With 2 confirmed Ebola cases caught outside East Africa, one in Spain, and the other Texas, both seemingly due to care-protocol breakdowns dealing with cases of travelling victims, I feel an Ebola thread where we can share information and progress against this menace is a good idea.
Please note this isn't a PANIC thread, but the slow march of Ebola is a legitimate travel issue which will effect all of those travelling over the next few weeks.
I'll kick off with United Kingdom precautions...
There will be Ebola scanning commencing next week at Heathrow and Gatwick airports and the Eurostar St. Pancras terminal on all passengers whose recent travel history involves Ebola effected regions of Africa. No other airports or stations are effected.
Obviously at this stage its unknown what delays this may cause, is selection to be carried out at the border, if so will this be by additional questioning of all arrivals? I assume so, and therefore it will lead to delays at the border
Here's some good stuff in an unseen blog from a few days before
it also demonstrates the point (when an active reader like yourself isn't aware of the buried blog) jakeal is making in his updated plea with the new NathalieF (the former CM was going to investigate a possible way to increase exposure to the well crafted, but seldom seen blogs)
Ok, enough with administrative issues - back to your worthwhile thread.
Since I wrote a couple of days ago, that I wasn't yet panicking over my spring trip IAD (one of the current five US airports with screening) to BRU and Benelux (not only in the news with Ebola, but ISIS) another US individual (a health care worker that treated the deceased Ebola patient in Texas) has been diagnosed with the disease, so I certainly retain my original opinion that I'm not as confident as government spokespersons and officials that 'everything is manageable and under control'. I have held off on any pre-paids (which would have saved many dollars, so you know I'm taking this seriously) as concerns are growing.
Thanks for posting, this can be a good thread for Insiders to share accurate updates and ideas.
This is very concerning to me. The screenings are not comprehensive enough. We live in a very mobile world where the disease can be spread unknowingly through contact (wiping ones eyes, nose or mouth, open abrasion, blocking a sneeze or cough and then touching a common object, etc.) and at a potentially exponential rate without infected persons even being aware. It takes people to track people. Average time for symptoms to appear is 8-10 days, sometimes up to 21 days. I have two cross country flights coming up in the next month to heavily populated airports and cities. I've just been to heavily populated airports and cities in the past two weeks. It can be difficult to not touch anything aboard an aircraft, in an airport, a subway or any public place. And then not touch one's own face (eyes, nose, mouth) in between hand washings. Think about all of the things we touch. Gas pump, shopping carts, gym equipment, counter tops, door knobs, railings, handles, arm rests, overheads, tray tables, seat belt buckles, all manner of bathroom objects, etc. Most of these objects are not disinfected. Maybe it's time to invest in disposable gloves and travel with a heavy supply of disinfecting wipes. Maybe we need to more carefully consider where we go, be more aware of our surroundings, what we touch.
Maybe... it's time to stop traveling for a while...
As a fellow traveler, and I so respect you opinion, I don't think we can conceive how bad this is going to get! I just hope I am wrong, but I don't think our leaders "Have a clue"!
I have travel in the future too. I think the airlines should hand everyone boarding the plane some chlorine whips and each passenger can whip over the arm rests, tray table, etc. so we would know that they are disinfected. They should also have a box outside the lav and antibacterial for hands. This would be a start.
I am not sure which is worse, ISIS or Ebola.
I will not be using the aircraft lav, that's for sure. It will be enough dealing with touching overheads (and not just the clasp, but my stuff touching other passengers stuff), arm rests, seatbelt buckles, tray tables and misc. buttons, plus everything in an airport (and cab). I may decline any food and drink from the F/A's as well. I have a leftover box of gloves from - something - and I plan on wearing them, as well as bringing a ziplock with the clorox disinfectant wipes. I am also considering wearing a mask. I don't want to create alarm aboard an aircraft, but the potential for harm is serious. I usually valet park my car at the airport Hilton for flights and now I am rethinking this. Think of how many steering wheels, etc. a valet touches. All of this, if I even go, that is.
