Please sign in to post.
Posted by
11417 posts

IMHO, this is the best resource:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

CDC-advised prevention methods are the same as for other current strains of flu.

Also, there are currently only 4 confirmed cases in France, and all of them had recently travelled from China. 3 of them are Chinese citizens, and 2 of those are from Wuhan. Given that information, I'd take the usual precautions - especially in airports - but I personally wouldn't stress about it much beyond that.

Some perspective? In the U.S. there have been (so far) just 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus (2 in your home state) but 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths from influenza-related illnesses in the 2019-2020 season.

Posted by
771 posts

Your choice of course, but for me, with the encouragement of my Dr. who is Chinese,. as I am elderly and vulnerable, I have aborted my end of February trip to Paris. I usually stay for 3 months. This will be the first trip I've cancelled in 30 years.

Posted by
5695 posts

We have a two month trip scheduled as well and are old and vulnerable -- I doubt our travel insurance covers cancellation but we will be rethinking the trip as things unfold. More worried about the flying than being here or there.

Posted by
282 posts

Yup, well - it's The Local. Think the National Equirer without aliens...

Posted by
2297 posts

I think the problem is flights to anywhere, which increase your chance of getting sick even without the coronavirus. That being said, we haven't even thought about cancelling our trip to London at the end of March.

Posted by
11417 posts

At this moment, it comes down to personal choice as no one has a crystal ball that will predict how this thing is going to shake out. Other than to/from specified areas, planes are still flying, trains are still running and ships are still cruising, and tickets are probably non-refundable/non-changeable at this point unless they're for travel to/from those areas or operators decide to make generalized, special-case allowances.

So while I personally wouldn't stress about going to France or anywhere else in Europe at this point in time - and I'm on the cusp of 65 so while not elderly, don't fall into the Spring Chicken flock either - it isn't worth it for others who might spend the entire trip preoccupied with worry? That's no fun, thus the decision being what's right or not for the individual.

Posted by
4653 posts

I think you're in just as much risk of picking up the virus in a large city in North America as you are in Europe, given intercontinental travel patterns.

Posted by
771 posts

I am cancelling my trip ONLY because of my age (80 plus) and respiratory problems. I'm in the group determined "vulnerable" and don't want to chance a flight through busy airports and crowds on the metro/bus in Paris. I also live near one of Paris' Chinatowns. Although there is indication that tours from China to Paris have been cancelled, I have not noted restrictions on individuals traveling from China to Paris.

Posted by
6691 posts

Cruise ships are allowing passengers to cancel China and Singapore originating cruises for February. Chinese Nationals are not allowed to board these ships. Just got word from a cruise line.

We're on Singapore to Dubai later this year and plan to sail, with stays in France on both ends of the cruise. Hope I don't get my usual airline cold, much less Coronavirus. Will avoid "wet" markets with stressed live animals and wild animals for sale.

Hopefully China is more prepared and the world health agencies are reacting more efficiently and faster this time than with SARS.

Posted by
991 posts

I'm a bit of a germaphobe, especially during international travel as the planes and public spaces seem like petri dishes for viruses.

I'd probably just be a little more careful about disinfecting and washing hands, and not touching my face nor eating until I had done so. I've gotten pretty good at not touching surfaces in airports, etc., but there's only so much you can do, especially if someone nearby is sick.

What's worked best for me is to keep my hands away from my face. I'm not wearing a surgical mask for goodness sake.

Posted by
4669 posts

Here’s a less emotional and more Science-based article from an MD with time spent living in China with her family, during the SARS outbreak. She concludes,


The school instituted a bunch of simple precautionary policies: a stern note to parents reminding them not to send a child to school who was sick and warning them that students would be screened for fevers with ear thermometers at the school door. There was no sharing of food at lunch. The teacher led the kids in frequent hand washing throughout the day at classroom sinks, while singing a prolonged “hand washing song” to ensure they did more than a cursory pass under the faucet with water only.

If a family left Beijing and came back, the child would have to stay at home for an extended period before returning to class to make sure they hadn’t caught SARS elsewhere.

With those precautions in place, I observed something of a public health miracle: Not only did no child get SARS, but it seemed no student was sick with anything at all for months on end. No stomach bugs. No common colds. Attendance was more or less perfect.

New York Times

How to Avoid the Coronavirus? Wash Your Hands

I covered the SARS outbreak as a reporter in China, and I saw that common sense is the best defense against viral illness.

Elisabeth Rosenthal
By Elisabeth Rosenthal
Ms. Rosenthal, a journalist and physician, is a contributing opinion writer.
Jan. 28, 2020

https://nyti.ms/2vmSuIP
(Typically 5 free articles per month.)

Posted by
7606 posts

Interesting link, Tim. Thanks for posting that.

Posted by
4669 posts

The more people post about useless hoarding, the more shortages there will be. And the harder it will be for health and industrial workers to get the protection they actually need. But, “I protected may family!” ... ... Only in your head, did you.

Posted by
991 posts

As mentioned a concern is the incubation period of two weeks in which the virus can be transmitted. I don't know how to defend against that other than travel restrictions and quarantine for two weeks for those coming from affected areas.

Posted by
6691 posts

see today’s New York Times analysis: As New Coronavirus Spread, China’s Old Habits Delayed Fight
Sorry can’t hyperlink it.

