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What a difference


diesel1973
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Got up here Monday to Anchorage and what a difference from last year. Flight was full, no Covid test req.,and not many masks. Hope it stays this way as I will be here till 8/5. Have a cow moose and 2 babys residing in back yard right now. Have to be careful when going outside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by diesel1973
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Went to downtown Anchorage and it was very comforting to see so many tourists mingling around. Evidently more people are doing land tours up here. Only 1 reindeer sausage stand and the Ulu factory trolley was not running. Still a vast improvement!

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5 hours ago, Ashland said:

Very surprised no mask required on flight...Which carrier was this ?

Sorry,  meant not many masks being worn in town. Delta flight was fully masked and being enforced.

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1 hour ago, diesel1973 said:

Sorry,  meant not many masks being worn in town. Delta flight was fully masked and being enforced.

I thought so...and so it should !!

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35 minutes ago, Ashland said:

I thought so...and so it should !!

 

And, I understand why it currently needs to be.  But, for me, to endure a flight from Dayton, Ohio to Anchorage, Alaska and having to wear a mask during the flights with my shortness of breath issue:  it's a trip that would be unwise of me to book.  

 

Having to wear a mask on any form of public transportation by the current CDC requirements will impede my traveling other than by car.  

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

And, I understand why it currently needs to be.  But, for me, to endure a flight from Dayton, Ohio to Anchorage, Alaska and having to wear a mask during the flights with my shortness of breath issue:  it's a trip that would be unwise of me to book.  

 

Having to wear a mask on any form of public transportation by the current CDC requirements will impede my traveling other than by car.  

Airlines can “require passengers with disabilities who are unable to wear masks to request an accommodation in advance.” Airlines can require “a negative result from a SARS-CoV-2 test, taken at the passenger's own expense, during the days immediately prior to the scheduled flight.”

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17 hours ago, Ashland said:

Airlines can “require passengers with disabilities who are unable to wear masks to request an accommodation in advance.” Airlines can require “a negative result from a SARS-CoV-2 test, taken at the passenger's own expense, during the days immediately prior to the scheduled flight.”

 

Thank you for this information.  I was unaware of this.  I wonder how one proves that shortness of breath is a disability.  More research will be needed if I decide to try to make a trip to Alaska next year.  

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Went to "Car Launch" at Glacier View (near Sutton) yesterday and there must have been over 4k+ people there. What a hoot! Google glacier view car launch and check it out.

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On 7/3/2021 at 12:28 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Thank you for this information.  I was unaware of this.  I wonder how one proves that shortness of breath is a disability.  More research will be needed if I decide to try to make a trip to Alaska next year.  

I would think a letter from your primary health care provider would be what is necessary. Check with the carrier you would possibly be using for their policy.

Best of luck...and glad to have given you some hopefully helpful info.

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1 hour ago, Ashland said:

I would think a letter from your primary health care provider would be what is necessary. Check with the carrier you would possibly be using for their policy.

Best of luck...and glad to have given you some hopefully helpful info.

 

Thank you very much for your helpful suggestion!  

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On 7/3/2021 at 3:28 PM, rkacruiser said:

I wonder how one proves that shortness of breath is a disability.

 

The best guidance of which I am aware is a Notice of Enforcement Policy from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The practical elements are described on pages 6 and 7. Importantly, pursuant to its Part 382 regulations, the USDOT "requires airlines provide information on request, to individuals with disabilities, about any service-related or other limitations on the airline’s ability to accommodate passengers with a disability." That is, the airline MUST tell you SPECIFICALLY what it may require to evidence your disability that precludes you from wearing a face mask. The requirement might be to submit yourself to medical consultation by a third party, to provide medical documentation by a licensed medical provider, and/or to provide other information as determined by the airline. What is important is that the airline make an individualized assessment--it cannot unilaterally deny transportation based solely on having a disability--and recognizing that airlines may not be able to undertake this assessment at the time of the airline flight, the USDOT allows carriers to require the assessment be completed in advance. It was suggested by someone else that "a letter from your primary health care provider" would be sufficient, but that would really be a guess as to the practice of any particular carrier, and it would be risky to assume that a carrier would be capable of assessing your condition at the time of the flight based solely on possession of such a letter.  Moreover, few of the persons carriers employ at airports as gate agents are, themselves, attorneys capable of fully understanding all of the legal nuances involved, and so it is best to work with the carrier in advance so that any legal interpretations, concerns, etc., be resolved in advance without the time pressure of a flight departing imminently. Finally, on the CDC website, there is informal guidance that states that "[t]he exemption is not meant to cover people with disabilities for whom wearing a mask might only be difficult," so "shortness of breath" that is merely uncomfortable or difficult, but not prevent oneself from wearing a mask or wearing a mask safely, would not constitute a disability for which the exception applies.

