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  1. #1
    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    When the virus meets the mountain towns

    Sobering consequences for medically lean mountain recreation areas

    https://apple.news/AzG4DClkJQa2W9dkU2n90Mg

    From the Washington Post
    4/1/2020

    “Tourists brought prosperity to an Idaho ski valley. They also brought covid-19.
    The snow-capped peaks of Idaho’s Wood River Valley are a magnet for movie stars and other wealthy tourists who throng the area each winter bearing their skis, their appetites and their cash. They come for the soft powder, stay for the parties at top-class restaurants and pump money into an otherwise remote wilderness region where the howl of wolves echoes through the night.
    But this year, somewhere between the lifts and the lodge, the tourists left behind something else: a deadly virus.
    Now the valley is a coronavirus hot spot, registering one of the highest infection rates per capita in the country. With 192*cases in a county of just 22,000 people — including two deaths — the share of the population testing positive is greater than even in New York City.

    [Moderator Note]The rest of the article removed for copyright[/MN]
    Last edited by David Metsky; 04-01-2020 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Please don't quote entire articles
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Now for the WAPO article. We saw NE ski resorts shutting down operations earlier, partially due to area Governors being amongst the quickest to see what could happen. Social Distancing seems to work. Bars, restaurants and places where people are densely congregated need to be avoided or closed or altered so people are not densely congregated. Acadia was closed, however, other national parks have been open and the crowds have still been going, even taking buses into Grand Canyon.

    AMC closed their facilities early but bunkrooms, hostels, crowded summits need to be avoided. Staying home is easy, if you can't fight the urge to go, go on a weekday. For the most part, the VFTT readership is skilled, competent and with lots of gear. Go for a sunrise or a sunset, sunrise likely to be better as you won't find anyone on the trail at 3:00 or 4:00 AM and very few day-hikers will be on the trail before 9:00 when you get back. Most of the VFTT readership have our share of rainy miserable days, well, that weather will help keep crowds down. (Please don't go during life threatening horrific weather - I'm not saying go then)
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Staying home is more than easy; it's wonderful when you are old and retired. I only go out for supplies like food; good, very "non-contact" process here at the Valley Grocery. I take an occasional bushwhack; see no people.

    And I'm getting house projects done that have languished for years.

    I have sympathy for people who need to work and are stuck out of work. I have no sympathy for people who don't need to go to crowded trails or summits, but just cannot control themselves and go there anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Staying home is more than easy; it's wonderful when you are old and retired. I only go out for supplies like food; good, very "non-contact" process here at the Valley Grocery. I take an occasional bushwhack; see no people.

    And I'm getting house projects done that have languished for years.

    I have sympathy for people who need to work and are stuck out of work. I have no sympathy for people who don't need to go to crowded trails or summits, but just cannot control themselves and go there anyway.
    Amen to that. same here. I will add to your last paragraph to include those who travel from hotspots to less dense populations where there are practically no virus cases to date (my home county with a number of vacation residences had zero cases until last weekend, now has only 3). I will include Cuomo's plan to transfer overflow hospital capacity to the same, and also to reverse transfer our currently healthy health care workers into those hotspots. I understand that some may want to volunteer, but if you go, please stay there until this is over. We will need healthy care givers here.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    Amen to that. same here. I will add to your last paragraph to include those who travel from hotspots to less dense populations where there are practically no virus cases to date (my home county with a number of vacation residences had zero cases until last weekend, now has only 3). I will include Cuomo's plan to transfer overflow hospital capacity to the same, and also to reverse transfer our currently healthy health care workers into those hotspots. I understand that some may want to volunteer, but if you go, please stay there until this is over. We will need healthy care givers here.
    Important to note that having 'zero cases' doesn't mean that no one has the virus. The data currently has about a 4 day lag, which means the case data you are seeing is from 4 days ago. This will be true until the point of care test is up an running at least widely. Given that to 50% of people can spread it while asymptomatic , this means that people who feel fine (and aren't being tested) can have it. If you're going to quote the cases, I suggest interpreting "we have X cases" as 'We have at least X cases of symptomatic people that have access to testing as as of 4 days ago'.

