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Should You Travel To Kite This Year?

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Since 19 May 2005
4031 Posts
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PostSat Dec 12, 20 10:50 am    Should You Travel To Kite This Year? Reply with quote

OK, I did it. I went to Baja and had a great time. Best trip ever. Wind every day. Was it smart? I think so. I'm not worried about Covid for myself or my family, but I do worry about spreading it to people at risk. So the day before my flight I took a Covid test. Negative. Cool, I'm not bringing it to Baja with me. According to the Alaska Airlines website, there's a one in 27 million chance of catching it on an airplane, So still not worried. I also didn't want to bring the virus home, so I self quarantined for five days when I got home, then took another Covid test. Negative.

Sure, Governors Brown and Inslee "advise" against travel, but they're not serious or they'd simply ban it. They still haven't really thought out the measures they have taken. For instance, indoor dining at restaurants is banned, including at the airport. All that does is limit seating at the airport forcing people there to sit closer together at fewer seats. It's stupid. Either ban non-essential travel, or leave every seat open at the airport to allow greater social distancing. Anyways, I wore an N95 mask while at both airports and while boarding/de-planing.

I'm not trying to downplay the seriousness of the pandemic. Hospitals are filling up and people are dying. I know that and I do my part. I social distance and wear a mask. I don't go to large gatherings, or any gatherings outside of a small bubble. If I thought I was putting people at risk while traveling I wouldn't do it. The reality is though that the likelihood of myself or my wife needing to be hospitalized even if we catch covid is exceedingly small. Every statistic I've seen shows that well over 99% of those hospitalized were both elderly and had comorbidities. We're neither.

My riding is pretty tame these days. Just hydrofoiling and working on transitions. So my risk of injury--and increasing hospital load--is lower while on a kite vacation than folks who are riding bikes here at home. The spot I went to has yet to have a covid case according to the locals, so I'm at less risk of spreading covid than when I go to Home Depot. So, yeah, I think traveling is fine if you're responsible about it. Getting a test is easy and cheap $20 co-pay and a couple hours of my time.

TLDR: If you travel to kite be responsible, but don't be paranoid.

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2464 Posts
The 503

PostSat Dec 12, 20 12:08 pm     Reply with quote

I'm with you Nak. Felt a little guilty going to Mex over Thanksgiving, but "traveling" is not "gathering" and is no different than the many people that still have to circulate to work, buy groceries etc.

We sported our N95s and Alaska blocked seats so we never had to sit by strangers. Other travelers were 95% mask compliant.

At our remote destination where there were more pigs and chickens in the road than cars, the villagers were masking up, rightfully wary of gringo spreaders.

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Since 12 Nov 2008
1086 Posts
Local, not Low Cal
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PostSat Dec 12, 20 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

Mostly agree with you but the comorbidity stats aren't accurate. The fact is the disease affects some people much worse than others, and they have done factor studies based on blood type, gender, etc. but the research is still new and data uncontrolled.

At my wife's hospital the ICUs are dangerously full, but this time around the clinics are still open, and for some elective surgeries a negative test is not a prerequisite. Her hospital's policies are that if a nurse (or their spouse) tests positive for covid they are allowed two days off and then must return to work, unless symptoms progress to the point of preventing them from safely performing their duties. This was put to the test when she finished her M-W shifts by coming home sick and exhausted to the point where she was authorized to test and I was quarantined in the van with my work laptop in my driveway.

We learned late yesterday she tested negative, and she'll be recovered by her Monday shift, but we find it ridiculous that professional sports and clinics are open while salons and outdoor dining (it's mild and dry here still) banned - clearly money is doing some of the talking.

I've traveled some, between PDX and BRO and SFO, and been spaced out on the planes with the flight attendants thanking passengers profusely for helping delay their furloughs. (Actually I keep getting bumped to 1st class based on my status, which I'd certainly have preferred during my pre-covid European and Asian business flights). In Texas everyone was masking and distancing and restaurants were taking appropriate measures, and gatherings appeared small (though certainly mixed). I do agree closing things down leads to bigger indoor parties which were quite evident spending Thanksgiving in the bay area; even a few neighbors inviting us over where we had to reply, "nothing personal."

There is a big factor contributing to the spread: rationalization of risky behavior, at scale. (We're all making those justifications, as isolation is surely the path of least risk, but what you described sounds like it is not putting others at risk at all - I think the logic that doing anything that could put you in an ER should be banned is a little overblown, as the ERs and ICUs operate differently, as do the clinics which they don't seem to see as a risk maybe due to process and PPE justifications - even though their policies force covid-positive nurses to still mix with patients, who themselves may be positive).

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Since 02 Aug 2012
376 Posts

PostSat Dec 12, 20 4:18 pm    Re: Should You Travel To Kite This Year? Reply with quote

Nak wrote:

Sure, Governors Brown and Inslee "advise" against travel, but they're not serious or they'd simply ban it.

The fact that the governmental regulations and recommendations don't necessarily align with science is just a reflection of political reality in a democratic society with a lot of polarization regarding the trade off between loss of life, personal freedoms and economic consequences of restrictions. It has nothing to do with how "serious" they are or whether the restrictions make a difference in terms of covid spread. Clearly severe restrictions drastically inhibit spread of covid - that's been obvious since Wuhan.

It sounds like you were responsible in your travels Nak, and glad you got some good wind. However I doubt most travelers are as diligent as you were. I also worry about the locals in Mexico who because of their economic reality must take some risks getting covid by interacting with tourists. Health care in Mexico is not the same as for Americans, especially if you are not wealthy. And for someone in Mexico that is older and has other health issues, covid may have a high likelihood of fatality. Also, it's probably doubtful they are doing a lot of testing in many parts of Mexico so just because a locality claims to have no cases doesn't make it so. I'm not saying people shouldn't travel to Mexico or elsewhere, but this is something to think about.

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Wind Slither

Since 04 Mar 2005
2464 Posts
The 503

PostTue Dec 15, 20 8:21 am     Reply with quote

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Since 02 Jun 2018
15 Posts

PostTue Dec 15, 20 6:33 pm     Reply with quote

I could avoid travel at this time, but that looks so fun I'm totally going somewhere!

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