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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak-related Discussion

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pianocat

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Newburgh, IN
I’m booked and ready to go for mid-March , but depending on your choice of news outlets, you’d think we all need to become survivalists and soon. [No offense to survivalists!] There are 2 schools of thought on the whole thing, and I guess I’m looking for input from others who might be in same boat - wondering if close quarter travel is wise in the near future. I tend to see the glass as half full, and my eye is on the prize of seeing my daughters for this trip, so I’m primed to go no matter what. However. I have asthma pretty bad, am in that upper age range - [over 60] and guess I’m just looking for some feedback about how anyone else might be seeing this. So many unknowns, and that’s part of the problem. I’m monitoring the CDC updates, and won’t change my plans until/if unnecessary travel is advised. Anyone else concerned about this? I have a chronic cough, part of the asthma condition, and hope I don’t become the pariah of the SWC! I probably should be more concerned about the trip back in that Petrie dish of an airplane, than the train where I can pretty much isolate myself as much as i want. It’s a go for now.


MODERATOR NOTE: currently, there are 3 threads relating to the Coronavirus. This thread, one for food service-specific discussion: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic: Amtrak Food Service Discussion
and one in the AU Lounge for broader discussion: https://www.amtraktrains.com/threads/covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic-general-discussion.76916/

Please use the appropriate thread for your discussion.
 
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Just-Thinking-51

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Enjoy your trip. Wash your hands frequently. Avoid touch your face, mouth, nose. Carry a small alcohol hand sanitizers, Amtrak bathroom fixtures are a pain. Use a paper towel when touch the flush buttons, door handles.

This bug is easy to catch, but not very deadly. It’s not time to panic, it time to think, and plan.

Family care plan.
Work at home plan.
Alternative Children’s care.
Alternative Pet care plan.

Extra supplies, to avoid going shopping.
Your favorite sick foods. Such as soup, and drinks to keep yourself hydrated.
Pet foods, and cat litter.

If your ready for a zombie outbreak your ready for a earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or a flu bug like Coronavirus it’s all the same.

Enjoy your trip, don’t panic.
 

anumberone

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I'm in the same situation, trip booked and waiting to see if it's going to happen. Last year at this time my trip was canceled because of an injury to a traveling mate, holding my breath about this upcoming trip the last of April. Pretty hard to feel confident the way this virus is spreading.
 

Qapla

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Jul 15, 2019
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Gator Country Florida
We are planning to take our trip in July.

Last year we had to cancel because of Hurricane Dorian - hope we can make it this time ... same trip we planned last year.
 

jis

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What will happen by July is anyone’s guess at this time. Worst case it appears to be similar to the Flu, except with what currently appears to be about a 2%-3% fatality rate (this might go down over time) instead of 0.2%. The fatalities are also disproportionately among the elderly and infirm, similar to the Flu. Also, no vaccine yet. Also, the exact vectors of infection are not known for this variant. While washing hands is good, that may or may not be the primary way or even a major way that it is transmitted.

Meanwhile, the CDC reported the first case in the US of local transmission, in California. At the end of the day, it is local transmission which would drive any significant spread of the disease in the US. Until this case, no known cases of local transmission existed in the US.
 
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pennyk

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I am watching also since I have planned trips in March and May.
 

wwchi

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Apr 14, 2009
Messages
273
I take Amtrak twice a week and have continued to do so. Like others have said, wash your hands a lot, carry hand sanitizer, if you use the restrooms or anything use a towel to touch the handles, etc. Not panicked yet, but if it spreads I may reconsider taking Amtrak for the short term...for now I'm not staying away. Also be careful in the train stations! All the same routine!
 

west point

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Jun 9, 2015
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2,205
Some thoughts.
1. Airline travel you are in closer contact. Airplane now recycle more air than before. Now am not familiar enough with current aircraft to know if that can be changed but on ones am familiar with can turn on more air conditioning packs to force more air overboard.
2. How much recycling of RR cars now occurs in each model ?
3. You are somewhat more separated from other in coach and much more in sleepers.
4. Not deadly? That is very hard to quantify at this time. We cannot trust the China stats as I see it. But they are reporting so many cases with a death rate of about 1 in 38 victims. we need more info from other countries that can be trusted. But which countries can we trust ?
5. This virus might be more virulent to certain races. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, middle, east, east European, African, etc. It is too soon to know ?. Maybe some will be more resistant ? .
6. Age groups ? Spanish flue started out 20 - 45 because their antibodies went wild with that group. read Wiki.
7. How long after recovery is someone still a carrier?. Can be from maybe a week to lifetime ? The later can be a real gorilla . Look at aids.

EDIT: 8. We might even have a partial shutdown of one or more types of transportation ?
 

Siegmund

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northwestern Montana
I wonder if we are going to see meetings and conventions cancelled or postponed
I have already gotten notices about a couple of professional gatherings being postponed (mostly international events.)

