Coronavirus

Mrs Darling

Well-known member
We were planning on visiting Tokyo and/or Osaka for 5-7 days, then several days at the parks at the end of the trip. I am reliably zombified the first day or two in China, and figure Japan will be similar, so more opportunistic things at the beginning seemed like a good idea. We did the same thing with Paris and DLRP, and that worked really well.

Mid-May was my target too. This is all subject to change once they figure out if/when they are doing the 2020 Olympics.
We’re keeping our travel close to home this year too (ideally Newfoundland) We were lucky enough to to get in a WDW trip just before everything shut down so it doesn’t sting as much as it otherwise might. We are planning on rescheduling my 50th bday trip to Paris/ DLR from this year to fall 2022 (without the kids.) And the kids have requested DL California & Northern Cali as their next big trip. So Orlando would be 2024 at the earliest. Which means my kids will be in the middle of college by then. Yikes.
Just curious what you mean by “opportunistic” things at the beginning?
 

smwisc

Active member
Bringing the topic (vaguely) to Disney: My normal time of year to visit Orlando is late Feb/early Mar, though it can be as early as Marathon week, or well into May. I've been once in the Fall (late October) and might do that again, and a couple of times in the summer. I won't do that again.

I have at least speculative travel plans for the next 14 months, and none of them involve Orlando. It will probably be at least two more years before I go back if things do not change.
We are hoping to go in late July 2021, but that's very tentative right now. At this point we're willing to go even with a reduced experience as long as it's safe enough. And no, I don't have a specific definition of "safe enough" yet - some combination of vaccination, (much lower) case rates, and precautions (e.g. masks required, distancing in queues). We drive, stay in a house off-site, and rarely eat at restaurants to begin with, so the biggest risk is indoor attractions. We have until 30 days before to cancel the house we have reserved, so no decisions are needed yet. If there were a risk of losing money, I wouldn't be making plans now.

We were supposed to go this past summer, and we haven't gone since 2015, so we're eager to go again. I purchased our five 10-day non-hoppers on a 2019 Black Friday sale, so if we don't use them by Sept 2021, it will cost a good chunk of change to repurchase for a future date. Plus if we push it off another year, it throws other future vacation plans out of whack (multi-family trip tied to a rotating-location family reunion, which was all pushed back a year like everything else). And my youngest is 8 and doesn't remember going at age 2 - I'd really like to go when he is still sort of "little". We rented a house at WH, with a pool and game room, so I feel prepared for a trip that has less park time and more hanging out time.

But all that said, if it's unsafe, or just ridiculous, we won't go.
 

Nia

Well-known member
I think I will feel safe if we are vaccinated and 70% of population were we live and were we are going to are vaccinated. It's not going to be this year but I really hope next year we are able to do some travel but that will depends on the uptake of the vaccination locally too.
 

Anne

Well-known member
I had the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. I feel pretty much fine. My arm is sore, but less sore than after the first shot. Just maybe a little tired but minimal enough if it was a work day I would be fine working. So of course I worry that I'm not getting a good antibody response. Most of my co-workers are reporting fatigue, mild headaches. One doc had to go home early from work on Friday due to significant fatigue and a fever (I think he has some underlying health issues) and one had some significant swollen lymph nodes.

We are really fortunate that the roll out has been done well by the hospital. They are relying on staff picking up overtime and extra shifts to administer the vaccine to employees and they have been well staffed and no lines or waits when going at the scheduled time for anyone I've talked with. The hospital also has agreements with some small outside medical groups who are not directly affiliated with a hospital to administer to their employees. They are now vaccinating the 3rd tier of health care workers, those who have some patient contact but not known COVID or respiratory illness. 70% of the employees who are eligible have gotten at least one dose of vaccine and more are signed up in the next week for their first dose. Employees can opt for the vaccine as long as first dose in by Jan 15, then they are ramping down the hospital-based employee clinic.

