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  1. #46
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    I learned a long time ago in my many mountaineering adventures that if I get caught in bad weather, I deal with it to either get back to the trailhead, base camp or bivouac, in order to survive. If I haven't left the house yet, or am on my way to the trailhead, and the weather is outrageously bad and dangerous, I either wait it out or retreat to a safer location. That's how I view traveling right now, especially to hot spots. Be safe everyone.

  2. #47
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    [QUOTE=flitcraft;189204]
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    There will be flights because Americans will want to come home and Europeans in the US will want to go home.

    /QUOTE]
    Maybe yes, maybe no. When the virus hit in China, all flights between China and the US were suspended. I was lucky and flew out of Wuhan two weeks before things shut down. Once they did, there were NO commercial flights available--there were ultimately two rounds of evacuation flights, but a number of Americans were stuck there for a very uncomfortable time.

    This is something we haven't seen in our lifetimes--unless you were around in 1918. And that was well before the age of global travel. If you are thinking about going to Europe, I recommend you go online and read the newspapers in Italy describing their situation right now, and how quickly things spiraled out of control. If you are still comfortable with that degree of risk, then go; you will at least be taking on a calculated risk. For me, though, as much as I value travel, it isn't worth it.
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  3. #48
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    Things are currently moving fast and the decision about whether to go ahead as planned has pretty much been made for me.

    The French government has advised people with certain medical conditions to stay at home, and the family member I was going to visit is in that category. She definitely doesn't want visitors right now. Also many museums are closing and the Paris metro is reducing its services from next week.

    Meanwhile here in New Zealand, anyone arriving from overseas has to self-isolate for two weeks, apart from arrivals from certain Pacific islands.

    I'm now looking at delaying the trip and the question is when.
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  4. #49
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    read the newspapers in Italy describing their situation right now, and how quickly things spiraled out of control.
    I'll add that the human brain is almost incapable of intuitively understanding exponential growth - one has to do the intellectual work of mapping it to understand:

    Example: The tale of a wiseman using a chess board to have a king pay a debt wherein the wiseman asks the king to put 1 grain of rice on square #1, and double them as you move to each subsequent square; the king agrees to pay the wiseman the sum total of grains on the board ... by the time you get to square #64 there are 18 quintillion grains of rice!

    If you do some quick math for both the US and most of Europe based on China & Italy, and assume the first cases seeded around mid-feb, that would mean we're about 4 - 6 weeks in with 10 weeks in being when Italy started getting overwhelmed. That last week or two of exponential growth is when things seem to suddenly jump from not too bad to overwhelmed.

    The danger is, of course, overwhelming hospitals who also have to treat all other diseases, car accidents, and other acute conditions, as well as the normal day-to-day treatment of chronic conditions.

    Thus the more all of us can self-isolate, wear gloves (washable cotton gloves work great!), wear n95 masks when we go out, the lesser the odds we're going to cause undue burden on the health system.

    Hopefully it'll all pass without any of these problems!
    Last edited by GrussGott; 03-13-2020 at 11:17 PM.

  5. #50
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    I find it interesting that everyone is assuming what is happening in Italy is going to happen here. Perhaps we will be more like South Korea.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN20Z27P

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  6. #51
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I find it interesting that everyone is assuming what is happening in Italy is going to happen here.
    The reason is probably analogous to, say, homeowner's fire insurance: one has no idea if their house is going sustain fire damage, but one chooses to pay for coverage anyway, even though they don't know if their house will burn down; and perhaps it won't! Even so, most people choose to buy it anyway because they'd rather be safe than sorry.

    For me, hoping for the best and planning for the worst is good insurance against having a triage doc decide I'm the one who can wait for treatment.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I find it interesting that everyone is assuming what is happening in Italy is going to happen here. Perhaps we will be more like South Korea.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN20Z27P

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    Perhaps, but here is a big part of the reason why South Korea has done so well: Cancel or go to Europe in April-bca5d947-a012-406f-bdec-852aea1f6df1-jpg

  8. #53
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Numbers can be interesting, but there's no telling how those numbers are going to look in each country when all is said and done. IMO it's much too early to say. Especially because we're at different points right now. As for more testing - here in Germany they haven't done more testing so far not because it's their strategy, but because we do NOT have enough tests available. They are telling us we shouldn't panic and that we can do our best to flatten the curve (one step was closing all schools and childcare for now, closing bars and clubs, forbidding all freetime activites and meetups etc), but I think this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. They're closing borders now, cancelling trains and air traffic and so on. I definitely wouldn't travel to Europe right now. Even if you could still fly here, what would you do when everything is closed and you can't even go out to eat?
    Last edited by b1gsky; 03-14-2020 at 11:06 AM.

