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COVID-19/Coronavirus thread

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1 hour ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

No special risks for any of us that are mentioned around COVID, unless you count me being 47 as "old". Yes we have good health insurance. Airlines are American one way, United the other way.

None of the park features we care about - the outside ones - are closed. We don't care a whole lot about the Visitors' Center, but that is open at least for Zion anyway if we did want to.

7-day quarantine should be a non-issue, we get back in time to have about that long (actually 8 days) before kids' school starts. Might need to get some groceries delivered.

 

We are actually staying at the Zion Lodge within the park, so we are one of the lucky few that gets to drive on the interior roads (the pass comes with the stay). We can avoid the shuttle which is preferable due to the virus. And we tend to start our hikes early. Also, we are NOT doing Angel's Landing, which is the one that would scare me as far as forcing close contact.

I think these places will have some crowds, but nothing like a usual year. That said, we will take all the recommended precautions of course.

 

The flights seem scary to me too, but the more I read, the more I get the impression that maybe I have my priority for scariness wrong. Close quarters, but very little talking or singing or whatever and the air is recycled pretty quickly - more so than on trains or buses for example. It's really about how crowded it is (right now the flights both appear to be less than half full, one of them barely a quarter) and whether or not people are masking up (UAL and AA supposedly are cracking down on this now).

More and more I think you might be right about the Vegas hotel. Walking around the MGM Grand seems like it could be the highest risk thing, and we can change that without losing our trip potentially. Starting to lean that way now.

I am sure Zion is still awesome. Myself, my wife, and even our girls are already pretty experienced hikers.

 

Definitely plan to do The Narrows.

We are considering moving out of Vegas for that last night (easily changed, possibly highest risk thing). I am not sure making a road trip out of it really helps though - that's like 22 hours of driving from Chicago, we would need to stop for sleep at least once and a bunch of times for food, gas, etc., so I am not sure that really reduces the risk meaningfully. But it is something we've considered.

 

We stayed at the lodge our first time as well.

You can drive into the lodge. The canyon road continues another several miles past that point and is shuttle/bike/walk only. The Narrows is at the very end. 

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Since a lot of the hikes are out-and-back's, you can start early and have relative isolation for your way out, but you'll be crossing a lot of people who got later starts on your way back down. We did Observation Point after chickening out on Angels Landing from the point all the pictures of it are taken (combo of crowds + heights), and were nearly alone on our way up. On our way back down, maybe 11am or so, lots of people making their way up. This is just general heads up/warning to set expectations for the park even in "normal" times. If you do go ahead with the trip, we really liked the Falcon Guides Hiking Zion & Bryce Canyon guide book.

I wonder what the crowds are looking like there right now. Looking at NPS's latest stats, Zion is the 4th most popular park in normal years. How many are staying away due to the virus? Lots. How many might be heading there because they want *something* to do, and this is outdoors and a doable drive from LA or Phoenix? I wonder.

I hear you on the idea of roadtripping form Chicago. There's a whole lot of boring flatness before you get anywhere interesting in any direction.

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I went to Michigan last weekend and live in Chicago southland.  I think the message is pretty clear be outside and socially distant  and if inside wear a mask.  SW Michigan masks seemed to be the exception in Illinois it seems to be a rarity to see a person without a mask in a somewhat confined space.

The IL numbers to me are acceptable if this is life. 

The part of this disease that gave me the most angst was the surface transmission and the clarity on that has eased some angst (i.e. cleaning every product I bought from the grocery story for a family of 5).  I can keep my space from anyone anywhere as I never like to be close to people, kind of an OCD thing.  

The White House simply needs to push the narrative that wearing a mask is a much better option than not wearing a mask simple as that.  I have lost all respect for a person on social media who is now acting like CO2 poisoning will be what kills us all....yes the medical professions who wear masks have not researched the affects of mask wearing but Karen from Hinsdale has figured out the risk....SMH.  I want to defriend her but it is now a study in how long she will hold onto that anchor. 

If the White House comes out and now states that we should wear masks, is Trump done for in Nov?  

 

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1 hour ago, StrangeSox said:

We stayed at the lodge our first time as well.