Posted by
771 posts

Laurie Garrett wrote The Coming Plague and is widely respected. Her Twitter feed is always up to date.

Posted by
5695 posts

We are leaving for Paris April 1 -- Travel insurance will not cover canceling for reasons of plague. We are going to have to make a judgment about travel close to the date. It will clearly sweep the world -- the only question is if that happens next year in the west or sooner. We would not now book international travel, but having done so will have to judge the risk closer to our travel date.

Posted by
6691 posts

Hope that’s accurate, Barbra. Isn’t it Thailand where the health minister is essentially singing don’t worry, be happy, while the borders have leaks that still allow tourist yen to arrive. I’ve read so much in the NYTimes that it’s all running together.

Posted by
5695 posts

It would be pretty to think this is true -- and it is all over obscure pubs on the internet; hope it is, but am doubting it until I see it replicated by a reliable source.

Posted by
2388 posts

For a different perspective, my grandmother who died healthy at age 89, often told me that pneumonia, flu, etc. are the old person's best friend. So if one is compromised and isn't ready to depart this world easily, I guess rethink your trip and hide in your house. Otherwise, go. Enjoy. Que sera, sera. We have little control of our departure date. (Yes, I am aware how weird this makes me sound...but there you have it. Stop worrying.)

Posted by
6691 posts

There's a yearly vaccine for flu.

The further we are from the epicenter, the easier to mock others. The younger and healthier, the easier to be carefree.

Que será, será is easy-peasy when you're far away. Ill people protecting themselves aren't hiding. Maybe they want to live to see their children and grandchildren grown.

That said, I have a flight to Singapore coming up and I'm going, but I'm taking this epidemic damn seriously. I find the judgemental attitude creeping up on this thread unnecessarily harsh.

Posted by
2388 posts

Bets, For the record, I'm not mocking anyone. I tried to explain my upbringing as background for my comments. In this posting we are talking about going to Paris, not Singapore. I'd have a different perspective about Singapore. Right now Paris is just like any place in the USA, so if one cancels a trip to Paris, then the only alternative is to stay in one's house. IMO. YMMV

Posted by
10675 posts

And wearing a mask while you're out and about?.....totally ineffective
and a waste of money.

I read a very good article on the masks. Nope, they don't keep the virus out. BUT, it does keep peoples hands away from their mouth and nose; and as such it reduces the infection rate quite a bit.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

If you consider population numbers, France has several times the infection occurrence as does the US .......... interesting. Then I imagine some countries the healthcare is substandard enough that no one really notices what killed the old guy so it doesn't get properly credited.

I wouldn't go to France right now .... no way! Too many other places on my bucket list; and that's the only reason.

Posted by
5695 posts

If people who are infected --with colds, flu or Corona wear masks it greatly reduces the chance of infecting others. It works better that way than to protect yourself with one, so having this the norm on planes and airports is helpful. These things are all spread by cough and sneeze droplets primarily which a mask catches. These virus are not as likely to be just in the air as say measles or smallpox is, but to be carried a short distance on droplets from coughs. Keeping them out of the air is worth doing.

I have a friend who told me she was just on a US flight where all the people in her row and near her were wearing the masks except her.

Posted by
5308 posts

Bets, I know you will, but do be careful when considering about Singapore. I am sure by now you have heard the news of the U.K. businessman who went from Singapore to the Alps before returning to the U.K. — and infected five more people here in France (they have hospitalized all 11 people in the two chalets as a precautionary measure to observe them and continue testing).

Now according to this latest Guardian article, they are checking out all who were at the same conference with him in Singapore . . .

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/08/hunt-for-coronavirus-victims-as-trail-leads-from-singapore-to-uk-and-france?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Posted by
6691 posts

Absolutely, Kim, we've been watching closely. If we can't get to Singapore from France, there's always Italy.

In favor, Singapore has an iron rule that controls public behavior (normally not so positive), it's the "Scandinavia" of the East for cleanliness, and it is many, many hours flight to the closest part of China, but on the negative, who's to say now that Pandora's Box has been opened.

To give an idea of what we're receiving from the cruise line: Updates from the cruise company are more stringent daily. Yesterday: temperature and oxygen-level readings implemented for everyone at check-in; no person with a Chinese, Hong Kong, or Macau passport, no matter where they reside, will be admitted onto any ship. Previous memos: multiple, daily disinfecting of all spaces, enlarge medical staffs, etc.
Are we a Ship of Fools??

Posted by
5308 posts

Wow, oxygen-level readings at check-in!! Technology is so fascinating. Good luck with your decision as you continue to evaluate developments.

Posted by
30892 posts

Oxygen level and temperature readings will only reveal someone who's currently affected by the virus, and will be of questionable value in someone who is asymptomatic. I suppose those tests, increased medical staff on board and denying boarding to anyone with a Chinese passport are all "due diligence" measures, and hopefully they will avoid any problems. If I was booked on a cruise, I'd probably just carry on and hope for the best. The current Coronavirus problem certainly wouldn't keep me from travelling to Europe.

