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by ricardo00 on Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:47 pm
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  Just got back from a week in Silver Salmon Creek, Lake Clark, Alaska.  Seems like many American photographers have decided to forego venturing overseas this year because of COVID (though some of the braver ones have been loving the decreased number of tourists in places like Africa).  The Silver Salmon Creek bear watching seemed more crowded than 4 years ago when I previously visited (lots more day visitors I was told) though still nowhere as crowded as a place like Brooks Falls.  Also the salmon run appears to have been delayed this year due to a late spring.  The live video feed of Brooks Falls shows many bear there but few jumping salmon.  The bears were clamming at Lake Clark and on our last day got to see the first views they had of this years cubs.  Also had some nice views of moose in Anchorage.  So if anyone is looking for a last minute wildlife trip, Alaska is a relatively close and safe place (though things like car rentals are tough to find).

  Posted an album of pics from this trip for those curious:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/60519499@N00/with/51325639854/
 

by TomWalker on Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:30 am
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By all means come visit Alaska but please dont come without a vaccination. The State numbers are surging, like many other places, because only about half the State’s residents have vaccinations. Sitka is almost epidemic. One idiot tourist, idiot being a kind term, tested positive there, then flew to Juneau, then flew on to Seattle. WTF? And in Juneau, there is a cruise ship sitting there without passengers but with staff. The passengers all were required to get vaccinations before boarding but the management did not require the staff to have shots. Yup, you guessed it. Three staff tested positive in Sitka, quarantined there. Then seven tested positive in Juneau, quarantined there. Now the total is much higher in the staff, all quarantined aboard the vessel. The Covid Cruise Line. By all means, come visit us but please engage your brains first.
 

by E.J. Peiker on Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:44 pm
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TomWalker wrote:
By all means come visit Alaska but please dont come without a vaccination. The State numbers are surging, like many other places, because only about half the State’s residents have vaccinations. Sitka is almost epidemic. One idiot tourist, idiot being a kind term, tested positive there, then flew to Juneau, then flew on to Seattle. WTF? And in Juneau, there is a cruise ship sitting there without passengers but with staff. The passengers all were required to get vaccinations before boarding but the management did not require the staff to have shots. Yup, you guessed it. Three staff tested positive in Sitka, quarantined there. Then seven tested positive in Juneau, quarantined there. Now the total is much higher in the staff, all quarantined aboard the vessel. The Covid Cruise Line. By all means, come visit us but please engage your brains first.

Sad story that shows how just a single irresponsible idiot can start an epidemic.  But hey, it's all a big hoax you know and we can't be forced to get 5G tracker chips injected into our bodies....
 

by SantaFeJoe on Thu Jul 22, 2021 2:25 pm
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E.J. Peiker wrote:
Sad story that shows how just a single irresponsible idiot can start an epidemic.  But hey, it's all a big hoax you know and we can't be forced to get 5G tracker chips injected into our bodies....

And like I heard, it’s only approved for emergency use, but so has the treatment for Covid patients. Are they going to refuse to be helped with an EUA treatment when they get sick?

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by ricardo00 on Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:13 pm
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TomWalker wrote:
By all means come visit Alaska but please dont come without a vaccination. The State numbers are surging, like many other places, because only about half the State’s residents have vaccinations. Sitka is almost epidemic. One idiot tourist, idiot being a kind term, tested positive there, then flew to Juneau, then flew on to Seattle. WTF? And in Juneau, there is a cruise ship sitting there without passengers but with staff. The passengers all were required to get vaccinations before boarding but the management did not require the staff to have shots. Yup, you guessed it. Three staff tested positive in Sitka, quarantined there. Then seven tested positive in Juneau, quarantined there. Now the total is much higher in the staff, all quarantined aboard the vessel. The Covid Cruise Line. By all means, come visit us but please engage your brains first.


  So sorry to hear about the spread of COVID in Alaska from people visiting who hadn't been vaccinated (both my wife and I were fully vaccinated before traveling).  I agree 100%, please get vaccinated before traveling!  It is unfair to your fellow travelers as well as the places and people you come in contact with during your visit to travel unvaccinated.  And if you start to show  symptoms, get tested and if positive,  do not continue your travels. 
 