I think caution is wise. I just heard that the Frontier plane that the second ebola patient flew on, made 5 flights before the CDC contacted them. The plane was taken out of service and cleaned 3 times and is back flying. They keep saying everything is fine and then another. So I think we all should be careful and take extra precautions till this is contained. As of now, I have not cancelled any plans but will probably not make new ones for a while.
Now as that relates to (my) travel; my much anticipated, researched, and Insider insight contributed to Belgium/Bruges/Amsterdam/Paris trip, with trains as well (I still haven't overlooked the ISIS/ISIL threat) is an issue of concern.
Here's what I've learned from Marriott and United (of course two reps, does not a policy make, but it's a start);
My Marriott/United Reciprocal perks trade has actually come in handy on this - by being a Silver, I can change my award miles flight for a lot less $ (50 pp) than it would cost me as a regular schlub frequent flyer (of course, being a sunk cost, I'd write the whole thing off if necessary).
Two different Marriott Rewards reps have informed me that I can trade back in the Travel Package (I have a 7 night Cat. 7) which I knew and I can also add points and go to a higher Category (which I did not know).
Those same two reps also confirmed I can extend (which I knew) in advance (which I did not know) my Cat. 5 certificate which provides additional flexibility, which I certainly need right about now, because my well thought out spring plans are in flux, trending at least closer to home, if going at all.
No, not panic, but I'm not going to be like the head of the CDC who states after the fact, "well we probably should have sent a team right away" - you think?
pluto77 - I carry a "NexCare" mask with me in my carry-on bag for multiple reasons, but I would not hesitate to don this if I were sitting by someone on the plane had symptoms, such as constant sneezing, coughing, especially vomiting. I plan to also keep plastic gloves and alcohol wipes handy, if needed, and I'll especially take extra precautions when using on-flight lavatory.
Hopefully, this Ebola scare will soon be arrested and things will return to "normal" for us travelers!
Be sure to let us know though, when we should change plans; 5 cases, 50, 500 ? Realizing that if the stuff hits the fan, we may bypass intermediate targets pretty easily. All which are statistically immaterial as a percentage of population, but pretty doggone significant for those few. But as you imply, similar to government officials stating in early October, no need for concern, "The US is well prepared for Ebola", except when they are not.
That's the value of this thread, readers get a broad brush of perspectives, each hopefully helping us form our best individual strategy. I certainly appreciate the 'immortality of youth' and trust in public institutions that we probably all held at one time; hopefully others will appreciate the 'old timer's skepticism' (see 'Swine flu fiasco', Katrina, et al.). I haven't noticed anyone changing plans, yet. Heck, I consider backup travel strategies if I discover the property goes from full breakfast to continental .
This thread (hopefully not) could become more important to us than even Upgrades.
Thanks to all who participate. Keep on keepin' on Insiders.
As I've mentioned previously, I traveled to Uganda in '90s on several occasions - at the height of the AIDS "epidemic" in this country - so I'm not overly concerned about traveling during the Ebola situation. However, realizing that I would be in a very remote area of Uganda - the
I'm not suggesting we all go to this extent in our travels during this time of concern, but we should at least "be prepared" (Boy Scouts motto). Think about where you're going; what the risks are; perhaps even international airports to avoid, if possible; what to do if you might be on a plane with someone exhibiting Ebola symptoms; but, particularly, how to prepare for what might possibly become a more widespread situation in our own country, and/or neighborhood.
My son is taking his high school, junior-age, son to Chicago to visit a college of possible choice and my son is going to Dallas, TX, next Monday on a business trip. I haven't discouraged him from these travels, only to be extra cautious.
