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SS Future Re-Open Plan: Timing, Testing Needs??!!


TLCOhio
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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

I fly overseas in June........I wonder if more changes will be implemented by the time I sail..........I guess I will just have to keep checking on a daily/weekly basis.

 

YES, Lois, the only certain is more change!!  And questions!!  BUT, hopefully, it will all work out in a reasonably satisfactory manner. Appreciate all of these links, comments and follow-ups, including above from RetiredandTravel.  

 

From the New York Times this morning, they had this headline: Moderna says trial results suggest redesigned vaccines can better protect against variants" with this sub-headline: "Researchers combined Moderna’s existing vaccine with one designed to attack the Beta variant, and found it provided a stronger defense against several variants.

 

Here are some of their story highlights:Moderna announced preliminary results Tuesday from its study of a coronavirus vaccine intended to protect against variants, saying the findings show it can design a vaccine that offers better, longer-lasting protection than its initial product.  But the company said it was also testing another version of the vaccine that it expected would do even better, with results expected in late May or early June.  The company’s findings, published in a paper without being evaluated by outside scientists, offer hope that the nation will have a better vaccine by the fall, when the coronavirus is considered likely to re-emerge in force.  Researchers at Moderna, other pharmaceutical companies and the National Institutes of Health have been racing to figure out how to redesign the existing vaccines in time for new booster doses to be manufactured over the summer. Moderna’s results are the first of their kind to be released.”

 

Good news!!  Glad that my first two shots were from Moderna.  Plus, the two booster shots from this same pioneering company.  They seem to be a solid, forward-focusing leader.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/19/world/covid-19-mandates-cases-vaccine

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 20,769 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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Unfortunately by the time that redesigned booster comes out there will be another variant.  In my opinion its time for cruise lines to stop mass testing, masking, quarantines, kicking people of the ship with Covid and cancelling cruises because the staff has Covid.   Every passenger/crew should be required to have an effective vaccine with a recent booster and the cruise lines need to secure anti-viral medication.  If someone gets seriously ill deal with it, people know the risks.

 

Don't get me wrong we were the first in line for vaccines and getting our 2nd booster in a couple weeks, we wore the masks etc etc...  We know a ton of vaccinated people, many 65+, that have recently gotten Covid and no one has become seriously ill, bad cold at  worst.  The general population statistics support or experience, vaccinated people are at very low risk of getting seriously ill.  With the vaccinations, anti-virals and weaker variants Covid IMO should be treated like any other illness.  If a more potent variant appears adjust the rules.

 

that is all

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On 4/19/2022 at 7:49 AM, CruiserFromMaine said:

There could still be an appeal to preserve the CDC’s right to issue mandates in the future but it might be moot by the time it’s heard. 

 

Agree

 

On 4/19/2022 at 8:48 AM, TLCOhio said:

But, if you appeal and lose, then there are sharper limits as to what can be in the future.  Interesting choice and decision by the US Justice Department officials??  

 

An excellent point!  Then, what doo-doo (as George Herbert Walker Bush once said) would our health authorities experience in a future epidemic/pandemic in trying to protect the public's health?  

 

My opinion:  "the horse has ran out of the barn".  It's too late to close and lock the barn door.  The general public is ready to end all mask mandates.  Trying to re-establish those requirements would be a futile effort by the Federal Government.  And, given that November, 2022 is on the horizon, a politically unwise step to take.  

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17 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

My opinion:  "the horse has ran out of the barn".  It's too late to close and lock the barn door.  The general public is ready to end all mask mandates.  Trying to re-establish those requirements would be a futile effort by the Federal Government.  And, given that November, 2022 is on the horizon, a politically unwise step to take.  

 

Appreciate these very good comments and follow-ups above from our SW Ohio neighbor and by RetiredandTravel.  True point made about "Unfortunately by the time that redesigned booster comes out there will be another variant."

 

From the New York Times this morning, they had this headline: U.S. Justice Department appeals to reinstate the transportation mask mandate" with this sub-headline: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ruled the mandate 'necessary,' but an appeal risks creating a precedent that could permanently constrain the agency.

