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Holland America Cruisers -- How are things where YOU live?

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Greetings, Holland America Cruisers ~ If an effort to give our members a place where we can discuss how things are where YOU are related to the Coronavirus, hosts are starting these threads so we can chat during the crisis. Let's talk about creative ways our families and neighbors are coping and helping one another out; share ideas for parents who are at home 24/7 with their school age children; you get the idea.....  Our only request is that we AVOID turning this into a political or health debate thread.  This is a stressful time for everyone.  Let's practice some kindness and make Cruise Critic a place members want to visit in this difficult time.

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My DW and I work for a very gracious organization called Village Missions. They supply missionary couples to mostly rural communities in the United States and Canada. Our little mountain community is in King County in Washington State. We are under a "Stay Home. Stay Healthy." order. Social distancing, to the degree necessary, is a challenge. Because a person can be asymptomatic and still be carrying the virus, it would be irresponsible for me to continue to have all of the contacts we would normally have with individuals in the community. Many of our citizens are in the most vulnerable groups: over seventy years old with underlying medical conditions. Phone and text hugs just aren't the same as in person comfort and encouragement.

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I live in NJ, where we are being asked to stay home. Except for going to the supermarket and walks around the neighborhood, I've been staying home for the past two weeks. My town's food bank has helped many more families than usual. Meals on wheels is taking food to its usual people and also delivering meals to kids who normally would be getting breakfast and lunch for free or low cost at school. Lots of care and concern for our fellow residents.

 

When this started, I expected to put this time to good use. Clean closets, sort my yarn stash, finish that sweater I started, read some of the books in that pile, lots of good organizing. But I find I waste a lot of time. I'm retired, so my time is my own to waste. But I'm spending more time online and also watching more news. Fortunately, I'm not a big sports fan, so I'm not suffering for lack of sports. And my cable box tells me I have access to 1,926 films, so I have plenty to watch. I text and email with family. We check on each other. I have cousins in the UK and we're comparing notes on how things are going. 

 

I have a group of friends who met online and moved off the message board to have our own group. We've been hanging out together online (and in person when we get a chance to meet) for years. So our contact is as it usually is, online. We talk about whatever comes up, and because we've been friends for so long, we have a lot of in-jokes that, if someone else read our threads they would think we were crazy. But we "get" each other, and we'll entertain and support each other as this goes on.

 

I have a similar group of close friends who are local. We volunteer for a local organization, which is how we met. Over time, we've discovered how much we have in common and how similar our outlooks are. Six of us started group texting when we were organizing a fundraiser a few years ago and we continue to group text. Now, when we can't get together in person, it's more important than ever. So we text to check in and make sure everyone is ok. It ranges from silly to serious to scared.  There are jokes about the hoarders, rants about the stupid people who aren't social distancing, concerns about the survival of our favorite local businesses, wondering how long it will last (and will our roots grow out too much in the meantime), pictures of what we made for supper, comments on news stories, funny family stories. Anything. And, yes, politics. As I said, our outlooks are similar, so there are no arguments there. I love hanging out with smart women, and I am blessed to have found this bunch. 

 

So, while in-person contact isn't possible, please call or text or email family and friends. Even people you aren't in touch with every day or every week. Check in on people. Some people are going to find the confinement very difficult. A little "Hey, how are you doing?" could brighten someone's day. 

 

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We stay in, walk or bike around the the local neighborhood. If weather is nice do a BBQ or sit around the camp fire roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. Started our spring cleaning doing one room a day. Over all life is good, it could be a whole lot worse and compared to some people we have nothing to complain about.   

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Suggestion for a family activity. If you've all got pictures on your phones, or if you use cameras, work together to share pictures of a family event or trip to make a slideshow. It's a way to enjoy memories and also to remind yourselves that there WILL be good times again, eventually.

 

Or, if you've got that box of old family photos (remember the days when we used film and got prints?), pull it out and have the kids help sort the pictures. Or look at old family albums. 

 

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Here's an update from Vancouver (British Columbia) in Canada.

 

We are in the first week of a limited lockdown. Pubs and restaurants closed, also community facilities. No quarantine; airport operates and people report for work. The government is issuing rent assistance to tenants, and evictions are not allowed.

