An Over-reaction? Locked

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An Over-reaction?
Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, March 7, 2020 9:04 AM

I think it is, but I'll refrain from making any snarky comment about it.

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/03/nonstop-acela-trains-between-washington-and-new-york-suspended-due-to-coronavirus.html   

While I believe coronavirus is a cause for concern, I don't believe it's a cause for panic, and a lot of this strikes me as bordering on panic.  What do you think?

PS:  I've got a "bug" right now, but as is typical in my case it's just enough to make me miserable, not knock me on my ass.  It pays to come from good, hearty peasant stock, I suppose. 

Lady Firestorm gave it to me, she probably picked it up from those old ladies she hangs around with in her knitting society.

She doesn't want it back either.

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Posted by NKP guy on Saturday, March 7, 2020 9:47 AM

Gesundheit!

An overreaction?  Who can say at this (early) point?

I have two trips on the Lake Shore Limited scheduled for the end of April and a trip on the California Zephyr for June.  I'd like to go, but I don't need to go.  By mid April I'll have to make a call and right now it's a toss-up.

Both United and Amtrak sent me emails this morning detailing the steps they're taking to keep passengers safe.  Is that overreacting or prudent?  

The Acela train above was pretty empty it seems, so why operate it and lose money when there's other service that's comparable?

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 7, 2020 10:01 AM

Flintlock76
While I believe coronavirus is a cause for concern, I don't believe it's a cause for panic, and a lot of this strikes me as bordering on panic.  What do you think?

It strikes me that this is like a common thing for a great many groups to pile onto, to cause the same kind of crisis in the general economy that breaking the Reading Combine did in the United States after 1892.

Remember all those discussions we had about the 'recession' that never quite seemed to arrive on schedule after the tariffs?  Now we have a worldwide 'reduction of trade' that in various ways is chalked up to the "coronavirus" in some ultimately vague way, presumably tied to its terrible potential for 'lethality' if it were ever to establish itself a la Captain Trips... or whatever.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that almost everywhere there has been an outbreak, the 'result' has been a short cluster of relatively high lethality, followed by a relative explosion of cases but few additional deaths.  While I won't claim cause-and-effect, the kinetics are exactly those mirroring a prompt response to infection with proper 3CLpro inhibitors -- as with FIP.  

Presumably some of those high-paid people at CDC got hold of the original Chinese sequencing results of the original ultra-infectious clone, and have been tracking the point differences in clones of all the reported outbreaks since then.  If they have, they will be getting an increasingly good idea of whether the regions that govern protease-inhibition treatment are more or less labile, or more or less conserved, than those that likely have provided the higher 'infectiousness' (cf the PNAS paper that Jones1945 provided the reference for, on the hemagglutinin gene, now several months old).

I repeat that the 3CLpro inhibitor production, in China, for the demonstrably similar coronavirus clone that produces symptoms of FIP in cats, has been in volume production for over a year, and that identification of the 'susceptible' regions in the viral genome has really been 'settled science' for quite some time, verifiable even in 'free access' papers.  Note how little the 'official' press coverage has addressed this (aside from the usual National Inquirer-type stories about "the Chinese engineered the coronavirus to ruin the American economy in response to Trump's tariff nightmare" or whatever).  

I notice that the 'origin story' about bats can't apparently even keep the difference with Ebola straight.  Perhaps there are studies by now about how a fundamentally feline virus could get into rodents (rather than the 'other way round' through predation).  But note how the 'exotic meat market' in Wuhan seems to have disappeared entirely from news reports as the 'ground zero' source of the initial crossover.  This too is a remarkably 'uranium-235-shaped hole' in the coverage to me.

None of this is meant to cheapen the probably very real enhanced transmissibility and short induction period reported for current 'dangerous' clones of this virus, nor the danger it may pose to certain cohorts of people.  Be careful to distinguish the death rate from 'bacterial coinfection' (and prompt treatment of it, and prophylaxis therefor) from that of the far more dangerous induced immune-system effects that were the true horror in the 1918 influenza 'waves', as well as taking care to make a 'usual' correction for issues in the elderly and very young, and in immunocompromised people of various kinds.