Monday the outpatient clinic where I mostly work (I'm at the hospital 1 day per week plus call weekends, the rest is clinic-based) is getting the first shipment of vaccine for patients. It looks like all the primary care clinics in our system will be state health department approved sites. We don't know yet if it's going to be Pfizer or Moderna (we can handle either). The health department makes the decision about which formulation and for now all shipments will be same the company so that when patients come for the 2nd dose we know we will have the appropriate 2nd dose. The vaccine is supposed to come in on Monday, but we are still waiting for the state to tells us when we can go ahead with the 75 and up population.
 

Anne

Well-known member
Is 95% success rate common for flu vaccination I wonder?
No. I can't ever recall a 95% flu success rate. Partly because flu virus has a faster mutation rate (antegenic drift) than coronaviruses so far. And because they guess each year what the 4 dominant strains will be based on Southern hemisphere's flu season and by the time it gets here it may have changed. There are so many more strains in a flu vaccine. So the H1N1 component may be 90-95% effective, but the aggregate success (which is how flu is reported out each year) will be lower if H1N1 is in the vaccine but doesn't turn out to be dominant that year and another strain not there is dominant. In some ways comparing how we report flu vaccine success to coronavirus vaccine study success is an apples to oranges comparison.
 

Anne

Well-known member
My question is, how often will you need to get the Covid vaccine? We usually get the flu shot once a year, right before flu season. It's usually effective for about 6 months. Because the flu virus changes, the vaccines developed each year are the 'best guess' for the expected strains.

The Covid vaccine is going to be using mRNA, and not the killed virus like the flu shot currently does. Current articles say they won't know how long the Covid vaccine will protect you, until they have studied that in the first humans vaccinated. Right now, we know that you have about 90 days of protection from your own antibodies, once you have recovered from Covid. I hope we don't need the shot 4 times a year.
100% agree with Brian, bottom line we won't know until we have more data for exactly the reasons he stated.

In the most recent interview I saw with Dr. Fauci he said he hopes no more often than yearly. Preferably a few years.

None of the experts I'm following think it will need to be 4 times per year for a few reasons. You gave flu as an example. The average person has antibodies that last longer than 6 months from the flu vaccine. When I was first in practice there was concern about "getting the shot too soon," in the flu season and having antibodies dip too low by spring, But when it was studied it didn't turn out to be an issue for most people. The yearly shot is simply because the dominant strains shift from year to year. Coronaviruses as a whole have a slower mutational rate than flu viruses so it's less likely we will need to adjust yearly due to strain changes.

As for how long protection lasts, also still more data needed. But current evidence suggests 3 months is on the low end. There is only 1 person reported with reinfection that soon (the last I checked, it may be a handful by now, but overall still a very very small percentage). Studies show antibody levels start to decline at 3 months out. But that does not mean they are gone or so low they are ineffective. And antibodies aren't the whole story. There are other immune cell functions we can't measure (T cell function being the main one discussed). The best study so far is giving an 8 month average with a range of 3 months to 2 years post-infection protection.

And finally peak antibody levels following the vaccine appear to be higher than levels following infection. So if your antibodies start to wane around the 3 month mark, if you start at a higher peak you drop to sub-protrctive levels later than those with lower peaks from natural infection.

All highly speculative. But encouraging.
 

Anne

Well-known member
One of the Moderna trial sites for 12-15yo is close to us. My husband and I are discussing whether or not we want to encourage my 13yo to participate. She isn't leaving the house now but we have considered the possibility of sending her back to school for the fourth/last grading period. And she will have required marching band practice right after this school year ends. She would at least have a 50/50 chance of having received the actual vaccine and not the placebo. As confident as scientists/researchers seem to be regarding safety of the vaccines, it's still scary to us. And I can't discern if that's because of anti-vax propaganda or true logic.
In the adult trials Moderna was doing a 2:1 vaccine to placebo not 1:1 so if it's the same for kids she'd have a higher chance of getting the vaccine than not. I'd feel comfortable if my child wanted to be in a trial if they were in phase 3. But since you won't know for sure if she's had the vaccine I don't know if it would change the calculation on return to activities.
 
