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  1. #233

    Expedia

    Mistake I made before covid was using Expedia for travel instead of booking directly with air Canada. Generally everything goes smoothly sticking to the booked flights. Then covid hit airlines cancelled flights. As usual some airlines including Air Canada issued travel credits. Because I booked through Expedia it came as Expedia travel credit. Called Expedia to book flights using travel credit and was shuffled agent to agent which by the way all are Philippine girls. They all came up with one reason or the other telling me this flight does not qualify and origin and destination does not qualify etc. After many calls I called Air Canada. They said call Expedia again and tell them to call Air Canada if they have problems booking. Called Expedia again few times and got the same runaround. They would not bother calling Air Canada.

    Frustrated I called Air Canada again. Nice Canadian girl said I need to request credit on a form directly from Air Canada. She guided me through the form. After few days I got the credit number and passcode. Now I can use those to book on Air Canada website. Sent a scathing e mail to Expedia saying they need to train these Philippine girls well in order to give good customer service. I am a valued member of Expedia.

    So if any of you have outstanding credit on Expedia call the airline directly.

  2. #232

    Covid Travel Odds and Ends Part 58

    Israel throws open their doors to visitors:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/israel-al...142826422.html

    Covid roaring in Hong Kong:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/pandemic-...211302215.html

    Enjoy your mamajuana in the DR with less restrictions:

    https://tt.loopnews.com/content/domi...d-restrictions

    Covid restrictions dropping worldwide:

    https://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news...rofile=1400254

    Tourism struggling in Cuba:

    https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2022...on-the-island/

    On a side note, let's please keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts (and prayers, if you're religious) as they battle the invasion by Russian troops.

  3. #231
    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire1974  [View Original Post]
    I think OJeito hit the nail on the head when he said:

    Relatedly, here's an interesting Covid article from The Weather Channel. I know, seriously, right? The Weather Channel?

    https://weather.com/en-IN/india/coro...with-vitamin-d

    Not trying to troll or insult, just passing on some information.

    The Q Man.
    The predisposition theory is quite possible, I guess, but VitaminD? I mean, sunrays might be the only thing they have in abundance. The hottest place I've been to bar none if you count the humidity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quagmire1974  [View Original Post]
    Updated Covid entry requirements for Bermuda:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/bermuda-s...231524949.html

    Pressure on Japan to adjust Covid entry requirements:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/japan-mul...062833536.html

    On a personal note, I got my Covid booster shot this weekend. I had pain at the injection site and a stiff upper arm after receiving the injection. The next morning, I still had upper arm discomfort, and as the day progressed, I got a weak headache, my entire body felt sore, I felt run-down, and I got a slight fever. I hit the bed at 835 PM and slept until 1045 AM the next morning. I woke up feeling like a million bucks, not 100 percent back to normal, but definitely a lot better than I felt the day before. I decided to get the booster because I have travel planned for April and June (details here on ISG as I move closer to departure). On the flip side, I have friends who got the Covid booster and didn't have any reaction at all.
    My Moderna booster hit me hard, much harder than the second dose, which was considerable, too. I did the shot in the morning and was fine until late in the evening. At night my body was aching badly, my muscles were sore, joints hurt, comparable to a very bad flu, I got soaking wet. I was so weak it was difficult to go to the bathroom. Got much better the next morning, and almost fine by the second night, although some symptoms lingered till the second morning. So 48 hours for me.

    And my 84-yo mother was totally fine. Well, a little headache. My older relative did fine too. Go figure.

    No matter what, it was totally worth it.

  4. #230

    Covid Travel Odds and Ends Part 57

    Updated Covid entry requirements for Bermuda:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/bermuda-s...231524949.html

    Pressure on Japan to adjust Covid entry requirements:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/japan-mul...062833536.html

    On a personal note, I got my Covid booster shot this weekend. I had pain at the injection site and a stiff upper arm after receiving the injection. The next morning, I still had upper arm discomfort, and as the day progressed, I got a weak headache, my entire body felt sore, I felt run-down, and I got a slight fever. I hit the bed at 835 PM and slept until 1045 AM the next morning. I woke up feeling like a million bucks, not 100 percent back to normal, but definitely a lot better than I felt the day before. I decided to get the booster because I have travel planned for April and June (details here on ISG as I move closer to departure). On the flip side, I have friends who got the Covid booster and didn't have any reaction at all.

  5. #229
    Quote Originally Posted by Xpartan  [View Original Post]
    I also feel there are some still unresolved mysteries in terms of why this region was hit so hard. I've also read somewhere that Manaus has been almost fully vaccinated by now as there are no antivaxxers there...
    I think OJeito hit the nail on the head when he said:

    Quote Originally Posted by OJeito  [View Original Post]
    Personally I feel so many of these residents perished because of the obesity epidemic that clouds the majority of people of Amazonas. So many of these residents are beyond out of shape. The majority of the population appear unhealthy for whatever reason, be it their diets or their genetic depositions.
    Relatedly, here's an interesting Covid article from The Weather Channel. I know, seriously, right? The Weather Channel?

    https://weather.com/en-IN/india/coro...with-vitamin-d

    Not trying to troll or insult, just passing on some information.

