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Author Topic: Social Distancing?
yukon11
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Is there social distancing here on the forum? It seems to be really dead, lately.

I know it could be due to few Amtrak news items to discuss. I hope most Amtrak trains will return to their schedules by the end of June.

Richard

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ghCBNS
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quote:
Originally posted by yukon11:
Is there social distancing here on the forum? It seems to be really dead, lately.

Yes....what is it about RAILforum.com now?? Look at some of the sub-forms and there hasn't been a new post in several years. Trip Reports for example. Has no one here taken a trip since Dec 2015?

This used to be a popular site.....but head over to Trainorders, Amtrak Unlimited or Railroad.net and hardly an hour goes by without new posts.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Mr. Hadfield, it must be accepted that "former regulars" such as "Notelvis", "SBALAX", "Hopeful Rail User", et magna alia, simply have developed new interests and with the considerable "downgrading" of the Amtrak LD product, have nothing further to offer to this site.

Some, very sorry to note, have deceased. I know of two such - and "face to face" for that matter.

So I highly doubt if any of "the departed" are "mad at the site"; they have simply "moved on".

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MontanaJim
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I used to comment on here quite often, lately have just been a "lurker" when I come on from time to time. Miss some of the folks no longer around, some mentioned by Mr. Norman, others who come to mind are Mr. Toy and TwinstarRocket. Lots of good folks have been on this site.

Im just sitting here in my new home of St. Albans, Vermont, counting the days till the Vermonter is supposed to start running its' full schedule again (as of now that is July 1).

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TwinStarRocket
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TwinStarRocket is alive and well. My "Safer at Home" routine frequently involves a morning walk 2 blocks from my house to watch the Empire Builder hand throw a switch to get off the BNSF mainline and pull into MSP. I usually see only 1 or 2 people in the Lounge or Diner.

Last train trip was May 2019 from Iowa to Grand Junction. Yes, I have also become a lurker. The LD news has not been good lately and I would only feel comfortable in a roomette until the covid19 crisis is over. My AGR points are accumulating though.

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HopefulRailUser
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I’m alive and locked down here in California. Our Covid numbers are not good and I don’t expect to get out soon.

For those of you who have met us I must tell you that Art, my husband, died last November. It happened on a cruise, appropriate I guess. So the lockdown is very lonely.

Meanwhile SBALAX is also alive and well. We keep in touch.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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Ocala Mike
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Alive and well in the state that is slated to be the next epicenter. Marion County has so far been spared any bad outbreaks - maybe it's something about the horse farms that keep us relatively safe.

I hardly went anywhere before the COVID, so social distancing comes easy for me and I'm working on perfecting it.

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Gilbert B Norman
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Miss Vickie, so very sorry to learn of Mr. Art's passing. You're an RN and of course know well "our days are numbered". I hope it's of some comfort that his passing occurred while pursuing the pastime you both came to enjoy so much; but the downside being the questionable Standards of Care aboard all too many of these cruise vessels, or to any shore facility to which he could have been Medevaced.

May he rest in peace.

This past Friday I did a first since it all began" - went out to Dinner "for two" at a restaurant. Other than to be served, it was a "masked ball" (still have yet to use a public restroom). Today, this "masked man" has two routine Doctors appointments, that kind of got "bunched" thanks to UNOWAT. Fortunately, beyond the grocery store, barber, and dry cleaners, most elsewhere I go nowadays, I need not wear a mask.

I did get one trip to Miami in during January, on which I had my "take it or leave it" Auto Train ride. CXD trips have been another to Boca, one to Fredericksburg VA, two to Atlanta and Indianapolis each, my Sister in Greenwich CT, and Salzburg Festival. The last left me with a $2200 airplane ticket exchangeable until April '22. We shall see if that, or some part of it, is to get used, or will it end up where all too many "$2 to Show" tickets do.

But the worst for any of us for whom "time is running out", but "financially OK", is that these discretionary experiences lost to this epidemic, can never be replaced. That, I'm sorry, is hard to live with.

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HopefulRailUser
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Thanks Gil. The medical care on the ship was not an issue, Art died suddenly and in my arms. They did a resuscitation effort but to no avail. And they were very helpful setting me up with a mortuary in San Diego which was our next and final port.

I really agree with your last statement. I will never be able to make up the things that this virus is preventing me from enjoying. That probably includes a final trip on the Coast Starlight. And cruising, even if I could stand doing it alone, is not going to happen.

Not sure when or if I will enjoy a restaurant meal again. Our Covid stats here in California are terrible so I stay home.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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Gilbert B Norman
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A bit off any rail topic, but following thoughts I expressed immediately, this COVID is the worst crisis we have faed in our modern history. I am drawn to that conclusion on the strength of David Brooks most recent New York Times column:

Fair Use:

  • There are five gigantic changes happening in America right now. The first is that we are losing the fight against Covid-19. Our behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the reality around us. We just got tired so we’re giving up.

    Second, all Americans, but especially white Americans, are undergoing a rapid education on the burdens African-Americans carry every day. This education is continuing, but already public opinion is shifting with astonishing speed.

    Third, we’re in the middle of a political realignment. The American public is vehemently rejecting Donald Trump’s Republican Party. The most telling sign is that the party has even given up on itself, a personality cult whose cult leader is over.

    Fourth, a quasi-religion is seeking control of America’s cultural institutions. The acolytes of this quasi-religion, Social Justice, hew to a simplifying ideology: History is essentially a power struggle between groups, some of which are oppressors and others of which are oppressed. Viewpoints are not explorations of truth; they are weapons that dominant groups use to maintain their place in the power structure. Words can thus be a form of violence that has to be regulated.

