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23 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Did I hear that a vaccine was discovered by a team from Oxford?  They are testing animals and it worked; now they want to test on humans.  here is link to article.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/apr/30/astrazeneca-partners-with-oxford-university-to-produce-covid-19-vaccine

AF-1, since you are in Cincinnati, you should know that Children's Hospital is seeking participants, ages 18-85, to be trial subjects for the vaccine (don't know if it's the same one, or from another company)  They are compensating for participation. Look up the Gamble Program if you're interested. (I have already put my name on the list)

 

Robin

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terry&mike

 

thank you for your kind words to our leaders, I am humbled (notamermaid with watery eyes) - I consider myself so fortunate, you know every evening I sit on my comfy sofa and think that. Germany has nine neighbouring countries and so many cases have been brought in from those states, we closed our borders to much criticism and anguish - families and loved ones divided from each other, as we are so used to free movement in Europe people cross borders all the time, commuters, school children, friends, farmers... they suffer and we hope we can further ease restrictions from 11 May. As I said yesterday all this is not without controversy and people are getting tired of having their life restricted. But, hey, in all the time since this all began I have not been in lock down, in my state I could still go wherever I wanted to go in the area. We have been lucky. Yes, the government has been good with measures, I would say in retrospect, but we fortunately have a well-prepared medical system with lots of laboratories for testing, which kind of played into the governments hands (for want of a nicer expression).

 

I was quite impressed by the preparedness of Russia that I saw reported on the BBC last night, I think they have learnt well from watching Europe and got ready for outbreaks. Moscow is struggling with the number of cases, but all the testing they have done so far is impressive.

 

Looking towards Asia, I wish we could have done a little more in Germany still, but hopefully the increased testing and tracing with volunteers, together with the app (the data protection people annoyingly slowed things down - again) will help to keep this under control and we can allow people into Germany for leisure again.

 

I hope all those great researchers you have in the US will find out more about the virus and can help with giving the world good medication against the disease.

 

I am so sorry about what befall Louisiana and I am sad about all the other places I hear about, too. Seeing all the people queuing up outside food banks in the BBC reports, that is terrible.

 

You know, some leaders of rich countries met this morning to pledge for money for research. Wonder what will happen there...

 

Look after yourselves, hope to hear from you as soon as possible in happier times from a river cruise ship. :classic_smile:

 

notamermaid

 

 

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On 5/3/2020 at 10:05 AM, djh1959 said:

 I did read today in the newspaper though that there had been a spike in new cases in Germany since a slight relaxing of the regulations.  Is that true or like much in the newspapers, total nonsense?

In short, nonsene, but with some chance, not the fault of the journalist.

 

The numbers fluctuate with a repeating pattern of lows on the weekends and peaks at the beginning of the new week - the virus is active on weekends, the authorities are not really. But there hasnt really been a "spike" in new cases beyond that. However, our health minister Jens Spahn did some secret mental arithmetics in a press conference on the current active cases a couple of days ago and gave a number, which was by some 6000 too high, into the room. Reason was, he dedudted the number of the recovered cases from the figure of the total reported cases, but forgot to subtract the figure of the deceased people. So for half an hour or so, until this mistake had been detected, a wrong number was out. Maybe that is the background to the report youve read. Also the RKI (Robert Koch Institute, our top scientific body on health and epidemic issues) changed the reproduction value from 0,7 to 1,0 and back to 0,75 within days. As this is a statistically derived figure (not an observed one), this rather looks like some statistical artefact and might confuse, at least it did here. 

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7 minutes ago, AnhaltER1960 said:

Also the RKI (Robert Koch Institute, our top scientific body on health and epidemic issues) changed the reproduction value from 0,7 to 1,0 and back to 0,75 within days. As this is a statistically derived figure (not an observed one), this rather looks like some statistical artefact and might confuse, at least it did here. 