In many historic epidemics, there are sensible measures that could be taken, and there is hysterical or 'feel-good' response.  Presumably the idea of suspending the Acela trains is based on the idea that the people who can afford the agio are also the people most likely to have the affluence to visit China recently.  Combined with the relative inability to determine whether specific passengers have traveled to likely infection areas before they board a train.  One suspects this is the product of some cogitation on the part of Amtrak and other governmental personnel, not just a knee-jerk me-too pile-on effort to make the virus more effective as the biological equivalent of one of those hysterical winter-weather advisories.  But I'm not a Christian Scientist, so the appendicitis just hurts.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, March 7, 2020 2:01 PM

Sorry,  but I  think it is far more sensible to trust the actual scientists at the CDC,  NIH, WHO and affiliated medical and epidemiological researchers. Credentials do matter. 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 7, 2020 2:28 PM

charlie hebdo
Sorry,  but I  think it is far more sensible to trust the actual scientists at the CDC,  NIH, WHO and affiliated medical and epidemiological researchers. Credentials do matter. 

We ARE trusting them.  It's all these other buffoons that are causing the problems.

Now I find a story (which I reached from the Holland iLINT coverage) that ongoing 'coronavirus problems' will be an excuse to hold up PTC adoption past the December 2020 deadline.  Wanna bet how much objective 'science' factors into that when the time comes?

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Saturday, March 7, 2020 2:47 PM

Your post goes far beyond rail service cancellations and delays and  PTC.  Certain political figures appear to want to minimize the expert opinions for their own personal benefit.

SAFETY FIRST! 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 7, 2020 3:19 PM

charlie hebdo
Certain political figures appear to want to minimize the expert opinions for their own personal benefit. SAFETY FIRST! 

That is very true, and I add the emphasis for agreement.

My problem is that there are many more figures, political and otherwise, who appear to want to maximize, or indeed overexaggerate or outright fake, actual 'expert opinions' for their own benefit ... be that personal, corporate, or otherwise.

(I would also mention that I have had considerable, firsthand experience with 'politically' related academic research in the biomedical sciences, and the variety of issues and problems produced thereby even by people with spotless technical credentials.  I consequently remain firmly in the 'trust, but verify' group when it comes to science as reported in media or without hard documentation -- without requiring that anyone else share my opinions or even be persuaded by them.)

Some more evidence of those superior credentials:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-many-americans-have-been-tested-coronavirus/607597/

Of course some people will claim this is all Trump meddling, or something like that.

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Saturday, March 7, 2020 3:30 PM

Its just prepare for the worse but believe it will be much less.  Don't prepare in any way that will not be recoverable when it becomes much less of a problem.

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Posted by divebardave on Saturday, March 7, 2020 3:39 PM

What about stopping the Greyhound/Megabus/Chinatown bus service..At last check Intercity Bius stations are among the dirtiest places on planet earth

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Posted by D.Carleton on Saturday, March 7, 2020 5:01 PM

 

Every non-stop service offered by NRPC between NYP and WUS has always come to an end for one given reason or another although the real reason was ridership or lack thereof. Then again, Amtrak's reasoning is scurrilous at best. For example, how many years after Hurricane Katrina did they still give that as an excuse for not resuming the east end of the Sunset Limited?

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

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Posted by zugmann on Sunday, March 8, 2020 1:04 AM

Overmod
Now I find a story (which I reached from the Holland iLINT coverage) that ongoing 'coronavirus problems' will be an excuse to hold up PTC adoption past the December 2020 deadline.  Wanna bet how much objective 'science' factors into that when the time comes?

Yet not enough to suspend these completely rediculous and draconian attendance policies* that were shoved down our throats.

 

*policies that were not agreed to in any contract, I might add. 

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Sunday, March 8, 2020 7:41 AM

"Attendance policies" refers to what exactly?  Seems like strange terminology.  You have truant officers like schools ~70 years ago? 

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, March 8, 2020 9:21 AM

charlie hebdo
strange terminology.

charlie hebdo
like schools ~70 years ago? 

Well, why not?  Trains often arrive at their terminals tardy.  And Amtrak trains, once they miss their "slot" are frequently assigned detentions by the dispatcher...you know, they can go only after all the other kids (trains) have gone on first.

 

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Posted by 243129 on Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:16 PM

"Over-reaction"? Could it be used to mask declining ridership for other reasons? Why just non-stops???

https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/railroads/486436-amtrak-to-suspend-nonstop-acela-trains-between-dc-ny-amid?amp&fbclid=IwAR3UPhR3wS2TkZoWX5WaOBuAktzn2DhwPtNEqcYNCUArUSw_xXlH5_LgzIA

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, March 8, 2020 12:52 PM

charlie hebdo

"Attendance policies" refers to what exactly?  Seems like strange terminology.  You have truant officers like schools ~70 years ago? 