 

98% of the public are practicing social distancing to some degree. The remaining few are problematic, particularly on transit. Travelers are 'asked' to self-isolate for 14 days.

 

The province has cancel elective surgery, and 3,000 hospital beds have been cleared. Currently, 659 confirmed as infected with 14 dead. Ten dead from a single seniors care home. 64 are hospitalized with 26 in ICU.

 

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EMBC0014-000564

 

 

Thirty thousand have been tested, with the capacity to do 3,500 tests a day. Contact tracing is no longer viable. Emphasis is on testing of healthcare workers, care homes, and the seriously ill. Those with minor symptoms are told to rest at home until recovered, or till the need to report to the hospital.

 

This is the new world of COVID19 on March 26.

 

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Hello Everyone!    Glad to hear everyone is doing well.    I live in Bucks County, PA.    This weekend is week 2 of our shutdown.    Only essential workers are supposed to be on the roads and those who need to care for family members in another home.     Our liquor stores, bars, restaurants, salons, etc. etc. all shutdown 2 weeks ago.   Restaurants are allowed to do take out (pick up at the door) or delivery.   

I am very well stocked on food and supplies including TP - probably have enough for another 3 or 4 weeks.    Freezer full of meats.    I haven't cooked this much EVER!    

My DH and I have both been working from home but we frequently check in with his 90yr Mother.   She is running out of supplies - she is not able to come to our house due to pet allergies.   So tomorrow I will be going out to the local food store to do her shopping and to shop for my 85 yr neighbor.      I feel like I should be doing more but I need to limit my exposure to people too as my DH is an organ transplant recipient and his doctor said they really have no idea right now how this is affecting transplant patients.      

Sunday is supposed to be around 70 here so I plan on doing some yard work to pretty up my flower beds and plan on doing the same for my elderly neighbor since her daughter is not allowed to visit her.

Stay Well Everyone!

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32 minutes ago, Sunshine3601 said:

Hello Everyone!    Glad to hear everyone is doing well.    I live in Bucks County, PA.    This weekend is week 2 of our shutdown.    Only essential workers are supposed to be on the roads and those who need to care for family members in another home.     Our liquor stores, bars, restaurants, salons, etc. etc. all shutdown 2 weeks ago.   Restaurants are allowed to do take out (pick up at the door) or delivery.   

I am very well stocked on food and supplies including TP - probably have enough for another 3 or 4 weeks.    Freezer full of meats.    I haven't cooked this much EVER!    

My DH and I have both been working from home but we frequently check in with his 90yr Mother.   She is running out of supplies - she is not able to come to our house due to pet allergies.   So tomorrow I will be going out to the local food store to do her shopping and to shop for my 85 yr neighbor.      I feel like I should be doing more but I need to limit my exposure to people too as my DH is an organ transplant recipient and his doctor said they really have no idea right now how this is affecting transplant patients.      

Sunday is supposed to be around 70 here so I plan on doing some yard work to pretty up my flower beds and plan on doing the same for my elderly neighbor since her daughter is not allowed to visit her.

Stay Well Everyone!

 

Anything you do that helps another person is good. Another option for future shopping is home delivery. Some stores around here will put together your order and you just pick it up, no wandering around the store. 

 

A warm day and gardening will make you feel better, I'm sure. 

 

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Hoi !

In our homeport Rotterdam , we’re in a 75% lockdown. Everybody who can work from home are asked to do so . No public gatherings of more than 3 people and when you do go out : 1,5 meters distance. Last weekend we had a nice spring day , too many people went outside. So the measures got stricter, it seems people are following orders. It’s awfully quiet on the streets.

A lot of initiatives have started to help people , providing meals, grocery shopping etc. To keep little kids busy ( who are more or less exempt from the measures) , there ‘s a teddy bear challenge. People are asked to put a bear on their windowsill and kids who are taken for a walk have to spot all those bears. The idea originated in Australia.

 

And of course keeping track of what’s happening with the HAL fleet . Captain Albert ‘s blog , the pictures from Copper from the NA and the ongoing situation on the Zaandam.

My wife is still working , but works from home now and does the supply runs , since I’m in a risk category having cancer.

