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River Cruisers: How Are Things Where YOU Are?


Host Jazzbeau
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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

It's very difficult to discuss 'how things are where you are' without getting political, and I am happy that this thread has managed to do pretty well with that until recently.  [I have been putting out fires all over Cruise Critic on this front, and it has been such a relief to come back 'home' here and only have to figure out obscure picture puzzles!!!]  But we have strayed over the line recently [myself included] so I cleaned this thread up a bit.  Please remember that any mention of a politician by name, rank or any other allusion is inherently 'political.'

 

Thanks for the clarity.  I had just assumed that since a world leader had been mentioned in a previous post and the post hadn't been taken down, it was OK to quote that post.  I stand duly informed!

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I’m now waiting for the churches to cancel the Christingles what a pity maybe the churches can work out a social distancing way of carrying on. 
Where my grandson lives they have arranged a fantastic way to carry on with, Trick or Treat, polar opposites I know but enjoyed by loads of youngsters. CA

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Time to put on the breaks - lockdown very light in Germany from Monday

 

The official people in Berlin and of the 16 states have had a conference and will put new measures in place that curtail much of leisure and hospitality in Germany until the end of November. Other restrictions apply as well. Have not looked at all the details yet, but it looks as if it could mean no river cruising in November in Germany (cabins on river cruise ships normally fall under the category hotel rooms).

 

All this is meant to keep Germany from going under like some other European states and ensure we do not have a terrible December, i.e. Christmas time.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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They call it a breakwater-lockdown, which hits personal contacts (only 10 ppl from max 2 households allowed, both in public and private space). Restaurants closed (welcome back cardboardy delivery food), Bars, Pubs, Discotheques, all closed.  All touristical activities closed, sights, museums. Hotel stays for touristical purposes banned (but allowed for business or personal visits). So, of course, river cruises are banned, too. Fitness studios closed, cosmetics closed, amateur sports banned, no spectators in pro sports allowed. No fairs, no large public events incl. party rallies.

 

Schools and kindergardens remain open, shops, factories, construction sites remain open, public transport, though some with additional measures to prevent spreading the virus (masks, home office, ...). Lets see, if and how it works.

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Oh dear, what a shame Notamermaid and AnHaltER1960.  It is probably necessary, but one has to wonder how long the world can keep opening up and locking down.

 

Having just come off of three months of similar, but worse, restrictions, I feel for you all.

 

Most of our problems here, apart from the obviously failings of hotel quarantine which started it all, came from large groups meeting in homes.  I am surprised that you are still going to be allowed to do that actually.

 

Good luck to you all.

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@djh1959 

Thank you for your kind words. Quite frankly, Europe is up a certain creek without a paddle. Germany is seeing the surrounding countries going under and applies the emergency breaks. Meeting as only two households is very strict for us and I do not think that anybody would accept more restrictions. Just want to mention that the borders will stay open. So I can still go shopping in Luxembourg but cannot eat in a restaurant in Germany along the way, as an example.

 

We look in a mix of concern, disbelief, and other sentiments to the United States, and wonder what is going on in this fabulous country. The newspapers are full of stories. And I shall leave it at that. So sad.

 

We do not seem to have any French language river cruisers on the board. Ou êtes-vous? So, here for a change is an article about France: https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-france-announces-second-lockdown/a-55426861

 

The case load is much higher in France than in Germany, so the protesters in Germany are already complaining about us doing too much.

 

Our measures are to stay in place till the end of November but will be reviewed after having been in place for a fortnight. Recalibrate if necessary is the wording, which basically means if the cases do not go down we will get even stricter measures. A dark and boring November lies ahead. Personally, I am not in the pool of those being able to work from home, so I will still go to work and I am alright about it.

 

Oh well, shall appreciate every appearance of my neighbour's cats even more in the month ahead. The tomcat is getting fluffier by the week.

 

notamermaid

 

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@notamermaid, I'm watching the news while I catch up on Cruise Critic and have my morning coffee.  I just saw where Germany, France, and the Czech Republic are seeing huge spikes in Covid-19 cases.  Citizens are resisting further restrictions.  Russia is also having difficulty dealing with additional cases.  

 

None of this bodes well for European river cruising, or travel in general, does it?

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Hi Roz, looks like these huge spikes (I saw the same thing) are happening ALL OVER..........including here.

We are back up to 1,000 deaths per day👎.....and from what the Drs are saying it is just continuing to get worse☹️

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@Roz No it does not bode well for travelling at all. And the river cruises are having outbreaks of Covid-19 as well. The cases are rising all over the continent and it seems that the health measures on river cruise ships are good but with statistically higher community spread, positives "slip through the net" and do appear on river cruise ships.