Posted by
33 posts

We are wondering the same thing as the original poster. We are supposed to go to Luxembourg and France, leaving on March 25th. I have an immune system deficiency and also feel worried about getting stuck in France if we are near an exposure risk. I don't to travel with fear. Doesn't seem very fun. We would lose most of our travel expenses - already paid, because trip insurance does not cover for fear of pandemic. I seem to be in the minority here as most people seem like they still want to go. I am not even looking forward to the trip and I used to be excited about it. I don't want to go just to prove I am not a fraidy cat either.

Posted by
10675 posts

Find an alternate from wherever you first land. Eastern Europe is still free of cases and there are cheap flights from Paris. THat way you dont loose your investment.

Posted by
282 posts

Eastern Europe hasn't reported any cases. That's not the same thing as being unaffected.

Posted by
771 posts

Kate, in the light of the seasonal flu epidemic in Paris and the possible spread of the Coronavirus, wouldn't your best info source about your situation be your doctor? You have a month before your trip to see how this is progressing. Yes, you can lose a lot of money but . . . .your money or your life?

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you for your reply. We are going to keep an eye on it and then decide as we get closer. Hoping there is better news and that things start to slow down and improve. I was so excited to get back to France again, and see my husband's relatives in Luxembourg, so I hope it still happens. Our main investment in the trip is our accommodations, which are already booked in France, so trying a different place in Europe doesn't really work to save our investment. I think if it is to the point we can't enjoy where we wanted to go, we just won't go. Hope it turns around.

Posted by
893 posts

I heard on ABC evening news tonight that an emergency room in Northern Italy has been shut down. The docs and nurses are all sick from a person but I don’t know where or how many are I’ll.

Posted by
5308 posts

I obviously don’t substitute for your doctor’s advice, but I would just note that there hasn’t been a new case in France for nearly two weeks. 12 persons have been diagnosed so far total.

There is currently only one person still hospitalized for Covid-19 in all of France; the one death was an 80-year-old Chinese tourist. The other 10 people have all recuperated and been released from the hospital.

That’s not to say that the virus has stopped or that no one else will contract it, but it certainly to my mind looks very limited here.

Source: French Ministry of Health website.

Posted by
6691 posts

Kate, I’m on line with a cruise group. We were re-routed from embarking in Singapore, where many had non-refundable hotel rooms. Members are appealing and the hotels are refunding. In your situation, it’s worth a try.

Posted by
19 posts

I am not sure about others, but I would definitely find it difficult to eat my airplane meal, snacks and drinks with a mask on my face. The minute I remove it to do so...then why am I wearing it for an 11 hour flight at all? I agree it could remind me to keep my fingers away from my mouth, but those itchy eyes I have... Plus, I wish I could find a reference for the "efficacy" of those little small rectangular masks (non N95). SJ referenced 9 minutes (above post). I also heard it is short. I am very curious what amount of protection they really afford and for how long. I won't be wearing one on the plane, unless I need it for a visual for the passenger next to me to not talk to me;)

I also agree that influenza infects and kills more people every year than this virus (I know, so far). I do hope all those concerned about this new virus received their flu shot this year for the virus we CAN try to prevent:) Hopefully there will be a vaccine in the future for this virus too.

Posted by
5448 posts

Just checking on MXP airport information and found this airport guide webpage:
https://www.milanomalpensa-airport.com/en/passenger-guide/airport-map
The webpage showed a banner that says: "....to prevent the spread of coronavirus.....all passengers arriving on international flights will be subjected to health checks, carried out by USMAF doctors from the Ministry of Health.."
No details or explanations other than citing WHO.

I'm wondering if "international flights" include flights from say Germany and how the health checks will delay clearing the airport.

Posted by
893 posts

I had a discussion on an LAX shuttle in the wee hours (5:30 AM) this morning with a CDC employee. He is screening incoming passengers coming from China and those having been there, or coming from other emerging countries affected by the virus.
He has some concerns but not for LA at this time.

Posted by
6 posts

Well, since I did the My Way Alpine last Sept (and absolutely loved it) this was my stay-at-home-saving year. BUT, if the airlines
lower their prices enough, I plan on taking advantage of it. I drive two hours a day for work and am more concerned about dying
in a car wreck. Happy and safe travels to all.

Posted by
570 posts

Are we a Ship of Fools??

Bets, your quote upthread was on my mind when I had breakfast this morning with friends who also have booked a re-routed Asian cruise.

We were talking about whether the atmosphere on board would be conducive to an enjoyable vacation. The aroma of disinfectant sprays wafting across the deck? My friend half-joked, “what if I swallow something at dinner and start coughing, will my table companions look at me suspiciously? Will we look at others suspiciously?” They are open and fun loving people, and are worried about the potential paranoia on board.

I really feel for all the people trying to salvage their holidays, my friends are doing the cancellation math today.

Posted by
449 posts

As my time draws nearer to departure date, March 22nd, this has been on my mind. I have been reading the CDC's recommendations, and also trying to take into account that I am one of those with a pre existing disease... but then I try to be away from anyone who is sick (the obvious ones: sneezing, coughing, high fevers), but there is also always the risk of the carriers of viruses annually here. In one year, I had pneumonia 3 times, just from colds and the flu, so it's a concern. Sigh. I did take precautions at the Christmas markets abroad, and flying. My allergist/internal med specialist, told me before winter trip to get a N99 mask for the flight and trains, since I would be more exposed to the public than at home. I wore it on the flight, and up to recently, a flight in the US, not because of the Coronavirus, but because planes are a germ fest. My companion didn't and he was sick upon his return but I wasn't, and my immune system is compromised, so quien sabe?