 

Here are some of their story/analysis highlights: While the C.D.C. wants to keep the mandate intact, it is also pressing the appeal to preserve its public health powers. But doing so is potentially risky; if the ruling striking down the mandate is upheld, that could permanently weaken the agency’s authority.  Even if the Biden administration wins the case, there will be backlash among Americans who felt liberated by the lifting of the mask requirement, which also applied to transportation hubs like airports, seaports and train stations.

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/21/world/covid-19-mandates-cases-vaccine

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Summer 2019 Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska on Silver Muse, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Many visuals and details from our first in these scenic areas!  Live/blog: 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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On theory is that the government filed the appeal, but when the original mask mandate order expires on May 3, the judge will close the case because it is a moot issue once the order is no longer in effect. The advantage of this for the government would be that there would be no legal precedent for the future; the original ruling is neither in effect nor overturned, but simply unsettled law. 

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17 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

On theory is that the government filed the appeal, but when the original mask mandate order expires on May 3, the judge will close the case because it is a moot issue once the order is no longer in effect. The advantage of this for the government would be that there would be no legal precedent for the future; the original ruling is neither in effect nor overturned, but simply unsettled law. 

 

And there would be minimum political fallout.  An excellent scenario cruiseej!  

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On 4/21/2022 at 4:13 PM, cruiseej said:

On theory is that the government filed the appeal, but when the original mask mandate order expires on May 3, the judge will close the case because it is a moot issue once the order is no longer in effect. The advantage of this for the government would be that there would be no legal precedent for the future; the original ruling is neither in effect nor overturned, but simply unsettled law

 

Appreciate this excellent legal theory, speculation and follow-up from our Philadelphia suburban neighbor.  Lots of questions and potential "politics" as to how this mandatory masking case has been handled and managed.  Clearly, these requirement efforts seem to be "history", for now, hopefully, maybe? 

 

From the International Business Times yesterday, they had this headline: More Cruises With COVID Outbreaks: Passengers Test Positive For Virus On Princess, Norwegian Ships with these highlights: “Two more cruise lines have arrived back at port with COVID outbreaks onboard their ships– the Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, and Norwegian Bliss.  Princess Cruise’s Grand Princess was sailing a 15-day cruise to Hawaii when an undisclosed number of passengers tested positive for COVID-19, KABC, an ABC affiliate out of Los Angeles, reported.  The cruise ship was operating with more than 95% of passengers and crew fully vaccinated onboard the ship, according to the news outlet.  Those who tested positive for the virus were quarantined and are receiving medical care, Princess Cruise said, as reported by KABC.  While it was unclear at the time of writing exactly how many cases of COVID-19 were onboard the Grand Princess, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had deemed the vessel an 'orange status,' meaning that at least 0.3% of passengers or crew had tested positive for the virus, according to its cruise ship status dashboard.  The Grand Princess has disembarked in Los Angeles and set sail for Vancouver, KABC said.

 

Full story at:

https://www.ibtimes.com/more-cruises-covid-outbreaks-passengers-test-positive-virus-princess-norwegian-ships-3481807

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Early 2020 (right before Covid shut-down), many visuals and details from New Zealand/South Pacific in going from Auckland to French Polynesia.  This includes Bora Bora, Fiji, NZ experiences, etc:  Live/blog;

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2735732-live-terryohio-“new”-regatta-south-pacificnz-pix’s/

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8 minutes ago, TLCOhio said:

More Cruises With COVID Outbreaks: Passengers Test Positive For Virus On Princess, Norwegian Ships

 

Is this news? Isn't this pretty much a given on almost every cruise nowadays?

 

Certainly there are ongoing reports of Covid cases on multiple Silversea and Seabourn ships (the two cruise lines I follow most closely). There's a question of nomenclature, though: does a handful of people on a ship qualify as an "outbreak" or a "few cases of Covid aboard". In most cases, it sounds like cruises aren't affected overall — except obviously for the few who have Covid and are confined to their suites or to a hotel at the end of their cruise; in a few cases, the case count aboard has led to port calls being nixed by local authorities, but this seems to be the exception. 