The railroad expecting their employees to come to work every single day of the year, and to never, ever book sick. 

For the past few years CN had a "Attendance Management" group, separate from the normal crew office.  It was eliminated a few months ago due to budget cuts. 

Despite the budget cuts, we still have a surprising number of supervisors whose entire job consists of conducting employee investigations, many of which are about the employee missing work.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by BaltACD on Sunday, March 8, 2020 1:19 PM

zugmann
 
Overmod
Now I find a story (which I reached from the Holland iLINT coverage) that ongoing 'coronavirus problems' will be an excuse to hold up PTC adoption past the December 2020 deadline.  Wanna bet how much objective 'science' factors into that when the time comes? 

Yet not enough to suspend these completely rediculous and draconian attendance policies* that were shoved down our throats.

*policies that were not agreed to in any contract, I might add. 

Policies which for the most part are in direct conflict with contracts that have been negotiated.

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 8, 2020 2:14 PM

Flintlock76
While I believe coronavirus is a cause for concern, I don't believe it's a cause for panic, and a lot of this strikes me as bordering on panic.  What do you think?

The sheer numbers suggest to me that the risks we are hearing are over hyped. 3,000 deaths in China out of a total population of 1.3 billion is pretty slim. We clearly face much more danger from risks we face every day without giving it a second thought.

But at the same time, I am reluctant to underestimate the risk either. Better to err on the side of caution.

I do wish that people in general would stop exercising their right to free travel fo a while, no need to give this virus a boost by mixing up the distribution.  I'd be totally cool with travel restrictions regarding high incidence areas.

We won't have the guts to do that sort of thing,  I suspect. You'd hear all the airlines whining about the money they are losing and look to the govt for redress.

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Posted by NKP guy on Sunday, March 8, 2020 3:22 PM

Convicted One
  I'd be totally cool with travel restrictions regarding high incidence areas.

   From what I've read, it's too late for that.

   And good luck closing the Ohio Turnpike (after the horse has already left the barn).

    Brings to mind Al Jolson's famous saying or quote.

 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Sunday, March 8, 2020 5:22 PM

I don't get why that train is the first cancellation. It has the fewest people getting on and off on the whole NEC.

Now, I take it the reason is not disease prevention per se, but lack of demand due to disease fears. But why? It seems like that train would be the most popular for DC-NYC travelers, albeit probably the priciest. But I would think that people who could afford it last month could afford it now. Why wouldn't they?

And it seems like with airplanes being more densely packed than trains, it would seem that non-stop Acela demand would be up.

???

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Posted by Convicted One on Sunday, March 8, 2020 6:24 PM

NKP guy
   From what I've read, it's too late for that.

Perhaps, but I would feel more secure limiting the 'boogeyman' to a 22 cal bolt action than a Mossberg 590M

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Posted by jeffhergert on Sunday, March 8, 2020 6:48 PM

zugmann

 

 
Overmod
Now I find a story (which I reached from the Holland iLINT coverage) that ongoing 'coronavirus problems' will be an excuse to hold up PTC adoption past the December 2020 deadline.  Wanna bet how much objective 'science' factors into that when the time comes?

 

Yet not enough to suspend these completely rediculous and draconian attendance policies* that were shoved down our throats.

 

*policies that were not agreed to in any contract, I might add. 

 

Zug, does your company have the ability to include lesser holidays (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, etc) and other non-holiday days (Superbowl, day after Thanksgiving, etc) under the heading as 'peak days?'

Here's ours, took effect March 1.

https://www.bletstlhub.org/files/TE%26Y%20Attendance%20Policy%20V10.pdf  

Even if you have a doctor's excuse, they do not have to accept it.  They can still terminate someone over attendence even if you have valid documentation for the absence.    

Jeff

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Sunday, March 8, 2020 7:02 PM

As a shareholder, I am not happy with this arbitrary type of personnel treatment. Makes me remember the old line, "The BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THE MORAL IMPROVES." What ever happened to finding the problems that are causing the issues and finding a consensus of how to cure it rather than dictating draconian "FIXes"

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, March 8, 2020 7:03 PM

Convicted One

 

 
NKP guy
   From what I've read, it's too late for that.

 

Perhaps, but I would feel more secure limiting the 'boogeyman' to a 22 cal bolt action than a Mossberg 590M

 

The man's speaking my language!  Ah, the sweet smell of Hoppe's Number 9...