Posted by
5308 posts

An update on my earlier message: while the initial 12 cases in France were all “resolved” (1 death of an 81-year-old man and 11 recoveries) and there were no cases for a couple of days, today authorities have diagnosed two more cases.

(Obviously others are under observation in case they develop the virus, but for right now there are only two infected people in France.)

Posted by
5308 posts

Latest official France stats:

18 cases so far have been officially diagnosed

Of those
2 persons have died
12 have been treated and released
4 are currently being treated in hospitals

Edit at 21:44 (earlier post was sometime before 19:00)

They have identified 20 more cases in France — bringing the total number of people who have been or are infected to 38.

Posted by
5308 posts

57 cases as of this evening; the health minister said in remarks tonight that we are in “Phase 2” of the virus in France — “the virus is circulating in the territory and we must brake its spread.”

Posted by
10675 posts

This one has a 1 to 2% mortality rate and the common flu is globally 2% and .5% in the US (I found numbers all over the spectrum, not so scared yet). So, look at it this way, you are taking a two week vacation, the incubation time is two weeks. You can get there, have the time of your life, then spend a week in bed back home recovering. Not too shabby.

As for you flu shot, and when I say I don't know, I really don't know, but the flu shot here I believe is developed for the strains of flu most likely in the US, not sure it that shot is as safe a bet in Bulgaria as it is here. Besides, depending on how well they guess which flu strains are going to hit, the flu shot is only 15% (2017/18) to 65% effective (2016/17).

Makes me wonder if we should just sit back and let this thing run its course. How many who die of Corona would die of the common flu anyway? Okay pretty sick logic. Sorry.

Ignore all that I say, do your own research and make your own decision. Just something to think about.

Posted by
10675 posts

yup, i had bad numbers

my bad

sorry

But proof for what i said, "Ignore what I say". Still not too worried about either to be honest. Better odds of winning the lottery than catching the flu for the time being at least. But I do wash my hands a lot more now and I did buy a mask, just in case. I will put it in the same shelter with my survival food and dehydrated water supply.

Correct me if I am wrong, but we have something like 77 cases in the US if you count the cruise ship lot. Zero have died? Lets give it some time, but maybe in 30 days we will know if the mortality rate in the US for this disease is about the same as for the flu? Still, I guess if the new thing spreads like wildfire, it would take a substantially lower mortality rate to say it doesnt matter.... yes, thinking out loud while i type.....

Posted by
12084 posts

On "your money or your life?".... Jack Benny replied, "let me think about that."

Doris Day took a light hearted view of life in "Que sera sera."

I will just have to keep informed and wait and wait .

Posted by
5308 posts

100 cases diagnosed in France as of earlier this evening.

Authorities have ordered the cancellation of any event that would gather more than 5,000 people — so the Salon d’Agriculture closed a day early, and they have cancelled tomorrow’s planned half-marathon.

More restrictive measures are in place in the two areas hardest hit by the virus — the Oise and Haute-Savoie.

Posted by
6691 posts

Not at all, Ginger. There are two clusters and then the stray cases from returning travelers, for example a woman in Nice who returned from Milan, a man in Burgundy who had been on an organized trip in Egypt.

Posted by
1122 posts

I just read that the Louvre is closed today (Sunday) and I stupidly made a long trek the agricultural fair only to find out it too is closed now.

The half-marathon scheduled for today was also canceled, and in that story I read that all events involving more than 5,000 people were to be canceled. But it didn't sink in on the aggy fair.

Just hope I can get out of here in one piece this week as planned.

Posted by
568 posts

Barbra,
What has it been like this past month in Paris? I know you said the Louvre is closed today, but have most places been open? Have you traveled anywhere else in France on this trip? I ask because we are scheduled to leave for France on April 10. We will be in Provence and the French Riviera. Friends of ours are going to Paris first, and then meeting us in Provence. We are not cancelling anything now, but we are watching the news closely, and probably won't make a final decision until about 48 hours before departure. We will lose airfare, but we have free cancellation for our hotels up until 48 hours prior. I know the situation changes daily, but just wondering what it has been like while you have been there.
Thank you!

Posted by
846 posts

I, too, would like to hear from you Barbra about how Parisians are taking it. I am scheduled to go to Paris in 27 days. The last thing i want to do is cancel but I also don't want to be quarantined when there. Though being quarantined in France sounds better....and a hell of a lot cheaper....than here.

Posted by
1122 posts

Besides the things I mentioned, I have not heard of anything else being shut down. There are more signs at places now with the same info on Covid-19 that everyone has been seeing. Perhaps more explicit signs in bathrooms on how to wash your hands.

Again yesterday on my fruitless jaunt I don't think I saw one person wearing a mask.

I think it will only get worse before it gets better.

As someone said in here somewhere and was reported, it was the Louvre employees who shut it down yesterday. We might see this more and more, I'm afraid.

If you haven't paid for anything yet (or even if you have), I'd seriously reconsider traveling anywhere for a while.

