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Celebrity Cruisers - How are Things where YOU are?

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Here in the UK we are entering lockdown, which given the circumstances is the right decision. The first phase of 3 weeks will take us up to Easter but I think it will most likely continue to be implemented after that.

The lack of toilet paper hit the headlines, but I grin to myself that the last time I was in the supermarket (last Tuesday), there was no lack of Easter eggs, they were piled high!

I work for the NHS (I retired in May last year but went back part time in August) but the nature of my job means I can do remote working. My eldest daughter and her boyfriend are also working from home. Unfortunately my husband has to go into work, but at least he drives to work which lessens contact with others.

One of the hardest parts of lockdown will be that we can no longer see our eldest daughter (in person), which also means our new grandson who is only 3 months old 😩. Having said that, we as a family had come to that decision anyway as her husband works for London Transport and she was concerned about the possibility of an infection being passed around. I can see we will be face-timing quite a bit, plus the usual daily What’s App feed of photos.

The weather here at the moment is lovely and sunny and so I will go out soon for my   one allowed outing of daily exercise. We are lucky that we do have large expanses of open spaces that we can walk / cycle to, and have been taking advantage of that during the good weather. However now only two people can go out together. 
Sending best wishes to everyone and stay safe.

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Posted (edited)

Checking in again to say that here in the UK we are now in lock-down. We can only go out for very limited reasons. 

 

The weather is fine though and we had lunch in the garden whilst working from home so we will be ok. It is what it is and hopefully, if we all do as we are told it will be over much sooner.

 

Take care all.

Edited by evitacruiser

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Sue here also from UK living in Berkshire. I work at Heathrow and it has been quite stressful recently with everyone desperate to get home and countries daily changing rules who can enter and locking down. From today my airline is ceasing operations for three weeks and I am now at home with retired hubby and our beautiful collie. It will be strange being in semi lock down. We can only go out for essential food shopping or visits to pharmacy. One daily outside exercise session keeping to the two meter rule and no more than two out together. Think we have all quickly become experts in zoom and the like, keeping in touch with family remotely

My deepest thanks and respects to all our health care professionals. Thank you for what you are doing. You are the true hero's in this fight

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My husband and I have been working from home since last Monday. My college-age son goes to work at Dunkin everyday as it's considered an essential business. He says the lines in the drive thru are wrapped around the corner. Every customer has been extremely grateful for the employees resulting in much higher than usual tips. I have found that employees in essential retail stores have been really friendly and helpful (not necessarily the case in this souther NH town). The grocery stores are stripped clean of essentials (meats, frozen veggies, paper items, pastas and sauces, and the thing we needed most, flour). We have about 8 rolls of TP left before we'll have to get inventive. I joked to my husband last weekend that we have a higher liklihood of dying of starvation before we die of the coronavirus. I hear some of the grocery stores are starting to replenish from last weekend's fiasco, so we're about to embark on another journey "out there". Wish us luck!

So far, none of us are experiencing any symptoms and I hope it stays that way.

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I live in Denmark. Starting from March 12 and and up until (at least) April 13, Denmark is in a semi-lockdown state:

-Maximum allowed assemblies of 10 persons. Offenses are punishable with a 1000DKK fine (~145USD), which have already been issued. The restriction is not applicable for private homes and workplaces.

-All employees in the public sector, who are not in a vital/critical position (such as police/emergency services, nursing and rail transport) have been ordered to work from home, as much as possible. Being a train dispatcher myself, I still go to work. The private sector is not under mandatory work-from-home restrictions, but many companies have done it anyway. Several companies have already had or announced massive lay-offs. The government has announced several emergency packages, to help companies to keep their employees. The offers include paying up to 75% of the employee's salary as a one-off payment, so not just as a loan, but as a cash compensation.

-All shopping malls are closed (mandatory) and most non-food shops are closed (partly voluntarily). Grocery stores and supermarkets are still open, but they must maintain a 4 sqm (43 sqft) area-per-customer restriction in the store, to make sure the customers aren't too close to each other. We have had two serious nation-wide incidents of hoarding, specifically on two evenings when our Prime Minister was speaking at press conferences. The hoarders may have believed that she would be announcing a complete lockdown, but luckily we haven't reached that point (yet!). Food supply is on a normal level nation-wide (including toilet paper!), the only problem is with disinfectant products - like in most other countries, these are in very short supply.

