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John Ranalletta

COVID-19 Poll

Is COVID-19 causing you to rethink any plans or take any precautions?  

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John Ranalletta

Spoke with a friend who lives in DC this morning.  He's definitely not a tin foil hat guy, but he said he took the Metro to a basketball game last night and for the first time wondered, "Is this smart?  Taking a train and sitting with thousands of people?"  Heard from our apartment manager that another resident is stuck in China, unable to get a flight out.  He's not ill but just can't get out.

 

Last week, we flew from PHX to IND and noticed just a few people wearing masks.  I had two in my bag in case we sat next to anyone coughing and wheezing or one of us caught cold/flu on our trip.

 

Is COVID-19 causing you to rethink any plans or take any precautions?

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Antimatter

If the incubation period is as long as being suggested now (3 weeks), there will be no way to screen the population or prevent the spread of this bug.  We're all going to be exposed, and have to take precautions to take care of ourselves until there is a vaccine or some other form of prevention.

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Joe Frickin' Friday

No rethink/precautions yet.  That may change down the road, depending on how things develop.  Masako and I usually go to Japan once per year; whether/when that happens this year remains to be seen, depending on how this disease develops there and elsewhere.  

 

A couple of years ago we made it our normal practice, upon boarding any flight, to wipe down the area around us - armrests, seatbelt buckles, tray table, entertainment system, etc. - with an antibacterial wipe.  That wasn't particularly in response to this pandemic; it just started to seem like a good idea in general, to reduce the odds of getting sick just when you are starting a vacation.  

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bwpsg42

I have been planning a multi week ride out west, from Florida, for the May/June timeframe.  Unlike some, at 72 this will probably be my last big adventure.  This whole thing has at least made me think about the ramifications of more cases between here and there.  I guess it's wait and see for me.

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John Ranalletta
1 hour ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

No rethink/precautions yet.  That may change down the road, depending on how things develop.  Masako and I usually go to Japan once per year; whether/when that happens this year remains to be seen, depending on how this disease develops there and elsewhere.  

 

A couple of years ago we made it our normal practice, upon boarding any flight, to wipe down the area around us - armrests, seatbelt buckles, tray table, entertainment system, etc. - with an antibacterial wipe.  That wasn't particularly in response to this pandemic; it just started to seem like a good idea in general, to reduce the odds of getting sick just when you are starting a vacation.  

 

The challenge with air travel is recirculated, unfiltered, shared air.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
7 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

 

The challenge with air travel is recirculated, unfiltered, shared air.

 

 

On most planes, cabin air is HEPA-filtered:

Quote

Most aircraft have strong filter systems. With the exception of some smaller or much older aircraft, airplanes are equipped with True High-Efficiency Particle Filters (True HEPA) or High-Efficiency Particle Filters (HEPA).

 

These filtration systems then filter and recirculate the air from the cabin and mix it with fresh air. The dirtier a HEPA filter gets, the more efficient it becomes, so it can easily handle the passenger load on a Boeing 747.

 

Air recirculation happens pretty quickly. The HEPA filtration system can make a complete air change approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every two to four minutes. According to IATA, the International Air Transport Association, "HEPA filters are effective at capturing greater than 99 percent of the airborne microbes in the filtered air. Filtered, recirculated air provides higher cabin humidity levels and lower particulate levels than 100 percent outside air systems."

 

The "some smaller planes" that don't have cabin air filters are regional jets, a few models of which do recirculate unfiltered air.  The saving grace is that flights on regional jets tend to be no more than a couple of hours, limiting your exposure.  Even in these cases though, the recirculation is only partial; as on on other planes, cabin air is exchanged a couple dozen times per hour, which is a much higher rate than most of the other public spaces where people spend time

 

The WHO had this to say. The first sentence is key:

Quote

Research has shown that there is very little risk of any communicable disease being transmitted on board an aircraft.

 

The quality of aircraft cabin air is carefully controlled. Ventilation rates provide a total change of air 20–30 times per hour. Most modern aircraft have recirculation systems, which recycle up to 50% of cabin air. The recirculated air is usually passed through HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters, of the type used in hospital operating theatres and intensive care units, which trap dust particles, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

 

Bottom line, if you're flying and you want to avoid airborne contagion, your best bet is to crank open that overhead nozzle and aim it to shower your face with HEPA-filtered air.