    Fifth, we could be on the verge of a prolonged economic depression. State and household budgets are in meltdown, some businesses are failing and many others are on the brink, the continuing health emergency will mean economic activity cannot fully resume.

Even if Amtrak hardly the ,"top of my list" of concerns, I think of our society as a whole. The closest we've come is 1968 when I was serving in Vietnam. African-American guys in my Unit were saying "let's just extend over here; safer than "Back in The World".

Now here we are fifty two years later, and nothing has changed.

My life, as I know it, is almost over (Dr. says "good shape" but still 79yo). A year or more, depending on how long it takes to develop and perfect a COVID vacine, is maybe 25% of the time I have left to "do as I've done" - namely "road trips" to the likes of Florida or even Utah, and if airplane, getting to airports on public transport and renting cars at destination (sorry Amtrak; you're no longer in the mix; your Jan last AT was just too much "take it or leave it" to spend the $$$ you want for the "drive miles" I get) will be "too much". I'll be like my (younger) Sister who needs be "wheeled" from flight to a Livery Car.

Now to close on a sad difference. 1968 we closed the year on a high, even if symbolic, note. Apollo 8 did its circumnavigation of The Moon. How could it not lift the spirits of anyone to hear Frank Boorman read Genesis 1:1 from that spacecraft. What hsve we today as we confront this grave crisis Mr. Brooks writes about to give us hope today?

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yukon11
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Mr. Norman:

The New York Times article gives me, personally, a justification for not reading newspapers, and I don't. I could comment on the article, but it would mean delving into politics which I try to avoid, here on the forum, like I tend to avoid the Bubonic Plague and TV sitcoms (and I'm not sure which is worse).

I think it's important to determine the ratio of
people who test positive to the disease and those who die. Hopefully, that ratio will be decreasing. Some diseases associated with elderly deaths (such as pneumonia, heart disease, and diabetes) are marked as Covid deaths if the people dying also test positive to the virus. which can lead to confusion in determining the true mortality from the virus. With more states reopening, there will not doubt be a rise in citizens testing positive. But, hopefully, the percentage of people dying from the disease will decrease. There is also the possibility of "herding" which could help kill the virus to a certain extent. I do hope, however, a Covid 19 vaccine may be available before the Jan, 2021, prediction.

I do think the elderly should continue to quarantine themselves. But, I think people under age 60, with proper precautions, should return to work. The devastation to the economy, if the shutdown in prolonged, could make the 30's depression look like a picnic.

Richard

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Ocala Mike
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I'm staying on the 3 acres as much as possible as I'm at risk (Gil's age and same DEROS, 1968).

Best thing I have to hope for is that vaccine company Novavax produces a successful COVID-19 vaccine before the year is out. My bud gave me a tip on this stock 4 years ago when it was trying to develop another vaccine that failed its trial. The stock tanked, but I held it, even through a near delisting and a 1/20 stock split.

Bottom line, it's up 1900% in the last 5 months and my 50 shares went from around $7 each to around $75 each. Go, NVAX, and save the world!

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Gilbert B Norman
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Richard, please let it be noted that the work I cited is Opinion. I trust that I sufficiently identified it as such.

Finally, willing to share here what your own newssource happens to be?

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yukon11
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Mike: I hope that, indeed, we will see a vaccine before the end of the year. And, I hope those shares skyrocket.

Mr. Norman: I watch a little Fox and sometimes CNN, but I never believe a whole lot of what I hear until the veracity and truthfulness of the information can be confirmed, with time. I also listen to a lot of alternative radio, which can be the worst new sources, but, at the same time, you can often hear the truth when other media outlets won't tell you the truth.

Richard

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Gilbert B Norman
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Off rails, as I'm not going anywhere near any of them anytime soon. Also, throw in airports and auto trips of length beyond that to get somewhere and back without need for "facilities" beyond my own. Today is my semi-monthly "gas 'er up" for the 125 or so miles I drove during the period. I'll have my squirt bottle of Lysol to give the pump's handle and touch screen a good wipe down (seems like at least Marathon has waived the ZIP Code verification step apparently "for the duration").

Richard "Western Star", my prediction for a safe and effective COVID vaccine is end of '21 with mass inoculations starting during '22.

Finally Mike, isn't this a bit too close to the barn for comfort? I'm ashamed to ackkowledge I've actually been to that place.

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Ocala Mike
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The Villages strictly on my "avoid at all costs" list. A few years back, there was a pretty serious outbreak of STD's down there - bunch of swinging seniors who forgot (or never learned) safe *** practices.
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Gilbert B Norman
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A quote within a rail unrelated article appearing in The Times today, really struck home to me, and I would think same for "any of us getting on":
  • “It’s been quiet as anything,” said Barry Sheridan, a retired doctor who lives nearby. “It’s very sad.” Losing a year of activity when you’re younger is one thing, he added, but at his age, 85, time is more precious: “You’re not sure if there will be a next year.”..
I don't envision any change through the end of '21 (17 months from now); talk of an effective vaccine notwithstanding. For myself since March 10, not having been twenty miles away from here, driving only 900 miles since that date, no restaurants (did go out for outdoor Dinner once for which my Primary Care "read me the Riot Act"), no concerts, and no commercial transportation or lodging, has become "new normal".

I don't know how much more straight up I can be when, at days away from 79, I say "I'm running out of time".

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