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Traveling During The Coronavirus Pandemic, Disney Closures & More

by The Mom Trotter

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Coronavirus made it to the US recently and it is following a similar trajectory to the outbreak in Italy weeks earlier. Now that the virus is already here, It will continue to spread if it is not contained. So far, travelers continue to take vacations, some are even traveling more in spite of the growing threat due to all the low fares.

Disney has already been affected internationally, but so far the domestic parks and cruise line remain open. Here is some information on the coronavirus outbreak in the US and how things are being handled.

Photo courtesy of CDC

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Before we talk about the coronavirus at Disney World, I think we should establish exactly what we are dealing with. The latest viral breakout is a virus that so far has no vaccine. While many downplay its death toll on social media, it’s a fast spreading virus, not to be messed with.

The death rate, about 7% of victims is only part of the danger. The symptoms themselves are no laughing matter and the worst part is just how contagious coronavirus is.

Coronavirus Symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 range in severity and can lead to death especially for people who are older or people who have a compromised immune system. They include a fever, a cough, and trouble breathing. 

Among the other diseases and conditions, COVID-19 causes pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure. Statistically speaking, the elderly are more at risk, but anybody can contract and spread this highly contagious virus. 

Anyone who decides to risk their own health in the face of this crisis needs to understand that they are contributing to the spread of a disease that is continuing to kill people, regardless of any propped up statistic devised to diminish the severity of the situation.

How Does Coronavirus Spread

The scariest thing about COVID-19 is just how easy it spreads. That’s why The possibility of contracting coronavirus iis so important to understand. It caught like wildfire in China despite decisive containment efforts. 

Within a week Italy went from a few obscure cases to rife with people testing positive for COVID-19. The reason is because of the virus’s long incubation period and the fact that the virus can spread before any symptoms begin to show.

While washing your hands frequently is a good start, it will not save you from COVID-19. Coronavirus spreads in the air as well as on contaminated surfaces. Anybody can contract COVID-19 by standing 6 feet away from somebody who has the virus. 

You have no way of knowing who has the virus until potentially 2 or more weeks after you were exposed. Therefore, it raises due concerns about going to any crowded, or heavily trafficked areas. 

Those who have contracted the Coronavirus are infecting other people before they even know they have it. Even then, they often choose to break quarantine and continue to expose more individuals.

Naturally, the virus spreads rapidly among travelers. COVID-19 made it to North America in only a few short months after the outbreak began in China on December 31, 2019. It seems you can’t take a plane trip without getting sick anymore, but now, COVID-19 is raising the stakes.

Coronavirus and Cruises

Although air travel is certainly a threat, cruise lines have been mired in a vicious bout with the new virus. Cruises with passengers testing positive for the virus have been quarantined at sea, allowing more and more people confined to the ship to contract it. 

Some cruisers who contract the virus have been able to hop onto a second cruise immediately following the first, unaware of their condition until it is too late.

Air travel is just as dangerous, but less easily tracked. That along with some state governments failing to administer tests has resulted in a delay where many Americans did not realize the severity of the situation until it had already traveled very quickly across the continent.

Carnival Cruise balcony cabin

The Impact of Coronavirus in the US

All the news on coronavirus seems to be centered on the economy. That’s a mistake. It’s a mistake for businesses to prioritize profits over people’s safety, and it’s also a mistake to spread such cut-and-dry sentiment when the reality is far more complex. 

The stock market plunging is more a reflection on investors than actual economic impact, and those dips we see on the business reports will correct themselves with or without the virus. The true concern is public health and safety.

  • Alaska
  • Alabama
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • West Virginia

The above states are the only six states in the US that have not yet reported a case of COVID-19 as of March 2021. That means that Florida residents, along with travelers from 43 other states pose a threat to the spread of coronavirus at Disney World without the help of international travelers. 

In the last few weeks, the number of confirmed cases has reached over 1,000 patients. There are many more we don’t know about. For a long time, Florida wasn’t testing anybody for COVID-19 despite (or maybe because of) the large amount of tourism to Orlando. 

Now the number of confirmed cases in Florida is 29 and climbing. Disney has already been affected internationally by COVID-19 and Florida is the company’s largest tourist destination.

What Does the CDC Say About Travel?

Advice from the Center for Disease Control is less pointed at containing the spread and more focused on individuals who might contract the virus. So, although COVID-19 has spread worldwide, the less impacted areas have different recommendations from higher-risk regions.

The CDC recommends that older individuals, specifically with chronic medical conditions, do not travel anywhere with sustained community spread. The CDC won’t caution others to avoid travel to certain countries unless the number of cases is widespread.

The CDC still recommends handwashing as a preventative measure and encourages coughing etiquette as well as asking sick people to stay home.

What is Disney Doing About Coronavirus?

Internationally (Disney Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo)

In China and Japan, Disney closed down all of its parks in cooperation with China and the Oriental Land Co. However, Disneyland Paris remains open, despite confirmed cases of COVID-19 found in cast members there. 

In response to calls for closure, Disney cited some precautionary measures that imply ignorance or denial to the actual threat COVID-19 poses to the guests at the magic kingdom.

Expert Tips For Experiencing Disneyland California With Kids and Disney California Adventure 5

Walt Disney World, Florida & Disneyland, California

Domestically, Disneyland and Walt Disney World have both officially closed and will remain closed for the rest of the month of March. Before the closure, Disney cited regular maintenance and cleaning procedures as their primary precaution, as well as information about handwashing and regular cast member training and protocols.

Disney Cruise Line

Cancelation Policy

Disney is the latest cruise line to modify their cancelation policy in light of the coronavirus outbreak. If you cancel 24 hours in advance or more, you can apply your full purchase price to another Disney Cruise within 12 months.

Screening and Restrictions

Guests will be screened for a fever prior to boarding Disney cruise ships. Temperatures of 0ver 100.4 degrees F. will prompt further screening.

Guests and crew members who have been to China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea in the last 20 days cannot go to the Bahamas and some other prohibited destinations. Likewise, anyone who has been to any of those locations, or Singapore in the last 14 days are restricted from travel to Jamaica.

Other Helpful Articles & Updates About Coronavirus

Make sure to check out the detailed articles below on Coronavirus.

Closures Due To Coronavirus

Articles On Coronavirus

Articles On Coronavirus & Travel

If you plan to keep travelling, make sure you think about how it will affect not only your family, but the people around you or in your community who have a compromised immune system. As a family we have decided to slow down on travel for this month (March) and definitely just wait it out until April to see how things go.

Want to read more about Coronavirus? Make sure to save and share this post as I’ll be updating it often especially as things are changing daily.

Tips & Tricks For Booking An Affordable Family Vacation
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  • Travel Insurance
    • Purchase must have travel insurance through Allianz
  • Looking to save even more money when you travel? Visit my Travel Resources page to see all the reliable and trustworthy brands that I use to book my travel with. I only recommend brands that I’ve used and can vouch for, so you’re in good hands!
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