 

At the moment I have no confidence in them, this might change in Spring.

 

As a side note: Germany has a spike in cases, but we have started this at a lower base line than some countries. So we are doing better than others. One of the worst countries is also Belgium, they are in a dire situation. We are not and hope the restrictions in November will keep us from reaching that situation.

 

notamermaid

 

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The projections for the US are for over 100K new cases per day in a week or two.

 

South Dakota, which has a population of only 880,000 had 1300 new cases a day ago.  Here in MA, where our population is about 7 million, we are getting very concerned about 1000 new cases per day.  Shows how dire things are in a place like SD, which is much more rural than MA.

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3 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

The projections for the US are for over 100K new cases per day in a week or two.

 

South Dakota, which has a population of only 880,000 had 1300 new cases a day ago.  Here in MA, where our population is about 7 million, we are getting very concerned about 1000 new cases per day.  Shows how dire things are in a place like SD, which is much more rural than MA.

I saw a report on some states in the US yesterday, it was South Dakota, Wyoming and another, do not recall which one. It said it is bad there. I have just looked up the positivity rate of tests in South Dakota, it is 46.2 percent! Unbelievable, I cannot believe the data is right, but must be, it is Johns Hopkins data. Oh my goodness! In Germany last week, over 1.2 million tests were carried out and we had a positivity rate of 5.6 percent which we consider worrying. How can this virus spread through a state that is so rural, I do not understand.

 

notamermaid

 

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

I saw a report on some states in the US yesterday, it was South Dakota, Wyoming and another, do not recall which one. It said it is bad there. I have just looked up the positivity rate of tests in South Dakota, it is 46.2 percent! Unbelievable, I cannot believe the data is right, but must be, it is Johns Hopkins data. Oh my goodness! In Germany last week, over 1.2 million tests were carried out and we had a positivity rate of 5.6 percent which we consider worrying. How can this virus spread through a state that is so rural, I do not understand.

 

notamermaid

 

There are about 5 midwest/western states that have positivity rates over 20+ percent, with SD at the top of the list.

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

I saw a report on some states in the US yesterday, it was South Dakota, Wyoming and another, do not recall which one. It said it is bad there. I have just looked up the positivity rate of tests in South Dakota, it is 46.2 percent! Unbelievable, I cannot believe the data is right, but must be, it is Johns Hopkins data. Oh my goodness! In Germany last week, over 1.2 million tests were carried out and we had a positivity rate of 5.6 percent which we consider worrying. How can this virus spread through a state that is so rural, I do not understand.

 

notamermaid

 

Hi, I just looked on the website and it shows South Dakota with a positivity rate of 16.71%.......still VERY HIGH but 

not 46.2.........we are having another surge though.......78,000 new cases in the past day☹️

 

OH wow.....I do see 46%---that is this week. I think the 16 must be overall since the start.......?

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My state is in the top 10 for high positivity rate. And I live in a rural state. The city I live has almost 300,000 population. We are the 2nd largest city. So while we are in a rural state, we do have cities.

 

Our state doesn't have a mandate for masks. Our 2 largest cities do. 

 

I think schools are a huge problem. Our schools are in session and have been since August. And our numbers skyrocketed since then. Even if the young don't get sick - they can spread it with out knowing. Just my opinion. I work in education.....

 

 

Edited by Coral
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Remember that big study in Germany into how to safely stage concerts? The results are out: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-arena-concerts-study-findings/a-55431575

 

While I cannot see any really surprising results, it is interesting reading and I think it is good of them to have done it.

 

I talked to an older lady yesterday who had had no hesitation in going to a theatre - a small play in a not so big venue. She said they had every other seat free in accordance with the social distancing measures and that free seat turned into a small table for putting a glass of bubbly (or orange juice, etc.) down. Really luxurious and there were not many people in. Makes one feel rather special! Fancy going now, but all venues will be closed in November. 😞 

 

I expect the social distancing to last through all of winter, so I will have more opportunities for going to the theatre.

 

notamermaid

 

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Hello from Atlantic Canada. We have an Atlantic bubble in place whereby only residents of the 4 Atlantic provinces of Canada are not required to quarantine when travelling within the area. Anyone coming to the area from outside the bubble must complete a 14 day quarantine. The only cases we ever get are resulting from air travel to the area. Here is little to no community spread due to the quarantine rules.We do, however, have to wear a mask when visiting inside a public area, small gatherings only, the usual restrictions.
The US Canadian border has been closed to all but essential travel since mid March. The majority of Canadians say that they prefer the border to stay closed until the US numbers come down. The rest of Canada is experiencing a second wave which seems to be the norm everywhere in the world. 
Nice to see some familiar people posting. Stay safe all, it will end someday!

