What, Me Worry? Travels and Travails 2021-22

missing

Well-Known To Whom She Wonders
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Since 2 out of the 3 risk calculators I checked told me my next stop after attending Nationals in Nashville should be to Shrouds R Us, I figured I should do some research and start a thread where travel concerns and reassurances could be covered.

The research consisted of going to the Bridgestone Arena website. It doesn't have a mask mandate but it has just announced a vaccination/negative test mandate for all events. Yay team!

I sent an email to USFS to ask if they would have a mask mandate and if they would have some of the men's rooms converted to ladies' rooms to shorten the lines. Should I hear back, I'll post the information (I told them I would as an enticement).

Travel has been a concern for a while now, so it seems reasonable to me to have a thread devoted to the subject. May all its news be good (vaccine/negative test requirements) and at least some of the worries be put to rest.
 

once_upon

Enough
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I'll give my own experience with travel. We went on a Riverboat cruise in Oregon/Washington then last week of July. We went at a time that cases were starting rise (according to the information @Dobre provided). We then travel down the Pacific Coast line (CA 1) to San Diego.

All passengers and crew on the Riverboat had to show vaccination status (and be vaccinated) and submit to a C-19 test prior to getting on the boat. The mask mandate was in effect by the Federal Regulation for public transport, in this case it was the buses for excursions. The boat was considered private transportation so were not required on the boat. When we booked the cruise we were told capacity would be limited (the first communication was 50%, but in actuality it was about 80%)

For our pre trip stay in Spokane, we did most our eating outdoors, and the hotel had a mask mandate for everyone.

For our post cruise trip down the coast, we mostly ate outdoors, but there were times that outdoor seating was not available. Most restaurants were spaced appropriately for indoor seating. We did mostly outdoor attraction activities.

Of course airports and plane trips required masks. Almost all legs of our air travel was full capacity seating.

Whenever I felt "uncomfortable" about spacing, I put on a mask. Sometimes my travel partners would mask if I did Sometimes not.

I did have allergy symptoms when we got back (August is my season where allergies are wild), and since people were saying vaccinated people first presented as allergy type symptom, I got tested about 7 days post return.

I know I will travel again. I will look at the number of cases in the area I will travel to.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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I traveled in June when things were looking better and most places were lifting their mask mandates. It's different now. We are about to travel again. I will report back on the actual experience. But in CA everyone must wear a mask when inside except when eating and drinking.

We are going to Disneyland and there is currently no rule that you have to be vaccinated or have a recent negative test. (However, some Disneyland vloggers think this is coming. I do not.)

I expect things to be the way they are here when it comes to masks. People in the Bay Area are fairly compliant with mask mandates and my experiences in June at Disneyland were the same. Plus I've been watching videos from people visiting the parks and you can see that there is a lot of mask-wearing especially indoors. Everyone seems to be compling with the indoor mask mandate.

For the trip down, we generally stop twice for bathroom breaks/gas/lunch. Lunch will most likely be at an indoor restaurant and it will be the first time we've eaten indoors since June. If we can find a place with a patio, we will.

The next trip is Oct. for Skate America. That will involve flying, staying in a hotel, staying in an arena with thousands of people, and most likely doing a lot of eating in restaurants. I guess we'll see then what the cv situation is and what the rules are.
 
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flyingsit

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I've gone to visit family a couple of times, to Mexico once, and three work trips (twice to California and once to Cleveland). Am also going to Seattle in two weeks, have plans for Mexico again at Thanksgiving, and will have a few more work trips, including one to London. We eat indoors occasionally but more often on patios/takeout. And I go to friends' houses/have friends over to ours without thinking about it.

I get annoyed when people don't follow posted masking rules, but I'm not worried about it either, because we are vaccinated, are not immunocompromised, and don't have kids.
 

