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River Cruisers: How Are Things Where YOU Are?


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@Coral So glad to hear that you are doing well. That with the positive cases is an incredible story. It really makes you wonder how many may be missed. I must say that it makes me even more convinced that I should leave my mask on.

 

Here in Germany the authorities said a few days ago that there have been 5374 breakthrough infections and are pleased with that low number. Hmm,  okay.

 

When you think about it, I would say it makes sense to keep the strict hygiene rules even on ships where every passenger is vaccinated. Even if all cases in an outbreak are mild it may cause problems with quarantine and insurance and quite frankly it just would not look good in the media. Although you cannot say that it would be anybody's fault (unless somebody has been proven to have done something against the rules) there is some pride to derive from getting through the season without positive cases.

 

Look after yourselves, everyone.

 

notamermaid

 

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@Canal archive Sorry to read about the canal cruise. But I think you have a nice holiday in September to look forward to. Scotland, lovely. 🙂 

 

Would love to see the Highlands. If I win the lottery, a week on the luxury train through Scotland it may well be for me.

 

notamermaid 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

@Coral So glad to hear that you are doing well. That with the positive cases is an incredible story. It really makes you wonder how many may be missed. I must say that it makes me even more convinced that I should leave my mask on.

 

Here in Germany the authorities said a few days ago that there have been 5374 breakthrough infections and are pleased with that low number. Hmm,  okay.

 

I took today off and ran errands. I put my mask on when in stores. I agree about breakthrough infections - I am thinking they are higher than what we think. On the other hand - I think the vaccines are trying to keep us from being in the hospital and dying. My friend does think that she would be worse (and her family also) if it wasn't for the vaccine. Though, my area had 2 fully vaccinated people die recently.

 

I agree - stay safe everyone.

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Posted (edited)

Things here are not so good. Our infection rate is creeping up every day a little as the delta variant is so hard to keep under control. But it is pushed aside in the news while we are still shocked by the sheer devastation and tragedy of the flooding. It is unbelievable, politicians are visiting the disaster areas, the military has been deployed, words like "war zone" are used to describe what were once peaceful villages in beautiful valleys. The Ahr valley is just terrible to look at, the BBC does these before and after photos, it just makes you want to cry.

 

I have heard that there is in some places no infrastructure, no railway, no electricity, no gas supply. The new bridge of the B9 road running along the Rhine and crossing the Ahr near its mouth had just been completed, it was due to be opened ceremoniously very soon. It is destroyed, will have to be rebuilt. The gas supplier in the region says that the grid, i.e. the pipelines, is so damaged that repairs may last into the winter. The town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler was a pleasantly elegant spa town with an older part and some Roman remains. A really nice place. Their bridge, which I have driven across as well of course when visiting, is completely destroyed.

 

But we find a bit of time to anxiously looks at England and shake our heads in disbelief. If you believe the scientists, a storm may come over Europe that will affect us all and put river cruising in jeopardy again.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
Grammar
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Posted (edited)

Our news is still dominated by the flooding, now also in Bavaria and to a much smaller extent in the East.

 

But Covid-19 is rearing its ugly head called delta. Daily deaths from Covid in the UK and Germany are currently similar, but the infection rate differs enormously. We are still only on 10.3 today in Germany, but there are now pockets with many cases. One is an outbreak in a school in Rhineland-Palatinate, which resulted in the highest seven day incidence rate of 60something in the whole of the country. There are no river cruises in that area so that I cannot give an indication of this having an effect on municipalities where river cruises might go to.

 

Germany is very skeptical of what England is doing, but not only Germany is watching. The whole world is watching what is seen here today as experiment day where most restrictions disappear in England. We fear a rise in deaths despite the vaccinations we now have done here and the appearance of variants in countries where infections are high, also more long Covid. Reactions are anything from understanding the economic side to harsh sarcasm in reputable newspapers. We have seen what opening up quickly led to in the Netherlands. By the way, I have read that A-ROSA, a German river company, is not stopping on their current itinerary in the Netherlands, so no land, just a sail-through out of precaution.

 

Germany is keeping many restrictions in place and while not all indoor places have testing anymore, much remains and you will still see restrictions on gatherings and mask-wearing. If you are on a river cruise right now it is advisable to check with the places you want to visit that are outside of company-organized tours.

 

What will this week bring - and the next? I am worried about my dear people in Kent. I am emotionally affected by what has happened in my state so I have this sense of doom and I am not the only one.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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Whichever way it pans out we will still be in the wrong! Evidently the majority of adults have been vaccinated those who haven’t either don’t want to be or shouldn’t have any of the vaccines available. There are still areas where masks are required and many where they are requested. Isn’t it interesting having an experiment with a complete nation!

