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CoronaVirus what's next ?


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As we get more and more news about the Corona virus and we see some effect to the cruise industry I guess many people are asking what next and what they should do.

A disclaimer - I am not a doctor/nurse/biologist maybe a mild germophobe ? , what I describe here is only some of my thoughts.

1. Don't  panic !    - You can track the numbers and see that the number of infected is not growing exponentially  anymore on the last few days , that is a good sign , also the virus is not spreading too much outside of China . you can track it on this site  from John Hopkins university - https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

2. To cancel or not to cancel - If you are before the final payment you can do it if you feel like but if you passed this time I would not do anything beside making sure my air travel can be canceled and a travel insurance. If there will be any issue most likely Royal will cancel it and give you a refund while if you cancel before they announce anything you will just loose your money.

3. Prepare for the non expected - For the slight chance there will be any issues and you are taking any prescription medicine make sure you have enough with you for extra two more weeks , also , its always good to bring some prescriptions with you , just in case.  I would pack also few packs of  hand wash laundry detergent.

4. If you suffer from  anything like Asthma , make sure to take a letter from your doctor that describes it . Before you go to the port consider to use your inhaler (per the doctor advise). you do not want to be deny of boarding because the oximeter test due to your asthma and the fact you just carry out your suitcases from the car  ...

5. IF you fly , fly the day before , this is always a good advise but also due to the dry air in the aircraft many suffers from temporary symptoms that people might mistake for catching cold. 

6. Make sure your arrangements for your pets , kids (if your left them behind) and other arrangement can be easily extend.

7. Enjoy your cruise.

Any thought/ other advise ?

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Im a statistics guy.....probably a carryover from being a sports junkie....but here is what stands out to me about the Coronavirus fiasco.  The news says "135 people on the Diamond Princess has confirmed cases of coronavirus"  Sure, sounds like a good amount of people, especially if youre one of the 135.  BUT.....what percentage of the ships total people on board is that? The ship had 3,700 on board (counting crew) when it arrived in Yokohama.  That is 3.6% of people on board, that had or have since been confirmed to have coronavirus.  3.6%!!!!!! I like my chances of NOT getting it.......

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Hi there.  I am a blog new-B so don't be alarmed if I break protocol... because I don't know the protocol.  Do I raise my voice with capital letters?  Hmm.

I am cruising out of NJ in less than a month.  I have been following the increase in Virus related illness, and I am petrified of being on board a floating petri dish for a week.  I looked at the John Hopkins U web link (kindly posted by Traveler above) but it does not show New York/ New Jersey although we know that there were 4 people removed from the ship last week that were infected.

To back track, my late wife was a nurse.  She was assisting a client on a cruise and was injected with a polio-related virus in Cozumel.  She was dead within 18 months.  So I am a bit more squeamish than some of you, and have become a religious hand washer.

What I would like to know is:  Will RCCL (or any other line), look at profit before safety.  I know how big business is run in a boardroom thousands of miles away, not on the dock in NJ.  Should I forfeit my money and stay home, or is it truly worth playing Corona roulette for a week at sea?

I would truly appreciate a few insights in the matter - even from knowledgeable staff.  NW 

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3 hours ago, I-carry-bags said:

To back track, my late wife was a nurse.  She was assisting a client on a cruise and was injected with a polio-related virus in Cozumel.  She was dead within 18 months.  So I am a bit more squeamish than some of you, and have become a religious hand washer.

 

That sounds like murder.

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3 hours ago, I-carry-bags said:

but it does not show New York/ New Jersey although we know that there were 4 people removed from the ship last week that were infected.

They had regular influenza.

Bottom line, do not cancel due to coronavirus. It's not present here and zero reason to cancel.

