Author Topic: Coronavirus : general discussion focussed on the impact on the cruise industry  (Read 59713 times)

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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Passengers on QM2 have posted on FB the Captain's letter informing passengers that the ship will remain in Barbados until 2 January then return to Southampton for 10 January.  As the ship will not make her scheduled call at NY, passengers due to disembark can have flights arranged by Cunard.  So sad that after the return to cruising in November, QM2 has had a Covid outbreak with 12 passengers quarantined after testing positive at NY.  Not sure if crew have been affected, but I heard that crew who had been identified as having contact with these passengers were isolating onboard ship.



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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Interesting message, thanks for sharing.

Understandable that they need spare crew members for all essential roles, in case some have to isolate

I would think Cunard have made a rather large loss on this first significant outing,
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Offline skilly56

I read on a CDC message today that there are currently 87 cruise ships with Covid on board.

It might be well into next year before this is totally under control.

Skilly

Offline Trevor Harris

I hope the crusing companies can pull through this. I just know that the situation we're all in makes it very difficult. I wonder if they're going to start economizing and replace those mega ships with smaller ships? I say that given that the numbers of people travelling will probably be lower than they had been since covid started. I think that we can all agree that Covid has made it hard to book ships to full capacity. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see smaller more beautiful liners again? Here I am dreaming again!!

I've come to realize that this is never going to go away. Quite a scary thought to have, isn't it? Hopefully within time there will be medical breakthroughs that will help minimize the impact covid will have on the body and it could just affect us like the flu. Hopefully  :'(
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Online Peter Mugridge

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I've come to realize that this is never going to go away. Quite a scary thought to have, isn't it? Hopefully within time there will be medical breakthroughs that will help minimize the impact covid will have on the body and it could just affect us like the flu. Hopefully  :'(

As time goes on, it will mutate into less and less virulent ( but more contagious ) variants; this is exactly what we are seeing with the omicron thing: the vast majority of people with it are experiencing symptoms no greater than that of a heavy cold.

What we refer to as the "common cold" is in fact caused by more than 200 different viruses; most are rhinoviruses but there are four other coronaviruses amongst that lot.  Each and every one of those 200+ viruses was originally much more damaging than they are now.

A close parallel is what happened when Europeans first encountered the indigenous populations of Central and South America - those populations were almost wiped out by the colds they caught off the Europeans; they had never encountered those viruses before and their immune systems had no way of dealing with them whereas in the Europeans there was a high level of resistance through many centuries of past exposure.  The viruses were already in a very weakened form, but the lack of an immune response did the damage.

Omicron is likely not the last high profile variant we will hear of in the current pandemic ( and note: historically pandemics have tended to last roughly two years, the point where we are at now ) but the next variant will spread even faster but will be even weaker.  The one after that will be faster and weaker still - and by that point, the damaging part of the process will be over.

In summary, no - SARS Cov2 will not ever go away, and anyone who aims at zero covid is not being realistic; what will happen is that it will just settle down into another "cold" virus and we will probably be at that point sooner than it looks at the moment.
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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As time goes on, it will mutate into less and less virulent ( but more contagious ) variants; this is exactly what we are seeing with the omicron thing: the vast majority of people with it are experiencing symptoms no greater than that of a heavy cold.

What we refer to as the "common cold" is in fact caused by more than 200 different viruses; most are rhinoviruses but there are four other coronaviruses amongst that lot.  Each and every one of those 200+ viruses was originally much more damaging than they are now.

A close parallel is what happened when Europeans first encountered the indigenous populations of Central and South America - those populations were almost wiped out by the colds they caught off the Europeans; they had never encountered those viruses before and their immune systems had no way of dealing with them whereas in the Europeans there was a high level of resistance through many centuries of past exposure.  The viruses were already in a very weakened form, but the lack of an immune response did the damage.

Omicron is likely not the last high profile variant we will hear of in the current pandemic ( and note: historically pandemics have tended to last roughly two years, the point where we are at now ) but the next variant will spread even faster but will be even weaker.  The one after that will be faster and weaker still - and by that point, the damaging part of the process will be over.