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John Ranalletta

image.png.2350aa12b3b0a5d40a9d0a26c86f606f.png

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Joe Frickin' Friday
10 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

image.png.2350aa12b3b0a5d40a9d0a26c86f606f.png

 

Who's in the bag - you, or the disease vector?  Either way, I hope it's a short flight...  

:5150:

 

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chrisolson

I believe there is a huge "messaging" problem with Covid-19. 

 

What's lacking is the "positive" side of the story .... and what's positive about this you ask .... ?

 

Well, the fact that the mortality rate is very low.  Certainly not as bad as MERS or Ebola and similar to the death rate from "normal" annual varieties of flu.

 

Death is  possible, but its definitely NOT a certainty for the majority of the population.  Which is where the messaging seems to break down giving the impression that this irreversibly bad.

 

  It appears for many people, its about like a bad case of flu.  And should be treated symptomatically the same way .... rest, fluids , anti inflammatory medication.

 

If you're in a high risk category (elderly, those with already compromised immune systems) , there is reason to take precautions if there is an indication wide area infections.  But for now ... business as usual.

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BobW03

Went to Universal in Florida last week from Boston. Traveled with daughter, her husband and 5 year old. Other daughter and husband flew in from Sac. If we did not get sick from that crowd, maybe I am impervious.:4315:

 

P.S  Hagrids ride breaks down often , but was probably the best roller-coaster ride created.

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John Ranalletta
8 minutes ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

 

Who's in the bag - you, or the disease vector?  Either way, I hope it's a short flight...  

:5150:

 

 

Google image.

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Rougarou

I'm re-thinking it about as much as I did for bird flu, swine flu, SARS, ebola, MRSA, and zika virus, which simply means, I'm doing nothing.

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John Ranalletta

Seems the group most in danger of death matches the BMW motorcycle owner group, i.e. older to old, already compromised (COPD)...just sayin'.  Have a nice day.

 

The wise folks at ITR say the only two ways to avoid a depression in the 2030s  are: 1) kill all people over 50 or 2) nuclear war.   Maybe there's a financial silver lining in COVID-19.

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tallman

Yes.

OTC meds.

Rx's.

Food for long term.

Consumable day to day products.

Range markers.

No elective trips thru airports/large gatherings.

We'll know a lot more in 30 days wrt the transmission, spread, effects, as it moves from China to everywhere else.

This is a dry run.

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lkraus
16 minutes ago, John Ranalletta said:

 

Google image.

https://gothamist.com/news/jew-in-bag-opens-up

Old story from 2013.

Rabbi Yosef Brook, who is the man's Rabbi, was upset with the media reaction to the bag, which he found to be underestimating the Kohen's intellect. "Before Passover he flew to Israel, and because of a change in the flight he found out that he would be flying over a cemetery," Brook told Ynet. "He consulted a rabbi, who ruled that although the plane was a closed place, there was impurity over the cemetery and in order to deal with it—he must reach a situation of a 'container with a lid fastened on it.'"

 

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Sonor

If it becomes something that flairs up in my circle of influence, then certainly I will be nervous.  Not sure what the mortality rate is for this "bug" as the media sure are keeping it in our faces and lord knows they do exaggerate. Still, we have supplies on hand for hurricanes etc so if need be, we will be fine at home for a while. 

 

I am just sorry for all of those already impacted by this disease.  The big questions - is it man made and did it come from a lab somewhere?

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John Ranalletta

Prior to the COVID-19 stuff, we discussed a trip to Canada to buy insulin.   Humalog in the US is $300+/vial and reported to sell for $30/vial in Canada as an OTC medication.  After all, who'd want insulin if not diabetic? 

 

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Rougarou

Might be a good time to go see the Great Wall as the crowds may be a little dispersed :18:

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Joe Frickin' Friday
1 minute ago, Rougarou said:

Might be a good time to go see the Great Wall as the crowds may be a little dispersed :18:

 

Kyoto (Japan) is already working that angle.

Quote

Arashiyama has enjoyed many busy traveler-filled winters over the past few years.

 

However, due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, locals report that the neighborhood has had fewer visitors so far in 2020 than in 2019.

 

As a consequence, the district's tourism website states that shopkeepers are at the ready to welcome visitors "with even more hospitality than usual."

 

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Rougarou
5 minutes ago, Joe Frickin' Friday said:

 

Yep, great time to travel to some of those destinations that may have larger crowds.

 

Milan, Venice, Hong Kong,......nows your time!!!

 

;)

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John Ranalletta
1 hour ago, chrisolson said:

But for now ... business as usual.