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Sorry everyone.  My original post said "injected" (thanks Jolly Ogre).  It should have read 'infected'.  <wait a go spelchex>

Just to clarify further, it took 18 months to track down the reason for her illness.  (I am no doctor).  By then it was too late to do anything.  A virus, unlike a treatable bacterial infection, usually has to run it's course.  Someone who is healthy and does not have a compromised immune system can usually make it through an viral infection with only flu-like symptoms.  In my dear brides case, a microscopic virus got into her (food, drink, ice) and didn't want to leave.  There are a handful of cases every year in the USA that CDC discloses.  In 2018 and in 2019 I remember reports in US news media about the same mysterious bug.  No idea where it came from, caused it, or how to cure it.  

https://globalnews.ca/news/4564424/afm-polio-like-illness-us/

So now that I have scared you, your only real defense (besides staying locked in a bubble), is avoiding sick folks and being a religious hand washer.  Start doing little things like taking strong anti bacterial / alcohol wipes and cleaning the arms and trays on airplanes and trains before you use them.  Disinfect hands in hospital, and shower up after you get home from visiting folks.  And my favorite, where cloth gloves when you can - ie: buffet lines, multi use tables without changeable clothes, hand rails, and elevator buttons etc.  Sound silly?  Maybe, but if you are wearing gloves you will probably not itch your eye, pick your nose, or suck your thumb.  You will take off the gloves to do that so your hands are free of nasty's.  Change the gloves regularly or wash them each night.  You may look like Michael Jackson, but tell people it's a new trend.

Will you still get sick?  Most likely, but you have mitigated it as best you can, and it may keep you safer.  NW

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@I-carry-bags I am pretty much a baby hypochondriac and for the first time I am not all worried about the Coronavirus on cruise ships. I was convinced both times that I had SARS and the Bird flu...it was the regular flu?‍♀️. Ebola meant that I used a few of my work from home days. As I get older I am still all about the BDDP(baby dooms day prep-er) but I rely a bit more on common sense in these times. Often times a story is reported so fast, many corrections have to be made. The Flu has killed more people than this virus. There are billions of people in China, 1000 have died and mostly with weaker immune systems.

While a cruise ship could be a petri dish of germs, not all germs are bad. There are also plenty of other ways to die, that have nothing to do with virus or germs and it happens to thousands of people each day. Like you I am a widow, my husband was in the defense forces or Ireland and survived three tours. He wasn't killed in combat but a freak accident and that's part of the main reason I don't let things stop me. I think the most important thing is that you feel comfortable. If it would give you peace of mind to cancel ...do it.

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The good news is that even in China we see less and less new infection , lets hope the trend will continue. Outside China the numbers of new cases still very low. On the other hand there are events which are being impacted like the the Mobile convention in Barcelona, many companies (Amazon , Intel, Ericsson and other) cancel there participation just to be on the safe side. I have another business  travel to North America next week and I still not going to cancel it as I have direct flights and number of cases are low there , more chance I will stuck in a snow storm , but this is another risk. Yes I am going to use more alchogell , clean my seat in my aircraft and be aware to my surrounding.  

One important good point for Caribbean cruise - the Corona virus seem not to like worm weather , so its better to be in a cruise to the Caribbean this time of year ?


Adding here the discussion how to avoid other viruses , I guess its relevant to this one also :

  

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22 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

Well, not to burst your bubble, but that story is from the end of January and since then the situation has changed considerably. Someone I spoke with used a metaphor regarding this comparison to the flu by the media that I thought was exceedingly poignant, so I'll repeat it here: "Comparing COVID to the flu is like saying that more people are killed every year in the US by cows rather than by sharks. Technically true, but irrelevant when I'm letting you know that a breed of shark is developing the ability to walk on land". Current estimates have the fatality rate of COVID optimistically near 1% (already taking into consideration things like number of infections in China is probably severely under-reported, etc as the raw numbers out of China suggest at least double that number if not 10x). If it is truly at 1%, that makes COVID 5x deadlier than the flu, and for me means saying goodbye to 3 of my coworkers if the infection gets a foot hold in my office building.