-Tattoo parlors, massage therapists and other non-vital health services with skin contact are closed (mandatory).

-Pubs and restaurants are closed (mandatory), however restaurants can still offer take-out/delivery. In other words, the dining  premises on-site are closed.

-All borders are closed to non-Danes, except for work commuters and visits to CRITICALLY ill relatives in Denmark. Normal family visits (eg. birthdays) are not allowed. Foreign truck drivers transporting food and other goods can enter and exit the country.

-Flights, ferries and trains are severely impacted. Almost no flights in and out of the country, and almost no domestic flights either. Some train operators run the Sunday schedule all weekdays, and others have cancelled certain train types (eg. express trains).

 

In other words, for me personally everything is pretty much everyday life, but other Danes have been severely impacted by the restrictions, some even ending up without a job or a company after this is over.

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Posted (edited)

Weather 80s in central East Coast Florida but hard to enjoy with the worries.

 

Husband is musician — all gigs cancelled For the year (working to supplement Social Security).  Pension went insolvent day after Thanksgiving.  And of course the small bit in the stock market getting smaller.

 

Adult daughter is in media sales as Independent Contractor (not qualified for Unemployment compensation), son-in-law has business that state declared he cannot practice until virus is gone (also no unemployment insurance).  They have almost no income now.  They have 2 children out of elementary school. Our son with asthma is working in warehouse in medical deliveries.
 

We are self-isolating but feeling ok.  I’ve been cooking more from scratch, cleaning, organizing, laying on lanai, reading.  I’m not complaining, but it is very sad.
 

In our small city, parks are closed, most stores and businesses closed except supermarkets, gas, banks, etc.  


There have been a few cases here but getting more — I think due to lack of testing.  The sheriff had one, there is a case in our Local hospital.  Testing is ramping up.
 

We cancelled a cruise for June with Rccl with the grands (They don’t understand all this) and hope we will able to keep plans for January on Celebrity.  There is our health and that of the world but also our economic picture has changed completely in an instant.

 

I’m trying to stay positive looking at the trees and listening to the birds.  I follow guidelines - we have enough of everything for a couple of weeks.  As I’m writing this, I got a text from local supermarket reducing hours again.  
 

Hope to see you onboard

 

 

Edited by true45

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Thank you Host Anne for starting this thread.  It's a lovely way of feeling connected while being very disconnected indeed.

 

We are in small town Ontario, Canada.  Since we drove home a few weeks early from Florida last week, we are in self isolation.  We actually just stepped outside for the first time in 7 days to go for a lovely walk to our community mailbox.  We waved at a few neighbours along the way and called out greetings.  Nobody is venturing close to anyone and that's the way it should stay for the next several weeks at least.

 

Our friend who was watching our house while we were away left a lovely little care package in the fridge and our daughter shopped for us two days after we arrived home.  As instructed, she left the groceries on the front step and we waved through the window.  It was lovely to see her and our grandchildren but heartbreaking not to be able to grab them and give them a hug.  She has offered to pick up some more groceries tomorrow so I must get to making her a list.

 

We missed our 3/23 cruise on Infinity.  Coincidentally, a crew member was diagnosed that same day.  Had the cruise gone ahead, our fear of being quarantined onboard with likely nowhere to dock would have come true.

 

We are retired so work is not affected but we are definitely missing our daily walks on the beach which we enjoyed while in Florida.  Our four children and their spouses are mostly working from home but layoffs are possible in the future.  For now, we are counting our blessings as none of us are experiencing any symptoms.  We keep in touch with elderly parents and siblings by phone.  We keep in touch with the kids by video calls.  I keep busy by trying to plan out next winter's adventures, hopefully including a cruise.  Fingers crossed!

 

Hope to see some of you onboard one day.  Stay healthy.

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9 minutes ago, Grandmaanne7 said:

Thank you Host Anne for starting this thread.  It's a lovely way of feeling connected while being very disconnected indeed.

 

We are in small town Ontario, Canada.  Since we drove home a few weeks early from Florida last week, we are in self isolation.  We actually just stepped outside for the first time in 7 days to go for a lovely walk to our community mailbox.  We waved at a few neighbours along the way and called out greetings.  Nobody is venturing close to anyone and that's the way it should stay for the next several weeks at least.