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There is certainly COVID on the Whisper WC at the moment, and also on the Moon. It’s unsurprising given the reduction in control procedures on SS ships over the last month or so. Masking and social distancing requirements have gone out of the window.

Edited by Silver Spectre
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22 hours ago, Silver Spectre said:

There is certainly COVID on the Whisper WC at the moment, and also on the Moon. It’s unsurprising given the reduction in control procedures on SS ships over the last month or so. Masking and social distancing requirements have gone out of the window.

 

Interesting above posting from Silver Spectre, plus the good comments and follow-up from our neighbor in the Philadelphia suburbs.  Yes, having Covid on cruises is not exactly big "news", but it does attract media coverage whether needed or not. 

 

From the New York Times yesterday, they had this headline: The Drive to Vaccinate the World Against Covid Is Losing Steam" with this sub-headline: "Rates are stalling in most low-income countries well short of the W.H.O.’s goal to immunize 70 percent of people in every nation. Some public health experts believe the momentum is gone forever.

 

Here are some of the story highlights:In the middle of last year, the World Health Organization began promoting an ambitious goal, one it said was essential for ending the pandemic: fully vaccinate 70 percent of the population in every country against Covid-19 by June 2022.  Now, it is clear that the world will fall far short of that target by the deadline. And there is a growing sense of resignation among public health experts that high Covid vaccination coverage may never be achieved in most lower-income countries, as badly needed funding from the United States dries up and both governments and donors turn to other priorities.  'The reality is that there is a loss of momentum,' said Dr. Isaac Adewole, a former health minister of Nigeria who now serves as a consultant for the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Only a few of the world’s 82 poorest countries — including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal — have reached the 70 percent vaccination threshold. Many are under 20 percent, according to data compiled from government sources by the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.  The consequences of giving up on achieving high vaccination coverage worldwide could prove severe. Public health experts say that abandoning the global effort could lead to the emergence of dangerous new variants that would threaten the world’s precarious efforts to live with the virus.  Countries in different parts of the world, including some in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, have seen their vaccination rates stagnate in recent months at a third or less of their populations. But Africa’s vaccination rate remain the most dismal.

 

For people like us who seek to explore via a cruise ship more "exotic" locations such as India, Africa, Asia, etc., these lower levels of international vaccination does raise longer-term questions and concerns.  Reactions?  Are we missing something?  Or, being too careful and cautious? How does this affect Silversea that has been so super skilled at offering and exploring in the more distant and unique parts of the world??

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/23/health/covid-vaccines-world-africa.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio   

 

Barcelona/Med: June 2011, with stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Great visuals with key highlights, tips, etc. Live/blog now at 254,787 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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From the Detroit Free Press and Yahoo News this morning, they had this headline: After 2 years of COVID-19, the cruise industry is enjoying a spring thaw with these highlights:Cruise ships are returning to the high seas as pandemic rules are relaxed and more boats return to their regular sailings. Cruise Lines International Association, the organization that represents more than 90% of global oceangoing cruise lines, reports 88% of its affiliated cruise ships are currently out to sea. Spokeswoman Laziza Lambert said the group expects 100% of its ships to set sail by the end of July, noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently rescinded a risk advisory in place for cruising since March 2020.  'Materially, it doesn’t change anything; it was a recommendation,' she said. 'But it certainly inspires cruise confidence, and demand for cruising is high.'  The demand comes as cruise lines are beginning to drop limits on the number of passengers on their ships. Carnival Cruises spokeswoman AnneMarie Matthews said the line’s protocols allow flexibility in passenger limits, depending on conditions.  'Many of our ships were full during spring break, and we expect that to continue into the busy summer travel season,' Matthews said.

 

Here is more from this reporting: "Since cruising resumed in July 2020 in Europe, more than 7.5 million passengers have boarded a cruise. By end of 2023, industry experts hope to see that number rise to pre-pandemic levels of 30 million.  As for the threat of the BA.2 omicron subvariant, Matthews said her cruise line is prepared."