MacMadame

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(However, some Disneyland vloggers think this is coming. I do not.)
I should have been clearer. If CA or Orange County institute a vaccine mandate, then of course Disneyland will too. But I don't think they will institute one if it's not required.
 

alexikeguchi

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1,093
I've traveled from my home in Oklahoma to New York and Washington state multiple times before and after vaccines were available, St. Lucia last Christmas, drove from Bellingham WA to Vancouver BC last month, and as of now plan to go to Tanzania and Seychelles this Christmas. At this point, I think I'm a pro at scheduling my testing to fit into a 72 hr window and filling out health registration forms. I've never had any holdup getting to my destination. Unless I had a completely asymptomatic case, I have also managed to avoid illness from the very outset. I feel like going to work or the supermarket at home is a higher risk activity, frankly, than traveling with other extremely well vetted people.
 

Spikefan

Rooting for that middle-aged team
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I traveled to OKC in May when they still had an indoor mask mandate and it was generally followed.

I was in Colorado two weeks ago visiting family (in an area represented by Lauren Boebert and a county that tried to secede to Wyoming over marijuana) and most guests in our hotel wore masks and maybe two employees. We had to go inside a couple of places, briefly, and no one commented or gave us grief about our masks. We saw a couple employees at each place wearing them. Most activities were outdoors or at my vaccinated parent’s homes.

We then spent a couple of days in Breckinridge. There were signs to wear masks if not vaccinated, not many wore masks. We put on masks when in shops/resort and did outdoor dining as it was amazing weather. Everything else was hikes outside, no masks. We did take our vaccine cards as I didn’t want to be denied entry anywhere but no one asked.

Next stop Las Vegas for SkAm, so excited to see live skating again. This will be my first flight since this all started so I’m going to try and not pull my mask down for any reason. I plan to wear my mask as much as possible, maybe I can shed some of my Covid gain. :rofl::nopryde:
 

ribbon

Well-Known Member
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245
I went to the National Parks of Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon in early May which was perfect timing before Delta and few crowds. Good weather for hiking at 70 Degrees.

my sister went this summer and it was far more challenging. One of the kids got a mild case of COVID (rest were vaccinated and ok), probably at the overcrowded airports or campsites, even though they were careful with masking, sanitizing, and not eating out.

I went to Paris in late August. Again great timing, before additional restrictions. the Plane wasn’t full and I felt safer in Paris than in my town. i did buy the k-95 mask for the plane and ate street food picnics and only one meal outdoor dining. my Main purpose was just the museums, architecture and finally getting to Giverny and their gardens.

I would love to travel again this year but with some countries adding quarantine for vaccinated Americans (Netherlands, for example) and cases in areas of the US so high and it being hurricane/fire season, I think I’ll be waiting until 2022.
 

myhoneyhoney

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I went to the Renaissance Faire in Hollister CA yesterday. Since it's all outdoors masks were not mandatory. I still saw a good amount wearing masks. Some had spectacular decorated ones that matched their costumes. Hubby and I were maskless half the time. We did keep them on while in line for food and wore masks in more crowded walkways, shopping booths, and all shows.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,292
I'm back from Disneyland! Here are my experiences:

1) Driving down and back, mask usage was mixed at our stops. But mostly we were outdoors and in restaurants, two places people tend not to mask. We mostly stopped in the Central Valley which is conservative, and, as expected, there was less signage about wearing masks. Also, the political signs about water that are on many farms along I-5 were all about the recall and how we need to recall Newsom to make CA "safe." :lol:

2) Our motel was still doing the "check-in/out via the night window" thing but all the other motels on motel row were not. And pools are open again. Still no housekeeping for the length of our stay.

3) The rules for CV in CA are that everyone wears masks insides regardless of vaccination status, masks not required outside, social distancing is recommended but not required, no capacity restrictions of note. And so that's what Disney was doing and enforcing. And, they definitely were enforcing it. They had people at the start of any line for an indoor ride making us show we had a mask on us even if we were still outside and not wearing it. They had people at strategic points along the line indoors to tell the bozos who pulled their masks down as soon as no one was watching to put them back on again and they made people put them on to even get on the ride.