The college where I work is deciding today whether to cancel the spring study-abroad experience in Venice (and probably will.)
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
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Jan 10, 2018
Messages
539
I have upcoming LD trips in March and April, and currently have no plans to cancel. Both are in sleepers, which expose passengers to relatively few people--certainly less than a trip to the supermarket. I might be inclined to have meals in the rooms, though, to further minimize contact. So, good news for tips for SCA's, not so much for dining room staff.

Of course, things can change rapidly. Japan just cancelled all primary and secondary schools for the next couple of months with no warning at all. Could Amtrak cancel my trips? Sure, that's possible...but there's less risk there than in local public transit by a huge factor.
 

Rasputin

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Jan 17, 2019
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I have already gotten notices about a couple of professional gatherings being postponed (mostly international events.)
I have a meeting scheduled in Colorado in May. Part of the meeting includes a tour of the Air Force Academy. I wonder if either will take place.
 

AmtrakBlue

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I wonder if we are going to see meetings and conventions cancelled or postponed
My employer has restricted international business travel to only critical needs and those have to be approved.

I read today that Facebook has cancelled its developers conference.
 
Joined
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Greetings from Texas! I’m new to the Forum and still trying to navigate myself around. For months I have reading your posts and decided I would try to dive in. Sadly, as I write the market is down another 800 points and many corporations, large and small, are making contingency plans for dealing with a widespread outbreak of the Coronavirus. Meanwhile the CDC is preparing us for some tough choices, including travel restrictions. So I was wondering if Amtrak is 1) preparing plans 2) considering what routes might be kept open 3)or how to deal with the possibility of a shut down.
I also if they have already seen any changes in ridership. Hopefully this will all go away soon . . .but who knows?
TexasTravel

MODERATOR NOTE: This comment was posted to a new thread that was merged into one of the existing Coronavirus threads.
 
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jis

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My employer is keeping close tabs on Elephants and acting depending on how they behave. :D

Of course, depending on where one is coming from, one may not be allowed to enter a country based on their citizenship and residency status already. Non-resident Visas have been outright canceled and Visa on Arrival and E-Visas have been denied by many countries for those who have traveled in certain other countries in the last 14 days. And the list of countries keep getting updated every day, so it is at best a crap shoot.
 

jis

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Barb Stout

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However, I have not read about any plans by Amtrak to mitigate the situation in those other 2 threads. Could be that there hadn't been any thus far since it was just yesterday (or the day before?) when news came about the 1st community-acquired case (in Sacramento).
 

Barb Stout

Lead Service Attendant
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Mar 13, 2019
Messages
477
In another thread on Amtrak's new cancel and change fees/policies, someone posted a link to an article about JetBlue. From that link, "Due to evolving coronavirus concerns, we are suspending change and cancel fees for all new flight bookings made between February 27, 2020 and March 11, 2020 for travel through June 1, 2020."
 

Suze10860

Train Attendant
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Feb 2, 2020
Messages
40
Not sure if I'm naive or simply not well informed on all the facts. Speaking strictly about travel in the USA (especially in a car or on a train) - I wouldn't think for even a second about changing plans. (We currently have a roundtrip New York to Chicago LSL sleeper booked for April.) Now flying over to Asia would be another story of course.

For the record I'm 60 years old and work in a kindergarten classroom. I take what I consider practical precautions, but I've yet to ever get a flu shot. I don't think I've ever had the flu in my life. Maybe I'm just a risk-taker. And a lucky one at that.

Personally I blame an awful lot of the worry on the ridiculous 24/7 news cycles that we have to deal with. I'm not talking about people who have pre-existing health conditions or older folks. I'm talking about the young healthy ones who still feel compelled to go out and buy a mask. I think the constant barrage of news stories helps build the hype. Sort of the same thing as grocery stores being wiped clean of milk and bread because the news keeps ranting on about an impending blizzard - which most of the time never materializes! Again, just my opinion. This is in no way a criticism of anyone who would decide to change their plans. We're all responsible for ourselves and can make our own decisions.
 

jis

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We are at present far far away from anything that requires any drastic change of plans for domestic travel in the US.

For international travel, one is well covered by following the advice of the CDC and Dept of Health and Human Services. But it is all a fast changing situation.

Meanwhile, if one has not gotten their Flu shots yet, this may be a good time to do so. It is better to have to deal with a single infection instead of multiple opportunistic ones if it comes to that.
 

Skyline

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Feb 19, 2016
Messages
740
I have upcoming LD trips in March and April, and currently have no plans to cancel. Both are in sleepers, which expose passengers to relatively few people--certainly less than a trip to the supermarket. I might be inclined to have meals in the rooms, though, to further minimize contact. So, good news for tips for SCA's, not so much for dining room staff.

Of course, things can change rapidly. Japan just cancelled all primary and secondary schools for the next couple of months with no warning at all. Could Amtrak cancel my trips? Sure, that's possible...but there's less risk there than in local public transit by a huge factor.


Sleepers are better than coach travel for this issue, but you are assuming your room was thoroughly sterilized since the last occupancy. I'm not sure that's the case during hectic turnarounds. Almost impossible when a room is vacated mid-route.
 
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