Yes, I was a bit skeptical about this quick change within days, not sure that this can happen so fast, but I decided to post it as I had read it.

 

As regards, the weekend reporting being reduced, that was mentioned again on the news yesterday again as well. Also, for electronic compiling reasons, the figures of the RKI and the Johns Hopkins University for Germany differ by several thousand, which so far I think I have not pointed out.

 

notamermaid

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, terry&mike said:

notamermaid, I wanted to take a moment and applaud the government of Germany, and your Chancellor Merkel. During this interesting time in our world, your leadership seems to be a model for how to steer through a crisis. 

Thank you, I will take it into consideration at the next elections, I did not vote her last time.

 

But I do admit, the German government did a good job in this situation. They have missed some things in the past including a report by Robert-Koch-Institue to the federal parliament from 2012, which gave a scenario of "a novel CoV-Virus spreading from a wild animal market in Asia" and described pretty exactly, what happened now (or would have happened in a baseline scenario without counteraction). Including shortage of protective gear like tyvek suits and masks, shortage of medicine, collapsing supply chains and so on.

 

So Germany was warned and could have been prepared better. They do a bit of chaos in introducing the tracing app, but generally in the situation the federal government under  Merkel reacted quickly and with determination. And they were not fuzzing about only a flu, injecting disinfectives and things like that (the international competition in shockingly weak). Instead they strengthened the health systems, did hard cuts into public life and the economy and put an open cheque on the table, "whatever it takes".  Helped by negative interest rates Germany can get on the borrowing markets.

 

A bit more difficult is the reopening now. The federal government has only a coordinating role, the federal states are in charge. This starts to fringe now. Yes, there are local differences between the states, with the eastern states less affected, also the north of Germany less than the the denser populated south or west. Others may put it, the protestant parts of Germany less affected than the catholic parts, not a 100 & match though. So a competition started, Angela Merkel called it an orgy of opening debates (in German "Öffnungsdiskussionsorgien", a word-bomb with 25 letters). The focus is rather the economy than supporting families and we will see the results with a two week time gap.

 

Btw, the Audi lovers: There never was a directive to shut down car factories in Germany. Closing them was/is purely a company decision.

Edited by AnhaltER1960
addition of the app

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

Yes, I was a bit skeptical about this quick change within days, not sure that this can happen so fast, but I decided to post it as I had read it.

 

As regards, the weekend reporting being reduced, that was mentioned again on the news yesterday again as well. Also, for electronic compiling reasons, the figures of the RKI and the Johns Hopkins University for Germany differ by several thousand, which so far I think I have not pointed out.

 

notamermaid

 

Yes, Johns Hopkins University are doing a great job in accounting the figures. Quite surprising that an institution 5000 miles away are quicker than the responsible organisation (Robert Koch Institue) here in Germany. They are trailing by two to three days.

 

@notamermaid, sorry, if you got me wrong, when I wrote "confuse, at least it did here ".  I should have added "here in Germany" , I did not want to say here in the forum.

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This is the discussion and end result of the phone app in Germany: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/27/apple-google-coronavirus-contact-tracing-will-be-used-by-germany.html?&qsearchterm=Germany

 

20 hours ago, AnhaltER1960 said:

sorry, if you got me wrong, when I wrote "confuse, at least it did here ".  I should have added "here in Germany" , I did not want to say here in the forum.

Alles Gut.

 

Time has flown and been filled with so much information that I just could not remember when our first recorded cases in Germany were. Happened to find it this morning: around 27 January, shortly after a visit by a Chinese colleague from Wuhan. It was the first known human-to-human transmission in Europe. As I have mentioned before, they were all traced and isolated. We had no further cases beyond that first cluster in Bavaria for quite a few days.