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I know there is criticism in your country and apprehension and anger - and joyous celebration. I have no idea how I would feel if my government did that. I get a sense of confusion from the people on the ground in England. And a lack of clarity as to what employers should do. It at first sounded as if today would result in mass mask dumping but I have since learnt that for example both Tesco and Sainsbury's will keep the mask-wearing in their shops, as well as transport companies, etc. doing that.

 

On a side note: Next time I am in England I imagine myself standing in the Tesco where my dear people in Kent live, dazed and crying with joy and the security guard getting a bit suspicious of "this mad woman who is quite clearly not from the area". 

 

notamermaid

 

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More and more companies are requesting that masks be worn and personally I’d feel strange not wearing one, many before today had stopped wearing them and watching the news this seems to be happening all over Europe. At least no one can complain that they don’t know what’s going on any more! Maybe some may learn a very very difficult lesson, so sad.

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The colours on Germany's coronavirus map are turning into yellows of various intensity, orange and in one case red. The basis of no cases is grey. But overall it is still very low compared to other countries around us. I have now read that the municipality in Germany with an incidence rate over 50 has made restrictions on gatherings tougher. So measures can quickly come back if the authorities deem them necessary.

 

The incidence rate in the Netherlands has skyrocketed so the border region in Germany is on alert. Not looking good at all for border crossings. Will US companies still dare sail to Amsterdam or leave from there? Not sure what will happen next with our neighbour to the Northwest. Spain - well, our Summer holidays there may be in jeopardy.

 

In Britain, the North is in deep purple in parts, I hope my friends are safe, may be time to hide in the garden shed. Would you believe it if I said that the infection rate is 100 times higher in his area than in Rhineland-Palatinate? It is. I do wonder what this will bring for river cruisers from the UK who are looking forward to coming to the continent. Despite all the vaccinations it is a bit scary. After all, the CDC in the US advises against travel to the UK saying it is a risk even if you are fully vaccinated.

 

France has just announced that they will make regulations tougher, with much more testing for many venues, the authorities saying that France is now in the fourth wave.

 

I am now looking almost daily at the infection rate in and around Würzburg to assess the risk. Still looking really calm over there.

 

notamermaid

 

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2 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

Strangely the incidence of Covid cases may have increased but the cases admitted to hospital have dropped to really quite low levels. Watch this space.

Oh yes, hospital admissions seem to be manageable still. As Professor Whitty and some others several times said, the link between infection rate and hospitalization is very much weakened. But they will go up inevitably with the high case numbers, he also stated in a press conference I saw. By the way, he has got quite a few abbreviations after his name, what a brainy person, I mean well done. :classic_smile:

 

I am just worried about my friends in the North who are older than me, fully vaccinated, but not young and agile.

 

At this time of year we would phone and ask: how are you, when can we come and visit, 2 August okay for you?

 

Now they phone us: are you okay? You have so much flooding! We answer: We are okay, but are you okay, you have so much coronavirus? And then we all agree that we will not see each other this year. :classic_sad:

 

notamermaid

 

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The Delta variant is still spreading here in Australia and now hospital and ICU numbers are also climbing.  There have been five deaths in the last week or so, after none all the way through 2021 til now.

 

Over half of Australia is now in total lockdown again, this is a never ending spiral it seems.

 

Singapore did something similar to the UK and removed all of their restrictions.  It lasted for three weeks, and they are now putting most of them back, again due to Delta increasing rapidly.

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Posted (edited)

Seems a bit odd to mention it now, is it supposed to distract, kind of people you know how to deal with Covid now, but there are other matters? But perhaps now that many more people flock to seaside towns they notice they need to be better equipped to deal with all those tourists?

 

Tourism has shifted here as well so we will see more people in areas that cannot cope easily, as the human herd instinct to find the beauty spot that everybody else knows is strong. Maria Laach in the Eifel put up signs last year and in a report on regional television pleaded with people to take their rubbish back home with them. In another region of Rhineland-Palatinate they have had to introduce a one-way system on a pedestrian suspension bridge so that people would not gather and queue up at both ends - in a forest!

 

Kind of odd but sometimes it feels as if there are now more people in Germany in Spring and Summer than there were before the pandemic. It must be because there is a fewer number abroad at any given time and the ones that are here spread out into less densely populated areas for day trips and short holidays.

 

I like towns but I also enjoy finding spaces where hardly anyone is. On the odd weekend I make it my mission to go to a tiny place and I rate it as a success when I have taken a nice photo of something that got me interested and I have met fewer than 10 people.

 

Several successes these last few months.

 

Oh, and for that reason I am not staying in Würzburg itself, but in the district.

