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

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Suze10860

Train Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
40
When you do reach Senior Status your Immune System will be weakened and you'll want the Flu and Phnuemonia Shots, Trust me!!!( Just turned 76)
Oh, I do trust you. I'll definitely think about it differently when I'm a bit older.

For now, I'm an exceedingly healthy and fit 60 year old. AARP might consider me a "senior" but I don't!

Also, I see my primary care doctor 2X a year (keeping my cholesterol and blood pressure in check) and until such time as he tells me I should be getting the shots, I'll stick with my decision. He asks me about them when I go, but is comfortable with the fact that I don't want them at this time. He too has mentioned that as I get older, our discussions will become more serious.
 

Qapla

OBS Chief
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
750
My doctor brought up the Flu Shot the first time I went to him .... now that I am older, he rather insists on the shot. Still my decision, but have not had any serious reaction to the shot.

Also, one of the things he reminded me of ... often people say they "had the flu" when they actually had a "cold" or other respiratory ailment - not Influenza. The shot is for actual influenza strains ... not the "common cold".
 

west point

Conductor
Joined
Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,034
Some thoughts. China reliability is suspect . a 1 in 30 death rate reported seems high/ so alarm about that mortality rate is a "who knows .
A great immune system might be bad. Read this wiki about healthy young adults higher mortality rate in the 1918 flu
1. So you have a great immune system ? That actually be too much the 1918 flu had healthy young adults with great immune systems run away with higher mortality than young and old. See wiki
https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_pandemic_of_1918
Later on the 1019 virus mutated to a milder form without as high of a mortality rate.
2. What will happen with this corona virus?. Any guess is just a wild guess.
3. We cannot depend on what many countries are reporting as to how this virus is spreading. I especially wonder about China. Their latest figures have a mortality rate of just over 1 in 30 cases. But how are cases counted ? All? just hospitalized? serious cases only ?
 

iplaybass

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
169
My employer has cancelled all non-essential business travel. There goes my March STL-WAS trip down the drain. And 20% of my ticket.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
18,931
My employer has cancelled all non-essential business travel. There goes my March STL-WAS trip down the drain. And 20% of my ticket.
Since it is a Business Trip, hopefully you'll be reimbursed by your Company!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2020
Messages
14
I'm in nyc, today, in a $300 hotel for $65 partly im guessing due to this virus. Normally I'd sleep in my car on weekend when in town due to hotel prices. Anyway, I would use amtrak today. But that can change if everything hits the fan. For instance, if this spreads like wild fire, you could see gigantic problems all over, from schools being cancelled to sports and concerts being empty or cancelled. On amtrak last week I baby wiped my seat and the one next to me. I also tried never touch anything. And the chronic coughers? I run from them, for 3 years I've been obsessed with getting away from anyone with slightest cold, as, I get sick often, likely due to being in ocean surfing
 

Samsbigtrip

Train Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
68
72 and never had a flu shot, however, everyone I know who did get the shot - got sick!!! Have no plans to change my monthly AT trips.
At 71 I had my first ever flu shot a couple of months ago. I already have antiseptic wipes in my pre-packing box but I will not be panic-buying nappies, as some newspapers are reporting is happening!
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
262
Flu shots are a good idea for everyone that are able to get them, even those not in a high risk group. First, consider that lower risk doesn't mean no risk; at my daughter's old junior high school, a 30something teacher died from the ordinary flu this year. No risk factors, just bad luck. Second, even if someone gets the flu and doesn't get seriously or fatally ill, that doesn't mean there are no consequences. Each flu victim statistically passes it on to one to two others, who may be at high risk. If we had a vaccine for coronavirus, I would be the first in line for it, just to mitigate my own risk and to prevent my passing the illness on to others.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
1
I am concerned about a Coast Starlight trip starting Seattle to LA coming week (32hrs) after asking Amtrak to check if the air is totally recirculated or partially fresh and if there is any screening of passengers at all...answer: no screening and air is completely recirculating rather than any fresh air. So sad to miss trip but really concerned. Any others have input?
 

IndyLions

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
218
I am concerned about a Coast Starlight trip starting Seattle to LA coming week (32hrs) after asking Amtrak to check if the air is totally recirculated or partially fresh and if there is any screening of passengers at all...answer: no screening and air is completely recirculating rather than any fresh air. So sad to miss trip but really concerned. Any others have input?
I think it comes down to your health/age, and your ability to reschedule the trip. And maybe more than anything - is worrying about the virus going to ruin your trip? If so, reschedule.
 

tricia

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
946
I am concerned about a Coast Starlight trip starting Seattle to LA coming week (32hrs) after asking Amtrak to check if the air is totally recirculated or partially fresh and if there is any screening of passengers at all...answer: no screening and air is completely recirculating rather than any fresh air. So sad to miss trip but really concerned. Any others have input?
Unlike airplanes, trains get a LOT of fresh air coming in through the doors every time the train stops. Also, even when the train is rolling, I think a good bit of fresh air infiltrates into the vestibules between cars, which then moves into the cars whenever anyone passes between cars.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
2,937
Unlike airplanes, trains get a LOT of fresh air coming in through the doors every time the train stops. Also, even when the train is rolling, I think a good bit of fresh air infiltrates into the vestibules between cars, which then moves into the cars whenever anyone passes between cars.
Especially evident when you get a whiff of diesel exhaust from time-to-time.
 

Winecliff Station

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
112
At 71 I had my first ever flu shot a couple of months ago. I already have antiseptic wipes in my pre-packing box but I will not be panic-buying nappies, as some newspapers are reporting is happening!
Until this past November I’d never had a flu shot since I’ve never had the flu in my life and I’m 52. I finally got one because I started a new job in corrections. I assumed the risk might be higher now given the large number of people, both inmates and staff, that I’d be working around, particularly since I’m working in three different jails.