The only time anyone objected was a mom who objected to her kid wearing one. He was pretty young but apparently, 2 and the cast member said he had to wear a mask to ride. The mom said he wouldn't wear it. But the cast member gave her a surgical mask, Mom put it on him, the other men in their party who were also all wearing surgical masks fist pumped the kid and that was that. They went off on the ride the kid happily wearing the mask.

There were scofflaws who would put their masks under their noses whenever no one was looking but they didn't fight about when cast members said to put them back over their noses.

Disney has been coy about how many people were allowed in the parks. When we were there in June, they had an announced capacity of 35% and it was an enjoyable experience. There were MANY more people there this time. I think Disney would have the parks at 100% capacity if they could get the staff. They are clearly understaffed as tables in eating areas were not being scrubbed down as much, line management wasn't at 100%, and not every restaurant or attraction was open yet. But more was open than in June.

Character "greetings" are still being done at a distance. I like it, actually. People get more time to interact with the character or they are presented in a more elaborate setting. Like one day a single parade float with characters from Frozen drove down Main street. Goofy's Kitchen has them parade through the restaurant and dance but they don't come to the tables.

My next trip is Skate America in Vegas.
 

sk8pics

Well-Known Member
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10,778
I'm back from Disneyland! Here are my experiences:

1) Driving down and back, mask usage was mixed at our stops. But mostly we were outdoors and in restaurants, two places people tend not to mask. We mostly stopped in the Central Valley which is conservative, and, as expected, there was less signage about wearing masks. Also, the political signs about water that are on many farms along I-5 were all about the recall and how we need to recall Newsom to make CA "safe." :lol:
Political signs about water?
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,292
Political signs about water?
Yeah. Basically, every issue with lack of water in CA is Nancy Pelosi's fault. ;) Well, sometimes they just say things like "Congress created dust bowl." But they often name people, always Dems, of course.
 

sk8pics

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Yeah. Basically, every issue with lack of water in CA is Nancy Pelosi's fault. ;) Well, sometimes they just say things like "Congress created dust bowl." But they often name people, always Dems, of course.
I figured that, but you said "all the political signs about water were about the recall" and I was trying to understand that. Is the water Newsom's fault too?
 

MacMadame

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52,292
I figured that, but you said "all the political signs about water were about the recall" and I was trying to understand that. Is the water Newsom's fault too?
Oh, I meant that the places that usually have signs about water issues had switched to Recall signs.
 

Barbara Manatee

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2,099
We spent the last couple of weeks in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Everyone followed the recent mask mandates and I never encountered anyone putting up a fuss, which was a great relief as I'd read a lot of bluster on the parks' social media beforehand. I guess tough talk online is pretty cheap.

I was distressed talking to the staff though - quite a few were bewildered and disheartened by how awful people had been to them over the summer.

I'm used to warning signs in parks - "Carry bear spray, don't hike alone, if attacked do not run! If you go over the falls, you will die! Unstable ground, boiling water, stay on path!" But it was unsettling to see the notices urging extra caution because medical resources were overstrained and care would be delayed if you were injured.
 

Vash01

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I traveled to Texas in July, California (Bay Area) in August, and Southern Cal.in Sept/Oct. The last trip was by car. Others were by plane. Now I am getting ready for Las Vegas (SA), Hawaii in November, and central California in December lt has been brutal to travel so much. I am somewhat concerned about Vegas/SA because it will be indoor, with lots of people. At least I got my booster shot today.
 

sk8nlizard

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I traveled to Texas in July, California (Bay Area) in August, and Southern Cal.in Sept/Oct. The last trip was by car. Others were by plane. Now I am getting ready for Las Vegas (SA), Hawaii in November, and central California in December lt has been brutal to travel so much. I am somewhat concerned about Vegas/SA because it will be indoor, with lots of people. At least I got my booster shot today.
I am also going to Hawaii in November!
 