 

Good news?  Realistic expectations?  Overly optimistic?  

 

Full story at:

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/2-years-covid-19-cruise-100013651.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio   

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 244,122 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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From Yahoo News and Business Insider this morning, they had this headline: Ritz-Carlton's new luxury cruise ship with penthouses at sea will sail in August starting — see inside the 'yacht' with these highlights:The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is bringing its exclusivity to the high seas with its new 'yacht collection' cruise arm.  And you won't have to wait much longer to experience a floating Ritz-Carlton: Its first yacht, the Evrima, will sail this year.  It's been five years and a full pandemic since the brand first announced its intention to launch a yacht and cruise arm.  And after years-long delays amid COVID-19 and reports that the project ran $55 million over budget, the Evrima will finally set sail in August on a seven-night cruise around Greece.  The ship's sailings will generally span seven to ten night, but no two itineraries will be the same.  During the sailing, guests will receive the Ritz-Carlton treatment aboard the over 623-foot cruise ship, or "yacht" as the brand likes to call the Evrima. The Evrima is much smaller than the mega cruiseliners, but this size will allow it to access more desirable ports of call in locations like Greece and France.

 

For those who love Silversea's smaller ships and access to smaller, more unique ports, will this Ritz-Carlton official launch provide either "competition" and/or an alternative?  Obviously just having the Ritz-Carlton "name" or label does not make a cruise ship be "luxury" with great, personalized service.  That must be earned and proven through excellent hirings and delivered quality at the dining tables.  Initially in looking at their offered itineraries, I did not see anything that was so unique and highly special.   It seemed like more of the "same" in the usual areas of the world.  

 

Reactions to how the full roll-out of the Ritz-Carlton sailing line will affect Silversea and other similar lines??  Is more, better competition good for all?

 

Full story at:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ritz-carltons-luxury-cruise-ship-125100641.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 237,184 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

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Like all things Marriott, they sell their name and let others do the labor/financing.  This venture has been a long and messy story.   I was much more interested a few years ago, but now guessing that time has worn down a few potential customers.  Looking forward to reading the experiences of others once they get a ship in the water.  Not betting on it being August.

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On 4/23/2022 at 9:54 AM, Silver Spectre said:

There is certainly COVID on the Whisper WC at the moment, and also on the Moon. It’s unsurprising given the reduction in control procedures on SS ships over the last month or so. Masking and social distancing requirements have gone out of the window.

Mr. Silver, and it is unsurprising that of the 100 cruise ships who take part in the U.S. CDC’s Covid-19 cruise ship program, 52 ships are currently being investigated for Covid outbreaks.  Half!

 

A cruise around Hawaii returned to San Francisco on April 11 after 143 passengers contracted Covid.  Sadly, that seemingly large number may have been actually understated as it only included those who self-reported and submitted to testing. Passengers on board were not told about the outbreak.  In addition, there was no testing to help find others who might have been infected but remained asymptomatic.

 

The distance we have come since the first outbreak is mind-boggling.

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Hey Terry,

 

I don't have a subscription to the NYT so I can't read the article.   If my recollection serves me correctly from the Omicron breakout South African countries actually had plenty of vaccines the issue was that people didn't want to take them.  I saw an interview from the CEO of Pfizer, he said they offered more vaccines to the these countries but they declined them due to lack of demand.   If this is true it seems the people don't want to get the vaccine, not that they don't have enough,  so what are the UN funds for?  

 

The Washington Post thinks its complicated 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/11/29/president-biden-said-south-africa-has-turned-down-vaccine-doses-issue-is-more-complicated-than-that/

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5 hours ago, TLCOhio said:

Reactions to how the full roll-out of the Ritz-Carlton sailing line will affect Silversea and other similar lines?

 

This reminds me of the Seadream Yacht Club ships when they first began.  Ritz-Carlton, if it succeeds, will appeal to a niche market just as Seadream does.  