I've done three day trips of one-hour train rides and one of two hours, but I didn't notice anything much.

But I arrived vigilant because of the crud I caught last time in Avignon. I've left areas/places/seats if someone is coughing, but I would do that anyway.

Posted by
6 posts

I am in India for work now and need to reroute my return home. I was originally planning to stop in Italy on the way for a few days and have been told by my office I cannot go there. Currently I am to go through Paris, but I am wondering if that will be safe in 10 days from now. Are there any updates for London? When I was at CDG on 3/1 there were very few people wearing masks and all appeared business as usual. I was hoping to have a mini vacation in Europe before going back to the states, and I am contemplating where to go or if I should just bag the idea...

On a secondary note, we are signed up for a RS Greece tour in June. Hoping that will not be affected.

Posted by
6691 posts

Three days later, it's the same. I did see two people in n99 masks at the airport, which I assume would be for underlying health problems. Very fluid getting out of the airport due to lack of crowds but traffic is heavy driving into the city, so the city's working.

Posted by
8 posts

We are in Paris now and headed to Bayeux shortly. Very few people around here are wearing masks except one of our Uber drivers who probably is frequently in closed quarters with many people. The Louvre was closed and I think the Orsay but other museums are open and with short lines. Perhaps it’s because it’s the off season but I have found it easy to get seats at restaurants in general perhaps because more people are staying home. But Paris is not a ghost town. It feels good not eerie. My biggest complaint is how much it’s rained!

We have plans for Bayeux and are still going because we want to go.

The way I think of it is this; I’m from Boston and there are now cases 45 minutes by car away in Rhode Island. I know someone whose child attends the same school. It won’t be long before Boston has as much exposure risk as Paris imho. So I’d rather enjoy my vacation here then cancel and be stressed. We are in our 50s so I guess I just assume life has risks. I think it’s completely a personal decision as to how to assess those risks. Good luck to all with your decisions!

Posted by
5308 posts

The Orsay has not closed at any time due to Covid-19. (Its normal weekly closure is Monday.)

The Louvre is back open today.

Posted by
1122 posts

Don't know where RedSoxMom is going, but I'm seeing massive crowds all over town, as I have for a whole month.

Almost empty at the little cafe in Jardin du Luxembourg, but it was raining all day. Waited 20 minutes to get into the Cezanne expo at Marmottan today. When I left the line was at least twice as long.

If you go, reserve online first.

Metro 6 packed to the gills at 1:15 pm today??!!

But I understand that France is at level 2; when it gets to 3 they start closing schools, which means parents have to stay home and can't get to the museum for it to open.

I personally would cancel any plans/not book anything until this thing works itself down and out.

Just hoping to get out of here tomorrow OK.

Posted by
5308 posts

In fact the authorities have already been closing schools in the Oise and in the Haute Savoie— for two weeks in 9 communes in the former and in a more concentrated area in the latter as the contagion isn’t as widespread there.

Posted by
6691 posts

It’s a couple of hundred closed schools, if I remember correctly.

Posted by
5308 posts

Yes, the Minister of Education this morning said there are 150 schools closed.

Posted by
6691 posts

Reading how the virus is suspected of being in the Seattle area undetected for weeks, and reading how the Dartmouth medical employee’s case was handled, gives me a lot less confidence how the US is reacting compared to the European countries. In Italy, armed guards are around the contaminated villages.
All the States with heavy Pacific Rim connections should have bern testing and suspicious weeks ago rather than reactive. Dartmouth didn’t test the employee who had traveled to Italy until the flu and other tests came back negative p. He was told to self-isolate but went to a mixer. Again, test kits were in short supply and handled by CDC. How is this going to play out in a country with an ideal of individual freedom?

Posted by
846 posts

The school I work in here in the US had a giant school wide meeting about washing your hands and staying home when sick. I'm afraid the parents need this more than the kids. As a French teacher I am using the widely circulated commercial and radio commercial about how to take care of yourself throughout all of this.

It really seems the US is dropping the ball already. My trip to Paris is on the 27th and I am still planning on going unless the situation worsens.

Posted by
1122 posts

Flight home I saw more people wearing masks at the airport and on the plane than I had in Paris, but not all that many.

Posted by
5308 posts

To update : the Prime Minister announced last night that in the two most affected départements— the Oise and the Haut-Rhin- they are closing all schools for two weeks.

Posted by
449 posts

Kim, how are you feeling about the corona count this morning in France?

I can't believe how it changed from 17 days ago.

Posted by
5308 posts

I feel ok, but I am not in a high-risk age group, nor do I have any loved ones who are. I worry more about those who are more vulnerable — like my in-laws in Piedmont, where the government is imposing various restrictions.

The French government is serious and competent, as are the health authorities. They will do their best, although I am sure (we all being human) there will be some errors along the way.

If it comes down to closing public transport or whatever, I can walk to work if need be. If I come down with the virus, I feel pretty sure I would survive it even if it is at the point where they are asking less-serious cases to stay at home and not go to the hospital.

Of course I am in a much different position than a traveler here; if I have to self-quarantine, I have my comfortable home with my books and my iPad and my cats. I don’t have to worry about making it to the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower on a certain one of five days that are available to me, and I can figure out how to get where I absolutely need to go.