There is a huge difference between how AIDS and Ebola are transmitted. Ebola can be contracted by the merest contact with the fluids of an infected individual, AIDS by comparison is transmitted via unprotected sex. Avoid unprotected sex and you'll avoid AIDS. Avoiding the bodily fluids of those around us is difficult, sneezes contain sputum, sweat is present in a handshake, or just simply handing over cash and change.
Ebola has the potential to be the modern equivalent of the Black Death, spreads easily and treatment is tough to safely deliver, without risking the lives of those that deliver the care to the unfortunate victims. On a 1-by-1 basis, it's easy to deal with, but a few hundred in a city will place unimaginable strain on local hospitals and care workers. Very few western cities have the hospitals to isolate and care for more than 1000 sufferers. It's unlikely to take a grip, it's not airborn (the true dread of any pandemic) but not for nothing is it to be found in the chemical warfare inventory of the military around the world...
AIDS has never changed my travelling decisions, even though it's rife in Liberia, I have no fear of AIDS. Wild horses would'nt drag me to Liberia right now because of Ebola.
I'm planning a visit to Philly in a fortnight and I can't see this making any difference to my plans at all, though I expect more delays to deal with extra screening...
If your reference to "immortality of youth" refers to me, I thank you for it. I'll tell my college aged grandchildren.
Point is that too many people are panicking about nothing. There is no epidemic. If one starts to develop, that's another story. But 1, 2, 5, 50, those numbers are meaningless. You have a greater chance being electrocuted by the computer you're typing on than catching ebola at the point in time.
There was a doctor some time ago talking about swine flu (or bird flu or chicken flu or whichever the last one was). He said that there is no doubt that there will be an epidemic that will sweep the world and kill millions. But it won't be this disease. Why not? Because we know about it. We know how to prepare. If we are forced to use extreme measures we can.
The epidemic that kills millions will be the one where millions have the disease before we even know about it.
I have an international trip in 4 weeks and another in January and another in March. Not even thinking of changing them.
Naah, I knew from previous reading (LP etc), so certainly no youngbuck. I was referring more to the mindset of "nothing here to see, move along" more out of concern for its impact on thread participation than its influence toward any experienced travelers' strategy - that's why I noted I hadn't read of anyone changing their plans. As I wrote, I'm all about maximum participation to get the most info out leading to our (my) best decision making. I wanted to help avoid anyone "not bothering" sharing, out of concern that it might be a headache.
So it's all good with me, although I will say, I have experienced (no doubt, you also) numerous situations in business deals where the "it can't happen factor" that wasn't prepared for, has surprised (at a material cost) many a negotiator and perhaps it's my life living in DC that has conditioned me to expect the poorly executed 'no problem, slam dunk' plan. I'm certainly pulling for your perspective, but watching for mine.
My employees are starting to concerned too. Some have scheduled audits in Dallas in a couple of weeks and I told them if they feel uncomfortable, they can cancel and reschedule when this thing is contained. I am in travel status right now and have to admit, with the news stories each day, I am getting a little concerned myself (but not in panic mode). Just flying around the country has me nervous since they keep changing in the information on how this can be spread (apparently some are saying it can be spread by airborne transmission). Misinformation and too much headline news will eventually have everyone in a panic and I can see travel being reduced substantially. Figures, after 80 nights of travel for work, I finally have a nice vacation planned with my wife in a couple of weeks to Aruba and she is getting a little nervous about getting on the airplane. Can't live your life between 4 walls. Some risk involved with every reward I guess. I just hope they can develop a vaccine soon.
UK latest, Ebola screening will be extended to both Manchester and Birmingham International airports...
UK arrivals will now be questioned and screened at the following locations:
London St Pancras (Eurostar trains)
Landed into Newark (EWR) on Thursday. Wouldn't have known anything about Ebola from the airport setup. In fact the reason I haven't posted till now was I'd completely forgotten about Ebola till the news of the lawsuit lifting quarantine restrictions on a nurse free of Ebola symptoms emerged
EWR says "crisis, what crisis?"