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Posted by
9408 posts

Ignorance ignites fear which results in panic. This would be a great time to be in Italy. Friends in Rome report no lines, empty museums in Florence, and an anxious tourist industry reeling under cancellations.

Posted by
704 posts

Our Italian friends who live in Bologna post on FB and IG that Bologna is open and lively and wonder what the panic is all about.

There are a couple of threads on the TA Italy pages where travelers are posting daily from Venice and Bologna if you want to check that out. Museums reopened today in Venice according to the travelers there.

Posted by
245 posts

I’m not canceling my trip. Just follow basic hygiene rules and wash your hands.

Posted by
89 posts

The Bloomberg opinion piece addresses only the reader as an individual.
It does not address the ramifications to others who may have underlying health issues.
Personally, my family has an infant, elderly persons and a person with a compromised immune systems.
They won’t travel but their risk is people who choose to travel to affected areas who in turn may infect them.
I just hope everyone makes informed choices. My biggest concern is that the planes certainly aren’t bring disinfected.

Posted by
305 posts

Wendy, thanks for your post, I feel the same way. I live in Milan where the hotspots are about 40 min away. The hospitals are at their breaking point in Lombardy and if the infection rate continues to rise, the health system will collapse because there aren’t enough hospital beds in the ICU. There are 2 cases of corona virus that have popped up outside of Rome. One of the CV victims had a visitor a week ago from one of the infected towns near Milan. The victim also has 2 children, one goes to middle school and one to a university in Rome. So you see how easily this virus spreads and can continue to spread.
Thank God I’m relatively healthy and if I become sick, I probably won’t need the ICU, but I think I have a moral obligation to my community to avoid contact right now as much as possible to stop the virus from spreading and to protect the weak and elderly.

Posted by
2408 posts

I cancelled my travel today because it was the last chance for any refunds. And not to Italy... If I were the only person involved with my life, I wouldn’t have cancelled. My travel partner is 78, fit, but like most people that age have something underlying. My daughter is a T1D and I babysit her baby twice a week. If it dies down, we will sign back up, but otherwise I have other people to consider should I carry it home, unlikely as that might be. Each person needs to make their own decision with out critiques by others. Before the Italy breakout, and subsequent expansion, I was in full go mode. S#$t happens.

Posted by
11677 posts

The person who wrote that Bloomberg article is a numbers geek and has totally ignored the broader perspective. It is not only the risk of death from illness one must consider; there are other considerations such as the risk of getting caught in a quarantine, or picking up the virus and unknowingly spreading it around to others who are more vulnerable, as mentioned above.

This thing is spread by travelers—-look at the number of Western Europe countries that are now reporting cases. Most of the early cases originated with someone who came from Italy and appeared perfectly healthy, then became sick.

Posted by
69 posts

Cass Sunstein is a nationally respected expert in behavioral economics, Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Behavioral Affair, etc, etc. He's not some guy off the street. We need to be listening to more "number geeks" instead of making decisions based on emotion and fear.

Look at a Harvard epidemiologist whose working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's response to the piece: https://twitter.com/AbraarKaran/status/1234469447794122752

Posted by
2408 posts

Well, most of us are talking about travel for vacation and its possible ramifications. Vacation in itself is a level of unimportance in the scheme of things. I don't think cancelling or postponing a vacation is on the same level as refusing to leave one's house for months on end in Cincinnati say, when Italy and China are the hot points. The latter is letting one's emotions and lack of logic win.

But let me tell you about probability...the low percentages still mean 'some people' are affected. In my family, perhaps purely emotional to some but to us it is experience bound, we take heed of low probability. From a minor day surgery my DH ended up spending 133 days over a 5 1/2 month period as an inpatient in the hospital because he always ended up getting what 'rarely' happens with each action. He didn't turn around until he had
<10% chance of survival. For some reason, he is drawn to the small odds. We take heed of this. Those numbers are someone. Someone has to be that small number, and I for one, don't want to be the carrier that lowered the odds for that person, when I can avoid it. If you are the small numbers of people sick, starving, homeless, etc., you still exist and it is miserable. IMO

Posted by
11677 posts

Dr. Karan is approving of the risk assessment analysis and the need to quell fear and panic, which is totally appropriate. :My point is simply that the article does not address other important considerations in the decision to cancel a trip.