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Posted by Convicted One on Monday, March 9, 2020 11:05 AM

Well, the New York subway system appears to be making a good effort. Not sure if this is PR or sincere pre-emptive attention,  but it can't hurt either way.

Glad I do not have to ride a crowded commuter service right now.

CNN Story

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, March 9, 2020 11:59 AM

Lithonia Operator

I don't get why that train is the first cancellation. It has the fewest people getting on and off on the whole NEC.

Now, I take it the reason is not disease prevention per se, but lack of demand due to disease fears. But why? It seems like that train would be the most popular for DC-NYC travelers, albeit probably the priciest. But I would think that people who could afford it last month could afford it now. Why wouldn't they?

And it seems like with airplanes being more densely packed than trains, it would seem that non-stop Acela demand would be up.

???

 

Boardings down. Maybe the extra fare?

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, March 9, 2020 12:13 PM

charlie hebdo
Boardings down. Maybe the extra fare?

If I remember correctly, the 'nonstop' trains are always the first to start showing boarding reductions when there is some falloff in patronization.  In part this is because only the people going directly between New York and Washington who value (or want to pay for) the higher speed will patronize that trainset ... and it is economically infeasible to configure or operate the logical smaller-capacity version of any high-speed platform (but particularly the Acelas, both I and II as currently made) that represents the size needed for the actual traffic.

This in conjunction with the actual, meaningful speed gain represented by the 'nonstop' over a comparable Acela service making more stops and serving greater 'cohorts' of potential riders -- state officials from Delaware, for example -- which no longer has the 'halo effect' of Acela-level service distinct from even the 'best' regionals that we have so often discussed and argued over.  Meanwhile, demand for the expresses is limited solely to the very restricted window of time represented by their scheduling -- travel at any other time might as well be to the Moon as far as nonstop service provides.  That's a very small amount of a comparatively limited traffic for a whole train using a whole lot of power.

I don't see anything aside from rational response to (temporarily) falling demand in this cancellation.  It would be nice to see actual cost vs. "profitability" numbers going forward, but I suspect there are very, very few people riding the 'expresses' who will switch to other modes, or limit their travel, simply because they now have to ride the regular Acela train service...

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 3:19 AM

Israel Railways is applying disinfectant to all surfaces in rolling stock and stations on a regular basis.  Service has been reduced somewhat but it still regular enough to be useful.  All arriving from certain countries at Ben Gurion Airport must undergo quaranteen two weeks and be tested for the virus. 

The following is an English Language communication from Health Ministry:

Health Ministry releases ement info on new coronavirus cases

All those who were on any of the flights listed or at any of the locations listed during the times listed should enter home quarantine and report that they have done so to the Health Ministry.

 
Case number 30 is from the center of the country and was exposed to a confirmed case in the Fish restaurant on Prof. Beni Khabot St 7 in Rishon Lezion on February 29 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
 
On March 2 at 2 p.m., the infected person voted at voting booth number 193 at the Renanim school in Kiryat Rishon. Case number 30 has been in home quarantine since the afternoon of Monday, March 2.
 
Case number 31 is from the south of the country and returned from Verona, Italy on IsraAir flight 6H356 on February 25 and landed in Israel at midnight on the night of February 26.
 
The infected woman visited the Fortuna store in Gilat center in Beersheba on February 27 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. and between 3:20 p.m. and 8 p.m. and then entered home quarantine.
 
Case number 32 is from the center of the country and departed to Barcelona on El Al flight LY393 on February 27 returned from Barcelona to Israel on March 1 on El Al flight LY394.
 
The infected woman visited the Super Alonit at the Dor Alon gas station on Highway 6 North next to the Baqa Interchange between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on March 2. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., she visited a mourning family on Ankor St. 82 in Karmiel. Between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. she vitisted the Merkaza Supermarket in Kfar Yarka. Between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., she visited the Burger and Steaks restaurant at the BIG center in Kfar Yarka. Between 7:30 and 7:35 p.m., she voted at voting booth 97 on Kaplan St. 42 in Petah Tikva.
 
From March 3 to 5, the woman was at her home and workplace and entered home quarantine on the morning of March 5.
 