 

5 hours ago, saminina said:

Like all things Marriott, they sell their name and let others do the labor/financing. 

 

Marriott has been rather successful with that business model.  Why not try the world of cruising with a Marriott brand?  

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Why not?   I cannot think of a why not to try the world of cruising for Marriott.   Minimal downside, and if successful lots of potential income.

 

For its years in existence, I doubt Seadream had as much executive level turnover as RC has had in two years.   In the start up stages, I see almost zero commonality  between the two companies.

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On 4/19/2022 at 8:50 AM, RetiredandTravel said:

Unfortunately by the time that redesigned booster comes out there will be another variant.  In my opinion its time for cruise lines to stop mass testing, masking, quarantines, kicking people of the ship with Covid and cancelling cruises because the staff has Covid.   Every passenger/crew should be required to have an effective vaccine with a recent booster and the cruise lines need to secure anti-viral medication.  If someone gets seriously ill deal with it, people know the risks.

 

Don't get me wrong we were the first in line for vaccines and getting our 2nd booster in a couple weeks, we wore the masks etc etc...  We know a ton of vaccinated people, many 65+, that have recently gotten Covid and no one has become seriously ill, bad cold at  worst.  The general population statistics support or experience, vaccinated people are at very low risk of getting seriously ill.  With the vaccinations, anti-virals and weaker variants Covid IMO should be treated like any other illness.  If a more potent variant appears adjust the rules.

 

that is all

 

I agree with you, and have been of this opinion for almost a year now.

 

But there is potential for more logistical trouble on the horizon for Paxlovid (the new Covid anti-viral, which VP Harris recently took, though unclear why, since she is younger and healthy)

 

"

From MedPage, May 2, 2022

 

"An NIH official said it is "urgent" to find out why some patients have experienced viral reboundafter taking nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) for COVID-19. (Bloomberg)

And speaking of the antiviral, Pfizer said nirmatrelvir/ritonavir failed to show a significant improvement over placebo when used as COVID-19 prevention for individuals with high-risk exposures."

 

Birx also predicts more surges:

 

"Southern states should prepare for a summer COVID surge, while northern states should prepare for a winter surge, said Deborah Birx, MD, who led the Trump White House coronavirus task force. (CNN)"

 

So if true, will business be as usual on cruise lines, or will such a surge perpetuate the testing, masking, and quarantinining theatrics?

 

"And that's bad news, because new Omicron subvariants prove there may be no end to coronavirus mutations. (Washington Post)

In somewhat related news, Moderna says it will have "large amounts" of an Omicron-specific booster available by the fall. (The Hill)

No longer a pandemic of the unvaccinated: data increasingly show that the share of COVID deaths is growing among the vaccinated -- particularly among older and immunocompromised individuals -- who made up 42% of deaths during the Omicron wave, according to a Washington Post analysis. "

 

I write this as I reluctantly prepare for yet another maskcapade cruise in hot weather (not on SS), booked 3 years ago, a special classical music cruise that I used to go to once a year and have missed the last three years.  If there never will be any "going back to normal", and more surges are coming, it may be now or never.

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5 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

 

I agree with you, and have been of this opinion for almost a year now.

 

But there is potential for more logistical trouble on the horizon for Paxlovid (the new Covid anti-viral, which VP Harris recently took, though unclear why, since she is younger and healthy)

 

"

From MedPage, May 2, 2022

 

"An NIH official said it is "urgent" to find out why some patients have experienced viral reboundafter taking nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) for COVID-19. (Bloomberg)

And speaking of the antiviral, Pfizer said nirmatrelvir/ritonavir failed to show a significant improvement over placebo when used as COVID-19 prevention for individuals with high-risk exposures."

 

Birx also predicts more surges:

 

"Southern states should prepare for a summer COVID surge, while northern states should prepare for a winter surge, said Deborah Birx, MD, who led the Trump White House coronavirus task force. (CNN)"

 

So if true, will business be as usual on cruise lines, or will such a surge perpetuate the testing, masking, and quarantinining theatrics?