by WJaekel on Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:57 pm
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It's the same (or even worse) here in Europe. People are travelling i.e. to Mallorca (favorite Spanish Island for vacations) to drink and have party though the majority of younger people still is unvaccinated. Consequently our government has classified Mallorca and most parts of the Spanish mainland and other countries as high risk areas again. Moreover, the British goverment just has removed ALL restrictions with regard to keeping distance, wearing masks etc - even indoors. All pubs, bars and discos are opened again. They currently have around 55000 new infections within 24 hours. Despite all warnings of the experts, the British Prime minister argues that the infections mostly affect young people who have a lower risk to get seriously ill and see the hospital. It's a very risky, selfish and short-sighted experiment to get herd immunity this way since they will accelerate the origin of new resistant mutations and spread COVID into the population. Even older people who are vaccinated aren't sure not to get ill because their immunity can be weaker - not to mention long COVID syndroms that can affect younger people and teenagers, too. IMO, it's an unethical and questionable approach just to gamble with the number of hospitalizations in order to give the priority to economical considerations. It's generally no perspective and "prophecy" to get COVID solely based on the assumption that vaccinated people may have a better chance to avoid hospitalization.
Of course, it's extremely egoistic and inconsiderate to travel unvaccinated to other countries and possibly infect other people, no matter if you're going to Alaska or elsewhere. We all are tired of the pandemic and longing for an end of it. I personally have not travelled anymore for 2 years now though I'm fully vaccinated in the meantime. It's an extremely sad and depressing situation, of course. Here in Germany the infection rate currently still is relatively low in comparison but it's increasing now again, too, because of Delta. In any case it's time finally to learn the lessons. Recklessness and stubbornness will further extend the pandemic.

Wolfgang
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by Des on Mon Jul 26, 2021 8:32 am
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WJaekel wrote:
Moreover, the British goverment just has removed ALL restrictions with regard to keeping distance, wearing masks etc - even indoors. All pubs, bars and discos are opened again. They currently have around 55000 new infections within 24 hours.


With respect, Wolfgang, the number has come down quite significantly. As of today it is 24,950 with the daily death of 28. Of course this number may/will(?) change. Also, businesses reserve the right to impose mask wearing. Though the majority of people have decided to no bother, I can tell you first hand that many still do. Most shops/restaurant employees that I've come across continue to do so as well as taking sensible measures like providing sanitisers to customers and having reduced number of shoppers/table bookings. The government accepts that we will have to learn to live with covid, certainly for the immediate future. The two main reasons why it decided to lift lockdown were: economy and mental health. There's a roadmap for the easing of lockdown since March, with reviews every 3 weeks. The last and final stage was delayed, mainly to ensure that more were vaccinated, in light of the delta variant. Close to 90% of UK adults have now received covid jabs.

Richard - good that you managed to get out and do a bit of photography. Tell Delphine I said hello.
Regards,

Des
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by WJaekel on Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:25 pm
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Des wrote:
With respect, Wolfgang, the number has come down quite significantly. As of today it is 24,950 with the daily death of 28. Of course this number may/will(?) change. Also, businesses reserve the right to impose mask wearing. Though the majority of people have decided to no bother, I can tell you first hand that many still do. Most shops/restaurant employees that I've come across continue to do so as well as taking sensible measures like providing sanitisers to customers and having reduced number of shoppers/table bookings. The government accepts that we will have to learn to live with covid, certainly for the immediate future. The two main reasons why it decided to lift lockdown were: economy and mental health. There's a roadmap for the easing of lockdown since March, with reviews every 3 weeks. The last and final stage was delayed, mainly to ensure that more were vaccinated, in light of the delta variant. Close to 90% of UK adults have now received covid jabs.

It's good news, of course, that the average number of infections in GB currently has come down compared to the high rate of last week (maybe partly influenced by the situation in Scotland). However, the impact of the so-called "Day of Freedom" will not be visible right now but in one or two weeks at earliest. In other countries such as Spain and the Netherlands the reopening of nightclubs etc has been followed by a sharp rise in infections so that the policy was quickly reversed in some areas. I agree that GB has a relatively high rate of adults being vaccinated (but by far not 90% being fully vaccinated from the official reports I read). I also agree that you cannot live forever with a complete lockdown. But that has not been the alternative in GB, of course. So I stand with my opinion that the "freedom day" declaring the removal of almost all restrictions is a very risky and questionable sign for the people even if some don't follow that route yet. In the end, the economy will also suffer if that experiment fails.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01938-4

Maybe we actually will have to live with COVID for the next future - to a certain degree, at least. But the origin of new variants, the risks of infections and long Covid syndroms despite vaccinations and the spreading in general are largely dependent on the precautions and behaviour. Every country primarily is free to act as politics decides, of course. So no offense here. But we should finally have learnt now, that responsibility for the spread of a pandemic doesn't end at the borders (or personal homes). That's true for governments and for individual travellers who don't care to export the virus and harm others - no matter if that happens in Alaska or in Europe. That's why I posted this above. I guess a general discussion will become OOT here, though. BTW, the US still don't allow travels coming from Europe in order to prevent the spreading.

Regards
Wolfgang
 

by Des on Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:56 pm
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Des wrote:
Close to 90% of UK adults have now received covid jabs.

WJaekel wrote:
I agree that GB has a relatively high rate of adults being vaccinated (but by far not 90% being fully vaccinated from the official reports I read).

88% first dose, 70% second dose: https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The situation is fluid and nothing is certain anymore it seems. Irrespective of what governments say, the responsibility ultimately lies with us.
Regards,

Des
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