I read a lot , watch Netflix , cook and keep in contact with a lot of people whom we met onboard over the past years. 
 

All in all , strange times , everything we took for granted like eating out , traveling etc. is just gone ... but eventually we will sail again ! That keeps us going .
Stay safe ! And as we say in Rotterdam : Wij zijn Rotterdammers, wij houden vol !

( we are from Rotterdam , we will say strong !)

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13 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Anything you do that helps another person is good. Another option for future shopping is home delivery. Some stores around here will put together your order and you just pick it up, no wandering around the store. 

 

A warm day and gardening will make you feel better, I'm sure. 

 

yes, our major food stores are offering pick up or delivery but the problem I am hearing from many neighbors is you have no idea what they have in stock when you order and most people are only getting about 1/3 of their orders and it is currently take up to a 5 days for the order to be ready.    So I will do everything i can - such as bring my bleach wipes for the shopping cart, my bottle of purell and the stores have supplies all over the place for personal use too and everyone has been really good about keeping their distance.   

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We are staying in whenever possible.

Like many places, a lot of businesses are closed.  Schools are still closed for at least 2 more weeks.

Take out and delivery is okay, but no dine in, so some restaurants have closed.

I got a few groceries yesterday.  Our grocery stores are trying to limit the first hour of opening to seniors.  They have hand washing stations at the stores' entrances, and a spray of bleach solution to spray the cart handles.  Most cashiers are credit or debit only, no cash.  Most shelves are stocked, but some things are in short supply.  But I got what we needed and got home.

Many businesses are limiting their hours, even the post office.  We don't get home mail delivery, but I only go to the post office to get my mail a couple of times a week.

I still walk the dog a couple of times a day, but stay away from other walkers.

We are trying to stay positive.

Stay home and stay healthy.

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As I mentioned on the Princess board, the virus finally reached my township. 

 

We're trying our best to hang in there, and keep our spirits up. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Got of the Zuiderdam at FLL on 3/8/20 Feel lucky as we seemed to have no sickness on board. It has been 21 days, with normal temps and no symptoms. We are self isolating. 

 

We have cruised over 40 times on Holland (4*), Azamara, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, NCL (no mas), Crystal, Princess.

 

We will likely not cruise again until a vaccine or sure treatment or the virus disappears. 

 

I expect NCL, RCCL and Carnival lines will be forced to file bankruptcy. I like many other I  oppose a bailout as they are staffed 90% by non US and the lines pay no or little US tax.

 

Bankruptcy does not mean they go away it just means the shareholders and perhaps the lenders lose money.

Edited by dossbig
grammar

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We were wintering-in Florida and decided we should come home early so we left 3/13. We live in an over 55 community in a town in New Jersey that has at least 6 such communities. The virus wasn’t there when we came back, but it is now and in ever increasing numbers. 
 

We took our time unpacking and found our daughter had stocked our home with food. The problem now is that even to get curb side pick up at supermarkets is an issue. We don’t want to go into the stores so our daughter will replenish for us.

 

Our son in law said we’re now garage grandparents since we drove to their home to wish our grandson a happy 18th birthday. We stayed over 10 feet away. Both that grandson and his cousin are graduating high school without a graduation. Our great nephew isn’t having his graduation from Harvard.

 

The world is turned upside down now, but we are grateful to have each other and to be able to FaceTime with our children, grandchildren, and friends. 
 

Stay safe everyone.

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Colorado is doing pretty good. Still haven't found toilet paper since we came back from our Panama Canal cruise on Rotterdam three weeks ago. Luckily we had some in stock. Taking it easy at home, but am really glad we took the cruise.  We almost skipped it because we were worried we were going to be stranded onboard. I think it will be months before cruises resume. 

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Our little city is big on the tourist map and the tourist infrastructure for beer capital USA and home of Biltmore has collapsed.  We have been under the state wide stay at home order for two weeks, though now enforcement has really kicked in.  I make sure to have my badge as I venture in from the moors to work. TP is non existent in the local stores.  Just how weird is this? Plenty of food is available, but making a list senseless.  I work for a very large regional medical center and walked past 120 empty beds today. This is an absolute first in the last 20 years.  All elective surgeries have been cancelled.  70 patients on the the 7th floor are "person's under investigation" and they are on absolute lock-down. No visitor's in the this 800 bed hospital. Today one person died of COVID, but we are all holding our breath for a possible tidal wave. I plan to give it to God, and work my ass off, some 34 years into my nursing career. Here is hoping that I can inspire those that report to me to do the same. I am calling into question the availability of PPE. I am asking the feds not to ask nurses to jump off a cliff.  There is a core group that would do it, but seriously that is too much to ask.