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Breaking news (sort of, announced in parts a few hours ago):

 

Austria will go into lock down on Tuesday. The hospitality sector will more or less shut down. Which should logically end river cruising in Austria if they apply the same rule as Germany.

 

Oh my, I just want to crawl into a hole and come out on 23 December. :classic_sad:

 

notamermaid

 

 

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Day one of our "breakwater lockdown". Yesterday, people were out and about enjoying the sunshine - it is unseasonably warm here - and having the last lunch, the last coffee, the last slice of cake, the last leisure activity before those establishments shut for a month. Last night, I went to a restaurant to get a takeaway and I am glad I did not go to sit down as it was full of people talking at raised voices. Brilliant opportunity for a last "virus spreading session" (sarcasm).

 

Today feels no different to yesterday to me as all shops are open, there is no closure of businesses and the economy as such and only a few close contact establishments like tattoo parlours, nail studios (not in all states), gyms, etc. will be shut. You can go to the hairdresser! There are no museums and theatres to go to, but my library is open. Hooray! It is categorized as an educational institution so stays open, like schools and adult education centres (with some restrictions in the latter).

 

People might protest and the cultural sector is holding a silent protest tonight, but we do not walk around jaded and dejected for one kilometre and then crawl back home. Germany is open for business, we just have no tourism and leisure industry and events. Basically. Okay, it is no fun for those small businesses in that sector and it makes life a little boring, I admit.

 

Although it affects me personally in work (tourism), I try to be upbeat. Plenty to do at home. :classic_smile:

 

Edit: we are not supposed to meet many people, just mixing two households (at a time) of a maximum of ten people. Rules out the private parties that are a concern - as long as people stick to it.

 

Our top health expert has said that "the pandemic will not be over by Easter" and I believe him. He got one of the highest awards of the Federal Government there are on 2 October, by the way. He is the one who developed the first proper Covd-19 test in January - worldwide.

 

Yesterday was All Saints' Day and today is All Souls' Day. My background is Catholic so I took sort of part in the tradition of candles and remembering those that have departed.

 

I hope that with this closure for four weeks we can keep the health system from being overwhelmed and keeping many more people from getting infected and in the consequence some departing prematurely.

 

Look after yourselves.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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It is quite interesting that your "shut down" is really quite a mild one as these things go.

 

We have had five days in a row of zero new cases, and now have only 30 active cases in the state, but we are only allowed two households to gather together and again a maximum of ten people, both inside and outside.

 

In order to get our 700 cases per day down we had a curfew, a 5km limit, no visiting whatsoever and only allowed out, within the 5km, for exercise, food or medical care, so very much stricter than what you have.  It still took over 12 weeks to get those numbers down, so I certainly hope that Germany can do it much faster than we did.

 

How depressing that experts are predicting it will still be here at Easter!  Sadly, I suspect that they are right, at the moment I can't see any way that it will disappear in the near future, but I so hope to be wrong.

 

Good luck to you all.  I just cannot work out how the world can keep going in and out of lockdown like this, it really isn't economically sustainable, but then, what other alternative is there?

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Pleased that the severe process in Victoria achieved a good outcome eventually.

Long may it last.

Hopefully the vaccines will be available as soon as possible and may mitigate the global pandemic.

Daily reports of positive cases in our state but all are said to be from overseas in medi hotels and no risk to the general population.

Much speculation about borders being opened to aid commercial interests.

but still no date to allow travel out of Australia except for restricted purposes.

Major events cancelled like car and bike races which is understandable.

Meanwhile we are planning local trips and hoping for the best. 

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10 hours ago, djh1959 said:

It is quite interesting that your "shut down" is really quite a mild one as these things go.

 

We have had five days in a row of zero new cases, and now have only 30 active cases in the state, but we are only allowed two households to gather together and again a maximum of ten people, both inside and outside.

 

 

Congrats, Oz, for bringing down the cases to almost zero. Great effort. However, Germany as well as Europe are in a different situation, we do not live on an island. With land borders to our neighbours it is impossible to shut ourselves off.

 

So the plan (if there is any) in Germany is to bring down the cases to a number, which the health authorities are able to trace and insulate the infected people individually before they are able to spread the virus.  This did not work in March/April and it did not work in September/October, so give it a third attempt. Without knowledge on how the infection process really works, all actions taken tend to be inprecise.