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Anne

Well-known member
Today we booked a Disney cruise for February 2022. Mostly because my brother's family decided to book that cruise and it feels like we should take advantage of the opportunity to travel with extended family if we can. It's been hard on the kids, not seeing their cousins. I'm cautiously hopeful. We haven't canceled June 2021 Alaska cruise but I think it's pretty unlikely to happen. I just dread giving up the on board booking credit and maybe we'll get a better future cruise credit if we wait until they cancel the cruise?

Parks trips we are still hoping for Nov 2021 (we have a few others booked but I'm not optomistic about those).
 

Not That Josh

Well-known member
I keep passing on opportunities to do different things because it seems like the right thing to do. Those decisions are followed by the feeling that I'm missing out on things (which may not come around again). That feeling is immediately followed by guilt for feeling bad when others are experiencing real problems right now.

No real point here, just something I realized recently.
 

Not That Josh

Well-known member
I was thinking about what summer travel will look like this year. There is likely money saved and pent up desire for travel from people who have delayed trips for over a year. My sense is that there will be significant travel this summer, maybe regardless of the vaccine/virus situation.

Of course, it's a complete guess, but does that seem likely to anyone else?
 

smwisc

Active member
I had the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. I feel pretty much fine. My arm is sore, but less sore than after the first shot. Just maybe a little tired but minimal enough if it was a work day I would be fine working. So of course I worry that I'm not getting a good antibody response. Most of my co-workers are reporting fatigue, mild headaches. One doc had to go home early from work on Friday due to significant fatigue and a fever (I think he has some underlying health issues) and one had some significant swollen lymph nodes.

We are really fortunate that the roll out has been done well by the hospital. They are relying on staff picking up overtime and extra shifts to administer the vaccine to employees and they have been well staffed and no lines or waits when going at the scheduled time for anyone I've talked with. The hospital also has agreements with some small outside medical groups who are not directly affiliated with a hospital to administer to their employees. They are now vaccinating the 3rd tier of health care workers, those who have some patient contact but not known COVID or respiratory illness. 70% of the employees who are eligible have gotten at least one dose of vaccine and more are signed up in the next week for their first dose. Employees can opt for the vaccine as long as first dose in by Jan 15, then they are ramping down the hospital-based employee clinic.

Monday the outpatient clinic where I mostly work (I'm at the hospital 1 day per week plus call weekends, the rest is clinic-based) is getting the first shipment of vaccine for patients. It looks like all the primary care clinics in our system will be state health department approved sites. We don't know yet if it's going to be Pfizer or Moderna (we can handle either). The health department makes the decision about which formulation and for now all shipments will be same the company so that when patients come for the 2nd dose we know we will have the appropriate 2nd dose. The vaccine is supposed to come in on Monday, but we are still waiting for the state to tells us when we can go ahead with the 75 and up population.
All really good news - I appreciate your updates.
 

smwisc

Active member
I was thinking about what summer travel will look like this year. There is likely money saved and pent up desire for travel from people who have delayed trips for over a year. My sense is that there will be significant travel this summer, maybe regardless of the vaccine/virus situation.

Of course, it's a complete guess, but does that seem likely to anyone else?
I think that's very likely.
 

bnoble

he's right
Of course, it's a complete guess, but does that seem likely to anyone else?
Maybe. There are some counterbalancing forces that might discourage travel and/or change the nature of it at least for some people. Economic activity has been hurt tangibly. I keep hearing a variant of "Only waitstaff and bartenders (and other poor people) lost their jobs and they don't travel anyway" but I don't think you can partition the economy that way. (I am also angry about the implied "well those people don't really count" sentiment, but that's another topic for another board.)