 

notamermaid

 

Edited by notamermaid
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@djh1959 I heard last night about Australia. I am really sorry. Cannot imagine how frustrating that must be.

How do you deal with athletes for Tokyo, has Australia allowed any to go and will they easily get back in?

 

I assume there will no regular travels abroad any time soon.

 

notamermaid

 

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I wish the Olympics had been cancelled it seems so unfair on everyone including Japan but I bet it’s all about Money!

We’re now starting a small drowning epidemic, it’s so hot more and more people are trying wild swimming and drowning especially youngsters. 

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@Canal archivemay I ask what you mean by "wild swimming"?  I hear about your heat, we had a massive storm last night (reports of tornados nearby, but only seeing hail damage so far) and have finally cooled down a bit.  It also helped with the smoke from the wildfires - even though we are almost on the opposite side of the country, we are getting the smoke & could smell it.  Looking forward to finally being able to open the windows for a whole day, it's going up to 27, will feel in the 30's but the sticky humidity will be gone, so the fans will be full force just to get some fresh air.

 

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I’m sitting here outside Philadelphia looking up into a cloudless, yet grey/brown hazy sky and a UV Index of 5. Not blue with a UV Index of 9 or 10 as a cloudless summer day should be. The local news weather people are saying that it’s because of all the wild/forest fires in the western US, some 2800 miles (4500 km) west of me.

 

On the Covid front, not too bad (yet). Older kids seem to be getting jabbed, waiting for approval for the under 12 cohort to get the vax approved. Schools are still not decided on whether to mandate masks for all and it looks like it will be a district by district decision.

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23 minutes ago, CPT Trips said:

I’m sitting here outside Philadelphia looking up into a cloudless, yet grey/brown hazy sky and a UV Index of 5. Not blue with a UV Index of 9 or 10 as a cloudless summer day should be. The local news weather people are saying that it’s because of all the wild/forest fires in the western US, some 2800 miles (4500 km) west of me.

Same in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  We cannot see the mountains that divide Virginia from West Virginia at all due to the haze.  In our 17 years here, that has only happened during rain and snow storms.  Our air quality index is 111 (unhealthy for sensitive groups).  It's even higher at our kids' homes (116 and 123) outside Washington, DC.

 

From today's Washington Post:

Smoke from wildfires in the western United States and southern Canada is spilling into the eastern United States and is thick enough and low enough to foul the air.

Washington and Baltimore are among several major cities from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast under air-quality alerts Wednesday. Philadelphia, New York City and Boston are among the others.

Washington and Baltimore have code orange air-quality alerts for Wednesday, which means the air will be unhealthful for sensitive groups, including children, older adults and people with respiratory conditions, including asthma.

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Daisi, wild swimming is swimming in rivers, lakes, ponds, canals basically anywhere that is not a swimming pool or the sea. What people forget is that these bodies of water are cold there are hidden obstacles etc.

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11 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

Daisi, wild swimming is swimming in rivers, lakes, ponds, canals basically anywhere that is not a swimming pool or the sea. What people forget is that these bodies of water are cold there are hidden obstacles etc.

 

OK, that's what a lot of us swim in.  I grew up swimming in the ocean only because it was there, but later we always swam in lakes, rivers or even quarries if we could get away with it.  I always thought that was normal...I think I was in my teens before I swam in a pool, there just weren't to many around as a kid. 

 

Thanks for the explanation.

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There’s a push here to make wild swimming more accessible although it doesn’t help that the majority of the more attractive sites are on private land. Also as this activity is only just becoming ‘fashionable’ there is little expertise so due to the heat at the moment there have been quite a few fatalities.

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We had the smoke and ash in the air when the volcano erupted in Iceland a few years ago. All over Europe. You mention red colours. The particles are known to intensify colours and I suppose you could say the palette of hues in the air. Art historians believe that the intense colours have contributed to William Turner's interest in colours that is so evident in his paintings. The year without Summer in 1816 and his subsequent travels in 1817 to the European mainland produced striking paintings. But not only with him in the art world. You can read this under effects here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

 

I wonder if it will have an effect on the micro climates close to the wildfires?

 

notamermaid

 

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@notamermaid  Germany is coded a danger level of 2 according to the CDC and is there for lower than many many other places in Europe and incidence rates lower than in many places in the US and UK.  I will be there in less than two weeks.  The area I am going to in BW has a very low incidence as of now, and everything is open.   I have until the day of departure to cancel with a full refund of my airline points without penalty.

 

I have a silly question from a local.  I have read that the only masks accepted on trains, etc are the medical quality ones.  I have cloth ones as well as the blue “medical” masks that one sees in operating rooms, etc.  What type of mask do you wear when in places that require them such as trains, buses or some stores.

 

Cheers

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