 days on my return, but if I stocked my fridge and freezer before I went and drove to the airport myself, it would be possible. Not something I am prepared to do right now, however.

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@gnome12 If she can afford a 3 week visit, she can drive up here to visit you.  Not sure what the regulations are to cross the border going to the US, but we are opening up fir immediate family visits.  She just has to quarantine for 14 days ( with you at home) and then she would be allowed out.  I know my friend is looking at bringing her Mom up, as she lives in the northern part of NY as well.  The only problem for her is she is also a caregiver for her Aunt in a retirement home, so would have to go without visiting her while her Mom is there.

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1 hour ago, Daisi said:

@gnome12 If she can afford a 3 week visit, she can drive up here to visit you.  Not sure what the regulations are to cross the border going to the US, but we are opening up fir immediate family visits.  She just has to quarantine for 14 days ( with you at home) and then she would be allowed out.  I know my friend is looking at bringing her Mom up, as she lives in the northern part of NY as well.  The only problem for her is she is also a caregiver for her Aunt in a retirement home, so would have to go without visiting her while her Mom is there.

A sister doesn't count as immediate family, and, to be honest, I couldn't bear to have her with me for over 14 days. (I love her, but...) 😃

 

I live in a 1 bedroom apartment (an upper duplex) and there is no way someone can self-isolate in this space with me, with only a single bathroom and nowhere to go.

Edited by gnome12
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20 hours ago, Lois R said:

Well, the state of Florida is going in the wrong direction☹️.....we are having lots of increased cases and it is NOT just

because of more testing.😦 

Lois, I am really sorry to read that. Yesterday evening, I listened to a BBC interview with a professor in Florida. She said that the problem is that young people do not stick to the rules. The average age of those being infected currently stands at 35!

 

Here in Germany we really have a problem on our hands with that outbreak in Gütersloh. The Summer holidays start in North-Rhine Westphalia this weekend but those from Gütersloh are not allowed to stay in Bavaria for example. They need a negative test. Many people are queueing up to get tested. Austria has warned against travelling to North-Rhine Westphalia. Even politicians on the Federal level are nervous and the Bulgarian and Romanian embassies are involved. There are few positive cases in the general population so far, but who knows how many have been missed in the contacts of the workers by now.

 

Thankfully,  contrary to what I have posted before, the authorities have opted for a "light lockdown" with shops remaining open for example and will only last one week to begin with.

 

notamermaid

 

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We've been told that our Sept. Canadian Rockies trip is "still on".  45 days out (late July) tour company will "re-evaluate".

 

I am 100% we still won't be going.  Here in MA, numbers are way down.  In the "what, me worry?" states, numbers are exploding.  USA is exactly where we were in April.

 

If I was Canadian, I wouldn't let an American come within miles of my border! 

 

We need to let THEM cancel so we don't lose $$.  So we just hope that a month from now, when the trip is actually cancelled, there will be openings NEXT fall--there are openings now for next fall.

 

Fingers crossed.

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1 hour ago, sharkster77 said:

We've been told that our Sept. Canadian Rockies trip is "still on".  45 days out (late July) tour company will "re-evaluate".

 

I am 100% we still won't be going.  Here in MA, numbers are way down.  In the "what, me worry?" states, numbers are exploding.  USA is exactly where we were in April.

 

If I was Canadian, I wouldn't let an American come within miles of my border! 

 

We need to let THEM cancel so we don't lose $$.  So we just hope that a month from now, when the trip is actually cancelled, there will be openings NEXT fall--there are openings now for next fall.

 

Fingers crossed.

 

The Ontario Premier is certainly requesting that the borders remain closed.  We are wondering about the sports teams that are trying to start up.  While the Federal Gov. may allow them in, they still have to get around the Provincial Gov't.s and that could be a whole different story.  Provinces that had their numbers almost down to 0 are seeing an increase, and it is concerning - especially as it's BC & Alberta....which will hurt your trip.

 

Still to soon to tell, but I would guess that if the numbers keep high in the US, they will keep the borders closed.

 

It's to bad your trip doesn't have a policy like Avalon where if you don't feel comfortable you can transfer your booking to next year.  I am glad they have applied that to all 2021 cruises as well, as if things get bad in the winter, our cruise will be transferred over to 2022.  May cost us a bit extra for annual increase, but I'd rather feel safe than worry about the risks.

 

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Daisi,

I like that policy of AvalonWaterways. Very fair. I read about a similar one of a German company, not sure if it was nickocruises?

 

I have my doubts about Autumn and Winter. As you know, everyone in Europe is looking to see how the hotspots in German meat processing plants are contained. Well, with a lot of effort and manpower. Police, army, social services, translators, helpful neighbours with reaching food over the fence. Good news, though, from the Göttingen housing blocks (unconnected to meat factories) - the quarantine could be lifted as planned after 14 days. But there are now two more large abattoirs that had to close. And a poultry factory. Mass testing will happen at meat plants in Rhineland-Palatinate as well - just to make sure. In Gütersloh tension is rising, as well as testing capacity. So far there have only been a few cases among the general population, the test results of 2000 have come in. Few transmissions among the Gütersloh citizens it seems, which is promising. Everyone is wondering what is special about the meat plants. A professor in Bonn published his findings from Gütersloh and believes it is the combination of low temperatures, hard work, close contact, shouting above the noise and a closed air circulating system. He recommends the high profile air-conditioning as it is installed in hospitals.

 

Oh, and as a reaction to the problems at Tönnies and mighty fall of its reputation, the football club Arminia Bielefeld is ending the cooperation with the meat producers at the end of this season.