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Just outside of Vancouver, BC....

Things are pretty quiet, the majority of people seem to be obeying the self-isolation and social distancing guidelines.  Most stores other than grocery and pharmacy are closed, with some exceptions, as are all pubs and bars.  Very few restaurants are open, only if they can align their seating to allow for a ton of space between tables and customers.  The grocery stores all have early morning shopping hour just for seniors and disabled.  Online grocery shopping is a pain, most things say "out of stock" - I guess I will find out tomorrow if my order, placed last Thursday, has the items I asked for - and I didn't even ask for toilet paper!  Take Out is available from most restaurants now.  Masks and gloves are the norm everywhere.  For the past few weeks, there has been a very noisy salute to our hospital workers every evening at 7pm, and it is spreading throughout the lower mainland.  Such a heartwarming gesture. 


I am able to work in my yard, front and back, while maintaining social distance from any passers-by.  However, I was so disheartened yesterday - a nice sunny afternoon - to see groups of several moms and all their children walking and socialising  together.  They just don't get it.   I manage to do a daily walk, zig-zagging all the way when encountering others.  I hate cyclists, apparently none of the rules apply to them.   I'll just leave it at that.  Most people in my street are home from work, and of course schools are closed.  Today would have been the return from spring break.

 

Vancouver is going to be very, very hurt by the loss the cruise season (or most of it, but quite frankly I don't think there will be one this year) along with other tourists.  It will take a long time to recover.

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In northern Lower Peninsula Michigan we, like the entire state, have been on mandatory lockdown since March 24 with restaurants on take-out only since March 16. Schools, which were originally closed through April 6, are expected to have this year's sessions cancelled entirely today.

 

DH and I have elected self-isolating due to his underlying health since March 12. We are well-stocked and due to one neighbor having an auto-immune disease and another being immuno-suppressed due to chemo, we have set up an 'ask, deliver, knock, leave' system to support each other's needs without unnecessary face-face contact. 

 

We are rediscovering jigsaw puzzles, board games, and have extra time for reading. Michigan allows us outside for walks with those we reside, so DH and I get out as the lingering winter weather allows. Our usually bustling resort town is eerily quiet with shops closed and most restaurants shuttered as their situation, price-point, or menu didn't lend itself to take-out only. Yesterday, on our walk through downtown, we heard more birds singing than traffic moving.

 

Fortunately, our area has not had the steep rise in COV-19 that the downstate metro area has seen. We are, however, warned to expect that to change as downstaters move north to their summer homes and as large numbers of 'snowbirds' return from winter in the southern Florida areas that are already highly infected.

 

Easter holidays will be so different with church continuing on-line, my DB and his DW downstate, their son isolated from us all, their daughter unable to return from a neighboring state, and my DH's sons' families also in locked-down states.

 

But DH and I are safe, healthy, and blessed in untold ways. We feel certain we will cruise again and, in the meantime, we pray for the pax + crew of Zaandam and Rotterdam along with all still at sea.

 

Stay safe. Stay strong. Be well.

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Hello, I live in the county with the most cases in NJ, luck us. I work in NYC, but have been working from home full-time for the last 3 weeks (I think, losing track of time!). Only going out to grocery store weekly. I have asthma and hubby has underlying issues also, and my 86 yr old dad lives with us. He is going crazy not getting out to the store...which means he is driving ME crazy, but we cannot complain. I'm employed and we are healthy. I miss my 2-year-old great niece SO much though...we try to see her weekly, but now it's just facetime. Stay safe, all!

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18 hours ago, AlaskaNewbie68 said:

Hello, I live in the county with the most cases in NJ, luck us. I work in NYC, but have been working from home full-time for the last 3 weeks (I think, losing track of time!). Only going out to grocery store weekly. I have asthma and hubby has underlying issues also, and my 86 yr old dad lives with us. He is going crazy not getting out to the store...which means he is driving ME crazy, but we cannot complain. I'm employed and we are healthy. I miss my 2-year-old great niece SO much though...we try to see her weekly, but now it's just facetime. Stay safe, all!