 

Speaking of business as usual, people who bought Tesla at $917 last week should be mortgaging up to buy it today at $679 - 25% off.

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wbw6cos

I am not particularly worried about catching anything, but with a trip planned to Italy my main concern is what the authorities will do to keep us from leaving for about 14 days after the vacation is over.   Quarantine is not part of the planned time off.  Just sayin'

 

The airline's flight schedule is also a factor, which is also beyond our control.  Do not want to be stuck somewhere.

 

WIth that said, if Laura and I decide to skip Italy this year, we will definitely do something stateside without the fear of being locked down.  

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EvilTwin

Not taking precautions at this time, but will re-evaluate in 2-4 weeks and thereafter.  This strain looks to be extremely contagious given its rapid spread so far.   Mortality rate just looking at the published numbers so far is between 3-4%..  But that does not depict age groups most at risk. 

 

AGE                     DEATH RATE*

80+    years old  14.8%

70-79 years old  8.0%

60-69 years old  3.6%

50-59 years old  1.3%

40-49 years old  0.4%

30-39 years old  0.2%

20-29 years old  0.2%

10-19 years old  0.2%

0-9 years old       no fatalities

 

Most people may get a mild version, but anyone over 50 much more at risk.  

 

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

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mickeym3

Evil, you may have Marty rethinking his travel plans. At a “spry”’70 I still plan on riding to Alaska and the rally but NO cruise ships this year. 

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MikeRC

 

Well, I would buy trip cancellation insurance for anywhere you plan to go from April to September.  If you can find a plan that covers pandemic type conditions. 

 

Looks like much of Italy may be in quarantine, and I imagine that will spread to other EU countries over the next 1-2 months.  

 

This disease isn't like influenza.  The mortality rate from influenza is about 0.13%.  COVID-19 has a 20x higher mortality.  And people are generally sicker for longer.  They also seem to keep shedding the virus for 7-10 days after recovering from the (clinical) illness.  

 

Whole workplaces will be sent home to self quarantine for 10, 14 or maybe 21 days after one co-worker gets ill.  And not just factories or businesses but critical infrastructure staff and health care workers.    If they find that quarantine isn't an effective public health measure (and it may not be),  many people who become ill will be unable to work for 10-14 days (current estimates).  

 

Hospitals can barely cope with the worst of influenza season, imagine the patient load being 20x higher.   There will be interesting discussions about who does (and doesn't) get ventilation support in packed ICUs.  If they have any staff at work (not home ill or on quarantine).   

 

I'm not sure the market drop over the last few days has priced in the full risk.  

 

Mike C

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John Ranalletta

Thanks for your thoughts, Mike.  
 

 

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Rougarou
9 hours ago, MikeRC said:

 

This disease isn't like influenza.  The mortality rate from influenza is about 0.13%.  COVID-19 has a 20x higher mortality.  And people are generally sicker for longer.  They also seem to keep shedding the virus for 7-10 days after recovering from the (clinical) illness. 

 

Mike C

 

That's nearly a 97% survival rate,......yep,......I'm good ;)

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John Ranalletta

BBC radio had an interview with a doctor in Wuhan.  His description of how the disease progressed, the lack of hospital beds and equipment, seeing other doctors & med staff die and having five patients die in one night was harrowing.

 

Dr. Louis Profeta, an ER doc here in Indy was once asked what he feared most.  His response: "Flu

 

20141025024804-325275276-er-doctor-what-

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Marty Hill
17 hours ago, mickeym3 said:

Evil, you may have Marty rethinking his travel plans. At a “spry”’70 I still plan on riding to Alaska and the rally but NO cruise ships this year. 

I'm too dumb to change travel plans unless stopped by much worse news.  Sadly in the US the news is to be doubted for now.

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Jake

Anyone interested in 4 tickets to Milan for the end of April?  Nope?  Cuz that's what I have.  Yep.

 

When you sort out all of the facts, fears and folly, you know this too will pass.  For now, however, this is shaping up to be an opportunity to put my wife and friends on a plane, in hotels, and on a river boat and deal with a mask-wearing, Purell-squirting, cordoned-off extravaganza to the European ground zero, spending 3 days there.   Would you go for that one?  I'm thinking that's not what I saw in the brochure.