You also mentioned you'd take your chances on a ship with 170 confirmed infections (the Diamond Princess). The raw number is not scary... The fact that the number jumped from single digits to 170 in the span of a week is. The fact that a Japanese health worker who was presumably taking just about every precaution within reason caught the virus while coming on board to care for the passengers is. Unfortunately for the people on board, but fortunately for the rest of us, the Diamond Princess is a near perfect opportunity to study the spread of COVID and will give us a better idea of some of how this will behave. As someone who has two cruises scheduled later in the year, I'm thankful I'm not within the 90 day window right now. It's foolish to advise against cancellation as though everything is fine, just as it's foolish to postulate that this is the end of cruising as we know it in the short-term.

We'll know more soon, but if I lived with someone with complicating factors (very young kids, seniors, respiratory problems, or immunosupressed) I would absolutely be cancelling a cruise scheduled to depart within the next week or two.

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3 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

Well, not to burst your bubble, but that story is from the end of January and since then the situation has changed considerably. Someone I spoke with used a metaphor regarding this comparison to the flu by the media that I thought was exceedingly poignant, so I'll repeat it here: "Comparing COVID to the flu is like saying that more people are killed every year in the US by cows rather than by sharks. Technically true, but irrelevant when I'm letting you know that a breed of shark is developing the ability to walk on land". Current estimates have the fatality rate of COVID optimistically near 1% (already taking into consideration things like number of infections in China is probably severely under-reported, etc as the raw numbers out of China suggest at least double that number if not 10x). If it is truly at 1%, that makes COVID 5x deadlier than the flu, and for me means saying goodbye to 3 of my coworkers if the infection gets a foot hold in my office building.

You also mentioned you'd take your chances on a ship with 170 confirmed infections (the Diamond Princess). The raw number is not scary... The fact that the number jumped from single digits to 170 in the span of a week is. The fact that a Japanese health worker who was presumably taking just about every precaution within reason caught the virus while coming on board to care for the passengers is. Unfortunately for the people on board, but fortunately for the rest of us, the Diamond Princess is a near perfect opportunity to study the spread of COVID and will give us a better idea of some of how this will behave. As someone who has two cruises scheduled later in the year, I'm thankful I'm not within the 90 day window right now. It's foolish to advise against cancellation as though everything is fine, just as it's foolish to postulate that this is the end of cruising as we know it in the short-term.

We'll know more soon, but if I lived with someone with complicating factors (very young kids, seniors, respiratory problems, or immunosupressed) I would absolutely be cancelling a cruise scheduled to depart within the next week or two.

Its growth rate on a cruise ship (which has grown by 1% since I wrote that) cannot be compared to the growth rate outside in the real world.   Its night and day difference. Norovirus, Influenza and every other virus spreads faster in a confined space. My bigger message in pointing all of this out is bigger than JUST coronavirus....its living in fear as a result of hype and hysteria. I refuse to buy into it before looking at cold, hard numbers first, because numbers never lie. Im inside 90 days on a cruise, and im more concerned with breaking my ankle tripping over my 4 year olds toys because statistics show im more likely to do that than contract Coronavirus. Welcome to the boards, btw!   

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7 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

Its growth rate on a cruise ship (which has grown by 1% since I wrote that) cannot be compared to the growth rate outside in the real world.   Its night and day difference. Norovirus, Influenza and every other virus spreads faster in a confined space. My bigger message in pointing all of this out is bigger than JUST coronavirus....its living in fear as a result of hype and hysteria. I refuse to buy into it before looking at cold, hard numbers first, because numbers never lie. Im inside 90 days on a cruise, and im more concerned with breaking my ankle tripping over my 4 year olds toys because statistics show im more likely to do that than contract Coronavirus. Welcome to the boards, btw!   

I work in a hospital, and there are zero concerns. Obviously we have systems in place and are ready if it does become a concern, but for now it's a wait and see. In my opinion I have a better chance of getting it at work in my hospital the I do on my upcoming cruise ? 

