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Post-vaccine Amtrak travel

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Dakota 400

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Over the past few years I have been in the habit of printing out and saving restaurant reviews that I have come across online for various cities that we intend to re-visit in our Amtrak travels.

It occurred to me recently that most of those reviews are probably now worthless because many of the restaurants have closed and may not reopen. I should throw them all out and start collecting reviews again only a few months before our intended trip.
I have done the same type of saving information that I thought would be useful during my travels. The uncertainty of it all is the reason that I am not planning any travel that requires an overnight stay currently.
 

Bob Dylan

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No one should be given any medical treatment without informed consent in a setting where they're free to say no. Using prisoners as guinea pigs is deeply wrong.
We hung German Doctors and their Bosses for experimenting on Prisioners, and right here our own Government denied Black people treatment for Syphillis and used Military Members for Medical Trials of various types without their knowledge!😣
 

west point

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immunizations between countries are funny. Yellow fever inoculations are required for it when passing between certain South AM countries for example. But not from USA. My concern is how widely has the test age protocols been ? Example persons over 80 and the very young including infants.

Read an article that it appears from preliminary research that 80% of cases are caught from so called super spreaders. If so contact tracing protocols needs to be changed.
 

lonewolfette9847

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You have to have a ticket to ride Amtrak, so where’s the harm of enforcing mask, vaccine, or any other possible treatment (heard about a nasal spray that would essentially kill the virus before it could enter the body).

My boss at work has no problem telling people they need to wear a mask to enter the building.

I don’t see any difference.
 

jis

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Read an article that it appears from preliminary research that 80% of cases are caught from so called super spreaders. If so contact tracing protocols needs to be changed.
It would help to first actually execute the testing protocol whatever it is, before changing the protocol and continuing to not execute on it.

Currently positivity rates are so high that contact tracing, such as it is, is acknowledged to be more or less ineffective in most of the badly affected states. So first there has to be enough testing.
 

me_little_me

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Over the past few years I have been in the habit of printing out and saving restaurant reviews that I have come across online for various cities that we intend to re-visit in our Amtrak travels.

It occurred to me recently that most of those reviews are probably now worthless because many of the restaurants have closed and may not reopen. I should throw them all out and start collecting reviews again only a few months before our intended trip.
My Tripadvisor reviews now include mention of how they are handling Covid (staff masks, social distancing, customer masks, enforcement, etc.) The overall rating goes down if I see problems. I figure if they can't fix the obvious, then what's going on behind the scenes?
 

jis

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I'm not so sure, if Third World banana republics can enforce vaccination requirements for entry, surely Amtrak can do the same. After all, we're now close to being a banana republic ourselves. All it would require is a major deployment of APD at the entrances to the platforms checking vaccination certificates and being suitably intimidating to the demented morons who run around without masks. A few arrests should clear the air and let the demented morons know that management is serious about health protocols.

Some years ago, the gate dragons used to actually check tickets before they let you out on the platform. It was a pointless pain in the neck, but it wasn't difficult to administer. A health check would actually have some purpose, so I wouldn't complain about it like I did with the ticket check.
I have not suggested that it is impossible to check vaccine letters at the time of boarding and disallowing boarding to those that do not have one. The only variation that I suggested is that it may be more useful to require in addition a recent serum test result since that is more immediate proof that someone is actually likely to have immunity than merely having gotten a vaccine.

Additionally what I had suggested (and that apparently has been not comprehended by many apparently) is that if you allow some without a letter to board assuming that you will selectively enforce a mask rule on them for the length of the train journey, while letting others travel mask free, that sort of a protocol would be hard to enforce since that would involved continuously checking vaccine letter on board perhaps at random from everyone who is not wearing a mask. Alternatively one could require them to wear a large marker of some sort, which of course they are as likely to wear as the mask given the psychology of some folks. Alternatively of course, the non-certificate folks could be sequestered away in a separate sealed car of their own as a viable and effective option.