    There is a significant logical difference between saying 'there are no reported cases in Coos county' vs saying 'no one in Coos country has the virus'.
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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    OK, If you want me to get technically accurate I will amend what I said in my post to: There were zero officially confirmed cases reported in Lewis County as of Saturday last weekend, when every surrounding county had multiple cases already confirmed and reported. Two were confirmed by test Between Saturday night and Sunday. To this day, the official count of infected patients in Lewis County is up to three. Surrounding counties continue to report many more and are increasing their count daily. The only real information the layman has to go upon is what is released as the official count from testing. Maybe Lewis County was simply much slower to test (and thus to report) those who were medically deemed eligible to be tested (which certainly is not 100% of the county resident and visitor population), I do not know.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 04-03-2020 at 01:54 PM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    OK, If you want me to get technically accurate I will amend what I said in my post to: There were zero officially confirmed cases reported in Lewis County as of Saturday last weekend, when every surrounding county had multiple cases already confirmed and reported. Two were confirmed by test Between Saturday night and Sunday. To this day, the official count of infected patients in Lewis County is up to three. Surrounding counties continue to report many more and are increasing their count daily. The only real information the layman has to go upon is what is released as the official count from testing. Maybe Lewis County was simply much slower to test (and thus to report) those who were medically deemed eligible to be tested (which certainly is not 100% of the county resident and visitor population), I do not know.
    Well said. Almost want to give you a hug.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessmuk View Post
    There were zero officially confirmed cases reported in Lewis County as of Saturday last weekend, when every surrounding county had multiple cases already confirmed and reported. .
    Since it takes ~2 weeks on the average between infection and diagnosis and the virus can be spread by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic* individuals this is not a guarantee that Lewis County is free of infected individuals. Particularly since surrounding counties have cases.
    * Average time from infection to the onset of symptoms is ~5 days.

    Another way of looking at it is that zero currently diagnosed cases indicates that there were few to no cases two weeks ago. (Assuming that there were no asymptomatic or unreported cases which, of course, is not a safe assumption...)

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 04-06-2020 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    Since it takes ~2 weeks on the average between infection and diagnosis and the virus can be spread by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic* individuals this is not a guarantee that Lewis County is free of infected individuals. Particularly since surrounding counties have cases.
    * Average time from infection to the onset of symptoms is ~5 days.

    Another way of looking at it is that zero currently diagnosed cases indicates that there were few to no cases two weeks ago. (Assuming that there were no asymptomatic or unreported cases which, of course, is not a safe assumption...)

    Doug
    Did I say that Lewis County is free of infection, or will remain at a low rate? Only that it was slower than surrounding counties to either get tested, and as a very rural community to report cases. Cuomo did make a statement that some counties have more cows than people. Lewis County is indeed such a county with infinitely less resources than the favored NYC where the governor wants to send our few resources. I was saying that there are a number of vacation homes in the area there and beyond, with Lewis County being both a destination and a pass through route for part time residents. Also that the local Walmart is an easy target as a first stop for supplies before heading into their local destinations or east into the Adirondacks where large store shopping opportunities are much more limited or nonexistent. County health officials have tracked the most recent case to two certain times at Walmart and are asking people who may have been in the store at those times to self-monitor and to call their doctor if warranted.

    Please do not insult me by assuming I am stupid in knowledge about infection rates, incubation times and presentation of symptoms.
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 04-06-2020 at 10:47 AM.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    I speculate that there is concern not just for the local population in Coos county as much as concern that the virus can get into the federal and state prisons located in Berlin via the local population that works in the prisons. Should that happen it introduces a entire new level of complication.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I speculate that there is concern not just for the local population in Coos county as much as concern that the virus can get into the federal and state prisons located in Berlin via the local population that works in the prisons. Should that happen it introduces a entire new level of complication.
    It has entered in some state's prison systems. As much as NYC is getting lots of the press for the hospital crowding, how many small town facilities could treat a hot spot, whether it's a prison or convalescent home.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I speculate that there is concern not just for the local population in Coos county...
    So, following up on a post of mine on another thread, we've recently noticed quite a few out-of-state plates at local trailheads, and some of these trails are in more remote areas. While we have no say over what other, nearby states set as guidelines for travel, I can say that some folks local to these more remote areas are not happy to see people driving long distances to get in a (usually) quiet hike. I'm sure that all of this will pass, but in the meantime, there's some anxiety that's beginning to surface. I'm glad for our in-state plates and even a vehicle that people who live near some of these trailheads recognize.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    To DougPaul's point, studies in various populations have found asymptomatic proportions ranging from 20% to 50% of the positive test infected population. So for personal protection decisions, the absence of symptoms is very much not a reliable indicator that the virus is not present.

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