 

Indeed the lockdown here in Germany is quite a loose one with the schools (some states do now have autumn holidays anyway) open and also most businesses -bar tourism, leisure and culture- open. Pedestrian zones, streets and trains are a bit quieter than usual, but really only a bit.

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I live in Texas, in a city North of Dallas.  We have been really fortunate that our lockdowns only lasted to May and we have never really had a huge number of cases here in our city - although Dallas is another story completely.  All the same, my husband and I have stayed home.  His whole company is working from home.   I order groceries for delivery.  We rarely go anywhere unless we have to and then we wear masks and use lots of hand sanitizer.   I spend time by our pool reading and basically have been being careful about being around anyone.  My husband and I completed several interesting home improvement projects. I also made it a goal at the start of this to learn something new every day.   

 

This year, to do something to make the people in my neighborhood happy, when the ladies of our neighborhood agreed to go ahead with trick or treating, I setup a huge Halloween Yard display and won first prize for it in our neighborhood. It was a ghost story with 7 brides whose grooms had all vanished with a full scale detailed graveyard and animatronics and special lighting.  I setup socially distanced trick or treating with individual bags of treats for the children to take from a table so they would not need to ring my doorbell.  They were all careful to only touch and take 1 bag without prompting.   We sat on our porch 20+ feet away from everyone and watched the fun. Absolutely no one was coughing or sneezing, most were wearing masks and outdoors at that distance we felt quite safe.   We normally have about 150 -  200 trick or treaters.  That night we had 600 trick or treaters and most came with their parents who were taking photos of their kids in our yard with the decorations - so perhaps 1500 people total came by that night.  I also found out that entire families had been walking or driving by my house daily since the day I started putting up the Halloween display to see what was new. I had ordered some new animatronics to add to those I had on hand.  I had noticed many families out there on the days and evenings leading up to Halloween.   People are anxious for amusement. Now I am planning our Christmas display.  I guess our house is benefitting most during this time by us being home.  We've completed all exterior illumination projects, put gates on the entrance to our wine cellar, finished all backyard landscaping and more.  I do see people out in droves here on the rare occasions I've gone to a store or hairdresser.  They are being respectful to each other and keeping their distance.  Schools, stores, movie theaters, malls and restaurants are open here though supposedly operating at a lower capacity.  

 

For those who don't know, the first vaccine is supposed to be available in the USA later this month. (November 2020).  First responders and medical personnel will be vaccinated first followed by the elderly and then most at risk.  Another vaccine is slated to roll out in January with vaccines widely available to everyone in the US by April 2021.  I'm hoping that all goes well and we stick to this schedule. In the meantime, we continue to shelter at home looking forward to the day when this will mostly be over and we can travel again.  I think about the amazing cruise we went on last November on the Crystal Ravel on the Danube, Vienna roundtrip, and look forward to when we can experience more river cruises in Europe and elsewhere.  

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It is the evening of day five of our "lock down that is not really a lock down". The figures this week are shocking and cases are rising in old people's homes and schools. There has also been talk here in Germany of letting things run "normal" without closing all the cultural sector, etc. and focus on protecting the vulnerable. The plan is of course completely not feasible (I would prefer to use a different word starting with "bol"but I would get into trouble for that). By the time you have tested the teenager they have passed it on to the parent working as a carer who have passed it on to an elderly in a home. Or similar scenarios.

 

What is showing a good trend is the R-rate which is under 1 again. Will see how that goes. As regards vaccines: there are a couple of promising candidates. We will know more towards the end of the year.

 

In town today it was quiet, but there are many people walking about. It just feels quiet like on cold days in January. Many people do not even bother to take masks off now when they come out of a shop. I do not either, I find it keeps my face warmer. An unexpected practical plus.

 

When I went to my local restaurant on Sunday to ask if they would offer a delivery service - which they declined - I heard that they had not much food left. Sounds like they were able to plan well. I wonder how much food has been thrown out in places. I am sure many employees have been given big doggybags, but sometimes this does not work out. The company A-Rosa had much food left over, so they got in contact with a local charity, a food bank. They donated the food from the river cruise ships. Here is the story from their home port Cologne: https://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/391740/a-rosa-donates-unused-food-to-charity

 

Personally, I am doing okay, have got my job secured into next year, the financial loss I have had due to reduced work is bearable and I have my library open to do research. And family and friends nearby.

 

notamermaid

 

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