You can drive into the lodge. The canyon road continues another several miles past that point and is shuttle/bike/walk only. The Narrows is at the very end. 

fa53828ffe341d4b6d2fe2fe84f0473a.jpg

Since a lot of the hikes are out-and-back's, you can start early and have relative isolation for your way out, but you'll be crossing a lot of people who got later starts on your way back down. We did Observation Point after chickening out on Angels Landing from the point all the pictures of it are taken (combo of crowds + heights), and were nearly alone on our way up. On our way back down, maybe 11am or so, lots of people making their way up. This is just general heads up/warning to set expectations for the park even in "normal" times. If you do go ahead with the trip, we really liked the Falcon Guides Hiking Zion & Bryce Canyon guide book.

I wonder what the crowds are looking like there right now. Looking at NPS's latest stats, Zion is the 4th most popular park in normal years. How many are staying away due to the virus? Lots. How many might be heading there because they want *something* to do, and this is outdoors and a doable drive from LA or Phoenix? I wonder.

I hear you on the idea of roadtripping form Chicago. There's a whole lot of boring flatness before you get anywhere interesting in any direction.

OK, I hadn't done my detailed route mapping yet so I didn't realize the road past the lodge was walk/bike/shuttle only. Good to know - another reason to start early! And good call on the hiker's guidebooks - I had done more of the online research but will probably order a book too. I know we plan to do the Narrows, and not do Angel's Landing, and Wall Street in Bryce. Other than that we don't have specific routes picked yet but we WILL have layers of backup plans in case of crowds.

I am awaiting word from AA and UAL, who both supposedly will text me if the flights become more than 70% full. As for Zion, I have a feeling they won't be as crowded as normal since I looked the other day and saw there were still lots of rooms available in the park lodge at the time we are visiting. Usually lodges at the heart of popular parks like this, if you don't reserve a year in advance, good luck finding anything. But we shall see.

Thanks for the info.

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I'm sure the park rangers would be happy to tell you what the visitor volume is looking like in a couple of weeks as you get closer if you called them up. If you want any more Bryce/Zion/Cedar Breaks (worth the detour between the two!) thoughts or recommendations just shoot me a PM.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Gotta love this country!

Do you understand why some may not get vaccinated or at least not right away?  

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1 minute ago, Chisoxfn said:

Do you understand why some may not get vaccinated or at least not right away?  

 

I'd be looking for multiple CDC/FDA equivalents out of say Germany, SK and others to approve a vaccine for their population before trusting it here. We've seen too much political manipulation out of our own CDC/FDA imo.

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2 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

 

I'd be looking for multiple CDC/FDA equivalents out of say Germany, SK and others to approve a vaccine for their population before trusting it here. We've seen too much political manipulation out of our own CDC/FDA imo.

Yeah - This was my reason to be skeptical. I get it and I personally debate, is it a sacrifice I just need to make or if I'm a lower risk, am I better waiting and observing. Its kind of scary how much we are rushing this through (and I am sure they are being as careful as can be and we need to rush it through - but you just never know what LT effects could come up). And I am no anti-vaccer.  I get really irritated at people who don't vaccinate (and maybe I should be mad at myself for thinking like this).  

 

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24 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

 

At some point our health care system decided to challenge every single line item and try to rip off its customers. When's the last time you had everything approved on a bill? This is not a great time to be alive and looking at our future, folks. Kansas and Missouri are trying to get rid of Obamacare regarding COVID. I guess COVID will break some people.

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3 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

United also. So no distancing possible on those flights.

I read a story this weekend that said the No. 1 way to catch the virus is to sit next to somebody 1 on 1 for an extended period of time. Flying on a packed flight is like Russian Roulette right now. Wonder how the airlines can get away with this. Wonder if it has to do with cold hard cash to overlook this?? It said there are a lot of speculated ways to get covid but from what I read it's not good sitting next to somebody on a plane, especially as cramped as it is? Anybody been on a plane lately?? Totally packed (pre covid).

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7 minutes ago, greg775 said:

I read a story this weekend that said the No. 1 way to catch the virus is to sit next to somebody 1 on 1 for an extended period of time. Flying on a packed flight is like Russian Roulette right now. Wonder how the airlines can get away with this. Wonder if it has to do with cold hard cash to overlook this?? It said there are a lot of speculated ways to get covid but from what I read it's not good sitting next to somebody on a plane, especially as cramped as it is? Anybody been on a plane lately?? Totally packed (pre covid).

Greg - I believe that is the easiest way to get sick; close contact in enclosed spaces for a long duration. I was a scared flier before this all happened (travel every week for work) and I am not getting on a plane for a long long time.

Planes are full and TSA is seeing an uptick in people traveling. 