 

Our friend who was watching our house while we were away left a lovely little care package in the fridge and our daughter shopped for us two days after we arrived home.  As instructed, she left the groceries on the front step and we waved through the window.  It was lovely to see her and our grandchildren but heartbreaking not to be able to grab them and give them a hug.  She has offered to pick up some more groceries tomorrow so I must get to making her a list.

 

We missed our 3/23 cruise on Infinity.  Coincidentally, a crew member was diagnosed that same day.  Had the cruise gone ahead, our fear of being quarantined onboard with likely nowhere to dock would have come true.

 

We are retired so work is not affected but we are definitely missing our daily walks on the beach which we enjoyed while in Florida.  Our four children and their spouses are mostly working from home but layoffs are possible in the future.  For now, we are counting our blessings as none of us are experiencing any symptoms.  We keep in touch with elderly parents and siblings by phone.  We keep in touch with the kids by video calls.  I keep busy by trying to plan out next winter's adventures, hopefully including a cruise.  Fingers crossed!

 

Hope to see some of you onboard one day.  Stay healthy.


I’m so glad you’re home safe and have someone bring you what you need. 
 

Just a reminder though that what you should be doing now is quarantine not isolating. Quarantine means not leaving your house. Even for a short walk. (Unless in you backyard). This has now changed from a recommendation to law as of today. 
 

take care! 
Paula ❤️ 

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11 minutes ago, paulajj said:


I’m so glad you’re home safe and have someone bring you what you need. 
 

Just a reminder though that what you should be doing now is quarantine not isolating. Quarantine means not leaving your house. Even for a short walk. (Unless in you backyard). This has now changed from a recommendation to law as of today. 
 

take care! 
Paula ❤️ 

Thanks for the update.

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8 minutes ago, paulajj said:


I’m so glad you’re home safe and have someone bring you what you need. 
 

Just a reminder though that what you should be doing now is quarantine not isolating. Quarantine means not leaving your house. Even for a short walk. (Unless in you backyard). This has now changed from a recommendation to law as of today. 
 

take care! 
Paula ❤️ 

Sorry Paula but the words used by Mr. Trudeau were "self Isolate" not quarantine. Also it is strenuously recommended unfortunately not "The Law" we don't have the means to enforce such an order anyway. What the PM has said is get a grip and just do it. The walks are okay just keep your distance. I applaud all people who have come home from abroad and done there part by self isolating immediately upon arrival and doing their part to slow this scourge. Wherever "Home" is in the world.

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28 minutes ago, Blackduck59 said:

Sorry Paula but the words used by Mr. Trudeau were "self Isolate" not quarantine. Also it is strenuously recommended unfortunately not "The Law" we don't have the means to enforce such an order anyway. What the PM has said is get a grip and just do it. The walks are okay just keep your distance. I applaud all people who have come home from abroad and done there part by self isolating immediately upon arrival and doing their part to slow this scourge. Wherever "Home" is in the world.

Hi! Not the place for a big discussion. But this happened later after the PMs briefing

 

 On Wednesday morning, Health Minister Patty Hajdu told the Senate that all travellers, with the exception of “essential workers,” will be legally obligated to isolate themselves upon their arrival in Canada to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. She said the new measure will provide “clarity” to those re-entering the country.

🤷🏼‍♀️

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8 minutes ago, paulajj said:

Hi! Not the place for a big discussion. But this happened later after the PMs briefing

 

 On Wednesday morning, Health Minister Patty Hajdu told the Senate that all travellers, with the exception of “essential workers,” will be legally obligated to isolate themselves upon their arrival in Canada to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. She said the new measure will provide “clarity” to those re-entering the country.

🤷🏼‍♀️

Thanks Paula, I missed that briefing, and hope that those returning will follow these guidelines. I do apologize for calling you out without having the most recent information. It is also true that even with the new legal obligation it will be impossible to police these people. We can only hope that these good Canadian folk will actually do their duty. 

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Absolutely no problem. Things are changing so rapidly! 
 

stay safe!

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Posted (edited)

Long Island NY update..not very upbeat...

 

Our local news  12 website shows a tent constructed outside hosp  in Oceanside NY with cots and chairs...for suspected Covid cases...so they will not use the reg emergency rm. Not sure where they go after that?