In summary, no - SARS Cov2 will not ever go away, and anyone who aims at zero covid is not being realistic; what will happen is that it will just settle down into another "cold" virus and we will probably be at that point sooner than it looks at the moment.

A good reflection on where we are 2 years on (the warning notice was issued 2 years ago today... by the doctor who discovered it, and was silenced, and then ended up dying of covid later...)

Once we are over the alarming Omicron spike, there's certainly reasons to be hopeful.  This is just as well, given that the world has shown itself to be incapable of vaccinating everyone on the planet in a timely manner, even as others get astoundingly rich...

For Cruise ships - vaccines don't stop you catching and transferring the virus, and they also don't offer 100% protection from getting symptoms (or worse).  On top of that, tests aren't perfect and take time to show up - it can take many days.  Once you understand that, its easy to understand how they're getting outbreaks.  From what I've read, they're not testing anything like enough.  Everyone on board should be testing every day I think.

Also, I've heard absolutely nothing about cruise ships revising their air-conditioning systems so that the virus can't be transferred from room to room.  Covid can "hang in the air" for ages, and Omicron is catchable like that.  A doctor on the radio yesterday said they think its more infectious than Measles, and you can catch that in a room that someone was in hours previously...
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Offline Twynkle

A good reflection on where we are 2 years on (the warning notice was issued 2 years ago today... by the doctor who discovered it, and was silenced, and then ended up dying of covid later...)

Once we are over the alarming Omicron spike, there's certainly reasons to be hopeful.  This is just as well, given that the world has shown itself to be incapable of vaccinating everyone on the planet in a timely manner, even as others get astoundingly rich...

For Cruise ships - vaccines don't stop you catching and transferring the virus, and they also don't offer 100% protection from getting symptoms (or worse).  On top of that, tests aren't perfect and take time to show up - it can take many days.  Once you understand that, its easy to understand how they're getting outbreaks.  From what I've read, they're not testing anything like enough.  Everyone on board should be testing every day I think.

Also, I've heard absolutely nothing about cruise ships revising their air-conditioning systems so that the virus can't be transferred from room to room.  Covid can "hang in the air" for ages, and Omicron is catchable like that.  A doctor on the radio yesterday said they think its more infectious than Measles, and you can catch that in a room that someone was in hours previously...

Yes - I agree. However the new variant may well be not as benign as first thought,  a close relative is unwell with the recently new Variant - he is in hospital, requiring oxygen.

The only way that the virus SARS -19,  its ensuing variants plus others, will become extinct won't be until a high percentage of the world's population have developed immunity through vaccination...(as with the polio and smallpox virus).
Trains, boats and planes - these will all be potential "carriers".
Therefore, it seems as if travel, as we've been fortunate enough to know it, isn't this is going to require massive attention/change that could take years in design, with huge amounts in cost as well as time in the making?

« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2021, 04:18 PM by Twynkle »

Offline QE2forever

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It seems that as long as children are not immunized they will keep on spreading the virus whatever the vaccination rate of other categories of age may be.

Also, as long as poor countries are kept aside from vaccination, it is likely that new variants will keep on emerging whatever the vaccination coverage of rich countries.

Reminds me of Titanic's watertight compartments that didn't extend up high enough, in order to leave more space for the First Class...

Online Lynda Bradford

In relation to ship's ventilations systems these two article may be of interest.

Cruise Critics article "Cruise Lines change ship ventilation systems"

and you may also be interested in reading the attached pdf of research by Victor Mihai and Liliana Rusu
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Interesting articles.

So.... yes its a problem.  They know it.  Only a few lines have actually done anything about it, because it will be a complex and expensive fix...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Chris Thompson

Remembering ships I worked on where the AC would blow into the cabin and exit through a vent in the door, effectively making the hallways loaded with viruses! :D I'm also thinking that the size of the AC plants would have to be substantially increased if recirculating the air was halted. Think for example an AC system in your car, works much better on the Max setting that re-cycles the air.

 

Cruising and Coronavirus - How to get going again?

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by Trevor Harris