Not allowing anyone without either a vaccination letter or a serum test result showing they are likely to have immunity would be easiest to administer. Even though that is not necessarily a 100% thing, it should be good enough.

As for Third World Countries, many of them run a much better passenger rail system than the US. So just because a third world country can do something is no evidence that the US can do the same. :D Most third world countries also seem to be able to control their pandemic outbreak better than the US as things stand today anyway.

The problem in the US is entirely sociological and lack of political willingness to do something. It is not a lack of talent for dreaming up some workable protocol.
 
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MARC Rider

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As for Third World Countries, many of them run a much better passenger rail system than the US. So just because a third world country can do something is no evidence that the US can do the same. :D Most third world countries also seem to be able to control their pandemic outbreak better than the US as things stand today anyway.
That I agree with 100%.
 

jiml

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Amtrak will have to be very selective about a start date should they (or any other business) choose to require vaccination for admission. Given that the roll-out of a vaccine may take many months and will likely prioritize who gets it, there could be a long period where only healthcare workers and those over 70 would be able to ride the train, etc. That won't help their already struggling 3-day-a-week business model.
 

jis

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Amtrak will have to be very selective about a start date should they (or any other business) choose to require vaccination for admission. Given that the roll-out of a vaccine may take many months and will likely prioritize who gets it, there could be a long period where only healthcare workers and those over 70 would be able to ride the train, etc. That won't help their already struggling 3-day-a-week business model.
However, requiring a recent antibody test result showing positive and/or a PCR test showing negative could be instituted much quicker,

As a matter of fact there are tour packages now operating that require such, though they accept an Antigen test showing negative. We of course know that most of the Antigen tests available now lack in sensitivity so that a negative is not a very good indication of absence of the virus. They have good specificity, so a positive is quite trustworthy. But it is a trustworthy negative that we need, and they do not have that.

Many international flights that are operating today require a recent negative virus test, and often upon arrival unless an acceptable antibody test result can be produced, it still involves 14 day quarantine. Of course very often one has to meet additional citizenship or residence criteria or proof of emergency or some other special dispensation to get on the flight too.
 

me_little_me

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Given that the roll-out of a vaccine may take many months and will likely prioritize who gets it, there could be a long period where only healthcare workers and those over 70 would be able to ride the train, etc. That won't help their already struggling 3-day-a-week business model.
There is no guarantee that us old folk will have priority. To stop the virus, it is necessary for those who interact with the most people in the worst way possible to get vaccinated. Those of us older folk who hunker down are more likely to die if we get it but less likely to get it in the first place.
It may be politically better to give it to us but worse for stopping the disease but politics usually wins over science and common sense no matter who is running the government.
 

jis

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There is no guarantee that us old folk will have priority. To stop the virus, it is necessary for those who interact with the most people in the worst way possible to get vaccinated. Those of us older folk who hunker down are more likely to die if we get it but less likely to get it in the first place.
It may be politically better to give it to us but worse for stopping the disease but politics usually wins over science and common sense no matter who is running the government.
I suspect that all workers who are customer facing in some form will get priority, with Healthcare and Emergency workers at the head of the line, because they specifically work in the most hostile environment as far as danger of infection goes. I am sure all retail workers, school teachers etc. are in the next most hostile environment, together with students and such.

Among the older people I think those that are at adult and assisted living facilities are in a more hostile environment than those hunkered down at home. Such considerations should go into a meaningful prioritization scheme. CDC is supposed to come out with a recommendation on this sort of thing soon.
 

me_little_me

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I suspect that all workers who are customer facing in some form will get priority, with Healthcare and Emergency workers at the head of the line, because they specifically work in the most hostile environment as far as danger of infection goes. I am sure all retail workers, school teachers etc. are in the next most hostile environment, together with students and such.