 

Sadly, our neighbouring country, Belgium is so much affected that their number of deaths is higher than ours. But they have only 11.5 million people, we have 83.1 million. They have not been without troubles due to their Flemish and Wallonia populations and government structures not always being at one with each other, and now this.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It is 100 days since the first case in Germany, so Deutsche Welle has done a recap of events: https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-in-germany-100-days-later/a-53341745

 

It is not all well and I agree that luck was partly involved. I was rather nervous about the slow start to restrictions and the fact that the government has to leave decisions like that to the individual states. For me, one of the biggest mistakes that could have been made would have been to let the tourism trade fair in Berlin go ahead at the beginning of March. Such a virus melting pot/spinner could have haunted as for months after. Again, to make it clear, this was a decision taken after the Berlin senate had introduced rules in Berlin only that lead to the organizers of the fair cancelling it on the grounds that the hygiene rules and other requirements by the authorities could not be adhered to.

 

My own timeline: around 6 March I became a contact of a contact and was waiting for the e-mail to tell me to self-isolate. It did not come. On 13 March I had my last day at work with customer contact. I felt at unease. On 14 March I was contemplating writing an e-mail saying to my boss I felt unsafe in my current work environment. On 15 March it was announced that my office building annex would be closed indefinitely. I have not been back to my desk since and am just doing odd jobs from home.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Edited by notamermaid
grammar

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About our economy: it has slumped in March according to statistics, although manufacturing did not grind to a halt overall and there was no real country-wide lock down as in Italy or France. But as we know everything connected with hospitality and events was down to almost zero from 23 March. It sounds as if April will look even worse in the statistics.

 

On 5/4/2020 at 6:41 PM, AnhaltER1960 said:

 

Btw, the Audi lovers: There never was a directive to shut down car factories in Germany. Closing them was/is purely a company decision.

Indeed. Main reason was they saw demand decrease by so much so quickly: "who would want to buy a car now" - and the supply chains from China were jeopardized. So, with the well-oiled system of short time work called "Kurzarbeit" it was sensible to shut production down. Jens Spahn had mentioned the decisions taken by the car manufacturers in an interview with CNBC a few weeks ago.

 

I think an Audi should be sent over as gift to a couple in Albany, provided they take other car-loving health workers for a ride out in the country and have a lovely picnic when all this is over. @jpalbny greetings and thanks for your work helping  your locals. Look after yourselves.

 

Still trying to get my head round the lifted restrictions in Germany, will probably post the ones for Rhineland-Palatinate in the Rhine thread.

 

notamermaid

 

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The first river cruise companies are talking about opening up til Pentecost. Rhine and Danube itineraries only. That´s been an announcement by A-Rosa today. But the IG River Cruise is talking about this too. So others might follow. nicko cruises hasn´t cancelled their Rhine itineraries for June yet.

 

That´s what I expected that river cruises my be the first to start business. This won´t be with full capacity. All food will be served and no buffets. Aisles will be one way in the restaurants with two seatings. Tours will be in smaller groups. Lots of disinfection of course.

 

We´ll wait and see whether this works out.

 

steamboats

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@steamboats: does the A-ROSA announcement mean June 1 resumption of cruising?  [I still see May 15 on their English language website, but that may just be lagging the announcement you saw.]

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7 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Indeed. Main reason was they saw demand decrease by so much so quickly: "who would want to buy a car now" - and the supply chains from China were jeopardized. So, with the well-oiled system of short time work called "Kurzarbeit" it was sensible to shut production down. Jens Spahn had mentioned the decisions taken by the car manufacturers in an interview with CNBC a few weeks ago.

 

I think an Audi should be sent over as gift to a couple in Albany, provided they take other car-loving health workers for a ride out in the country and have a lovely picnic when all this is over. @jpalbny greetings and thanks for your work helping  your locals. Look after yourselves.

 

Thanks!

 

We have been looking at the RS5 sportback. Hopefully they contact us soon about our preferred color? 😉

 

Probably next year, though, when we can pick it up in Neckarsulm and drive around for a week. My favorite way to buy an Audi!