 

So, when you pull out the documents and read the fine print for a $16K trip, and learn by cancelling in time you only are going to get $6K back even with the expensive insurance ($1,100), you have quite a decision to make.  My conundrum is that I have until March 12th to make that decision, or my 50% turns to zero, and my only hope to recover funds at that point is if the carrier cancels the trip, which is a big roll of the dice.  Do you think they are cancelling an April/May trip in time for me to make that decision in March?  I'm thinking that's a no.

 

You insurance people are awesome at this. 

 

Per the trip forums, the seasoned travelers are negotiating to delay or elect to use the funds toward another trip by the same provider.  So far, this provider (a good one) has adopted a wait and see approach and are denying any rescheduling.  They are correct in that it is too early to make a call despite immense public pressure, but that is a public safety decision and not a financial one that helps with my fine print.

 

Three fun-filled days in Milan before heading up the Rhine to Amsterdam during the height of tulip season. A 50% off sale! 

 

Anyone? 

 

 

 

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Rougarou

Would you do two for 25%? 

 

If only I wasn't traveling already during that time, albeit stateside for work.  Along with that, my wife won't take off during the school year for anything, I've even found a sweet deal to Thailand last year and she wouldn't budge.  Ah, the life of living with a teecher.  All our travel has to be at the high dollar summer season :27:

 

I'd certainly do it because it's not like this bug will wipe Milan off the face of the planet and what's a bit of quarantine.

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John Ranalletta

Holy mackerel, Jake!  I'd be tempted to glove up and go if I were your age.  At my age, sitting here hacking and coughing having likely picked up a germ on my flight from PHX to IND, I'd try to cut my losses.  Any chance you can do a touch-and-go in Milan even if it means altering your itinerary?

 

Edit: Forgot you still have kiddos in the nest.  That changes things.

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John Ranalletta

...

 

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EvilTwin

Post edited at the request of mods, potential troll that I quoted.

 

 

 

 

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John Ranalletta

...

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eddd

Jonbeen has been blocked for now.  Administration will deal with the situation.

 

Ed

staff

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Jake

Looks like I missed some fun up above.

 

2 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

 Any chance you can do a touch-and-go in Milan even if it means altering your itinerary?

 

And miss all of this?  (that is the Duomo, this week, on our itinerary)

 

imageproxy.php?img=&key=6a3749c85cdc35ae19215569_G.jpg?auto=webp&disable=upscale[/img]

 

We'll wait and see along with the tour company, I guess.  At least until March 11th.  Then the four of us will have a gut-check discussion based on the latest info.  We don't mind dying, it's just that we hate to waste money on boredom.

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chrisolson

Interesting news posted HERE

 

There may be some unexpectedly quick progress on a treatment for Covid-19 ... not a vaccine, which is still forecast to take 12 to 18 months ... but a means to help recovery for those infected.

 

From the artticle "  Treatments help people after they already have a disease; in the case of COVID-19, researchers hope to treat the around 15 percent of COVID-19 patients who have non-mild symptoms. Vaccines, on the other hand, help prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

 

Scientists started work on drugs to treat coronaviruses during the SARS and MERS outbreaks, but because the outbreaks died down, the job was never completed. Now, they’re able to dust off that old research and start building on it.  The leading candidate is a drug called remdesivir ...Research showed that it could block SARS and MERS in cells and in mice. In addition, remdesivir was used in a clinical trial looking for treatments for Ebola — and therefore, it had already gone through safety testing to make sure it doesn’t cause any harm. "

 

Also its important to note that if their data in the article is correct, around 85% of those infected with Covid-19 do so with mild effects ... which may still be distressing , but certainly not fatal for the majority of the population.

 

 

 

 

 

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John Ranalletta

I've always appreciated John Mauldin's views on financial issues.  This week's commentary re: COVID-19 is insightful, especially re: travel:

 

Quote

On a personal level, I think we should all just exercise common sense. I asked Dr. Kim (Dr. Joseph Kim, the CEO of Inovio) if he was cutting back on his travel, including his international travel. His answer was no, life has to go on. Other frequent international travelers I know expressed the same sentiments. Some say they will avoid China, more because they don’t want to land in quarantine upon return than fear of getting the virus. Mike Roizen (chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic) said he will still be traveling within the US, where he is already scheduled.

 

Of course, follow official advice if you live in an affected area, but we can’t all seal ourselves into bubbles. I will be traveling to New York in two weeks and plan many dinner meetings as well as other business meetings. As my wife Shane said about my future travel, “Stay calm and wash your hands.”