 

"And that's bad news, because new Omicron subvariants prove there may be no end to coronavirus mutations. (Washington Post)

In somewhat related news, Moderna says it will have "large amounts" of an Omicron-specific booster available by the fall. (The Hill)

No longer a pandemic of the unvaccinated: data increasingly show that the share of COVID deaths is growing among the vaccinated -- particularly among older and immunocompromised individuals -- who made up 42% of deaths during the Omicron wave, according to a Washington Post analysis. "

 

I write this as I reluctantly prepare for yet another maskcapade cruise in hot weather (not on SS), booked 3 years ago, a special classical music cruise that I used to go to once a year and have missed the last three years.  If there never will be any "going back to normal", and more surges are coming, it may be now or never.

 

 

Thanks for the information, didn't know that .  It appears that the chance of relapse for Paxlovid is about 2% which is probably acceptable if one had very serious symptoms.  Having a major in statistics I have found the medias Covid "analysis" not to be very reliable (I'm being nice).   The clinical trials by Moderna & Pfizer were for much shorter time frames.  Many people were vaccinated 1 - 1/2 years ago, the vaccines efficacy has diminished, a proper analysis IMO would be of people who are boosted.  The variants themselves have also become less and less dangerous.  It appears to me with vaccinations (& boosters), immunity from having Covid, antivirals and less risky variants that the risk of severe symptoms is primarily in older people in poor health.  Unfortunately many here fall into that category and if it were me on a cruise  I'd take extra precautions like N95 masks, social distancing, hand cleaning, avoiding close contact situations and being boosted within a month (not 2 weeks) of leaving.

 

"Please Lord don't let me be misunderstood".  I strongly believe that cruise lines should require people to be vaccinated and recently boosted but IMO most of the current restrictions aren't in line with the risk that the disease currently represents.

 

 

Bloomberg on Paxlovid

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-03/pfizer-says-patients-who-relapse-after-covid-pill-can-take-more

 

 

mRNA clinical trial summary

 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2035389

 

 

 

 

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Effectiveness of boosters against serious illness NEJM

 

"

CONCLUSIONS

The messenger RNA (mRNA) boosters were highly effective against symptomatic delta infection, but they were less effective against symptomatic omicron infection. However, with both variants, mRNA boosters led to strong protection against Covid-19–related hospitalization and death. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar and others.)

 

 

 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2200797

 

 

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9 hours ago, RetiredandTravel said:

Effectiveness of boosters against serious illness NEJM

 

"

CONCLUSIONS

The messenger RNA (mRNA) boosters were highly effective against symptomatic delta infection, but they were less effective against symptomatic omicron infection. However, with both variants, mRNA boosters led to strong protection against Covid-19–related hospitalization and death. (Funded by Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar and others.)

 

 

 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2200797

 

 

Very few people dispute this.  

But my point in post #2919 was not to dispute the efficacy of of boosters in lowering risk of hospitalization and death with the variants we know about.  It was to express concern that the skittish health authorities and the media that takes their cues from them , (which as you noted like to continue to exaggerate Covid doom and gloom relative to the actual stats) , absent a reality-based public policy decision to accept a certain level of risk for the very vulnerable population, will continue to make the cruise lines think that they need to continue with their arguably unnecessarily disproportionate and aggressive restrictions (even though they have been technically "voluntary"  for quite some time), or they may get sued and/or lose customers.

 

   Cruising has thankfully been picking up, but even on this forum of mostly cruise addicts, there are people who still haven't cruised since early 2020 because of worry, and the ongoing media push to highlight the negative  (including most medical media, one of  which I cited) is not going to help the industry get back to what we think of as "normal."