 

Numbers of cases and deaths rising.  Med services , beds, staff, supplies) strained. A few miracle recoveries reported including a 90 year old woman....Amen!

 

Folks from NYC are  fleeing to  their East End homes and rentals,  bringing more germs, & overwhelming stores and supplies,  and potentially med care. Town gov out east considering banning vehicle traffic except essential services.,not sure how that will go.???

 

We are so far okay...hoping for one more trip to the  bank, post ofc &  grocery store tom.,.then we will stay home for awhile. Missing our family,    Worried lots about our dtr's family...she has a newborn and  pre schooler  at home ( out of daycare) while working part time  from home . Her husb will be going back to work in a few days  at NYPD...many of whom are sick or exposed.  Very worried about that!

 

It's a nice sunny day so a few walks outdoors will be possible...helps lift the spirit and clear worried thoughts.  Best wishes to All...

Edited by hcat

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16 hours ago, paulajj said:

Hi! Not the place for a big discussion. But this happened later after the PMs briefing

 

 On Wednesday morning, Health Minister Patty Hajdu told the Senate that all travellers, with the exception of “essential workers,” will be legally obligated to isolate themselves upon their arrival in Canada to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. She said the new measure will provide “clarity” to those re-entering the country.

🤷🏼‍♀️

Pretty sure she said 'mandated'  is that another word for 'legally'?  Our neighbourhood returning snowbirds were confused as to what they were to do until it came out in stronger language....'mandated to go straight home and stay there'.

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From TV screen News 12 NY

Covid Virus Triage tent...for the least serious cases

20200326_083037.jpg

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1 hour ago, oceangoer2 said:

Pretty sure she said 'mandated'  is that another word for 'legally'?  Our neighbourhood returning snowbirds were confused as to what they were to do until it came out in stronger language....'mandated to go straight home and stay there'.

Yes, it says they can be fined or even jailed (they just jailed someone in Newfoundland)

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1 minute ago, paulajj said:

Yes, it says they can be fined or even jailed (they just jailed someone in Newfoundland)

well...that's not quite 'self' isolation but it works...

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So from what I just heard on the news (yes a reputable news source) There are sections of  the quarantine act in Canada that have been activated. There is no "recomendation" anymore it is required. The consequences are pretty severe for those not complying, up to $750,000.00 (yes you read that right) and 6 monthes in jail. So clearly the government of Canada is not joking, if you are coming home from abroad you MUST self isolate for 14 days.

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My wife and I live in Olympia, WA, two counties removed from the Seattle/Kirkland area, the original U.S. epicenter for the coronavirus. Everything except for grocery stores  is in lockdown. Bars and bistros are shuttered, events canceled, parks closed, and the fishing season shut down. We order groceries and medicines online. We are frequent Celebrity cruisers and truly love the line, but we are in our 80s and had to cancel a June Adriatic cruise because of too many uncertainties. We hope to return with a spring transatlantic to visit several Italian friends who have been severely impacted by the virus.

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Update from Michigan:

 

On Monday our Governor announced a shelter in quarantine for all non essential personal or non essential tasks - people are still allowed to go to the pharmacy, grocery store, or hospital, but beyond that and a few other essential business everyone else has been ordered to shut down. Specifically in our county we have been given orders to screen all workers at the start of shift and to limit customers so that we can maintain 6 ft at all times. There is also signage posted saying that if you are symptomatic,  have tested positive, or you are awaiting results you are not to enter the building and instead notify personnel before utilizing the drive thru or curbside pickup. 
 

Despite these regulations several known positives have entered our pharmacy putting us and others at risk - and not notifying us until after transaction. People insist on coming inside, purchasing unnecessary things - I witnessed a senior with an artificial voice box come inside to purchase beer. People have not been respecting 6 ft distancing and insist on leaning over our counters forcing us to make a “sneeze guard” out of plastic shower curtains.


We have had to report 10 different drs to the board of medicine for prescribing out of scope of practice (ex if you are a dentist you have no business prescribing a med used for lupus) or for writing for friends/family in order to stockpile for meds being used to treat Covid 19. None of the patients who the scripts were written for actually have Covid 19. They want them “just in case”. These are meds used for lupus and RA and I’ve had to call patients and tell them that their meds are now back ordered and most likely won’t be available until the end of April. Because of these selfish idiotic hoarders I can’t get medications for patients who desperately need them.


