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


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6 hours ago, cruiseej said:

 

Very few vaccines are 99% effective, so this is unfortunately unlikely. The hope, though, is that even with a less-effective vaccine, if most people are vaccinated, then ongoing community spread is halted, and the odds are very low of (a) encountering someone with the disease and (b) having the vaccine in your body not work if you do.

I know.  The 99% figure is just a hope.  Flu   vaccines are sometimes only 50-60% effective.  Here what I am hoping for is something akin to the smallpox, measles and polio vaccines that do approach 99%. So it is more of a pipe dream that would be a tremendous relief for all of us.  I totally agree that even a less effective vaccine will curtail community spread and hopefully help put out the fire.  Stay Healthy.  Chris

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9 hours ago, cruiseej said:

Very few vaccines are 99% effective, so this is unfortunately unlikely. The hope, though, is that even with a less-effective vaccine, if most people are vaccinated, then ongoing community spread is halted, and the odds are very low of (a) encountering someone with the disease and (b) having the vaccine in your body not work if you do.

 

Agree with our Pennsylvania "neighbor" that odds and numbers for vaccine "perfection" are not 100%.  How good is "good enough"??  This week, I got my flu shot.  It will not guarantee that I am immune from getting the flu, but it does provide some decent protection and improves my odds.  This a good chance to remind people to get that flu shot!!  Do it sooner, not later!!   

 

From From MSN news and Travel&Leisure magazine, they had this headline: “Tom Cruise Continues Filming Next 'Mission Impossible' by Renting Out Empty Cruise Ships with these highlights: “Filming a new movie during a global pandemic may seem like mission impossible, but Tom Cruise isn’t letting that get in the way of the next installment of his blockbuster franchise.  When filming of 'Mission: Impossible 7' recently moved to Norway, Cruise’s production company rented out two Hurtigruten cruise ships to house the cast and crew. The cost of this new production expense is reportedly 500,000 euros, or $591,545 USD per month. Hurtigruten press officer Oystein Knoph told Travel + Leisure. 'The ships in question are (newly upgraded) MS Vesterålen and (the brand new battery-hybrid powered) MS Fridtjof Nansen.'   Production of the film, where Cruise will reprise his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt, began in London in July following a five-month hiatus due to coronavirus. Cruise reportedly rented the ships not only to prevent further delay of filming, but to also reduce the risk of spreading the virus.”

 

Could the headline for this story be: "CRUISE IS CRUISING"??

 

Full story at:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/tom-cruise-continues-filming-next-mission-impossible-by-renting-out-empty-cruise-ships/ar-BB18GFXm

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 47,829 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

Edited by TLCOhio
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This whole vaccine saga makes my head hurt.   I read one news article that we could have a vaccine ready for use by the end of the year then today the World Health Organization releases an announcement saying no widespread availability until mid-2021.  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/04/who-says-widespread-coronavirus-vaccinations-are-not-expected-until-mid-2021-.html  Maybe it’s all in the definition and the process of a vaccine or vaccines being developed and tested then reproduced in sufficient quantities.   Since I personally consider a vaccine critical to my own travel a mid-2021 availability is not the news I wanted to hear.  

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19 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Hi Randy, everything makes my head hurt lately😮........the vaccine saga is only part of it.


True.   Amongst us mental health professionals we are talking a lot about what we generally call Pandemic Fatigue.   Even I sense a bit of it in myself so news like the WHO statement just gets to me.  The old one step forward two steps back.    

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Lots of vaccine issues. Just a couple biggies.  Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but....

 

If there is a viable or more than one, vaccine, and the world ( other than Americans who seem adverse to vaccines) will get it, I really see countries requiring proof of vaccine for entry, and Employers ( cruise lines) requiring employees, having it.  Countries economies have been shattered by Covid, the LAST thing they want is to have tourists/visitors mucking up their economy if they get a handle on the virus.

 

One,  somewhere between 30-50% Americans say they WILL NOT get a vaccine. So much for herd immunity.

 

Two, keeping the vaccines COLD ( distribution).  Might not be exactly like going to your local Walgreens for a flu jab.

 

Three, different strains, maybe requiring different vaccines?

 

But what we’re looking at for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech candidates, both of which are promising and are well into Phase II/III trials, is not just refrigeration. Moderna’s vaccine needs to be shipped and stored at -20 C (minus four Fahrenheit), while the Pfizer/BioNTech one needs to be at -70 C (-94 F). The former is enough of a challenge – freezer temperatures instead of refrigerator ones. But the latter. . .well, biology research labs all have freezers that go down that far (it’s where cell culture samples, oligonucleotide constructs, and recombinant proteins get stored), but you’re not going to find one down at the local pharmacy, which is perhaps where you were picturing lining up for a coronavirus shot.