Vash01

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The good news about Hawaii is that you only have to show your vaccination certificate To enter. You don't need to be tested 72 hours or 5 days or whatever, before the flight, if you are in the USA.
 

sk8nlizard

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I am going to Oahu and Big Island.
Yes, that I’m excited about except my children are going, that are 8 and 10. We all had Covid beginning of September so they should be able to get an exemption except only one of my kids had a PCR test, the other had a rapid antigen test, so I hope Hawaii will take those along with a letter from their doc that they are recovered. If not, they have to be tested no more than 72 hours before we leave.
We are going to Oahu and Kauai.
 

Vash01

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Yes, that I’m excited about except my children are going, that are 8 and 10. We all had ********* beginning of September so they should be able to get an exemption except only one of my kids had a PCR test, the other had a rapid antigen test, so I hope Hawaii will take those along with a letter from their doc that they are recovered. If not, they have to be tested no more than 72 hours before we leave.
We are going to Oahu and Kauai.
Enjoy your trip!
 

sk8nlizard

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Great places to vacation! Hope you have a good time!


Kauai is my favorite island.
Kauai is wonderful, we went there on our honeymoon and are staying at the same hotel again for nostalgia and because it was probably the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed at (Grand Hyatt) , we are taking the kids ziplining and tubing! In Honolulu we are staying at the Disney resort. It looks beautiful. We will go to Waimea Falls, having a surf lesson, going to Pearl Harbor and a Luau. My dad has always wanted to go to Hawaii and my parents are meeting us there for the entire trip. So it should be lots of fun!!


Enjoy your trip!
Thanks, you too!
When will you be in Hawaii?
 

attyfan

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Enjoy Hawaii, all. My traveling is limited -- my husband and I are off to Bodega Bay over Halloween, for a cousin's wedding - outdoors.
 

Vash01

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Kauai is wonderful, we went there on our honeymoon and are staying at the same hotel again for nostalgia and because it was probably the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed at (Grand Hyatt) , we are taking the kids ziplining and tubing! In Honolulu we are staying at the Disney resort. It looks beautiful. We will go to Waimea Falls, having a surf lesson, going to Pearl Harbor and a Luau. My dad has always wanted to go to Hawaii and my parents are meeting us there for the entire trip. So it should be lots of fun!!


Enjoy your trip!
Thanks, you too!
When will you be in Hawaii?
Sounds like a lot of fun. How cool that your parents will join there!

This will be my 5th visit to Hawaii. I have been to all four major islands, but Kauai just once. I have not made any plans. Will play it by the ear.

In HNL I will be at the Modern Honolulu. It is just ok, but the location is great to catch a bus. On Big Island I will be at the Royal Kona. My third time there. I like being so close to the ocean.
 

missing

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I always enjoy the Figuratively Speaking weekly column, so I figured I'd bring a little bit of it over here today.

Percentage of people who would pay extra to be on a 100%-vaccinated flight or stay at a 100%-vaccinated hotel/resort, according to a WalletHub survey: 40

Percentage of people who won't travel this winter due to fear of COVID-19: 27

Source: WalletHub.
 

MacMadame

Doing all the things
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52,292
The Atlantic's daily newsletter yesterday was about how to navigate the pandemic safely:

Brine the turkey. Swab your nose? We discuss how to prepare for a safe Thanksgiving 2021.