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19 minutes ago, StateStSports said:

Greg - I believe that is the easiest way to get sick; close contact in enclosed spaces for a long duration. I was a scared flier before this all happened (travel every week for work) and I am not getting on a plane for a long long time.

Planes are full and TSA is seeing an uptick in people traveling. 

I have no intention to fly any time soon. There is no way I am getting on a plane under these conditions. Flying before the virus stunk. Now it can only be worse. I think consumers should send a message to the airlines that packed flights are not acceptable. But right now that doesn't seem to be happening.

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5 hours ago, NorthSideSox72 said:

No special risks for any of us that are mentioned around COVID, unless you count me being 47 as "old". Yes we have good health insurance. Airlines are American one way, United the other way.

None of the park features we care about - the outside ones - are closed. We don't care a whole lot about the Visitors' Center, but that is open at least for Zion anyway if we did want to.

7-day quarantine should be a non-issue, we get back in time to have about that long (actually 8 days) before kids' school starts. Might need to get some groceries delivered.

 

We are actually staying at the Zion Lodge within the park, so we are one of the lucky few that gets to drive on the interior roads (the pass comes with the stay). We can avoid the shuttle which is preferable due to the virus. And we tend to start our hikes early. Also, we are NOT doing Angel's Landing, which is the one that would scare me as far as forcing close contact.

I think these places will have some crowds, but nothing like a usual year. That said, we will take all the recommended precautions of course.

 

The flights seem scary to me too, but the more I read, the more I get the impression that maybe I have my priority for scariness wrong. Close quarters, but very little talking or singing or whatever and the air is recycled pretty quickly - more so than on trains or buses for example. It's really about how crowded it is (right now the flights both appear to be less than half full, one of them barely a quarter) and whether or not people are masking up (UAL and AA supposedly are cracking down on this now).

More and more I think you might be right about the Vegas hotel. Walking around the MGM Grand seems like it could be the highest risk thing, and we can change that without losing our trip potentially. Starting to lean that way now.

I am sure Zion is still awesome. Myself, my wife, and even our girls are already pretty experienced hikers.

 

Definitely plan to do The Narrows.

We are considering moving out of Vegas for that last night (easily changed, possibly highest risk thing). I am not sure making a road trip out of it really helps though - that's like 22 hours of driving from Chicago, we would need to stop for sleep at least once and a bunch of times for food, gas, etc., so I am not sure that really reduces the risk meaningfully. But it is something we've considered.

 

So with all that here's a rundown. You being 47 does not make the risk appreciably different from 27 or from 57 based on what's out there. 

1. If this country were being responsible, this trip would not be allowed from a public health point of view. There are too many states in real deep trouble right now - probably 25 should be back on stay at home orders and 10 are approaching hospital capacity crises today, but because our political system is irresponsible we can't do that. No state has cracked the code of "reopening while there are still cases out there" and tracing is failing because the systems are so poorly built and there's no national organization or help. States where you are traveling need to shut down until they Figure out what the Hell is going on.

But, since they are open, you're allowed to. There are a couple legal matters you should consider in advance. First, what happens if a partial travel shutdown does occur while you are there? Second, the state of Illinois could impose a 14 day quarantine on travelers coming from those states, and that could appear while you are there so you might have no warning beforehand. If that were to happen, are you ok with it costing a full week of school? Frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't been put in place already. New York has done it, but they have to specifically worry about people traveling from Florida - maybe Illinois needs to identify some cases directly linked to travel before they do it, but it could absolutely happen.

2. The odds of someone in your family being exposed are high. You've listed the locations - hotels, restaurants even outdoors, planes, gas stations, hikes. Many will be short passes, but some won't, and even ones outdoors can have some risk, particularly restaurants since you have servers and other guests around. Whether that person receives a dose that is enough to get them sick depends on things mostly out of your control, including what safety precautions others take and basically luck (is the person near you on the plane sick, is the person in hotel line next to you sick). Whether the hotel in Vegas is the biggest risk probably depends on what the various outbreaks do over the next month, I'm not sure that's a far greater risk than any other hotel as long as you're not on the gambling floor. Flight risk is nonzero, depends on where people sit, but if you skip the flight and drive you have food stops and bathroom breaks that are all places where other people will be. So, you're likely to be exposed, and the chances of actually getting sick even if you do everything right are probably moderate, but difficult to estimate precisely, and unless Vegas explodes in cases in the next month, there's no spot you can skip that is going to dramatically lower the risk of exposure.