 

From a public policy perspective, the CDC order is rather problematic. You rightfully note that "[h]aving to wear a mask on any form of public transportation by the current CDC requirements will impede my traveling other than by car." This is a particular concern of mine because neither I nor my wife have either a car or a license to operate one, and so we both rely largely on public transportation. It feels unfair that others can avoid wearing a face mask by driving themselves, but I don't have that option (at most I can walk places, something I have, in fact, been doing more so these days). And with the pandemic largely over, with nearly everyone wanting immunity able to get vaccinated--the CDC's face mask requirement for transportation systems is more theatrical than a matter of public health . . . hopefully elected officials will see fit to have the order terminated prematurely so that everything I've written in the foregoing paragraph becomes moot.

Mask Notice Issued on Feb 5.pdf

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GTJ:  Thanks so much for your post.  Very informative and I appreciate it.  

 

16 hours ago, GTJ said:

on the CDC website, there is informal guidance that states that "[t]he exemption is not meant to cover people with disabilities for whom wearing a mask might only be difficult," so "shortness of breath" that is merely uncomfortable or difficult, but not prevent oneself from wearing a mask or wearing a mask safely, would not constitute a disability for which the exception applies.

 

This applies directly to my situation.  I have been able to wear a mask with little exertion required for as long as 2+ hours.  Visiting my relatives in Alaska, however, requires a flight that exceeds that length of time.  

 

16 hours ago, GTJ said:

-the CDC's face mask requirement for transportation systems is more theatrical than a matter of public health . . . hopefully elected officials will see fit to have the order terminated prematurely so that everything I've written in the foregoing paragraph becomes moot

 

I share your thinking, but, I am becoming concerned that with the variants of Covid around, I am increasingly reading the "recommendation" that fully vaccinated people ought to still wear a mask.  I surely hope we don't have to have a mask mandate be re-instituted.  

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19 hours ago, Ashland said:

GTJ....Yikes !!! A legal brief (and why I didn't quote) ..... I opted to make it simple for rkacruiser.

 

For some of us, the first response to a stiff command is, "says who?" In other words, what is the actual law and its citation?! Here, the law is complicated because the issues involved here go to civil liberties that interact and have the potential to conflict, all in an environment in which there are so many people affected. I appreciated the effort undertaken by USOOT in trying to tiptoe through this legal minefield, and I think that they got most of it right (but I do remain a bit uncomfortable with the idea that a disabled person might have to make arrangements in advance, an obligation not required of persons not disabled), but on the other hand look at how many pages it took for USDOT to explain the background and requirements. It does make it more difficult for the general population to understand, and can require have to seek out legal counsel. I will be happy when the order is finally quashed!

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7 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

This applies directly to my situation.  I have been able to wear a mask with little exertion required for as long as 2+ hours.  Visiting my relatives in Alaska, however, requires a flight that exceeds that length of time.

 

The distinction is, I think, rather subtle, and I don't have great confidence that the airline employees at departure gates can understand the subtleties well and consistently. It is quite possible that the gate agent and flight crew will, in fact, accept mere discomfort as a qualifying disability, but equally possible that a substantial disability that is a qualifying disability as a matter of law will not be accepted as such. In other words, you could try, but legitimately you should not expect to be allowed.

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16 hours ago, GTJ said:

In other words, you could try, but legitimately you should not expect to be allowed.

 

I am going to wait until 2022 to try to do any flying.  By then, hopefully, the mask wearing rule for public transport as required by the Federal Government will have ended.  And, as am Amtrak traveler, I will hold off on an Amtrak trip as well.  Besides, my 2020 Buick has just over 5000 miles on her and is eager to "get back on the road".  

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9 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

And, as am Amtrak traveler, I will hold off on an Amtrak trip as well.

 

Amtrak is a much better choice than air travel, at least if you get a roomette or bedroom. Once in your own accommodations, no need for any face covering. And while I ordinarily like the opportunity to go to the dining car, your porter will bring meals to you in your roomette or bedroom. (Which might not be as bad as it seems given the recent terrible move Amtrak made with its "flexible" dining consisting of re-heated TV dinners, rather than real food.) Alas, there's not always a lot to be seen out the window from a roomette or bedroom, and the face masking rules would apply if one goes to the observation (lounge) car.

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14 hours ago, GTJ said:

Once in your own accommodations, no need for any face covering.