The pandemic is going to change some habits, at least in the medium term. M is not sure when she is going to feel comfortable in a dense crowd; she was our biggest DCL fan, and she currently has no interest in ever going on a cruise again, even post-vaccine. She's also not sure she ever needs to be in a theme park---and frankly, neither am I. Will that change someday? Probably, but not right away, and maybe not for a good long while. So, there may be some pent-up travel demand, but the trips people take might look very different.

Some travel isn't going to be dependent on how people feel, but on how governments react. I suspect a US Passport will be functionally useless a lot longer than most people think, and who knows when Hawaii will change its quarantine policies. Kauai had something like 110 licensed acute care beds on the entire island as of 2018. The population is only about 72K, but they have between 100K-130K arrivals each month in a "normal" year. They don't have a lot of room for error.

There is also a lot of grief right now for a whole host of reasons, some having nothing to do with the pandemic. I don't know about you, but that's reoriented my sense of what is important and how I want to spend my time. For example I care much less about sports these days, particularly college athletics. I was already quite disillusioned about the latter even before the pandemic, but this past year has thrown that into even sharper focus. Likewise, I'm not currently in the mood for escapist entertainment (as might be represented by WDW) because I can't escape this inner feeling of sadness and loss. I'd much rather sit on a mountainside and be in the healing presence of nature.

Business travel may take *much* longer to recover---and it might never. Many businesses have discovered that the things they think had to be done in-person really don't have to be anymore.

I know for us, our 2021 travel is completely speculative and may or may not happen. We have fewer things planned. More are drive-to/low-key destinations. Few will be in crowded destinations, and those will be almost entirely outdoors. None will have an international component. Most are much less expensive than typical. Disney is not a part of it. All of this is a change.
 

paxsarah

Active member
Well, we learned our lesson about coronavirus when my son and I got sick after spending Christmas with my MIL, SIL, and BIL. They share a household and have similar habits to us (infrequent shopping or occasional masked outdoor socializing and not much else outside the home), so we really all thought that we were at low risk. The best we can guess is that SIL picked it up shopping before Christmas. We all worry most about my MIL but she seems to be past the worst of it - steroids helped. And fortunately for us, my son only had a few days of symptoms, and mine has been like an extremely average cold (with the disappointing chaser of smell/taste issues). And my husband and daughter don't seem to have caught it - they were negative early on but they'll probably test again once I'm no longer presumed contagious. It's been very humbling.

The good news is we have absolutely nowhere to be, since our school district, which already preemptively went online starting the last week prior to Christmas break and expected to run through MLK Day, is now staying online indefinitely. For a while our county looked somewhat better compared to the surrounding areas and the state as a whole, but now we've caught right back up and the college students weren't even back yet.

Our travel this year will be mainly timeshare stays within driving distance (which if I'm being honest is probably 80% of our vacation travel even in non-Covid times). We felt comfortable doing it for a short trip last summer and know what to expect. The question mark is whether we'll make the drive to Michigan in July for a triathlon/visit to my sister. We'll have to see how things are going getting closer to that point. My daughter has a Girl Scout trip to Europe planned in summer 2022 - I'm certainly glad it's no earlier than that, and I'm still not 100% sure it'll go off as planned.
 

Goofballs

Member
As for how long protection lasts, also still more data needed. But current evidence suggests 3 months is on the low end. There is only 1 person reported with reinfection that soon (the last I checked, it may be a handful by now, but overall still a very very small percentage). Studies show antibody levels start to decline at 3 months out. But that does not mean they are gone or so low they are ineffective. And antibodies aren't the whole story. There are other immune cell functions we can't measure (T cell function being the main one discussed). The best study so far is giving an 8 month average with a range of 3 months to 2 years post-infection protection.

And finally peak antibody levels following the vaccine appear to be higher than levels following infection. So if your antibodies start to wane around the 3 month mark, if you start at a higher peak you drop to sub-protrctive levels later than those with lower peaks from natural infection.