People are still running around as though there is no danger despite our local hospital running out of ventilators, and pain medications necessary for properly ventilating patients...forget narcotics, even Tylenol is becoming difficult to come by.

 

I do see some good - neighbors organizing donations of food and tp to those in need, people sewing mask covers to extend the life of single use PPE etc. However the sheer amount of stupidity and selfish behavior I see at the pharmacy on a daily basis is just astounding and depressing. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi!

 

Some of you might know me or us from our travelogues and our travel website. We live in Germany but also call Miami our second home (my memory lane through Miami stretches across 40 decades) and we have strong ties with New York City, which is where DW and I met and got married 10 years ago. Between the two of us we have lived in different countries (DW more than me) like UK (London 8 years), Paris (7 years) and Australia (a few months). Those who know us, know that we have not just lived in different countries but, in our spare time, extensively travel the world - and always try to do so with open eyes and open hearts. Travel is learning...

 

Why am I telling you this? I hope I am able to explain... I am happy to give you a sitrep from Germany, so the first in this topic, but not necessarily through German eyes. I never considered myself as a German or very patriotic. DW and I feel European and sometimes, to put it in a humerus way, more like “Earthlings”. So our views on our other “home countries” is not to be seen or intended as blame but as compassion and sometimes today as deep pain. Every life lost in any country is one too many. Every life lost due to ignorance or stupidity is a crime. If I was religious I’d say a sin.

 

Germany is also under a semi-lockdown. Retail stores are closed except supermarkets and pharmacies. Restaurants are closed or limited to take out. Schools and kindergartens are closed. People are asked to refrain from visiting family and asked to stay home as much as possible. You can still go outside with immediate members of your household or one other person the most. Keeping a minimum distance of 1,5 m (5 ft) from other people is mandatory and enforced. 
 

After the typical resistance of some young and old people before it became a nationwide and enforced policy, we can say it actually works. Cities and parks are empty of gatherings, people in supermarkets and at farmers markets are following the rules. Of course it is unusual and takes some getting used to. While browsing the aisles in the supermarkets, distracted by looking for the items on the shopping list, everyone still sometimes ignores the distance. A friendly reminder and words of apology and all is well. We are just not used to it. And yes, toilet paper and sanitizer are just as rare in Germany 🙄 But not impossible to get... and I have the feeling the frenzy is subsiding a bit.

 

I work as CEO of a small company of 30 employees. We manufacture customized machinery needed for the production of surgical instruments, implants etc. 
We still work and try to keep the business running as long as it can safely be done. Quite early we implemented all possible measures for the safety of our employees. We more or less buttoned down the hatches. No visitors allowed, no meetings with customers other than online meetings. Home office is offered where possible. Besides repeatedly informing all our employees about washing hands, sanitizing, keeping distance and so on, we distributed sanitizer at work and for the employees to take home. We are able to produce it in our lab. 
 

We are able to process plastic in our workshops. So we started to build sneeze and cough guards/screens which we gave away to local doctors, pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations for the production cost only.
 

Just like in any other company any employee who feels ill or has cold and flu symptoms is asked (ordered) to stay at home. All they have to do is call (not visit) their doctor. Under current procedures doctors can issue medical certificates after a phone consultation for up to 14 days. As usual in Germany the doctor is covered by the mandatory health insurance and people are still paid for the time of their illness. If the doctor recognizes corona symptoms, adequate procedures are started.
 

Since schools and kindergartens are closed some parents have to stay home. In our company we offer them one week of paid leave. Beyond that we cover it with our flexible time - and see how we can handle it best when all this is over. 

DW and I feel the German government handles the situation as good as they can. Top scientists at the RKI (similar to the CDC but not state run) and virologists of the Charite Hospital and Institute are advising the politicians. And they listen to what they say!  
Financial aid programs and laws are passed unanimously by all parties who set aside their usual differences - in record time of one day. It is an unusual delight to see...

 

Germany‘s health system is working overtime. We have the upmost respect for all doctors, health workers and nurses. You need to know that in Germany, unlike in the US, health workers and nurses are poorly paid. We hope the appreciation for what they do now is not forgotten when times are better. Unfortunately there is also a lack of protective gear like masks etc. Germany is no better than the rest of the world regarding this problem.