Among the older people I think those that are at adult and assisted living facilities are in a more hostile environment than those hunkered down at home. Such considerations should go into a meaningful prioritization scheme. CDC is supposed to come out with a recommendation on this sort of thing soon.
Priority:
Politicians
Wealthy and family
Health Care Workers
Lesser politicians (they take time to game the system)
Lesser wealthy and family (they take time to game the system)
Police, Fire, Military
Managers of city, state and federal workers
City, state, federal workers who are customer facing.
Relatives of politicians
Donors to politicians
Friends of the above

Everyone else
 

Lonestar648

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My daughter, a charge nurse on a floor with Covid patients has been told by Hospital administration that nurses on Covid floors and EMS staff will have the highest priority once the vaccine is available and the hospital certifies it is safe for their staff. She said hospitals can not afford to lose more nurses to Covid, and EMS in all cities has been using every certified paramedic due to so many regular EMS out with Covid.
 

Barb Stout

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I was under the impression that the letter from the Feds informing states to start planning for Covid19 vaccination rollout and logistics (the one that was sent out in early October, I think, and got a lot of people upset) also "allowed/mandated/whatever" the states to make their own priority list of who gets the vaccination first, second, etc. NM's list is more specific in that the first to get vaccinated are health care workers who have co-morbidities or who are older, followed by health care workers without co-morbidities and younger. I imagine that the list is this fine-grained because of concerns of vaccine availability. My main point for this post is I think the priority is based on what each state wants, but I believe there already is guidance from some Fed organization, maybe the CDC.
 

Dakota 400

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jis

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Did you know that the Prime Minister of New Zealand has spoken with the President-Elect and offered her country's Health Department's assistance in dealing with our problems?
Yeah I saw that. Interesting times as the US slowly rejoins the civilized world! :)
 

IndyLions

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They had an interview with the head of Qantas on the news tonight. He has an expectation that countries will incorporate proof of vaccination into passports and that a simple medical certificate would be insufficient.
I don’t doubt that at all - and welcome it. What won’t likely happen is incorporating that feature into State issued IDs/Drivers’ Licenses - although that would make sense.
 

Ziv

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Way back in the day we needed to carry "The Yellow Bible" to get visas to certain countries. It was a fold out pamphlet that you had stamped with your innoculations. It was going out of use when I started traveling internationally in the early 1990's.
I imagine we will go back to something similar.

They had an interview with the head of Qantas on the news tonight. He has an expectation that countries will incorporate proof of vaccination into passports and that a simple medical certificate would be insufficient.
 

jis

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They had an interview with the head of Qantas on the news tonight. He has an expectation that countries will incorporate proof of vaccination into passports and that a simple medical certificate would be insufficient.
It will take quite a while to incorporate that information in a Passport though. There will have to be an interim solution. They will also have to figure out a way of easily updating information in a trustworthy way in the Passport chip every so often, since the vaccination info will presumably need to be updated every year or more or less frequently depending on how long the immunity lasts. So while it is a good sentiment, realizing it will take a while. As a starter the Data element to hold the information has to be standardized and added to the Passport data standard.
 

jiml

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It will take quite a while to incorporate that information in a Passport though. There will have to be an interim solution. They will also have to figure out a way of easily updating information in a trustworthy way in the Passport chip every so often, since the vaccination info will presumably need to be updated every year or more or less frequently depending on how long the immunity lasts. So while it is a good sentiment, realizing it will take a while. As a starter the Data element to hold the information has to be standardized and added to the Passport data standard.
That was my thought as well when listening to the interview. While he stated it like a fact, it rang more like "what he'd like to happen". As I alluded in a prior post regarding Amtrak, it's not like any carrier is going to be able to impose a requirement like this anytime soon or they'll be risking empty trains/planes until the vaccination rate catches up - which could be months. If you add in the delays by bureaucracy to implement identification it could be years for an industry already struggling to survive.
 
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Manny T

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If the vaccine is just 95% effective, and its effectiveness degrades over time, and it varies in different populations, and you need to be revaccinated periodically, not sure what a passport verification of vaccination will ultimately prove, other than a false sense of reassurance.
 
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