When first reading about the breakthrough Covid infections it didn’t sound too scary as it seemed like it was something bound to happen, especially because of unvaxxed anti-mask assholes, and I thought maybe this was part of the process of attaining so-called herd immunity. That people would get sick, but not in a life threatening way, or so we’ve been told. And living in Spain, I’ve felt grateful that so many people here WANT to be vaccinated, and also want their kids vaccinated. They can’t wait.
But recently I’ve heard from fully-vaccinated UK friends of mine who were travelling abroad to visit family (being super careful, staying in their “bubbles”). They wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t been travelling and required a test to return home and then – bam! – they tested positive with no symptoms whatsoever and had to go into quarantine.
And so now I’m scared. Again. I mean… no symptoms whatsoever. BUT they could still be contagious and spreading the virus (usually these days the extra contagious Delta) far and wide. And who knows if they got infected just before travelling, or on the plane, at the airport, or during their trip. And not everyone is just getting off as lightly as my friends… once again ICUs are at capacity, hospital staff are overwhelmed and frankly worn out. And yet people are acting like it’s all “back to normal” now. I truly despair.
I have a few tapas tours lined up for September and I have made it clear that I am only doing private tours with fully vaccinated people within their own group. But with Delta. and now Delta-Plus, is being vaccinated enough? A friend suggested I should also ask clients to take a lateral flow test before the tour. I honestly don’t know what to do any more. But I can’t help but think that if everyone would just stay the fuck at home for a few more months then maybe we’d have a chance at beating this thing.
Went for a fantastic lunch with Jo today. Our first indoor meal in a yesr. A bit nervous but checks were great (EU vaccination passport) & temperature check on entry). Tables over 2M apart. All staff masked. Is it possible to do the tour outside on terraces?
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I personally only sit either outside or next to an open door/window. Where do they ask for the EU vaccination passport? That’s not in effect here. And temperature checks are pretty much useless with the new variant and fully-vaxxed people being positive without symptoms.
But yes, I will have to think of a way to make both myself and clients as safe as possible.
What even is a lateral flow test? I am rarely stumped by medical terms but haven’t run into that.
I’m getting nervous because there are so many stupid people in the States. I require vaccinations and masks, most of my clients live a relatively isolated life, but it’s like there being no such thing as a peeing area in a swimming pool.
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AKA an antigen test? I’m not clear on any of this either. But omg I am going to steal your peeing in a swimming pool line. xx
It was always the case that being fully vaccinated won’t protect you from catching the virus, or if you get it from spreading it to others. What it does do is reduce the potency of the virus so that if you do get it, it is likely to be much less serious and probably a symptomatic, and if you pass it on to someone it’s the same too. Results worldwide are showing that this is the case even for people who are more vulnerable and that folks are unlikely to end up in ICU unless they are over 85 and already have known or unknown cardiac or respiratory conditions.
However, just like seasonal flu which is endemic, some people will die if they get COVID. This is true of all endemic diseases. The Delta and Delta Plus strains are more virulent or contagious, but actually less lethal….though when it first was identified in India it killed many people, this was a consequence of the start of a new strain (just like in China and Europe at the beginning of all this), poor medical facilities and lack of oxygen supplies for first line treatment.
It may not be possible to request a test from clients, tests are expensive and not always reliable. You can however, particularly if they are foreign tourists, if they were tested to leave their home country or on arrival in Spain and it wouldnt be unreasonable to ask for proof of that and full vaccination as folks will have that documentation. You could also wear a mask all the time but it would mean missing out on drinking or eating with your test. You have a good reason to explain.
Things will not get back to normal for a long time yet, meanwhile the holy trinity of wash hands, wear masks, and social distancing plus the vaccine is the best prevention. I would also add the ask for more plates and divide your tapas up before eating rule, and expect on the ball eating places to do this automatically. As a feature of your tours you could provide small bottles of hand sanitizer (added to the cost of the tour of course. Personalised would be cool but if not feasible all the same!
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Oh yes, I understand the most likely evolution of this thing, but I still disagree that it can be compared to the annual flu.
My tours have always included individual plates for people to put the tapas they are sharing because before it was sometimes a group with 2 or 3 couples who didn’t know each other. Now I am only taking out people travelling together as a private tour but I will maintain this practice.
I have my own mini-sanitizer bottle that I always carry with me but that’s actually not a bad idea to provide one for each group. They only cost about 2€.
At the bars I will set an example by replacing my mask when I’m not eating or drinking (which I don’t do much during tours anyhow, just enough so that they feel like I’m participating). And walking outside clients will be required to wear masks, which I make clear in my confirmation emails.
The thing is, even if someone is tested in the US or UK before coming here, they can still get infected along the way, and for some people Sevilla is their 3rd or 4th stop on their holiday. I don’t know. Going to have a serious think about this.