All highly speculative. But encouraging.
@Anne
I appreciate all of the information and your thoughts you have been sharing over the last 10 months.
Have you come across any information about whether individuals with natural infection immunity (recovered formerly COVID positive individuals) are thought to spread the virus within that 3 month window?
Take care and stay safe!

edited to add “are thought too” spread the virus. Understand that there is new information and our understanding is changing each and every day.
 
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DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I keep hearing a variant of "Only waitstaff and bartenders (and other poor people) lost their jobs and they don't travel anyway" but I don't think you can partition the economy that way.
Like you, Brian, I'm a state university employee. The NYS budget has been destroyed by the cost of dealing with COVID and the major plunge in tax revenue. The only thing standing between us and massive layoffs/furloughs is a very strong union, and rumor has it that without a massive rescue package from Congress, there will be massive layoffs and programs eliminated, possibly even entire campuses closed. Taking a multi-thousand dollar vacation with that kind of uncertainty hanging overhead is hard for most to consider, even with a cool $600 in my pocket this week.
 

bnoble

he's right
The good news for us is that the State of Michigan started cutting us off during the gas crisis of the 70s, so we've had a long time to get used to living as a public university without public support. Something like 6% of the College of Engineering budget comes from the State appropriation, so there isn't much left for them to cut.
 

Not That Josh

Well-known member
Maybe. There are some counterbalancing forces that might discourage travel and/or change the nature of it at least for some people. Economic activity has been hurt tangibly. I keep hearing a variant of "Only waitstaff and bartenders (and other poor people) lost their jobs and they don't travel anyway" but I don't think you can partition the economy that way. (I am also angry about the implied "well those people don't really count" sentiment, but that's another topic for another board.)
Reminds me of my frustration with the "only old people die of the virus" line.

There is also a lot of grief right now for a whole host of reasons, some having nothing to do with the pandemic. I don't know about you, but that's reoriented my sense of what is important and how I want to spend my time. For example I care much less about sports these days, particularly college athletics. I was already quite disillusioned about the latter even before the pandemic, but this past year has thrown that into even sharper focus. Likewise, I'm not currently in the mood for escapist entertainment (as might be represented by WDW) because I can't escape this inner feeling of sadness and loss. I'd much rather sit on a mountainside and be in the healing presence of nature.
I'm with you on the general grief from many things over the past year, I imagine that's too common now. Combine that with specific grief of a loss in the family in October (non-covid), and I'm having a hard time getting excited about anything.

I have always been a fan of nature as a vacation destination. Normally, I'm the only one in the family interested, so it doesn't happen as much as I would like. Hopefully, the national parks aren't busy if I get a chance to consider that later this year.
 

smwisc

Active member
I have always been a fan of nature as a vacation destination. Normally, I'm the only one in the family interested, so it doesn't happen as much as I would like. Hopefully, the national parks aren't busy if I get a chance to consider that later this year.
Hahahaha. I think the national parks are going to be crazy busy - even last summer, state and national parks were busy, as people felt like they were "safer" travel options - I think that will only increase as people feel more comfortable with travel in general, but not enough to go to crowded and indoor places. Which isn't to say there aren't still "off the beaten path" options, of course.

With regards to Disney, I should have been clearer that I don't think demand will necessarily rebound to past levels - but I think it will feel like it (or worse) if capacity constraints and attraction limits are still in place (as they probably should be). Hence my mixed feelings about (possibly) going this summer.
 

Strangeite

Well-known member
For example I care much less about sports these days, particularly college athletics. I was already quite disillusioned about the latter even before the pandemic, but this past year has thrown that into even sharper focus.
I have found that I can't bring myself to watch a game. This was the first time I haven't watched Kentucky play Louisville since the 1990s. I've been telling myself that it is because I don't think they should be playing the season at all and that is a big part, but only a part.
 
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