So — I just worry about the elderly and the vulnerable. President Macron made a very visible visit to a nursing home on Friday and noted that people need to hold off visiting nursing homes for the time being, as we need to take care of our elderly. They — and our health care providers — are the ones I am worried about. I will be fine.

Posted by
449 posts

Thanks, Kim.

I am coming for almost 90 days, so it's a bit worrisome. I would have felt better if I lived there! I'm in the vulnerable group because of a rare disease. Keep well, and do keep us posted, as I am not the biggest fan of most American news sources when it comes to this virus.

Posted by
5308 posts

Yes, I am definitely worried about you Ginger, as you seem like you are in a higher-risk category. I hope you are thinking carefully about whether to maintain your trip.

Posted by
6691 posts

Despite all the happy-go-lucky comments by armchair travelers talking about taking advantage of traveling at this time, I can tell you Ginger that it’s definitely more worrisome than usual. On the positive, crowds are smaller, you can control most spaces you choose to enter, and people are getting on with their lives, but it’s also the biggest thing in conversations, the news, and people are on edge. I’m taking a risk getting onto airplanes due to my age. And, like Kim, I’m concerned about your underlying conditions.

Posted by
6061 posts

I am not the biggest fan of most American news sources when it comes
to this virus.

@ Ginger - Please consider listening or watching C-SPAN. They are objective and non-for-profit. They have had excellent guests on to explain things very clearly and without any spin. You can also watch PBS.

I watched the below video yesterday and it was excellent and informative (it's focused specifically on children). There are many videos like it - you can find them all by using the search function.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?470077-3/washington-journal-dr-roberta-debiasi-discusses-us-response-coronavirus-amp-potential-impact

Posted by
771 posts

Ginger, I guess I'm not getting what you're after.

You say you have a rare disease. What about your insurance? What does your Dr. say? If you listened or watched any of today's news programs you would have gotten the message that the most important personal responsibility is not traveling when one has a condition as you seem to be describing. If you get sick in France, is it fair to burden that already heavily burdened health care system rather than staying where you live?

Posted by
1 posts

My boyfriend and | were planning to spend a night in Paris this Thursday-Friday, just 24 hours. Do you guys think we should cancel? We are both US citizens- I am based in Brussels and him in the US. I am not so much concerned with the disease itself as we are young, but my concerns are
1. Being quarantined/stuck in France
2. Being quarantined/stuck in Belgium (for him)
3. Being quarantined upon his return to the US

I haven't yet been able to find a way to see various country's quarantine policies, as it seems they are changing so quickly. While I could handle a quarantine if needed, he has school to get back to. Any opinions are appreciated.

Posted by
1122 posts

Think of the plane ride alone.

I started coughing immediately upon arrival home last Friday. Part of it due no doubt to the stuffy house, but might be deeper than just allergies to dust and such.

Just makes no sense to me to travel until this thing settles.

Can't get a mask, can't get hand sanitizer . . .

Posted by
1 posts

ada_wightman, also the same questions I have. They are at a level 2 now. If they go to a level 3, will they immediately ban anyone leaving the country? My daughter is there for the next three days. Getting stuck there is a big concern.

Posted by
7 posts

France Coronavirus cases:
as of 29 February: 100
as of 9 March 1200
As of 10 March: 1784
Source CDC
When will RS cancel and offer refunds?
And why does Japan with 1100 cases have a warning for at risk groups to avoid travel while France with 1200 cases has a warning of Travel be careful?

Posted by
5308 posts

If they go to a level 3, will they immediately ban anyone leaving the country?

No. I doubt it very seriously. Government leaders have made it clear in remarks over the past week that even in going to Stage 3, they will implement tailored measures relevant to specific areas. Now those areas may be larger or smaller, but I feel almost certain they are not going to start with something so drastic as that.

We are planning to travel for our honeymoon arriving monday and leaving saturday. What do you recommend? This is super bumming and we still want to go but Im in a program at school and cant risk being quarantined on the way home

Posted by
1122 posts

Fine for ol' Manny blue eyes, but if there's a outbreak of 1,000 cases tomorrow, look for a quarantine.

Posted by
1 posts

03/11/20 - My trip to Paris is cancelled - I was supposed to leave in 2 wks - Pres Trump cancelled all travel from Europe for 30 days - I am disappointed but not surprised because the number of cases keep growing in Europe - there are 2200 cases now in France and Spain - we have about 1200 cases now in USA - I just hope we can get another booking this year on Viking - they will give us 100 percent voucher on our trip - C'est la Vie! Fyi: I am in Florida, Usa

Posted by
893 posts

Caroline king
No guarantees that you would not be quarantined upon arrival back in the USA.

Posted by
16590 posts

Sometimes the forum hiccups; it could have been no more than that.

Posted by
1048 posts

Trump cancelled all travel from Europe

Not for US citizens. I'll agree the speech could have been clearer.

Cases might be lower in the US but that could also be a result of very limited testing as initial testing started relatively late when compared to other countries. Ultimately, the US may have infection rates which are no different from those of Europe.

The problem for travelers is that their overall exposure is greater to communicable disease than if they were to stay home. Travelers tend to eat out more ofter, are in museums and other venues with large numbers of people, and often find themselves using public transportation, again exposed to large groups of people.