This news sent both companies’ stock prices down late last week, because it’s definitely not what people wanted to hear. Pfizer has provided these details to the CDC about shipping and storage of their candidate: the vaccine can be shipped in “dry ice pack” boxes, but that dry ice will need to be replenished within 24 hours of receipt. The shipping carton needs to be closed within one minute of opening, and not opened more than twice per day. Vaccine vials, once removed, can be kept at refrigerator temperatures for up to 24 hours or at room temperature for no more than 2 hours after thawing. So this is going to take a very organized approach to make sure that the vaccine is handled properly without wastage. We’re looking at a lot of dry ice and a lot of orders for ultra-cold freezers if this is the candidate that gets heavy nationwide distribution.

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6 hours ago, Randyk47 said:


True.   Amongst us mental health professionals we are talking a lot about what we generally call Pandemic Fatigue.   Even I sense a bit of it in myself so news like the WHO statement just gets to me.  The old one step forward two steps back.    

Hey Randy, I didn't realize you are mental health professional......sometimes I think all of this is going to make me

crazy😲......

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20 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Hey Randy, I didn't realize you are mental health professional......sometimes I think all of this is going to make me

crazy😲......


Kind of a semi-retired one now but yes I’m a clinic psychologist.  Morphed into a program manager and administrator later in my career and other than some pro bono work, teaching, and consultations I don’t have an active practice.  As for 2020.....it’s making a lot of us a bit “crazy”.   🤪

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4 hours ago, kimanjo said:

Lots of vaccine issues. Just a couple biggies.  Not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but....

 

This was a great post.  We all need reality therapy like this.  We have to understand exactly what we are facing so we are not susceptible to false promises and claims that we will be deluged with in the coming two months.  The logistics of testing and then distributing a vaccine to the public are daunting, mind boggling, nearly beyond comprehension at this point in time.  I know we must stay apolitical here but bringing an safe, tested, effective vaccine to market in the hundreds of millions of doses needed to mitigate the virus within the next few years is next to impossible.  To claim that this could remotely be possible this year, by, the election is absolute insanity.  Damn.  I do not want to do this, I got caught up in a heated exchange here before and I don't want to do it again, but I have a certain degree of expertise in killer viruses.  People here are hoping, wishing, trying to plan their near future.  We are here, in this forum, because cruising is important to us, it is a significant part of our lives.   It matters.  We plan accordingly,  Those claiming the probability of a short term possibility of us returning to sea are doing all of us a great disservice, they are building up hope and false expectations.  They are setting you, those for whom cruising really matter, up for profound disappointment.  I know I am just one voice.  But there is not going to be a vaccine with an efficient distribution system for years.  Kimanjo pointed out clearly the distribution problems entailed by bringing a vaccine to the public.  It is just not going to happen in the near future.  We need to be open and honest and admit this to ourselves and suffer the disappointment this realization brings.    And during this time we need in our personal lives, and in our communities, to do everything we possibly can to mitigate the spread of this disease.  I know it has become a cliche, but we really are all in this together, and only together can defeat it.  

 

 

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On 9/4/2020 at 10:17 AM, Randyk47 said:

I read one news article that we could have a vaccine ready for use by the end of the year then today the World Health Organization releases an announcement saying no widespread availability until mid-2021.  Maybe it’s all in the definition and the process of a vaccine or vaccines being developed and tested then reproduced in sufficient quantities.   Since I personally consider a vaccine critical to my own travel a mid-2021 availability is not the news I wanted to hear.  

 

Whether or not one or more of the vaccines is "ready" by the end of this year, it certainly will not enable the resumption of cruising at that time. Early distribution will go to health care professionals, first responders, nursing homes, and others identified as facing the greatest risk. Luxury cruisers are not among that group! 😉 It's hard to say how long it will be after a vaccine is released until it is readily available to the general public, but it's not hard to see that it may be 4-6 months or more. If the vaccine turns out to be one that can only be administered in hospitals with adequate storage facilities, it will take longer. 

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16 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

 

Whether or not one or more of the vaccines is "ready" by the end of this year, it certainly will not enable the resumption of cruising at that time. Early distribution will go to health care professionals, first responders, nursing homes, and others identified as facing the greatest risk. Luxury cruisers are not among that group! 😉 It's hard to say how long it will be after a vaccine is released until it is readily available to the general public, but it's not hard to see that it may be 4-6 months or more. If the vaccine turns out to be one that can only be administered in hospitals with adequate storage facilities, it will take longer. 