 

https://www.mauldineconomics.com/frontlinethoughts/covid-19-a-crisis-the-fed-cant-fix

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Paul De

Its sort of a yes and no thing for me.  Its flu season and as such I tend to wash my hands a bit more and be careful not to rub eyes, nose mouth with my hands.  I will be a bit more vigilant about this, and frankly probably should follow these practices 365 anyway. 

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Twisties

Thanks @MikeRC I was about to say something pretty similar.

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John Ranalletta

Jake,

 

You probably have already seen this, but...

 

image.png.ba856d4228ad22ffc15cb2c74ec88f36.png

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Joe Frickin' Friday

Bill Gates - five years ago:

 

 

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Jake
13 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Jake,

 

You probably have already seen this, but...

 

Yep, sure did.  A bit cryptic.  Our AA flight is from FLL to Milan, not specifically covered by that announcement, and a bit moot as our flight is April 26th, two days after their time period.  The cruise company should be coming out with some guidance this week per their reps.  A trip that's been sold out days after issuance now has sudden availability according to their website. Any takers?!!  I can promise no-waiting at the cafes and the museums.

 

Fingers crossed that they will offer something reasonable before our deadline date - I'm sure they will.  Those availabilities (cancellations) cost a bunch of people a bunch of money.  

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Twisties

Well, I clicked, "No" on the poll a few days ago.  

 

Today, as we plan the next phase our travel in the RV I am starting to think in terms of being caught in potential quarantined areas, or unable to get where we are headed due to a quarantine.  As well, potential shortages and disruptions.  We can't stock up much in the RV and are dependent on friends to pick up and post our prescriptions from back home.  Lot's of potential for disruptions.   Of course, the worst case would be catching it on the road.  We are in the 4-corners region, in Aztec, NM and were about to head to DFW and then JAX to visit aging parents.  But we need to be back out west in mid-April.

 

What has changed since I answered the poll is the emergence of two facts:

 

1.  Clear evidence of geographically widespread community infection (still very low numbers).

2.  Clear evidence that we have not been testing enough and the virus has been spreading undetected, likely for 6 weeks.

 

I now assume that eventually we will be exposed. 

 

We are both in high risk groups, as I understand it, with asthma (immunocompromised) and 60 yoa or over.  Our insurance allegedly covers emergencies when we are out of state, but I just ended up paying cash out of pocket for a covered emergency procedure because they threw up too many roadblocks.   Going home is starting to sound prudent, except:  Health care there is woeful, as is much of rural health care in the US, and I'm not sure being there really solves anything.  

 

But now, @John Ranalletta, yes we are rethinking plans.

 

 

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Hosstage

How much greater are the chances of catching it while traveling as you are in an RV in the United States verses being at home and doing normal activities, like going to the store and pharmacy?

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Twisties
2 minutes ago, Hosstage said:

How much greater are the chances of catching it while traveling as you are in an RV in the United States verses being at home and doing normal activities, like going to the store and pharmacy?

 My point is that we would need out of area medical attention at potentially great out of pocket cost and certainly major hassle.  I guess, as well, there is likely delayed treatment if we are out of area.  Because we are much less likely to go in for mild illness when we are traveling due to the potential costs and hassles. 

 

To your question, as I said above, I now assume we will be exposed.  I suppose we could pull the RV into a boondock site and reappear once a week or so for food, water and dump...  but I still think we would eventually be exposed.   

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Twisties

It's pretty much ridiculous that health care doesn't travel well.  

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The Rocketman

I'm not worried, but pretty concerned. I'm supposed to fly to Slovenia on May 25th, spend about 2 days there. Then 6-1/2 hour ride to Fano, Italy for I think 4-5 days. Then maybe up to Switzerland or Austria for a while. Then back to Slovenia to return home on June 8th. Don't expect to be riding in any heavy tourist trap areas or large cities, but I don't know where the people have been who I will run into while I'm there. Certainly not thrilled about dying from this thing. Just as not thrilled about getting sick, quarantined and missing my flight home. Delta/Air France/KLM said if they cancel flights to my airports (JFK ->Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (2 hour layover) -> LLubljana Airport Slovenia, then back) they'll give me a waiver and give me a credit to use one year from the date of my original ticket purchase-11/7/19. If they still fly there, and I cancel on my own, I eat it. I called about a dozen travel insurance companies yesterday, and none offer "voluntary travel cancellation insurance". Still contemplating my options, which are pretty simple. Don't go and cry about it after hearing all my friends went, had a great time, and no illness. Or go, suck it up, and don't breath near anyone on all the plane flights, or while I'm there.

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