We have a one month travel plan for Germany, landing in and leaving from Munich, with Poland and Czech Republic in there as well, starting on April 3 to May 5. My wife and I are concerned about not just catching but also carrying the C virus....and also having a holiday where we have to consider such worries. What are the feelings out there amongst the Forum audience? Is this a media fed frenzy about a rather mild flu, or a true concern of serious consequences?
This is not a mild flu. It is doctors sounding the alarm. Doctors all over the world.
Germany has reported 1224 cases so far; the US, 754. Germany is smaller than California.
I was reading an article today that Germany is doing a proactive job of combating the virus--in comparison with other European counties. Their numbers appear pretty good, but not nearly as good as the U.S.'s.
We're flying into Berlin next week and heading for Poland too. Then flying down to Budapest for 3 nights.
I figured we'd avoid groups of people and essentially remain to ourselves--other than on the flights over and back.
We're often contra travelers. When times when problems occur (like the start of wars), fares go down and crowds also go down. There should be some great travel bargains in the near future--even to places without virus issues. Hopefully the virus will improve with Spring and Summer weather coming.
This is a true concern with serious consequences.
Everyone should curtail non-essential travel until this has passed.
but not nearly as good as the U.S.'s.
Not difficult to have good numbers when it is early days and barely any testing is taking place.
We're often contra travelers. When times when problems occur (like the
start of wars), fares go down and crowds also go down.
Yes me too. I transited through Serbia during late 95 when the shooting war was still going on. In 96 I drove my car through Mexico to Guadalajara. In 99 I was in Bulgaria listening to the warplanes flying over on their way to bomb sites in Serbia, and watched the columns of APCs and tanks on train cars going west to the conflict. I was also in Skopje, Macedonia during the 99 refugee crisis. And of course taking advantage of no tourists in nearby Greece or Turkey. In 2016, 3 months after the coup I was road tripping with my car though Turkey's military checkpoints during the early days of the state of emergency. So yes, I understand the benefits of this type of travel.
But I have to say those were my one-way decisions. The only would impact one party, me and the people I was with ... indirectly our families had something happened. But my being there was not a two way transaction, I was not putting others at risk. Every village granny I saw didn't need to fear that if she talked to me she had a 15% chance of dying. Every person sitting next to me on a plane, train or staying in a room I stayed in didn't need to fear the impact of my presence on their health. I think there is no moral excuse for traveling in a time of pandemic, especially on the upswing. Maybe in X months when quarantines are being lifted and people going back to normal life ... that would be the time for this type of tourism.
I spoke to a friend of mine this morning who is visiting Berlin. He was supposed to fly to Rome today but cancelled at the last minute due to the lockdown. He had not heard about it so it was lucky I got in touch.
He said Berlin is business as usual except there are less tourists. No one is wearing masks and hand wipes are available in most stores. The only negative he said is that the weather is cold and miserable.
Whether you travel or not is up to you. If you have underlying medical conditions that affect your abiltiy to heal then you have to consider that.
You can catch the virus anywhere. You can cancel your trip and then catch it at your local supermarket. (You do have to eat.) And 81% of the cases are fairly mild. Some will tell you not to travel at all and others will say go but take the best precautions you can. The situation changes daily so be ready to make alternate arrangments should the need arise. That's what I'm doing.
Oh, and wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. And try not to touch your face. Wipe down your seat and tray tables on the plane. And obviously, stay away from anyone coughing, wheezing or trying to sell you lederhosen.
Just came from downtown Frankfurt. Other than a lack of tour buses and Asian guests, it is all business as usual though many cafes, etc. are rather empty. Saw at least 10 school groups on sightseeing tours and a huge group of elementary kids leaving the movies and they all got on the train with me. Was at the Palmengarten this weekend and it was quite busy with people admiring the early spring blooms and their orchid sale. The light festival, "Luminale" is still scheduled for 12-15 March.
My neighbor made a great comment. If this virus is everywhere and in every country, why should it matter if we stay or go? There is little difference. I agree and am still planning on going to Iceland next week.
Well said Ufkak!
They closed the school in Czech Republic today. I can see border closings due to this. Think about that as well.
To date 2 Germans have died from Corona; one man aged 60 and a woman aged 90. Every year some 21,500 Germans die of the flu, 76,000 Germans die of nicotine or alcohol, 300,000 Americans die of obesity - just to put things in perspective. The problem is not so much the virus itself which will become endemic in the next couple of years globally anyway. The problem at the moment is the hysteria, the over-reaction, the actionism of the other people. Personally I find it hilarious that smokers even care about a virus that has a 0.7% chance of harming their lungs - yet they do.
As far as travel within Germany and the neighbouring countries is concerned, as a frequent traveller (for business) I can report that nothing really has changed - other than there are less travellers and therefore travelling has become less crowded and more comfortable. I've just been on ICE trains between Frankfurt an Berlin and have found them to be almost shockingly punctual - and DB now cleans the lavatories so frequently, even after 4 hours it looked and felt as if the journey had just started.
We don't know what the future holds. The virus is not what's causing the problems here. The hysteria of the people is what starts to be annoying. Let's see when the witch hunts begin.
"I can see border closings due to this. Think about that as well." One thing we don't need is more hype and conjecture. Spreading rumors and stirring the pot only continues the nonsensical hysteria we're currently experiencing.
With 18 cases, Poland has shut down all mass events.
Of all the countries in Europe, I would see Poland's government as having the most potential to shut everything down and quarantine people coming into the country early in the progression of disease. If you choose to make this trip, flexibility is going to be key.
Germany has reported 1224 cases so far
And one day later, it's 1565.
Worth noting that Italy had 1,100 cases on March 1. The March 1 Washington Post coronavirus update page had this headline:
"Italy enforces modest restrictions in its northern regions."
Talk about a fluid situation...
It is real. Hospitals and health services are being stretched to their limit in increasing numbers of places. Colleges and universities, and public or private K-12 systems are being closed or are extending school breaks.
"Coronavirus: Germany's Angela Merkel urges 'solidarity and reason'
The German chancellor has urged understanding and solidarity, one day after the government said up to 70% of people in the country could become infected with the novel coronavirus."
The next article is a thoughtful one that points out things always look fine until.... .