My next Amtrak trip is right after a cruise but isn’t until mid November so hopefully by then things will be different with the corona virus
 

Skyline

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 19, 2016
Messages
649
Well, I have an extensive (and expensive) Canadian trip lined up for early September. Not cancelling yet, wait and see, but if there isn't some really good news I'll likely postpone until 2021 or later.

All this talk of recirculating air, wiping down everything constantly, running from coughers, etc. makes me think this would be a good year to drive myself where I need to go, and make this a backpacking year where I can breathe relatively safe air 24/7 in the mountains. Sure, I'll have to leave the woods once a week to resupply food and other expendables, shower, do laundry, etc but that's a less risky four hours per week than the alternatives. Most long distance hikers stopped shaking hands years ago to avoid norovirus, doing a quick fist bump instead, so sporadic interactions with others should be safe so long as we're not in confined spaces. I only share my tent with my dawg.

I hope this all gets resolved soon so we can get back to discussing important stuff like Amtrak's "new and improved" dining options. But what I witnessed on TV yesterday doesn't inspire. The only thing I'm seeing so far is Trump putting Pence in charge of coronavirus. Yep, the guy whose theocracy-inspired policies in Indiana resulted in the largest increase in HIV infections in that state when he was governor. So predictable.
 

adamj023

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 1, 2015
Messages
107
Amtrak is an open system without monitoring and has old train sets which I presume are not equipped with Modern HEPA filters on their older train cars. The newer cars like Acela may have them already and if not the replacements will definitely have them as they come online for both Amfleet and Acela replacements but this will take awhile. If there are major issues, then Amtrak could decide to disinfect train sets and install the filters so I would be cautious about using Amtrak right now.

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 2 threads relating to the Coronavirus. This thread and one in the AU Lounge: https://discuss.amtraktrains.com/threads/2020-corona-virus-outbreak-that-began-in-wuhan-china-and-is-spreading.76916/

If your comment is related to spread of Coronavirus throughout the world or non-Amtrak travel, please post it in the thread located in the AU Lounge linked above. If related to Amtrak travel, please post in this thread. Thank you.
 

Sauve850

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
475
Oh, I do trust you. I'll definitely think about it differently when I'm a bit older.

For now, I'm an exceedingly healthy and fit 60 year old. AARP might consider me a "senior" but I don't!

Also, I see my primary care doctor 2X a year (keeping my cholesterol and blood pressure in check) and until such time as he tells me I should be getting the shots, I'll stick with my decision. He asks me about them when I go, but is comfortable with the fact that I don't want them at this time. He too has mentioned that as I get older, our discussions will become more serious.
Best of luck to you. Exceedingly healthy and fit 60 year old doesnt mean you dont get the flu. The flu can cause severe complications in anyone of any age and is absolutely no fun to have.
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
9,985
Change fees will be waived through 4/30/20
https://www.amtrak.com/ibcontent/changeFeeWaived.html
Change Fees Waived on All Existing or New Reservations Made Before April 30
There are no current travel restrictions on Amtrak. However, we understand you may have concerns, and as a valued customer we will waive change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30, 2020. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and adjust this policy as necessary.

The waiver applies for tickets purchased by April 30, 2020.

How to Change Your Reservation
Simply log in to your account or go to Modify Trip on Amtrak.com, or find your reservation from your account on the home screen in the Amtrak app.

A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary if it is more expensive than the original fare purchased.

If you want to cancel your reservation, call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
 

fillyjonk

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
476
Hm. Well, at least I won't be out any money if I decide to cancel my spring break travel on the Eagle (going from MIN - BNL, *but* it would be on a train originating in LA....and there has been a case or two found in Chicago)
 

Suze10860

Train Attendant
Joined
Feb 2, 2020
Messages
40
Off to Chicago the first week of April. The only thing that would get me to NOT take the trip is if the train itself was not running. At which point we would probably get in our car and take the 12 hour drive (which is what I really want to avoid.)

My son is in Chicago and it would take an awful lot to keep us (husband and I) from making this trip.
 

pianocat

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
410
Change fees will be waived through 4/30/20
https://www.amtrak.com/ibcontent/changeFeeWaived.html
Change Fees Waived on All Existing or New Reservations Made Before April 30
There are no current travel restrictions on Amtrak. However, we understand you may have concerns, and as a valued customer we will waive change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30, 2020. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation closely and adjust this policy as necessary.

The waiver applies for tickets purchased by April 30, 2020.

How to Change Your Reservation
Simply log in to your account or go to Modify Trip on Amtrak.com, or find your reservation from your account on the home screen in the Amtrak app.

A fare difference may apply to your new itinerary if it is more expensive than the original fare purchased.

If you want to cancel your reservation, call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Good to know. Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2014
Messages
6
We are headed to LA in April from NZ to catch the South West Chief to Chicago and then Train No 30 to Washington followed by Train No 91 to Fort Lauderdale. Then a cruise through Panama Canal then up to Alaska. We are are watching the situation in the US with regards to the virus.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,540
They are waiving change fees. Are they waiving cancellation fees too?
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,141
They are waiving change fees. Are they waiving cancellation fees too?
I'm not even sure what a change fee refers to in the context of Amtrak ticketing. I guess it's tied to the new policy that was setup to further restrict value and saver tickets? The bigger issue for me is that they still expect you to buy-up to the current bucket for any positive fare difference. Amtrak didn't cause or exacerbate COVID-19, so it's entirely up them if they want to permit no charge as-is changes, but I think it's important to recognize that is not what they're doing right now.
 
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