3. If someone in your family does get sick, with no pre-existing conditions, the chances of them dying are very low, probably 1 in 1000 or so give or take. So while you will likely survive, this probably does significantly raise the chances of someone dying on this trip compared to a trip in a normal year.

4. While the chances of dying are very low, the chances of someone getting very sick and perhaps suffering a permanent issue are noticeably higher. Still low, but definitely nonnegligible. The hospitalization rate has stayed pretty constant everywhere at 5-10% of the people getting it. Probably lower for your health group, but still several percent. The only thing that has reduced that rate is states lying about their data. That means someone could, reasonably, permanently lose their sense of smell or have permanent lung or kidney damage from this trip, and that is not an issue unlikely enough to be ignored. For example, we learned yesterday that Rudy Gobert of the Jazz still does not have his sense of smell back nearly 4 months after being infected, and he's an NBA athlete.

I can't tell you what to do because my personal risk tolerance is different and my personal health situation colors that, but I think those are reasonable statements. Risk of exposure is high, you likely will cross paths with someone who has it. Risk of infection if you take care is lower, but still moderate. Unless specific spots become major outbreak centers, I don't think you can point at any location as of right now and say "This spot is an unusually high risk and we can improve our odds substantially by avoiding it". Risk of dying is very low, but higher than would be normal for this trip. Risk of serious complications is quite important to consider. 

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2 hours ago, Chisoxfn said:

Do you understand why some may not get vaccinated or at least not right away?  

I don’t understand why 30% of the U.S. would refuse to get vaccinated.  What’s the reason for that?  If you’re suggesting there may unknown risks due to how fast the vaccines are being developed, I can no doubt appreciate that thought process.  However, I don’t believe the 30% of people refusing to be vaccinated as referenced are doing so for that reason.  These are people who simply refuse to vaccinate this particular virus, whether they are anti-science, overly religious, pro personal rights, or simply don’t give a fuck about anyone else.

Edited by Chicago White Sox

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3 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

Probably a good idea to continue to avoid indoor spaces

I’m on vacation at a water park in Pigeon Forge, TN.  My family is only using the outdoor swim areas and has masks on when entering / exiting the hotel.  No one outside of the workers are wearing masks (not sure I’d call it “wearing” for half the employees) and we’re the ones getting the dirty looks.  Rural America either doesn’t believe this disease is legit or simply doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.  I think those of you living in Chicago don’t realize how fucking bad it is in other parts of the county.  Yes the numbers are bad in Texas & Florida, but I’m shocked they aren’t substantially worse.  The idea of social distancing simply doesn’t exist in the south and I don’t think anything is going to change that.

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4 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I’m on vacation at a water park in Pigeon Forge, TN.  My family is only using the outdoor swim areas and has masks on when entering / exiting the hotel.  No one outside of the workers are wearing masks (not sure I’d call it “wearing” for half the employees) and we’re the ones getting the dirty looks.  Rural America either doesn’t believe this disease is legit or simply doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.  I think those of you living in Chicago don’t realize how fucking bad it is in other parts of the county.  Yes the numbers are bad in Texas & Florida, but I’m shocked they aren’t substantially worse.  The idea of social distancing simply doesn’t exist in the south and I don’t think anything is going to change that.

About 1/2 of the people around are still taking this seriously, and even though it moves very quickly, it doesn't move that quickly. It's a lot of rolls of the dice - a few people get it, pass it, and then eventually the chain hits a super-spreading event and now it explodes. It's like playing Yahtzee - every time someone rolls a true Yahtzee, you get a big increase, but it takes a lot of turns before that happens. 

I'll say this, living in one of these exploding states is terrifying. You get yourself ready for hitting 5000 cases in a day, and then the next day its 5990 and mentally you weren't prepared for 6000. You're used to 5 cases a day in your county, then one day there's 60, then a week later there's 120, and then that just becomes the norm.

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24 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

About 1/2 of the people around are still taking this seriously, and even though it moves very quickly, it doesn't move that quickly. It's a lot of rolls of the dice - a few people get it, pass it, and then eventually the chain hits a super-spreading event and now it explodes. It's like playing Yahtzee - every time someone rolls a true Yahtzee, you get a big increase, but it takes a lot of turns before that happens. 

I'll say this, living in one of these exploding states is terrifying. You get yourself ready for hitting 5000 cases in a day, and then the next day its 5990 and mentally you weren't prepared for 6000. You're used to 5 cases a day in your county, then one day there's 60, then a week later there's 120, and then that just becomes the norm.