    The Q Man.

  6. #228
    Quote Originally Posted by OJeito  [View Original Post]
    I'm currently in Manaus and feel obligated to reply to your comment. As I look around I too wonder why this was the original epicenter of the covid epidemic when the evil novel virus first wrapped its hands around this region of Brazil and infected so many of the population. We all saw the images on the news of the countless deaths and mass graves of the dead Being laid to rest. It was quite alarming to say the least and then came the reports that Manaus had succeeded in attaining herd immunity and worries subsided and were put on the back burner for the time being. It turned out to be wishful thinking by the virology scientific community as well As the media but another wave of covid eventually returned and swept through the region and the herd immunity theory was proven to be false. Personally I feel so many of these residents perished because of the obesity epidemic that clouds the majority of people of Amazonas. So many of these residents are beyond out of shape. The majority of the population appear unhealthy for whatever reason, be it their diets or their genetic depositions. That Being said, every resident here has a personal story to tell about how covid has effected their lives. My sympathies and condolences to the people of Manaus and the surrounding communities who were greatly altered during these unprecedented times. Everyday Covid prevention is still on the minds of these residents and it dominates their everyday behaviors. I've traveled to many territories within Brazil during the pandemic and the Amazonians approach things a lot different than the rest of Brazil. Masks are always worn and persistent hand washing seems more common. These people have been scarred by covid and I worry things will take many years before everyday life returns to being normal once again.
    Thank you for you thoughtful comment Ojeito. Yes, I also feel there are some still unresolved mysteries in terms of why this region was hit so hard. I've also read somewhere that Manaus has been almost fully vaccinated by now as there are no antivaxxers there (and very, very few in Brazil in general). Don't know if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised.

  7. #227
    Quote Originally Posted by Xpartan  [View Original Post]
    Hope. Yes, as to herd immunity, well, I don't know. This virus is different.

    Remember Manaus (or google, it's a fascinating story, really).

    Manaus was hit especially hard during the first wave. They estimated over 75% were infected back in 2020 IIRC.

    Then in Jan 2021, the second wave hit even worse despite the herd immunity.

    Then a month ago Omicron hit even harder than the second wave.

    So I don't know about the herd immunity. Maybe it doesn't work, or doesn't work everywhere, or doesn't work the way we think it should.
    I'm currently in Manaus and feel obligated to reply to your comment. As I look around I too wonder why this was the original epicenter of the covid epidemic when the evil novel virus first wrapped its hands around this region of Brazil and infected so many of the population. We all saw the images on the news of the countless deaths and mass graves of the dead Being laid to rest. It was quite alarming to say the least and then came the reports that Manaus had succeeded in attaining herd immunity and worries subsided and were put on the back burner for the time being. It turned out to be wishful thinking by the virology scientific community as well As the media but another wave of covid eventually returned and swept through the region and the herd immunity theory was proven to be false. Personally I feel so many of these residents perished because of the obesity epidemic that clouds the majority of people of Amazonas. So many of these residents are beyond out of shape. The majority of the population appear unhealthy for whatever reason, be it their diets or their genetic depositions. That Being said, every resident here has a personal story to tell about how covid has effected their lives. My sympathies and condolences to the people of Manaus and the surrounding communities who were greatly altered during these unprecedented times. Everyday Covid prevention is still on the minds of these residents and it dominates their everyday behaviors. I've traveled to many territories within Brazil during the pandemic and the Amazonians approach things a lot different than the rest of Brazil. Masks are always worn and persistent hand washing seems more common. These people have been scarred by covid and I worry things will take many years before everyday life returns to being normal once again.

  8. #226
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeos1  [View Original Post]
    I think it is some hope, but not certainty. Widespread infection with Omicron plus vaccinations could lead to a higher level of immunity, hopefully choking off the run of new variants. The variants are a numbers game. The more people that are infected the more chance of new variants developing. So countries with low vaccination rates and high Omicron infections could end up with similar immunity levels as countries with higher vaccination rates. And overall put the world on the road to some level of herd immunity.
    Hope. Yes, as to herd immunity, well, I don't know. This virus is different.

    Remember Manaus (or google, it's a fascinating story, really).

    Manaus was hit especially hard during the first wave. They estimated over 75% were infected back in 2020 IIRC.

    Then in Jan 2021, the second wave hit even worse despite the herd immunity.

    Then a month ago Omicron hit even harder than the second wave.

    So I don't know about the herd immunity. Maybe it doesn't work, or doesn't work everywhere, or doesn't work the way we think it should.

  9. #225
    Quote Originally Posted by Xpartan  [View Original Post]
    I really hope they, scientists, know what they're talking about, but what's changed exactly? Why is the pandemic phase over? From what I'm seeing a day won't pass without yet another mutant variant being found.