 

Sorry to laugh, but your comment about your dad was funny because a good friend complained to me just yesterday that her parents in their 80s and not living with her keep calling because they've run out of something they deem essential like food coloring for icing, and she has to be the bad guy and say "no, I'm NOT going to the store for that."

 

Governor Murphy is right. We're a strong state, we'll get through this!

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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On 3/30/2020 at 10:24 PM, colewade said:

Our little city is big on the tourist map and the tourist infrastructure for beer capital USA and home of Biltmore has collapsed.  We have been under the state wide stay at home order for two weeks, though now enforcement has really kicked in.  I make sure to have my badge as I venture in from the moors to work. TP is non existent in the local stores.  Just how weird is this? Plenty of food is available, but making a list senseless.  I work for a very large regional medical center and walked past 120 empty beds today. This is an absolute first in the last 20 years.  All elective surgeries have been cancelled.  70 patients on the the 7th floor are "person's under investigation" and they are on absolute lock-down. No visitor's in the this 800 bed hospital. Today one person died of COVID, but we are all holding our breath for a possible tidal wave. I plan to give it to God, and work my ass off, some 34 years into my nursing career. Here is hoping that I can inspire those that report to me to do the same. I am calling into question the availability of PPE. I am asking the feds not to ask nurses to jump off a cliff.  There is a core group that would do it, but seriously that is too much to ask.

 

Thank you for being a nurse! 

 

Since you're beer capital USA, I have to ask. Does Tim Shaefer "the beer chef" still have a restaurant there? He got his start here in NJ and I still miss his restaurant and the fabulous beer tasting dinners.

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Here in the UK the number of fatalities rose yesterday to 2,353.  (Our population is approx 70 million.) Unsurprisingly, the majority of cases are in London, but it is affecting the whole country.  Most deaths have been among the older population, usually with existing health problems, but also there have been a couple of teenagers, who were believed not to have underlying health issues, who have sadly died.

 

We have been told that everyone should stay at home and only venture out if absolutely essential and then for the shortest possible time.  Over 70s not to go out at all if possible.  Unprecedented measures, but we are thought to be only 2 weeks behind Italy in the progress of the virus and anything which can be done to stop us matching their desperate outcome must be sensible.

 

Personally, we have a cruise booked for early July, but expect that to be cancelled.  Many countries won't want to see shiploads of people and will doubtless remain closed for some time to come.

 

Stay safe and healthy everyone.

 

 

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I live in the small state of RI and yes , the virus is here also.

Anyone coming back from international travel MUST self quarantine for 14 days. Anyone driving into:the state unless work related has to self quarantine for 14 days also. We get a lot of summer visitors to this area.

We returned from Mexico on 3/21 so have till 4/4 to stay home. Certainly miss our grandkids but want everyone to be safe. We are fine and don’t foresee a problem from our trip.

The state has closed all schools and non essential businesses. Bars, donut shops, restaurants, etc can only do drive thru, delivery, or  take out. Grocery stores are still open with limited times. 
No one should be out and about unless it it for gas, food or medications or exercise.

State parks and beaches are now closed because of people not taking this seriously and gathering where they shouldn’t!

A walk or a ride is okay as long as we are social distancing! Luckily we live in a less populated area so we can go outside and walk thru the woods or do yard work.

 

we are all in this together so stay safe everyone. Social distancing and hand washing are the key.
 

 

Edited by Ladyaruba
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On 4/1/2020 at 12:35 PM, 3rdGenCunarder said:

Since you're beer capital USA, I have to ask. Does Tim Shaefer "the beerNJ and I still miss his restaurant and the fabulous beer 

My husband worked with RJ Shaefer in CT who was part of the Shaefer Brewing Co.

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2 minutes ago, Ladyaruba said:

My husband worked with RJ Shaefer in CT who was part of the Shaefer Brewing Co.

 

Oops, I spelled his name wrong. Tim Schafer, not Schaefer, so no relation to the brewing company.

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