 

Now there is our problem for Winter: cooler temperatures, then convivial close contact atmosphere indoors with loud voices as the evening progresses - and let's face it, we do not open the windows as much in Winter. And glühwein tastes best when standing close to friends. Standing outside the pub with a cold pint in your hand at four degrees? Not for me. And that choir in the church is probably not a good idea either. We are safer now in warm temperatures and outdoors. But quite frankly, it does not mean we should go to the beach in the thousands like in Bournemouth or Brighton. Unbelievable and appalling.

 

Today attention is sadly drawn to the US by our health minister, time stamp 10:37 "Citing the surge in coronavirus infections in the US, German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged people in Germany to remain cautious about the pandemic.": https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-german-meat-industry-to-revamp-amid-outbreaks/a-53948932

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Everyone is wondering what is special about the meat plants. A professor in Bonn published his findings from Gütersloh and believes it is the combination of low temperatures, hard work, close contact, shouting above the noise and a closed air circulating system. He recommends the high profile air-conditioning as it is installed in hospitals.

I live in the US and in a state that has a lot of meat processing plants of mostly chicken and beef but some pork also. We are a top supplier of beef to the world.

 

Our meat packing plants have been plagued with COVID-19 cases. Many times they are in small towns. I assume it is because they are working in close conditions. I haven't read any official reason. Family members of those who work in these plants have also contacted it but beyond that, we don't have major issues with COVID-19 in my state compared to other states. We do have community spread but the large outbreaks have been traced back to these facilities. 

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2 minutes ago, Coral said:

I live in the US and in a state that has a lot of meat processing plants of mostly chicken and beef but some pork also. We are a top supplier of beef to the world.

 

Our meat packing plants have been plagued with COVID-19 cases. Many times they are in small towns. I assume it is because they are working in close conditions. I haven't read any official reason. Family members of those who work in these plants have also contacted it but beyond that, we don't have major issues with COVID-19 in my state compared to other states. We do have community spread but the large outbreaks have been traced back to these facilities. 

 

I looked this up yesterday and found this answer:

https://www.wired.com/story/why-meatpacking-plants-have-become-covid-19-hot-spots/

 

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22 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

I looked this up yesterday and found this answer:

https://www.wired.com/story/why-meatpacking-plants-have-become-covid-19-hot-spots/

 

Notamermaid had it right! We live an hour or so away from one that does all of Costco's rotisserie chickens in the US. Two have died from COVID-19 who have contacted it there. It is just hard to make that direct connection. Knowing that "Tyson facilities" have had it but there are probably hundreds of those in the US but this one hits hard. Several of our Tyson chickens (including one in my city) have been plagued with it here.

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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.

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Its been reported another lot of panic buying toilet paper and other items, so they are being restricted in some states.

Mass testing in parts of melbourne and door to door staff to talk to people about testing.

hopefully it can be contained soon,

2 planes of returning people expected in adelaide, 1 from india another from indonesia, all will be placed in 14 day quarantine and tested on arrival and before they leave the hotels.

Apparently some states are leaving testing to be optional which is a bit of a shock to many.

Hopeful of cruising again when possible. 

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I'm in Texas, and while there are many young people going out and about, there are many "old enough to know better" with the same disregard for public health.  I'm a physician and hear it from all ages, how silly the masks are, how only really old people get sick, how the economy is the most important aspect and should trump concerns for health.  I'd say my senior citizens are the ones taking it most seriously, for good reason.

 

For an example, my 53 yo husband and a group of 10 local guys all just got back from 8 days in Las Vegas, no masks except when required, and he can't understand why I have moved into the guest room.  He also refuses to wear a mask in town, honestly I think as a political point.  I really just don't argue, as it won't help, but he's a good representation of his age group in our small town just an hour from both Houston and Austin - where currently the ICU's are full and overflow wards are being set up.  Mind boggling, really.

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1 hour ago, ljandgb said:

I'm in Texas, and while there are many young people going out and about, there are many "old enough to know better" with the same disregard for public health.  I'm a physician and hear it from all ages, how silly the masks are, how only really old people get sick, how the economy is the most important aspect and should trump concerns for health.  I'd say my senior citizens are the ones taking it most seriously, for good reason.

 

For an example, my 53 yo husband and a group of 10 local guys all just got back from 8 days in Las Vegas, no masks except when required, and he can't understand why I have moved into the guest room.  He also refuses to wear a mask in town, honestly I think as a political point.  I really just don't argue, as it won't help, but he's a good representation of his age group in our small town just an hour from both Houston and Austin - where currently the ICU's are full and overflow wards are being set up.  Mind boggling, really.

Do you think he would feel differently if one of you got sick?  I am so sorry to read this and as a Dr I know you have to

be very worried.  I can't understand why a mask is such an issue for folks. It can probably save 1,000's of lives............

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10 hours ago, ljandgb said:

 

For an example, my 53 yo husband and a group of 10 local guys all just got back from 8 days in Las Vegas, no masks except when required, and he can't understand why I have moved into the guest room.  He also refuses to wear a mask in town, honestly I think as a political point.  I really just don't argue, as it won't help, but he's a good representation of his age group in our small town just an hour from both Houston and Austin - where currently the ICU's are full and overflow wards are being set up.  Mind boggling, really.

I just turned 50 (birthday trip cancelled) and my friends are taking things very seriously. I have barely left home except for work and grocery store. Many of my friends have parents and are very worried about infecting them also. A lot of my friends (including myself) work in HigherEd and am worried about when school returns and that age group. We are all required to wear face masks when in inside buildings so that will help, I hope. I am worried about the college age group. Though they may surprise me. 

 

the people that surprise me are the young families at the grocery store when 6 of them will enter a store and none have masks on. 

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