It is much easier to isolate oneself when staying at home which may be the most prudent course of action.

Posted by
568 posts

The CDC issued level 3 travel advisory for Europe, and gave a list of countries. There is no point in debating whether or not to go to these countries. Don’t go!!!

The President's speech was not clear. They had to clarify it several times afterwards.

It is unfair to blame Europe for the virus spreading in the U.S. The White House did not take this seriously from the very beginning. It is a disgrace that we don’t have enough tests. Gov Cuomo said they have to go to private testing. The director of the nursing home in Kirkland said they don’t have enough tests to test their own staff. Reprehensible!

Posted by
11417 posts

I posted this on another thread but will post it here as well:

This is the official DHS statement about the latest travel ban:

https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/11/homeland-security-acting-secretary-chad-f-wolf-s-statement-presidential-proclamation

Also:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

It specifies ONLY foreign nationals traveling from Schengen countries only so yep, it doesn't cover all of Europe. Looks like the door is open to foreign-national travelers from continental Europe's non-Schengen countries, South America, North/Central America, Australia, New Zealand, large parts of Asia and Africa...

Posted by
1648 posts

It specifies ONLY foreign nationals traveling from Schengen countries only so yep, it doesn't cover all of Europe. Looks like the door is open to foreign-national travelers from continental Europe's non-Schengen countries, South America, North/Central America, Australia, New Zealand, large parts of Asia and Africa...

Kathy, it kind of makes you wonder about the science behind the decision, doesn't it?

Our grandson is in France and will be returning to the US by the end of the month. We got a hysterical call from his mother last night about him being stuck in France (not to be flippant, but I could think of worse places to be stuck for 30 days. Lizella GA comes to mind). Now it seems it won't be a problem. I'm glad we didn't panic and try to get him home before Friday.

Posted by
1122 posts

Yes, Dorothy, no better place, unless you're trying to breathe with cigarette smoke in your face everywhere you go and dog poop all over your shoes, people bumping into you and acting like it is your fault, things closed for no reason (hey, they finally have one!), diesel fumes, heavy vehicles idling for a long time right under your window.

Yeah, lady, I understand what you're grumbling about in French, but if you're standing six inches from me in this line for 20 minutes, and I want to take off my coat and backpack, y'all gonna get nailed.

Tant pis pour vous!

Not just once, mind you. Think they'd get it?

I took advantage of my JV basketball skills to box people out when they tried to cut in line. Line? what line?

Posted by
1648 posts

I, too, would like to hear from you Barbra about how Parisians are taking it. I am scheduled to go to Paris in 27 days. The last thing i want to do is cancel but I also don't want to be quarantined when there. Though being quarantined in France sounds better....and a hell of a lot cheaper....than here.

Alexander,
Will is on the ground in Tours and says it's not bad there. It seems other areas in France are more affected, but there is talk of France elevating to Level 3. Here's the latest.

I hope it works out and you get to go.

Posted by
846 posts

Doug,
My friends in Loches, France have said that the hysteria of the population is the worst part there. Their school director was misquoted in the local paper and everyone thought there was a case at the school - which there is not.

My trip sadly is cancelled. I have planned to go to Quebec City instead - but I fear with all the poor decisions being made in this country that Canada will ban us from going over there. So much can happen. What a miserable month of maybe scenarios!

Posted by
1648 posts

So much can happen. What a miserable month of maybe scenarios!

Alexander,
It's been a bust since the beginning of the year. They closed the University of Tours because of the strikes. Will had classes for a week before Spring break. He came home for the break and just went back last Saturday. Now it looks like they are going to shut down the university because of the coronavirus. I don't think much will come out of this semester.

Still, it's been quite an education for Will in other ways. He's had a lot of life experiences that will serve him well in the future. I don't know many 19/20 year olds who could live on their own in a foreign country.

On his way home for Spring break, he was seated next to a French citizen. They shot the breeze in French. His new friend pointed out that Will spoke much better French than the flight attendant!

Posted by
6 posts

I cancelled my annual trip to Paris (departing March 18th) this week. I'm in the 60+ age group, and I have diabetes and asthma. I contacted my doctor and asked for their opinion. They advised postponing my trip by a few months. I contacted Air France and they will issue me a credit voucher for the full amount of my trip, good for 1 year to re-book. I was sure I would loose my hotel costs, as they were booked through a travel website and had a no-refund no change clause. I emailed the hotel directly and explained my situation and they responded to me that they would extend my reservation for 6 months, no charge. I was not really worried about being in Paris, but the airports and plane had me a bit concerned. Bottom line, if you feel uncomfortable, move up the date of travel. I've learned if you are polite, it never hurts to ask about making changes. The worst case is they will say no.

Posted by
5308 posts

France will close all schools nationwide as of Monday with no defined end date for the closures.

So far, no plans to reduce public transportation.

I find it fascinating that the French have closed all schools but yet have not closed any museums — while the Dutch have closed all museums (and any gatherings of more than 100 people, so all sporting events, theater etc).