 

However, despite the strain on the staff the system holds. Germany has an extremely high density of ICU beds (28.000 in normal times, which is around 34 per 100.000 inhabitants). The number is being increased. Critical cases from neighboring France and Italy have been taken to Germany. 
 

Testing was done extensively in comparison and early. The result is an astonishingly low number of fatalities. Testing capacities are expanded to 500.000 a week. We are talking about the accurate PCR tests here. According to world scientists that’s unrivaled. 

 

At this time, and despite my usual lack of patriotism, I can really say I am glad to live in Germany.

 

As to our view on our neighbors and friends and second home countries... 

It is heartbreaking to see the images from Italy. We love the people and the country. Seeing the situation there brings tears to our eyes and fills our hearts with pain and sorrow. Can you imagine the burden on doctors and hospital staff? They have to decide who to let die on an hourly bases. Not because of a lack of training or personal capabilities but because of an ailing system. Remember I mentioned the number of ICU beds in Germany is around 34 per 100.000? In Italy it’s 3!
 

The quirkiness and charming chaos which we all love when thinking of Italy is one side of the coin. It is so terribly painful to be reminded of the other side now by seeing army convoys with corpses leaving the hospitals.

 

We fear that the UK, and DW always says her heart beats British, will show similar images in a short while. We have dear friends in the UK and we are afraid for them and all the Brits. We can only hope that politicians in the UK will finally listen to the scientists.

 

We talked to friends in New York today. The situation seems just as terrible and it simply breaks our heart. It’s unworthy of a first world country. At least it seems like most New Yorker’s are seeing the seriousness of the situation. Something I can’t say about south Florida. 

I don’t want to share my thoughts about US politics here. Neither the time nor the place... From the outside I just want to appeal to all my American friends to realize that this is not a time for politics. The virus does not care at all if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It is not an invention by one or the other. Corona is neither capitalist nor socialist. It will not kill everyone. And if you are healthy, young or ideally both, you might just feel like having a cold. However, if politicians and citizens don’t start listening to the scientists, it will kill an unimaginably high number of elderly, less healthy people and people who simply can’t afford adequate treatment. By overburdening the system it might also kill you if you have a serious accident or “just” a heart attack but can’t be treated. 


The world is round. We are all in this together. Here on Cruise Critic people who love to cruise all over the world and who are fortunate enough to be able to do so get together. Just like we are able to travel so is this and any other virus. Let’s learn from one another and help each other. The more we do, the sooner we are able to meet again at the Sunset Bar, have a drink and swap stories about the positive peculiarities of our home countries.

 

I am sorry that this has turned out to be a rather long post 😔

Stay healthy, wherever you are and help others to stay healthy.

 

 

Edited by Miaminice

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We're about 12 miles out of downtown L.A.,  if you fly into LAX we're last big set of hills that you usually fly over :)   we happened to visit DH's asthma specialist a little over two weeks ago.  he told us to go on total self isolation, & we've done so.  Tomorrow will be day 14 for me since I've gone out..  I think Steve's going on day 17.   Trying to ration the food that I managed to get together that last weekend...  which is fine,  we definitely won't starve :)   bought a ton of wine & beer (priorities lol)  actually it was one of things that was available.   Going running & hiking in the evenings... luckily there are some super steep & high hills around here that no one goes to.   

 

Next door neighbor is a nurse & weekend hospital administrator at a very large regional hospital about a mile from us.  Spoke with her last night by phone, she was just trying to update us on how serious the situation is here...  & making sure that we are not going out in public.  

 

for now I can work from home, so during the week I'm very busy, albeit working in sweatpants lol.    DH had to close his business.   We're super lucky that we have a beautiful yard w/a spa & pool & little garden :), bbq area etc.  

 

We have a ton of restaurants in our little town, but we're a little concerned about the current safety of food delivery, so we're passing on that for now.   Our local brewery has started drive up delivery (you order online, pay online, pull up & they load into your trunk with no contact (guess what I'm doing this afternoon) 

 

I feel that we are incredibly lucky that we self quarantined so early & are at the 2 week mark where we can feel secure that as long as we hunker down for next 8 weeks or so, we'll be past the big curve so that if we do get it in 3 or 4 months there will be ventilator & ICU capability (DH has asthma)  

 

if DH wasn't at risk, we'd be ordering food in, & occasionally going to the shops, which would definitely make us feel less isolated.   Kids have been great with facetime, texts, phone calls etc.  