  9. #54
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bijouxandbeads View Post
    Perhaps, but here is a big part of the reason why South Korea has done so well
    Here's a slightly different view from Vox, which I think supports @b1gsky 's point that it's early days and without testing we kind of don't know - that said, we're looking like both SK and Italy now so the future will likely be based on how well we manage and cooperate with self-quarantines and testing:

    Cancel or go to Europe in April-numcases-png

    And US testing is abysmally low (unless you're wealthy with access to concierge docs, BTW) so our curve has the possibility of being steeper than all:

    Cancel or go to Europe in April-casespercapita-png

    Probably the real success story is Taiwan due to their swift action: Back in Dec when we all first heard of this risk, unlike most countries, Taiwan took immediate action with preventative measures:

    * Updated and launched their emergency measures
    * Stood up a COVID command and response center
    * Sent a medical team to China to understand the threat
    * Quickly imposed a travel ban
    * Set up quarantines
    * Restricted face mask exports

    Taiwan has 50 confirmed infections, one death, and about 23M people. 17 years ago, Taiwan was the 3rd worst hit territory for SARS, and they've been preparing for this since. Hopefully all countries will learn from Taiwan's pro-active management.

    For those committed to travel, if there's not a ban, maybe Taiwan is the place to go!
    Last edited by GrussGott; 03-14-2020 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #55
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    I'm going to add one more chart from Andy Slavitt, who I recommend you follow on Twitter, I've worked with him in the healthcare industry and he's very well informed:

    Cancel or go to Europe in April-lagtracker-jpeg

    The message here is that only those countries that took immediate containment measures are seeing lower infection rates - all others are simply lagging Italy, et al. This is very serious, although sometimes the stats don't make it seem that way.

    My analogy:

    You're buckling up for a flight of 200 people and the captain says, "Hi folks, on today's flight, 40 of you will get so ill you'll need hospitalization and 6 of you will die. Also, that hospitalization may not be available when we land. Anyone who'd like to leave the flight now, can"

    Personally I'd be leaving, and I think that's our decision here, except for us it's to self-isolate and wear disposable/washable gloves and n95 masks if we have to go out.

  11. #56
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    I wouldn’t advise people to wear masks going out. Seriously - our hospitals, doctors and other health care staff and gravely ill people now don’t have enough masks to protect themselves because a lot of people read somewhere on the internet that it would be a good idea to wear masks preventively. We need those people to stay healthy to work at keeping us healthy and we are making that unnecessarily difficult and dangerous for them.

  12. #57
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1gsky View Post
    I wouldn’t advise people to wear masks going out.
    However it's a bit of pickle:

    * On the one hand, an N95+ mask will definitely both help protect you, and protect others if you go out (this is according to infectious disease specialists who've studied it), and that will prevent new infections, which will prevent healthcare overload. And people, at least the US, will go out.

    * On the other hand, if supplies of masks run too low, healthcare workers may not be able to get them (my 2 cents is that should be managed by federal governments via emergency powers)

    So I hear you, although to clear, N95+ masks do work which is why healthcare folks wear them, and many people already have them for construction projects, etc, so if they have them they should definitely use them!

    Hopefully, if there are shortages, our governments will step in to coordinate solutions.
    Last edited by GrussGott; 03-14-2020 at 02:14 PM.

  13. #58
    Forum Member b1gsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    Hopefully, if there are shortages, our governments will step in to coordinate solutions.
    We do have that situation right now, but you cannot coordinate something which isn't there. They already confiscated stock and tried to stop exports when possible and right now we still don't have enough. And of course we're not the only country wanting to replenish our stores, everyone around us needs more too! And a lot of stock was bought up by private persons who are far less likely to contract it right now than medical staff who are in close contact with ill people all day. Same with disinfectant, there's none available anymore in stores and now it gets stolen from intensive care units in hospitals. That makes me so angry!

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrussGott View Post
    However it's a bit of pickle:

    * On the one hand, an N95+ mask will definitely both help protect you, and protect others if you go out (this is according to infectious disease specialists who've studied it), and that will prevent new infections, which will prevent healthcare overload. And people, at least the US, will go out.
    As the Chinese curse goes “may you live in interesting times.” We sure are going to be on an interesting roller coaster for a while.

    However, GrussGott, if your avatar is an actual picture of you, I have one more chart for you to review Big Grin (my husband didn’t like this one at all)
    Cancel or go to Europe in April-e4f92c6a-b8a8-43cc-bcc5-3d0315acd19c-jpeg

  15. #60
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    I agree with b1gsky. There are worldwide shortages of N95 masks. Hospitals and health care centers are having serious, crippling shortages NOW and this is going to affect doctors and nurses, our frontline workers. This is already an issue in the US, and we have barely gotten started with our epidemic.

    In retrospect, we should have done a better job of ensuring that we had an adequate stockpile for an emergency. We also should have limited private purchases at the very beginning of this global pandemic, and made sure that the supply that was there was routed to those most in need. Unfortunately, at this point all we can do is carefully allocate the available supply.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

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