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Just now, Spang1974 said:

I work in a hospital, and there are zero concerns. Obviously we have systems in place and are ready if it does become a concern, but for now it's a wait and see. In my opinion I have a better chance of getting it at work in my hospital the I do on my upcoming cruise ? 

I bet you're right on that one, especially with the recent jump in cases in the UK. Thank you for everything you do, and I hope you get a chance to unwind on your upcoming vacation!

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2 minutes ago, Spang1974 said:

I work in a hospital, and there are zero concerns. Obviously we have systems in place and are ready if it does become a concern, but for now it's a wait and see. In my opinion I have a better chance of getting it at work in my hospital the I do on my upcoming cruise ? 

My wife is an RN, and we have two germy boys. Only so many preventative measures can be taken....lol. 

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15 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

Its growth rate on a cruise ship (which has grown by 1% since I wrote that) cannot be compared to the growth rate outside in the real world.   Its night and day difference. Norovirus, Influenza and every other virus spreads faster in a confined space. My bigger message in pointing all of this out is bigger than JUST coronavirus....its living in fear as a result of hype and hysteria. I refuse to buy into it before looking at cold, hard numbers first, because numbers never lie. Im inside 90 days on a cruise, and im more concerned with breaking my ankle tripping over my 4 year olds toys because statistics show im more likely to do that than contract Coronavirus. Welcome to the boards, btw!   

Thanks for the welcome! Clearly we disagree on the level of risk we're comfortable with, and I obviously take umbrage at the idea that exercising caution in an unknown situation is "hysterical" or means I'm living in fear. The situation is so fluid right now there's no way to know what the next few weeks will look like... It's also part of the reason statistics are largely useless and cannot be extrapolated outside of areas where there are already outbreaks (Wuhan, China as a whole, or the Diamond Princess... none of which are particularly encouraging). 

That being said, looking at the situation as it exists today and deciding to keep your plans is within the range of rational decisions. You're right to assert that the risk given what we know is relatively low. I don't like the uncertainty around it, so if I were in your shoes I'm not certain I'd make the same one. My children are also much younger, and we're cruising with my father (who has recently joined the ranks of seniorhood!).

That being said, try avoid those infernal legos!

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25 minutes ago, SteveinSC said:

I refuse to buy into it before looking at cold, hard numbers first, because numbers never lie.

But do the people reporting the numbers lie?  I also don't think people outside of China have much to worry about right now.  But I don't think we're getting the real numbers out of China.  If the death rate is below the flu's death rate, then why are they dragging infected people out of their houses in Wuhan?  There's no reason to do that with the flu, you'd just let them recover at home.  Therefore, it seems logical to assume the Chinese government sees this as way worse than the flu.

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2 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

Clearly we disagree on the level of risk we're comfortable with...

Honestly, this is probably what it comes down to.  I, admittedly, do a lot more things that raise my risk of illness/injury/death than I probably should....but its been a hell of a good time!  Hope you, also, have a great cruise. 

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15 minutes ago, Jill said:

Just heard on the news 39 new cases on Diamond Princess. Good grief the quarantine will never be lifted. They may end up with a mutiny onboard. 

My heart is with everyone aboard the ship... The news stories are heartbreaking (lots of fear onboard, particularly among the crew per reporting). It's a lose-lose situation for everyone.

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10 minutes ago, Atlantix2000 said:

But do the people reporting the numbers lie?  I also don't think people outside of China have much to worry about right now.  But I don't think we're getting the real numbers out of China.  If the death rate is below the flu's death rate, then why are they dragging infected people out of their houses in Wuhan?  There's no reason to do that with the flu, you'd just let them recover at home.  Therefore, it seems logical to assume the Chinese government sees this as way worse than the flu.

Don't believe all the media hype either a lot of the videos that have appeared have been proved to be false also, the WHO & CDC have been in china since early Feb and have not challenged the numbers of infected or deaths reported.

The numbers of new infections has drop considerably lately.

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1 minute ago, [email protected] said:

The numbers of new infections has drop considerably lately.