 

Miss our kids & grandkids....  worried about elderly mom & in-laws (mom is not self isolating, but she's as healthy as a horse so...)

 

The big hospital ship is on its way here & I'll probably be able to see it from the top of the hill in the evenings :)

 

best wishes to everyone during this time!  (& be kind)

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Posted (edited)

I’m from the NY area and everything is closed. If you were not laid off, you are working from home. School is closed, I’m a teacher, and we are working remotely. It’s challenging. We had little training or heads up, just one  day and then school closed. We are expected to teach via google classroom or zoom. All my materials are in my classroom. We’re all stressed and work 24/7 planning, but then, I have a job and paycheck coming in.  The Commissioner of Education is not saying anything yet, but we all know we will not return to school until the new term in September . We hope🙏.

 

As for my July 20 cruise, I believe I’d never get a flight to London. To board the boat at this point. No cruises out of US ports. Has anyone tried to get their money back. We have insurance, that was suppose to let us cancel for any reason ( mom is 96), but the fine print say no pandemic. Who would have thought that clause meant anything relevant. 
 

Supermarket shelves do not have toilet paper, paper towel/napkins, Tylenol, cold remedies and cold preventives. If we order from a restaurant that is open, you pay online with credit, stand outside the restaurants front door until you are handed your food. Most stores except For supermarkets, pharmacies, lawn and hardware stores are closed. Some stores only let a few people in at a time.we have to stay at home, but you can walk or ride your bike as long as your 6 feet away from people. Unreal.

Edited by splash0306
Wrong month

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23 hours ago, Miaminice said:

Hi!

 

Some of you might know me or us from our travelogues and our travel website. We live in Germany but also call Miami our second home (my memory lane through Miami stretches across 40 decades) and we have strong ties with New York City, which is where DW and I met and got married 10 years ago. Between the two of us we have lived in different countries (DW more than me) like UK (London 8 years), Paris (7 years) and Australia (a few months). Those who know us, know that we have not just lived in different countries but, in our spare time, extensively travel the world - and always try to do so with open eyes and open hearts. Travel is learning...

 

Why am I telling you this? I hope I am able to explain... I am happy to give you a sitrep from Germany, so the first in this topic, but not necessarily through German eyes. I never considered myself as a German or very patriotic. DW and I feel European and sometimes, to put it in a humerus way, more like “Earthlings”. So our views on our other “home countries” is not to be seen or intended as blame but as compassion and sometimes today as deep pain. Every life lost in any country is one too many. Every life lost due to ignorance or stupidity is a crime. If I was religious I’d say a sin.

 

Germany is also under a semi-lockdown. Retail stores are closed except supermarkets and pharmacies. Restaurants are closed or limited to take out. Schools and kindergartens are closed. People are asked to refrain from visiting family and asked to stay home as much as possible. You can still go outside with immediate members of your household or one other person the most. Keeping a minimum distance of 1,5 m (5 ft) from other people is mandatory and enforced. 
 

After the typical resistance of some young and old people before it became a nationwide and enforced policy, we can say it actually works. Cities and parks are empty of gatherings, people in supermarkets and at farmers markets are following the rules. Of course it is unusual and takes some getting used to. While browsing the aisles in the supermarkets, distracted by looking for the items on the shopping list, everyone still sometimes ignores the distance. A friendly reminder and words of apology and all is well. We are just not used to it. And yes, toilet paper and sanitizer are just as rare in Germany 🙄 But not impossible to get... and I have the feeling the frenzy is subsiding a bit.

 

I work as CEO of a small company of 30 employees. We manufacture customized machinery needed for the production of surgical instruments, implants etc. 
We still work and try to keep the business running as long as it can safely be done. Quite early we implemented all possible measures for the safety of our employees. We more or less buttoned down the hatches. No visitors allowed, no meetings with customers other than online meetings. Home office is offered where possible. Besides repeatedly informing all our employees about washing hands, sanitizing, keeping distance and so on, we distributed sanitizer at work and for the employees to take home. We are able to produce it in our lab. 
 