Case number 33 is from the center of the country. On March 2, the infected woman was at the Super Alonit at the Dor Alon gas station on Highway 6 North next to the Baqa Interchange between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., she visited a mourning family on Ankor St. 82 in Karmiel. Between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. she vitisted the Merkaza Supermarket in Kfar Yarka. Between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., she visited the Burger and Steaks restaurant at the BIG center in Kfar Yarka.
 
On March 3, she visited the Morasha of Opel mechanic on Shefa Tel St. 9 in Tel Aviv between 2:50 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
 
On March 4, she visited the Beckhoff Israel company on HaNegev St. 1, Beit Golan, Airport City between 2 and 2:30 p.m.
 
On March 5, she visited the heart and chest surgical clinic in the outpatient clinics of Belinson Hospital between 10:50 and 11 a.m. She entered home quarantine on the evening of March 7.
 
Case number 34 is from the center of the country. On March 2, he visited the Super Alonit at the Dor Alon gas station on Highway 6 North next to the Baqa Interchange between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., he visited a mourning family on Ankor St. 82 in Karmiel. Between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. he visited the Merkaza Supermarket in Kfar Yarka. Between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., he visited the Burger and Steaks restaurant at the BIG center in Kfar Yarka.
 
On March 3, he visited the Morasha of Opel mechanic on Shefa Tel St. 9 in Tel Aviv between 2:50 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
 
On March 4, he visited the Beckhoff Israel company on HaNegev St. 1, Beit Golan, Airport City between 2 and 2:30 p.m. He entered home quarantine on the evening of March 7.
 
Case number 35 is from the Tel Aviv area. He traveled on February 24 at 8 a.m. on flight UX1304 from Israel and landed in Madrid at 12:30 p.m. He then continued to flight UX9048 from Madrid at 3:04 p.m. and landed in Tenerife at 4:55 p.m.
 
The infected man returned on flight UX9117 from Tenerife on March 3 at 5:55 p.m. and landed in Madrid at 9:45 p.m. He then continued to flight UX 1303 from Madrid at 11:45 p.m. and landed in Israel on March 4 at 5:35 a.m.
 
Case number 36 is from the Tel Aviv area. He traveled from Tel Aviv to Brussels on flight SN3290 on March 3 at 4:05 p.m. and landed at 8:05 p.m. He returned from Brussels to Israel on flight SN3291 on March 5 at 6:25 p.m. and landed at 11:50 p.m.
 
On March 7, he visited Japanika on Zvi Tadmor St. 12 in Holon between 1 and 2 p.m.
 
Case number 37 is from the center of the country. She traveled from Israel to Zurich on February 25 on Swiss Air flight 257LX at 5:20 a.m. and continued from Zurich to Tenerife on flight 8214LX at 9:35 a.m
 
She was on an organized trip in Tenerife from February 25 to March 3 at the Las Vegas Hotel where nine other Israeli groups were staying as well. She returned to Zurich on flight 8215LX on March 3 at 2 p.m. and continued to flight 256LX to Israel at 10:40 p.m. She has been in home quarantine since March 4.
 
Case number 38 is from the south of the country. He traveled from Israel to Barcelona on February 25 on flight LY393 at 6 a.m. On February 27, he flew from Barcelona to Zurich on flight LX1951 at 6:30 a.m.
 
On March 3, he flew from Zurich to Moscow on flight SU2393 at 10:30 a.m.
 
He returned from March 3 on flight SU0508 from Moscow to Israel at 2:15 p.m. He returned from the airport to his home in a taxi and remained in complete quarantine.
 
Case number 39 is from the Tel Aviv area. She flew from Israel to Zurich on February 27 on flight LY347 at 7:30 a.m. and landed at 11:00 a.m. She returned to Israel on March 5 on flight LY348 at 12:40 p.m. and landed at 5:35 p.m.
 
All those who were on any of the flights listed or at any of the locations listed during the times listed should enter home quarantine and report that they have done so to the Health Ministry at http://bit.ly/MOH-Corona or by calling *5400.
 
Countries from which Israelis and non-Israelis must enter 2-weeks quarenteen include:  China, Italy, Iran, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece Austria. South Korea, Switzerland, Singapore, Thialand, Marceu, San Marinio, Andorra
 
Consideration is being given concerning specific USA States and Canadian Provinces, and other countries may be added.
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Posted by Convicted One on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 8:22 AM

"Home Quarantine"?...is that a supervised and enforced sort of thing, or is that based upon some form of honor system?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 9:53 AM

Basically an honor system. 

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 10:34 AM

Too bad our government wants to pretend there is no problem. 

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