Posted by
568 posts

Mikakona, I agree with you that it doesn’t hurt to ask politely about getting a refund or rescheduling without any extra charges. Someone either on this forum or another forum berated a poster for asking if it’s possible to get a refund when the policy is that the room/ticket etc is non-refundable. Sometimes, if a person is polite & the circumstances are extenuating, such as this pandemic, the vendor will be kind and helpful. We just canceled a hotel in Philadelphia, after the free cancellation deadline, and they didn’t charge us the cancellation fee. I politely explained we were supposed to attend a large event but were nervous about attending because of COVID-19 and because of our ages (in our 70’s), and asked if they could waive the cancellation fee. They very graciously waived the fee. So, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Posted by
5695 posts

When I ended up in the hospital and had to cancel several 'non refundable' hotel and resort stays a few years ago in Brittany and Normandy, the hotels cancelled them when I phoned with the circumstances, so often people do give you some grace when things happen. But given the hit businesses are taking I can understand them being resistant to bearing all the cost when everyone is trying to cancel.

We haven't been able to deal with the airline tickets yet. One problem is that they count the 'year' you have to re-schedule not from your flight but from when you bought the ticket and many people buy them well in advance -- If we can't fly in the fall then we will lose thousands. I am hoping they will refund or at least make it possible to get vouchers on line since they can't deal with the phone volume understandably.

A lot of people are going to be going out of business -- and a lot of people are going to be a lot poorer going forward. The stock market hasn't found its bottom here and may well affect our future security.

Posted by
23 posts

I've been in Paris since yesterday, and things do seem kind of quiet and subdued. Went went to the Musee D'Orsay today, and while not deserted, it was also not bustling with people. I have to admit it was nice to not having a crowded atmosphere. We are in Paris until Monday morning and we will hopefully stay ahead of the any closures of major sites if that does happen. The people of Paris seem to be going about their business as usual, but tourists are scant.

Posted by
282 posts

It's odd how perceptions are.

Loches is our nearest town, and when we went shopping there yesterday it was just like any other Wednesday market. Afterwards we went swimming at the local pool and there was the normal number of people there. Although there is news about coronovirus in the papers there have only been two hospitalisations in the Department, so people are taking the "be careful, but don't let it change us" line. Of course, this evening's presidential address may change things, but who knows.

The only real difference I have noticed is that people are struggling with being told they shouldn't bise or shake hands and can't yet agree on a substitute.

Posted by
6691 posts

It was the same in Menton last weekend. People feel safe in their own communities. After the new regulations this week, let us know if you notice fewer people and more (needed) social distancing.

Posted by
4653 posts

I've had to cancel my planned trip with my father to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in April, because he's 79 and I worry about his immune system. Fortunately all our hotels were booked without pre-payment and can be cancelled without any charge, but I'll be contacting the railways this weekend about the rail tickets. The Czech Republic has apparently banned entry to all UK residents, which hopefully might make DB more willing to give a refund for that leg.

Posted by
5308 posts

As of today, the Louvre, Orsay, Versailles, Eiffel Tower, etc, have closed until further notice.

Disney Paris will close as of Sunday COB through the end of the months according to their website.

Posted by
14 posts

A reply/question for Kim. How do you get food in Paris if you quarantine?
I arrived here for a 90-day stay 1 March and can’t decide if I’m better off here or at home in USA.
I tried using Monoprix online for delivery; every time I added something to my basket, it then told me it was unavailable.
There’s a lot of risk in going out and buying stuff at markets and the risk will increase. Thanks a lot for your help.

Posted by
5308 posts

I think the grocery stores are pretty overwhelmed right now.

French authorities have not yet asked anyone except the sick and those with close contact with them to quarantine. President Macron during his address Thursday night asked 70-year-olds and older to go out as little as possible, just to buy their food or whatever is really necessary. So I would just go to the grocery store. I haven’t been today but I am expecting it will be quite an experience.

Posted by
5308 posts

Re my earlier post re Disney: they ended up not even reopening today. They will stay closed until (at least) March 31.

Posted by
14 posts

I went today at about 11h to a gigantic Monoprix. It was quite crowded but perhaps not unusually so for a Saturday. (Sadly, I had passed by the same store at 830h today and it looked mostly empty but I didn’t go in.) When it gets crowded, the chance of coming into contact with the virus increases. I had wanted to spend a lot of time at the outdoor markets buying my food but I think using money is more dangerous than waving my phone at the register. I think in a crowded city like Paris, when the infection and mortality rates really begin to take off, it’s going to be dangerous just going out. Still, I can’t decide to stay or try to return home. Thanks.

Posted by
5308 posts

It’s funny, my Monoprix was pretty normal tonight. Things were a little more picked-over than usual, but there was still pasta — and TP! — on the shelves. And I didn’t see anyone while I was in line who had a cart full of hoarding items. So that was all nicely normal.

Posted by
6 posts

I had to cancel my trip to Italy, we then decided to go to London instead. Before leaving India on 3/14 work contacted me and instructed me to go through UAE and avoid Europe all together. I am home in Minnesota now under a self imposed quarantine.

Side note - in Abu Dhabi you go through US customs and immigration before getting on the airplane. I was able to avoid the mass of humanity trying to clear customs in Chicago.

We have not figured out what will happen with the airline tickets yet. My wife was going to meet me in London and cancelled when work recalled me. As it turns out, our return flight from London was cancelled anyway.

We are still worried about our RS Greece tour in June.