 

One would think so, but there have been reports on the Amtrak Unlimited Forum that some Amtrak crews are expecting guests to wear their mask even in a Roomette or Bedroom if the door is open.  Like much on Amtrak, there is inconsistency among trains/crews.  

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On 7/8/2021 at 3:20 PM, rkacruiser said:

One would think so, but there have been reports on the Amtrak Unlimited Forum that some Amtrak crews are expecting guests to wear their mask even in a Roomette or Bedroom if the door is open.

 

I remember the initial response of Amtrak was, "Face masks can be removed on board when customers are in their private room and the door is closed." Based on your observation, I now went to review this matter anew, and it seems that the CDC did not consider private rooms when they were writing their rules. (Does anyone seriously think that political public health officials know much about transportation?!) Apparently, Amtrak removed the above the above-quoted sentence from their website advertising, and is now silent on the matter. That tells me that Amtrak upper management believe that the CDC order would be stupid if applied to private rooms, and hopes that no one actually tries to enforce the CDC order as to private rooms, but at the same time it feels constrained against officially professing those thoughts to lower management and operating crews and so remains silent. So what you have among lower management and operating crews are some people who can actually reason well, and not try to enforce the CDC order as to private rooms, but there are others who, perhaps believing that they are part of the Stasi, will try to compel compliance. In that case, I might just keep the curtain closed, and the CDC order is practicably unenforceable.

 

The same issues should be applicable for cruise vessels as well. I see that on the website for American Cruise Lines it states, "The White House’s Executive Order on Promoting COVD-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Bulletin on COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System require that masks be worn aboard U.S. public maritime vessels. American Cruise Lines is requiring masks while indoors in public spaces be consistent with the orders of both entities." It seems to me that this statement is similar to the Amtrak position I described above. That is, ACL upper management does not seriously think the CDC order makes any sense if applied to private rooms, but it cannot say that directly; it is expecting its lower management and operating crews to apply appropriate discretion (and they're probably doing so better than Amtrak lower management and operating crews).

 

In sum, I see the problems as (1) CDC officials being incompetent with respect to transportation regulation, and (2) bureaucratic lower management and operating crews unable to reason or apply appropriate discretion.

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On 7/11/2021 at 3:56 PM, GTJ said:

 

I remember the initial response of Amtrak was, "Face masks can be removed on board when customers are in their private room and the door is closed." Based on your observation, I now went to review this matter anew, and it seems that the CDC did not consider private rooms when they were writing their rules. (Does anyone seriously think that political public health officials know much about transportation?!) Apparently, Amtrak removed the above the above-quoted sentence from their website advertising, and is now silent on the matter. That tells me that Amtrak upper management believe that the CDC order would be stupid if applied to private rooms, and hopes that no one actually tries to enforce the CDC order as to private rooms, but at the same time it feels constrained against officially professing those thoughts to lower management and operating crews and so remains silent. So what you have among lower management and operating crews are some people who can actually reason well, and not try to enforce the CDC order as to private rooms, but there are others who, perhaps believing that they are part of the Stasi, will try to compel compliance. In that case, I might just keep the curtain closed, and the CDC order is practicably unenforceable.

 

The same issues should be applicable for cruise vessels as well. I see that on the website for American Cruise Lines it states, "The White House’s Executive Order on Promoting COVD-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Bulletin on COVID-19 Safety Requirements in the Maritime Transportation System require that masks be worn aboard U.S. public maritime vessels. American Cruise Lines is requiring masks while indoors in public spaces be consistent with the orders of both entities." It seems to me that this statement is similar to the Amtrak position I described above. That is, ACL upper management does not seriously think the CDC order makes any sense if applied to private rooms, but it cannot say that directly; it is expecting its lower management and operating crews to apply appropriate discretion (and they're probably doing so better than Amtrak lower management and operating crews).

 

In sum, I see the problems as (1) CDC officials being incompetent with respect to transportation regulation, and (2) bureaucratic lower management and operating crews unable to reason or apply appropriate discretion.

 

An excellent statement of what I and others think are "facts"!  

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/8/2021 at 12:20 PM, rkacruiser said:
On 7/7/2021 at 9:53 PM, GTJ said:

Once in your own accommodations, no need for any face covering.

 

One would think so, but there have been reports on the Amtrak Unlimited Forum that some Amtrak crews are expecting guests to wear their mask even in a Roomette or Bedroom if the door is open.  Like much on Amtrak, there is inconsistency among trains/crews.

But that shouldn't be an issue if the door closes. Wear it for just a few moments while food is delivered

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