Absolutely but I get the feeling there are a number of people who think, or at least act like, the availability of vaccine means cruising starts almost immediately afterwards.    

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Davey,  That is exactly what happened with HIV.  There still isn't a vaccine.  But rather 3 or 4 anti-virals and sometimes other meds when used together can prevent the progression of the virus to fatal consequences.   That is indeed a possibility, and you are right, it may be more probable than a vaccine. The problem here is that COVID is manifesting new symptoms nearly every day as enough anecdotal evidence comes in.  Right now its like fighting an invisible moving target.  A drug "cocktail" might  be the answer, not a solution but an effective road block.  

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If there are only drugs for treatment, then return to some form of normalcy will not happen. It will still be easy to spread the virus -- COVID-19 is nothing like HIV in this regard -- so having lots of people get the virus and be confined for treatment will not enable travel as we knew it to resume. 

 

I wouldn't compare this with HIV. COVID-19 is new, but scientists do have a lot of experience with similar respiratory viruses like SARS and MERS, so they weren't starting from scratch as they were with HIV. There is also worldwide research and testing at a level unprecedented in the history of mankind. Will a vaccine be ready in November? Not likely. In December or early 2021? Perhaps, but even if tests say it's safe, there's still too much unknown about the virus to know how effective it will be or how long it will last in the body. There are also dozens of serious vaccine candidates being tested now, using very different approaches, so the first vaccine out of the gate may be eclipsed by a better vaccine a bit later.  It seems likely to name that there will be some form of vaccine, with some degree of effectiveness, sometime in the next year. It will just take longer than people want to hear to get answers to the many questions which remain.

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And if it takes longer to have an effective vaccine, so be it.  I just hope on Oct 29TH (or there abouts) certain 

people don't start saying "the vaccine is safe to take"............

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8 minutes ago, cruiseej said:

I wouldn't compare this with HIV. COVID-19 is new

Hi.  I agree.  The point I was trying to make is that a similar world wide effort to find an HIV vaccine took place in the 1990's.  Enormous resources were devoted to the effort.  I agree also that the work done with SARS and MERS provides a foundation for COVID research.  I would also say the the technology today is vastly superior to that of 20 years ago.  All of this speaks to your point of there being a COVID vaccine within the next year or so.  So I think we agree on almost everything. But as you say, COVID is new.  I just don't trust it to follow the rules and behave like its close relatives.  So far it is proving to be a strange unique little beast.  Of course I hope you are completely right.   

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16 hours ago, Daveywavey70 said:

My own thinking is that the vaccine may well be irrelevant and is not to be relied upon. I Think that the more the virus is understood and available treatments are improved is far more important. 

 

I can't imagine countries around the world, who's economies have been decimated by Covid, will want visitors/tourists coming into the country only to get sick and require treatment there. For those who have to go into the hospital, 10-20 days. Who will pay for this?  

 

I'm just thinking of the countries I've visited pre Covid.  Peru, Chile, Greece, Portugal etc..Do they want to carry this burden of treating their citizens and others?  Requiring trip insurance ( which historically has excluded pandemics)?  If we just wait til we get infected, and expect treatments in foreign countries?  Would the United States do this for visitors? I think not. We don't even do it for our own citizens.

 

It's a mess. 

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20 hours ago, kimanjo said:

I can't imagine countries around the world, who's economies have been decimated by Covid, will want visitors/tourists coming into the country only to get sick and require treatment there. For those who have to go into the hospital, 10-20 days. Who will pay for this?  I'm just thinking of the countries I've visited pre Covid.  Peru, Chile, Greece, Portugal etc..Do they want to carry this burden of treating their citizens and others?   It's a mess

 

Much appreciate ALL of these great comments and follow-ups regarding the many complications for making the vaccine and treatments work, be effective, etc., etc.  Significantly more to be learned and accomplished before a major re-start for cruising to be able to happen . . . safely and with confidence!!.  Interesting question above as to what happens if you get sick with Covid-19 during a cruise while visiting certain foreign ports.  

 

Great to know of Randy's background as a psychologist.  We are all going to be needing more help in those varied and specialized clinical areas.  

 

Per our South Florida friend, I did not realize and know: "The vaccine can be shipped in 'dry ice pack' boxes, but that dry ice will need to be replenished within 24 hours of receipt. The shipping carton needs to be closed within one minute of opening, and not opened more than twice per day."  Those "little details" makes it all so much more complex and challenging!!!  Great sharing!!

 

From NBC-TV News this morning, they had this headline: “Coronavirus spikes in Spain, France and U.K. raise specter of second wave” with this sub-head: "Increases are stoking concerns among doctors and policymakers in countries still reeling from the pandemic’s first surge."