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2 hours ago, jpalbny said:

We have been looking at the RS5 sportback. Hopefully they contact us soon about our preferred color? 😉

 

This is what I want.  It's the perfect car for the coronavirus lockdown:  it's beautiful to look at, and if you can't drive it you don't care whether it's reliable or not :classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin:

2020-alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglio-green-1.jpg

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12 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

@steamboats: does the A-ROSA announcement mean June 1 resumption of cruising?  [I still see May 15 on their English language website, but that may just be lagging the announcement you saw.]

 

A-Rosa changed to "we don´t name a date" 😉 - But June 1st is the earliest as by then the restrictions within Germany are lifted.

 

nicko cruises has cancelled all cruises til June 14th except for the cruises within Germany (where June 1st would be the earliest).

 

The IG River Cruise (which is an organisation of river cruise operators) did talk about the first steps and how river cruising can start again. That was ... less capacity, no buffets, smaller tour groups...

 

steamboats

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Without going into too much detail about the lifted restrictions one can say things will get easier in Germany in planned steps and by the end of May we shall have an operating tourism sector back, albeit reduced in size and all at a 1.5m distance. The events sector will follow verrry slowly and there is the uneasy feeling going round that 2020 will be a "write-off" as regards festivals, etc.

 

Angela Merkel has handed the power over restrictions from the federal level mostly back to the state (Länder) level. So, everything going smoothly? No, not quite. Built into the new regulations is an emergency stop in that if the level of new confirmed infections in a county or city (a level of administration that is much smaller than a Land), is above 50 per 100,000 people then the restrictions will return with immediate effect. This has already happened once. There has been an outbreak in a meat processing plant. You can read about it here, timestamp 14:25: https://m.dw.com/en/coronavirus-latest-us-unemployment-highest-level-since-the-great-depression/a-53366770 

 

Perhaps a time to rethink our behaviour around eating meat and where it comes from. I suspect the vegetarians are having a field day...

 

On a personal level: office confirmed closed for another week.

 

notamermaid

 

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Do you mean no border crossing from outside Germany until 15 Jun?

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22 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

Do you mean no border crossing from outside Germany until 15 Jun?

It means for example that - if the countries do what the European commission wants them to do - you as a US-citizen cannot enter France, Germany, Austria, etc.

 

This is the Deutsche Welle report of today:

(timestamp) 15:45 The European Commission recommended keeping the EU's external borders closed until June 15 in order to prevent a second wave of novel coronavirus infections.

In March, EU member states agreed to close their borders to non-EU visitors in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly pathogen. Efforts were spearheaded by the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, in the hopes that controls along internal borders would remain minimal.

"We need a phased and coordinated approach," said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson. "Restrictions on free movement and internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually before we can remove restrictions at the external borders and guarantee access to the EU for non-EU residents for non-essential travel."

 

A few more details are given here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/europe-borders-closed-summer-june-travel-coronavirus-a9505841.html

 

notamermaid

 

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Currently we in Germany have a travel advisory to avoid any unnecessary travel outside of Germany until June 14th. So we are not supposed to leave Germany until June 14th (business travel is allowed).

 

EU now has extended the closure of the EU outside borders (which includes all EU Schengen countries plus those EU non-Schengen countries) until June 15th.

 

So I´d be allowed to go to Austria or Italy... But I´m not supposed to leave Germany and so far neither Austria or Italy would let me in anyway...

 

Sorry, it´s quite confusing... But to make it short: No travel to Europe til June 15th. Therefore no river cruises for non-EU passengers til June 15th.

 

steamboats

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Thanks for the updated info.  guess I won't be visiting Europe until sometime next year

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8 hours ago, steamboats said:

So I´d be allowed to go to Austria or Italy... But I´m not supposed to leave Germany and so far neither Austria or Italy would let me in anyway...