Thanksgiving 2021​

In 2020, public-health experts’ message to Americans was simple: Cancel Thanksgiving. This year, COVID vaccines afford us more options for a safe Turkey Day.
But not all celebrants come to the table equally at risk; kids 5 to 11, for example, won’t be able to reach full vaccination in time because their shots just got authorized, and younger children are still waiting. And in many areas of the country, at-home coronavirus tests remain scarce and pricey.
I talked with my colleague Katherine J. Wu about how to think about risk ahead of the holiday.
The conversation that follows has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Let’s start with the basics. Is it safe to gather for Thanksgiving dinner this year?
The better way to think about it is to ask, What is the safest way to gather for Thanksgiving this year? At this point in the pandemic, we have a whole list of behaviors and tools that we can use to lower our risk. Nothing will ever get us to zero risk if we are gathering. But a combination of all those things can help get us pretty close.
We are in such a better position to celebrate Thanksgiving this year compared with last year. We have a huge—not enough, but a huge—percentage of the population vaccinated now, so that means it is totally possible to have a Thanksgiving where everyone there is fully vaccinated. And that feels reasonably safe to me. [But you have to consider:] Who is most at risk? How can we best accommodate them?
Should I take a test beforehand?
It is probably a good idea. But tests are powerful tools with limitations, just like everything else. If you test positive, that can stop you from going to a dinner infected. If you test negative, that probably increases the likelihood that you’re not going to pose a threat to other people. But tests can’t predict the future. It's possible that the virus could still be inside you, but not at the detectable level yet.
If you’ve been traveling or going to work and not masking in the office, you can probably assume that you might have had a recent exposure, even if it wasn’t a really serious one. There’s maybe good reason to test yourself and your family a couple times the week of Thanksgiving, especially if you’re about to go to a gathering where there might be unvaccinated people or vaccinated people who remain at high risk—like if they’re older or immunocompromised—or if the gathering is going to be totally indoors and maskless, and there’s going to be a lot of people. Things like that can all factor into the test decision-making process.
What if tests aren’t available in my area? Are there other measures I can take to be safe?
Testing is still not as available as it really should be at this point. I don’t think lacking access to a test has to be a complete deal breaker. This again goes back to the layered approach: If you don’t have tests, do you think you can build a safe enough Thanksgiving with vaccines, masks, distancing, or outdoor dining? Is everyone vaccinated?
Should case numbers or hospitalization rates play a role?
If you are going to be holding a Thanksgiving gathering in a very high transmission region where the hospitals are slammed and people are still getting very sick—not just infected, but very sick—consider what position that puts you in. If someone, God forbid, were to get really sick in your group, would the local health system have the capacity to take care of them?
Also, if there’s a ton of transmission in your region, what does that mean for the riskiness of the activities you’re engaging in in the days leading up to it?
What about quarantining?
Quarantines are really tough for a lot of people to manage. If people are going to work, it means they have to stay home from work. If you're traveling, you can't then lock yourself in a room for two weeks. Thanksgiving will be over by that point.
Have other questions in advance of the holiday that you’d like Katie to answer? Send them in.

The WaPo also has a question and answer session on this subject:

 

sk8nlizard

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We are currently at the airport waiting to board our flight to Hawaii. My self and my husband are vaxxed, so we only had to fill out the safe travels info and get a QR code. My kids aren’t yet vaxxed (8 and 10 and had Covid less than 90 days ago). They had to be tested 72 hours or less from our flight. We opted to test them at CVS on Saturday and Walgreens on Sunday in case a test got lost or was inconclusive or took too long to get back. We got all the tests back by Sunday afternoon (negative, yay) and we’re able to upload them to the safe travels site. We got to the airport early today and were able to be precleared and get a wrist band and will not have to wait in line when we get to Hawaii. So far, most people are wearing masks, which is amazing to me bc we are in Texas where no one hardly wears masks! Looking at the app, it seems our flight isn’t super full. Hopefully the rest of the trip is smooth!
 

flyingsit

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12,657
I'm going to Mexico next week for Thanksgiving with my family, and London two weeks after returning from Mexico. Just booked my required tests for London and returning to the US, and the kits will be delivered to my hotel so it should be fairly smooth.

Then I have another trip to London in January so I'll do the same thing with the test kits.
 

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