 

Here are some of the story highlights: “Cases of the coronavirus are spiking in France, Spain and the United Kingdom even as social distancing restrictions ease, stoking concerns among doctors and policymakers about a “second wave” in countries still reeling from the pandemic’s first wave.  France set a new record Friday after health authorities reported 8,975 new cases, far higher than the previous record of 7,578 the country set March 31 at the height of the pandemic.  In the U.K., new infections soared to nearly 3,000 in one day — the country’s biggest jump since May. And Spain saw nearly 9,000 cases Thursday.  Outside Europe, India displaced Brazil to take second place after the United States in terms of coronavirus infections, with 90,082 new cases whose numbers are expected to grow.  Unlike the pandemic’s punishing first round in the spring, France’s troubling rise in new cases has yet to cause a significant surge in deaths and hospitalizations.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/coronavirus-spikes-spain-france-u-k-raise-specter-second-wave-n1239454

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Dubrovnik!  Nice visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this super scenic location. Over 47,472 views.    

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439227

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From the trade publication Travel Weekl,y yesterday, they had this headline: Costa returns to the seas with these highlights: “Costa Cruises launched its first sailing since the global cruise shutdown in March, an all-Italy itinerary for Italian residents only on the Costa Deliziosa.  It is the first of Carnival Corp.'s nine cruise brands to resume service.  The Costa Deliziosa's departed Trieste on a seven-day cruise on Sept. 6 that will visit Bari, Brindisi, Corigliano-Rossano, Siracusa and Catania.  Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm said that the line said 'we're continuously monitoring the situation with a view to gradually reintroducing cruising on more ships from October, with itineraries extended also to include guests from our other European markets.' ”

 

Here is more as to what future cruises might involve:  "The protocols include testing all passengers and only allowing passengers to visit ports on what the line is calling 'protected shore excursions,' organized by Costa. The line said that only small groups of people will travel on sanitized transport and will be subject to temperature checks before leaving and rejoining the ship. Costa said that onboard amenities and entertainment have been redesigned to comply with its safety protocols, such as adding repeat performances of live shows to enable smaller audiences at each one, eliminating self-serve buffets and limiting seating capacity in theaters, show lounges, bars and restaurants. It also enacted staggered entrance at the spa, pools and kids clubs with a limited number of people allowed in at any one time. The ship will also mandate mask-wearing when necessary and will introduce self-service clinical thermometer kiosks."

 

Like or dislike these changes and/or new practices?  What else will be needed to provide more safety and better protection??  

 

Full story at:

https://www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Costa-returns-to-the-seas

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Athens & Greece: Many visuals, details from two visits in a city with great history, culture and architecture.  Now at 36,267 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1101008

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Thanks Terry......I suspect your update.  will apply to most Cruise Lines that contemplate returning to business.Sadly it is not the type of cruising We shall be signing up for after 22 years of super luxury cruising on Silversea.The normality pre Pandemic seems a long way in the distance so regretfully any holiday planning has gone to the bottom of the priority list at the moment.

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Again thanks Terry.  I am with brimary.  I don't think this would ever work with most Silversea clients-no matter how eager they are to get back to sea.  It strikes me as desperation by Costa.  Also, many of the measures they are proposing offer little comfort from a public health perspective.  Temperature checks for example, might identify an individual who is quite sick but a significant percentage of infected people are asymptotic and will not show an elevated temperature.  There was also a lengthy article in the NYTimes yesterday documenting another super spreader case that was the result of aerosol transmission,  in this a bus trip and subsequent social event.  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/01/health/coronavirus-bus-china.html?searchResultPosition=1 Over 1/3 of the passengers on the bus were infecting by one individual. I think the body of evidence regarding aerosol spread is now conclusive which calls into question any activity in an enclosed space without a state of the art HVAC system.  And even then, I will not be eating indoors in a restaurant for example any time soon.  In short there are too many holes in Costa's plan, and other cruise lines, that may seek to emulate it, to work.  I realize that 'virus or compassion fatigue' are becoming buzzwords.  However there is no alternative here other than for all of us to be patient, which as we are all realizing, is increasingly hard to do.  Even more so for the typical Silversea client, like me, 70ish with a number of underlying conditions, who are at much greater risk than those with other demographics.  I hate dispensing these doses of reality therapy but I think it serves a purpose, we all need to help each other out in this, by sharing facts and credible information.  Be safe.  

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Am curious if anyone knows of a person that has been stricken with this virus.  Do you know anyone that knows anyone that has contracted the virus?   I'm thankful that I do not and would like to keep it that way.   It's a question I often ask, and so far the count stays at zero.

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