 

 

 

steamboats

 

 

Sounds like various provinces in Canada.  Some have closed their borders (PEI, NB) some have partially closed their borders - Quebec has closed the bridges to Ottawa, however other crossings are fine.  However, we are all still supposed to stay close to home so can't go to cottages etc. 

 

We can now "meet" up in small groups outdoors, however social distancing is still required.  The city of Ottawa has it's Tulip Festival going on, and up until this morning, you were not allowed to stop and take photos, however due to public uproar, this has been lifted.  You have to either get there by public transport (not sure how that is working) or walk/bike, as you aren't allowed to park in any parking lots, so I guess we won't be driving up to view them........and it's snowing now anyway, so to tell the truth, I'm not to upset over it!

 

Ontario has now opened garden centres (except planting isn't advised due to snow 🙂), and hardware stores.  On Monday, any retail stores which can provide curbside service are allowed to open.  Slowly but surely, we will return to "normal" if there ever will be such a thing.

 

Stay safe all and hopefully we can cruise again soon.

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As steamboats said, the rules are confusing. And now the UK wants to introduce the 14-day quarantine rule that we have here already. That does make travel to my favourite island even more complicated. I have decided to scrap the idea of a proper Summer holiday in the UK and might go in late Autumn or Winter.

 

Restrictions have been eased, but all the "half brains" have been busy listening to social media exploiters and decided to protest nevertheless, mostly without social distancing. Not sure what they want. The right to "invade" Majorca again in July? Well, some believe they know it all and others just fancy challenging our democracy. It could backfire on the large cities including Berlin. If infection rates are driven up again, those place will go back into semi-lockdown. Medieval I would call it if that wasn't an insult to everything that was good in the Middle Ages. Well the "full brains" have decided to protest against the protesters... and the majority of Germans have decided to change their holiday plans. A bad thing for most places but a good thing for some regions of Germany that are being swamped with bookings. The Moselle? Yes, makes sense. Lovely landscape, river, hills and all, mild climate and if you are culturally inclined Trier is brilliant and who knows, by then you might even be allowed to pop over to France for the day. Metz is a great place to explore, and there is always Luxembourg city.

 

The problem with the hotels is that they are not (yet) allowed to run at full capacity. I suspect that will be the rule for river cruise ships as well across the board, steamboats has already mentioned A-Rosa, but I cannot find the info in detail of percentages, for hotels it is currently as low as 50 or 60 percent in some parts of Germany (from tomorrow).

 

I wonder if IG River Cruise will publish more details?

 

A little about the world champions of travelling that we are and tourism in general: https://www.dw.com/en/tourism-sector-faces-collapse-as-germans-drop-vacation-plans/a-53384920

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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The article you posted is sad.  All over the world tourism is stagnating;  once they figure out how to control or contain the virus; people will not jump right back into travel.  I see people waiting until the fall to start travel vacations.  

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1 hour ago, AF-1 said:

The article you posted is sad.  All over the world tourism is stagnating;  once they figure out how to control or contain the virus; people will not jump right back into travel.  I see people waiting until the fall to start travel vacations.  

It is sad indeed. In Rhineland-Palatinate the loss for the hospitality trade has been estimated to be 2 billion euros. That is without the connected business in tourism and culture like museums, etc.

 

But it is worse in other parts of the world where people rely even more on tourism and it is sad to read that wildlife conservation will also suffer from this. Our wildlife is improving, got a falcon family nearby now and I saw a dragonfly in a real town setting yesterday! Coincidence or not, it was fascinating.

 

Oh and borders. It is Mother's Day so visiting your mother today was deemed essential travel and you can cross the borders into Germany today.

 

And success is coming in the form of the statistics. In Rhineland-Palatinate where 4.6 million people live, there have been only 22 new cases reported in 24 hours and no deaths. Too early to get the champagne out and celebrate in the streets, but we can contemplate putting the champagne in the fridge. :classic_smile:

 

Look after yourselves.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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