We are able to process plastic in our workshops. So we started to build sneeze and cough guards/screens which we gave away to local doctors, pharmacies, supermarkets and gas stations for the production cost only.
 

Just like in any other company any employee who feels ill or has cold and flu symptoms is asked (ordered) to stay at home. All they have to do is call (not visit) their doctor. Under current procedures doctors can issue medical certificates after a phone consultation for up to 14 days. As usual in Germany the doctor is covered by the mandatory health insurance and people are still paid for the time of their illness. If the doctor recognizes corona symptoms, adequate procedures are started.
 

Since schools and kindergartens are closed some parents have to stay home. In our company we offer them one week of paid leave. Beyond that we cover it with our flexible time - and see how we can handle it best when all this is over. 

DW and I feel the German government handles the situation as good as they can. Top scientists at the RKI (similar to the CDC but not state run) and virologists of the Charite Hospital and Institute are advising the politicians. And they listen to what they say!  
Financial aid programs and laws are passed unanimously by all parties who set aside their usual differences - in record time of one day. It is an unusual delight to see...

 

Germany‘s health system is working overtime. We have the upmost respect for all doctors, health workers and nurses. You need to know that in Germany, unlike in the US, health workers and nurses are poorly paid. We hope the appreciation for what they do now is not forgotten when times are better. Unfortunately there is also a lack of protective gear like masks etc. Germany is no better than the rest of the world regarding this problem.

 

However, despite the strain on the staff the system holds. Germany has an extremely high density of ICU beds (28.000 in normal times, which is around 34 per 100.000 inhabitants). The number is being increased. Critical cases from neighboring France and Italy have been taken to Germany. 
 

Testing was done extensively in comparison and early. The result is an astonishingly low number of fatalities. Testing capacities are expanded to 500.000 a week. We are talking about the accurate PCR tests here. According to world scientists that’s unrivaled. 

 

At this time, and despite my usual lack of patriotism, I can really say I am glad to live in Germany.

 

As to our view on our neighbors and friends and second home countries... 

It is heartbreaking to see the images from Italy. We love the people and the country. Seeing the situation there brings tears to our eyes and fills our hearts with pain and sorrow. Can you imagine the burden on doctors and hospital staff? They have to decide who to let die on an hourly bases. Not because of a lack of training or personal capabilities but because of an ailing system. Remember I mentioned the number of ICU beds in Germany is around 34 per 100.000? In Italy it’s 3!
 

The quirkiness and charming chaos which we all love when thinking of Italy is one side of the coin. It is so terribly painful to be reminded of the other side now by seeing army convoys with corpses leaving the hospitals.

 

We fear that the UK, and DW always says her heart beats British, will show similar images in a short while. We have dear friends in the UK and we are afraid for them and all the Brits. We can only hope that politicians in the UK will finally listen to the scientists.

 

We talked to friends in New York today. The situation seems just as terrible and it simply breaks our heart. It’s unworthy of a first world country. At least it seems like most New Yorker’s are seeing the seriousness of the situation. Something I can’t say about south Florida. 

I don’t want to share my thoughts about US politics here. Neither the time nor the place... From the outside I just want to appeal to all my American friends to realize that this is not a time for politics. The virus does not care at all if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It is not an invention by one or the other. Corona is neither capitalist nor socialist. It will not kill everyone. And if you are healthy, young or ideally both, you might just feel like having a cold. However, if politicians and citizens don’t start listening to the scientists, it will kill an unimaginably high number of elderly, less healthy people and people who simply can’t afford adequate treatment. By overburdening the system it might also kill you if you have a serious accident or “just” a heart attack but can’t be treated. 


The world is round. We are all in this together. Here on Cruise Critic people who love to cruise all over the world and who are fortunate enough to be able to do so get together. Just like we are able to travel so is this and any other virus. Let’s learn from one another and help each other. The more we do, the sooner we are able to meet again at the Sunset Bar, have a drink and swap stories about the positive peculiarities of our home countries.

 

I am sorry that this has turned out to be a rather long post 😔

Stay healthy, wherever you are and help others to stay healthy.

 

 

@miaminice It's so good to read this information about Germany. May I ask where you are in Germany? Our son is in Bremen in his final term for his Masters degree. One can only get so much information out of him so this was much appreciated. 

PS We visit Sunny Isles several times a year (and always pre-cruise) as we have family there. Small world!

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