    So what am I missing? OK, Omicron won't kill you as easily as Delta, but unlike Delta it doesn't seem to give a shit about you being vaxxed (I mean infection-wise). Who knows what's the next variant will be like?

    Of course, I'll be delighted if they're proven right. We'll see.
    I think it is some hope, but not certainty. Widespread infection with Omicron plus vaccinations could lead to a higher level of immunity, hopefully choking off the run of new variants. The variants are a numbers game. The more people that are infected the more chance of new variants developing. So countries with low vaccination rates and high Omicron infections could end up with similar immunity levels as countries with higher vaccination rates. And overall put the world on the road to some level of herd immunity.

  10. #224

    I'm perplexed with this wide-eyed optimism

    I really hope they, scientists, know what they're talking about, but what's changed exactly? Why is the pandemic phase over? From what I'm seeing a day won't pass without yet another mutant variant being found.

    So what am I missing? OK, Omicron won't kill you as easily as Delta, but unlike Delta it doesn't seem to give a shit about you being vaxxed (I mean infection-wise). Who knows what's the next variant will be like?

    Of course, I'll be delighted if they're proven right. We'll see.

  11. #223

    Covid Travel Odds and Ends Part 56

    Morocco reopening for tourism:

    https://thepointsguy.com/news/morocco-reopening-2022

    Will your trip require a Covid booster shot?

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzanne...***-no-travel/

    Covid spike in certain parts of Indonesia:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/indonesia...052616948.html

    Australia says "G'Day, Mate!" to tourists after two years:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/australia...035828003.html

    While the world rolls-back restrictions, the CDC drags its feet:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/were-...030317418.html

    Will you need a Covid booster for your trip to French Polynesia?

    https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/fr...y-requirements

    Aruba loosens restrictions:

    https://thepointsguy.com/guide/aruba-reopening-guide/

    Vietnam reopening for tourism:

    https://thepointsguy.com/news/vietna...g-to-tourists/

    Hang in there, guys. The "tourism door" is opening a little more each day.

  12. #222

    Covid Travel Odds and Ends Part 55

    Loosening of Covid requirements for England and Scotland:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/coronavir...121415766.html

    Facemask frenzy in Thailand:

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/land...114353086.html

    Philippines reopening to foreigners:

    https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/phil...093909536.html

    Finland loosens Covid restrictions:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/finland-s...194328458.html

    Protests in Morocco over Covid closure:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/morocco-t...211117647.html

  13. #221
    Stuck in California 30 minutes from Tijuana but won't risk crossing the border. 74 % positivity reading in Tijuana. Meaning 3 out of 4 people testing are Covid positive. As someone in the high risk category it doesn't make sense right now. Hoping the Omicron wave dies down or some kind of miracle / treatment happens.

    If you ask me COVID is the new Aids. I said it two years ago that it will wreck havoc on the mongering world "duh! I wish the outcome was different. SURE it's available even now but it ain't the same.

    Hoping for a Hail Mary pass down by the 1 yard line.

  14. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by Univelton  [View Original Post]
    What is happening in your respective locations? Do not hesitate to share your insights and experiences.
    Here in Melbourne, we seem to have just about reached our Omicron peak. Mask wearing is mandatory indoors (eg supermarkets), sports events like Aus Open tennis have limited crowds. Interesting that our hot summer weather doesn't seem to have slowed the spread.

    Talk for months here from our federal govt (about to face an election) that we must live with Covid, and no more lockdowns or restrictions on businesses. But then Omicron came along and pretty much scuppered that (and State govts make the calls on lockdowns and restrictions here), and the emphasis went to getting booster shots ASAP. Rapid Antigen Tests are in high demand, with long queues outside chemists whenever they get stock. Due to high numbers of infections amongst workers, there have been shortages recently of some products in supermarkets (like fresh chicken) but it's far from a serious situation.

    Re international travel, if I wanted to visit the EU currently I would be required to get tested before each flight. I'm not prepared to risk being stranded in a foreign city after a positive test, and having to self-isolate in a hotel, never mind any hospital expenses that may be necessary. No problems showing proof of vaccination (triple-vacced) which I imagine may be required for some time, or wearing maks on planes, but not making travel plans until the pre-flight testing requirements are lifted.

  15. #219

    COVID 19 over as a pandemic but as endemic

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoesAndSocks  [View Original Post]
    Pfizer CEO reckons things will be back to "near-normal" within the next few months.

    https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/coron...fizer-ceo-says

    Do we dare believe him and start making travel plans?
    For me, now the question is whether the COVID 19 pandemic is almost over. News trending now is that the UK (its constituent states) have decided to remove all restrictions for instance mask and public gathering mandates, France, Germany, Spain, . Almost the EU are all loosening COVID-19 restrictions. And the World Health Organization has recommended the end of travel restrictions.

    We have to live with it as endemic from now. Then back to normal.

    What is happening in your respective locations? Do not hesitate to share your insights and experiences.

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