And there is a bit of a paradox -- ongoing restrictions (especially in the face of minimal morbidity even in elderly cruisers since the vaccines came out) deter many people from cruising or cruising as much as they otherwise would (I am in the latter category)   .  There are certainly some who feel safer with restrictions beyond vaccines , like mask wearing .  But even  early in the pandemic, surveys had shown 2:1 that most cruisers reported mask and other requirements made them less rather than more interested in cruising, and my guess is that ratio would be higher (especially among younger, healthier, and middle-aged cruisers, and even "healthy"  seniors) now that we have real life morbidity and mortality data which is better than most feared it would be.  There are other kinds of trips most people can take  (e.g., Terry in Ohio recently did a beach trip to Key west), and those who either a) continue to worry or b) really, really hate the restrictions beyond vax requirements   (be it on the ships or in the ports that mostly follow the level of reported CDC worry) , will do so.  

 

As for the 2nd booster (i.e., 4th shot), because DH and I (especially DH) had very unpleasant side effects from shot #3, we are skipping it, and will hold out until the vax  for omicron variants, (which are the ones that are proliferating),  is available (likely, at least per what I cited and other sources ) later in  the year.  I say this as someone on immunosuppressive medication.

 

I wish you happy cruising or other travel!

 

 

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My friend - aged 60 and otherwise healthy (and fit) - had a small blood clot in her leg directly following the 2nd vaccination, so she avoided the 3rd booster shot last autumn. She and her husband later had COVID (Omicron) and merely felt a bit unwell for a few days. She is not sure whether it would be good for her to have future autumn vaccines (which my husband and I will continue to have when / if they are available in the UK) in fear of more clots. So she will only go to places which don't require it. The question is will those expand or not? I guess we need to wait until next winter to know.

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16 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

As for the 2nd booster (i.e., 4th shot), because DH and I (especially DH) had very unpleasant side effects from shot #3, we are skipping it, and will hold out until the vax  for omicron variants, (which are the ones that are proliferating),  is available (likely, at least per what I cited and other sources ) later in  the year.  

Do you have cruises scheduled in the near term, @Catlover54?  This is exactly what my head is telling me to do--but I cruise in Europe in a few weeks and my emotional reaction is that I should just get the 4th shot and suffer the few days of misery. Anecdotally, though, you sure hear about lots of positive cases where the person was recently re-boosted. I'm conflicted!!!

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14 hours ago, FauxNom said:

Do you have cruises scheduled in the near term, @Catlover54?  This is exactly what my head is telling me to do--but I cruise in Europe in a few weeks and my emotional reaction is that I should just get the 4th shot and suffer the few days of misery. Anecdotally, though, you sure hear about lots of positive cases where the person was recently re-boosted. I'm conflicted!!!

 

I leave next week for the classical music cruise Ocean Sun Festival on Hapag Lloyd's MS Europa, Spain and Portugal, and then go to Germany to visit friends,  and then the next cruise is scheduled with DH in September (Canada).   I am not looking forward to the 13 hour + masked flight, (no cloth mask allowed, must be surgical or N95), at least five different rounds of antigen tests at varying times, several on-line country entry forms and scans, and daily (useless) temp checks, or the FFP masks for part of the time on the ship, on excursions, and more stuffy FFP in public in Germany (though thankfully they are not required hiking outside, like they were on our humid Panama cruise on SS in January).

 I have not been convinced that my getting shot #4 right now would make the most sense *for me*, as opposed to getting it in August, a month before our Canada cruise, which is my current plan, because then it will have been 11 months since #3.

 I measured my antibodies (for whatever that is worth) and they are fortunately still high despite my moderate immunosuppression, and presumably I also still have some T cell  immunity, and I also take other misc measures on top of common sense to keep my risk as low as possible.  I know I could still get Covid even with precautions , could still get quarantined, etc.  It would be my first bout if I do (despite travel, going out to eat, and socializing), and oddly I would be kind of relieved if I did, as it would provide a nice big surge in natural immunity for me for at least another 90 days!

 

DH and I are trying to avoid getting shot #4 now, for likely marginal benefit,  and maybe just a shot #5 in the fall , given the side effects we had (Moderna)

 

But that is me.  If you are conflicted, talk to your doctor, the ones who knows your medical  history and risks best.  I know the almost reflex, algorithmic party line right now for primary care docs is just to tell seniors to get #4 as authorized per CDC unless they had truly horrible reactions to the vaxxes. 

 

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