The number of new infections hasn't dropped persay, it's just no longer exponential (that is to say the rate of the rate of change (or second derivative) is the lowest yet). Still good news, but just want to clarify. Also, the CDC has not yet been invited to review the situation in China, and the WHO is still negotiating the terms of performing it's investigation with China. Here's a news feed that gets regular updates:

https://www.ft.com/content/278e81f8-c74e-3206-ac2f-f27e1245ff0b

This one caught my eye this morning:

Quote

"Chinese authorities have begun emergency requisitioning of private hospitals, hotels, apartments, cars and even face masks as the country’s rising number of coronavirus patients threatens to overwhelm local government facilities."

 

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Alarming news from  China - they have change the counting of infected people to include people which show the symptoms but was not tested positive yet , that brought the number to 15000 new cases in one day. I do hope it is one time spike (since they include people that are already sick for a while). If they would still count the same way as before , the numbers still show reduction. 
For sure the cruise industry like any other tourist industry are suffering from the current situation, just hope things will be clear soon and everything will go back to normal . For now maybe its a good time to watch for deals ...

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9 hours ago, Traveler said:

Alarming news from  China - they have change the counting of infected people to include people which show the symptoms but was not tested positive yet

Those are called "clinical" cases, and as an aside since it was mentioned previously in this board, recommending the inclusion of these cases was one of the first things the WHO did when they arrived in China in an official capacity yesterday.

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We go in May but have to pay the cruise next week.

Lucky we have good cancellation insurance. 

Not to worried as even if we didn't have insurance we simply wouldn't take a risk.

We are in Europe and cruising in Europe on Anthem so will wait and see.

PS anyone from the princess died yet ? I don't think they have.

 

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On 2/14/2020 at 8:58 PM, Morganno said:

We go in May but have to pay the cruise next week.

Lucky we have good cancellation insurance. 

Not to worried as even if we didn't have insurance we simply wouldn't take a risk.

We are in Europe and cruising in Europe on Anthem so will wait and see.

PS anyone from the princess died yet ? I don't think they have.

 

I have a cruise at April on Jewel , I did not cancel it , I have took advantage on the panic and successfully upgraded my cabin to a JS from a balcony , cost was 0 ... 
No one died on princess  ship  although many new people are infected. Good news is that mostly this virus is not fatal and most of the people recover after mild symptoms , who ever got the symptoms was taken to an hospital for treatment (and they have very good hospitals in Japan). The bad news is the number of new cases every day (We are around 350 people now) but that can be due to the fact its not 100% quarantine, for sure not for the crew.

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

I have a cruise at April on Jewel , I did not cancel it , I have took advantage on the panic and successfully upgraded my cabin to a JS from a balcony , cost was 0 ... 
No one died on princess  ship  although many new people are infected. Good news is that mostly this virus is not fatal and most of the people recover after mild symptoms , who ever got the symptoms was taken to an hospital for treatment (and they have very good hospitals in Japan). The bad news is the number of new cases every day (We are around 350 people now) but that can be due to the fact its not 100% quarantine, for sure not for the crew.

We're going on the quantum on the 30th April and hoping to get some descent upgrades by then with all the cancellations etc. I've been watch whats available  and on Friday there was only 1 joiner suit available but Saturday there were 5 and strangely it was cheaper to pick your own than to take RC random choice {It was still to expensive for my blood but hears hoping}.

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Hi all. I'm booked on the Allure for a Mediterranean cruise from September 13th -20th. Yes the virus is a concern. Yes there's misinformation. Yes I'm thinking about cancelling but I'm holding on looking at the news. However, today I saw on BBC that NORTHERN Italy reported some cases and has closed schools, businesses etc in Milan etc. My cruise has Pisa, Rome and Naples stops. Thing is, I have till June for my final payment on RCCL. however I live in the Caribbean. My flights,Trinidad-miami-Spain and return is costing me about $20,000 for 2 and the cruise is about $15000. I know the money can't be compared to death from infection, BUT, if you were me, what would YOU do? Please help.

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