Where I’m at right now, I’d estimate that 95% of people are not wearing masks or social distancing.  I’ve literally counted probably less than 10 masks in total (excluding workers) between the hotel, CVS (two separate visits), Baskin Robbins, and driving through downtown Pigeon Forge.  If you were here, you’d think that the virus doesn’t exist.  In Nashville, it’s definitely much better but still probably only 50% of people at best wearing masks when you go to the grocery store.

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24 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Where I’m at right now, I’d estimate that 95% of people are not wearing masks or social distancing.  I’ve literally counted probably less than 10 masks in total (excluding workers) between the hotel, CVS (two separate visits), Baskin Robbins, and driving through downtown Pigeon Forge.  If you were here, you’d think that the virus doesn’t exist.  In Nashville, it’s definitely much better but still probably only 50% of people at best wearing masks when you go to the grocery store.

That's about what Texas was like in May and the first 20 days of June when the Governor was telling everyone it was safe and under control. 

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1 hour ago, Chicago White Sox said:

I’m on vacation at a water park in Pigeon Forge, TN.  My family is only using the outdoor swim areas and has masks on when entering / exiting the hotel.  No one outside of the workers are wearing masks (not sure I’d call it “wearing” for half the employees) and we’re the ones getting the dirty looks.  Rural America either doesn’t believe this disease is legit or simply doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.  I think those of you living in Chicago don’t realize how fucking bad it is in other parts of the county.  Yes the numbers are bad in Texas & Florida, but I’m shocked they aren’t substantially worse.  The idea of social distancing simply doesn’t exist in the south and I don’t think anything is going to change that.

Coworker reports from mid/northern Wisconsin are the same.

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52 minutes ago, StrangeSox said:

Coworker reports from mid/northern Wisconsin are the same.

The Beaches, mall and casino over here are the same way.

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My neighbor is an EMT outside of Austin.  He said the governor has had them running constant tests at all nursing homes since the whole thing started and pretty much every Covid call is at a nursing home (for EMS calls).  He says it’s just been slaughtering those places.  
 

Even with all the constant testing they’ve been doing for months it just rips through them.  

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39 minutes ago, Jerksticks said:

My neighbor is an EMT outside of Austin.  He said the governor has had them running constant tests at all nursing homes since the whole thing started and pretty much every Covid call is at a nursing home (for EMS calls).  He says it’s just been slaughtering those places.  
 

Even with all the constant testing they’ve been doing for months it just rips through them.  

My mom is in a LTC facility and the daily numbers are just staggering once it gets in.  It just explodes once it enters.  And this is in a facility that hasn't taken visitors or new patients since early May.  You aren't even allowed to take your family member OUT of the home.  If you do, they are NOT allowed back in until their quarantine is over.  Between staff and patients, they have almost 60 cases, and 8 deaths.

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In April, the National Association of County and City Health Officials estimated that communities would need 30 contact tracers per 100,000 people.

But there are far fewer contact tracers than that in eight states rife with Covid-19 infections, according to new data obtained by CNN from Nephron Research, an independent health care research firm that has been monitoring contact tracing across states. 

As of Monday, Florida has about seven tracers per 100,000, Texas has about 11 tracers per 100,000 and Arizona has about five tracers per 100,000.

Just six states have more than 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents, led by New York and North and South Dakota.

www.cnn.com

Dakotas here a bit of a shock...must be due largely to scares over meat/poultry processing plants. Gov. Kristi Noem has been really outspoken, but negative attention on her state has dramatically decreased from 6-8 weeks ago.

A lot have been tough on Cuomo and de Blasio, but almost every health expert recently has given the highest marks to NY/NJ in terms of overall response and especially a scientifically-centered methodology for bringing outbreaks under control.

What’s really frustrating here is having months and months ahead of time to prepare and basically having a 12% national success rate in terms of states ramping up capacity on tracing...rather than reacting to this only after the situation becomes Italy/Spain/Brazil or NYC-levels of horrifically dire.

 

https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/06/28/beachgoers-heckle-broward-county-4th-july-chen-vpx.cnn

Beachgoers heckle officials after July 4th announcement

CNN's Natasha Chen discusses how beachgoers reacted as Broward County, Florida, officials announced that their beaches will be closed July 4th weekend over coronavirus concerns. 

Edited by caulfield12

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