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Messages From CDV
Oct 9, 2020
We count ourselves blessed to have such amazing guests that rode through the Covid-19 pandemic with us, deferring their vacations to 2021, and being so wonderful with all of our family in Europe. Thank you is not enough to show our deep appreciation!
So what does it look like going forward into 2021?
As of this writing, some of the media has been discussing second waves happening in Europe. While it is true that there are more "cases," the percentage of people actually getting sick as a result of having Covid has dropped to extremely low numbers, and this "second wave" is largely asymptomatic, and not spreading at a high rate as it did earlier in 2020. In fact, the total number of hospitalizations is significantly lower than it was even a month after Italy reopened.
This is largely due to the fact that Italian experts have determined that the virus has mutated many times since the initial outbreak, and has become a much weaker version of its former self. It no longer packs the punch it once did, and does not spread as easily as before. The vast majority of new cases are asymptomatic, or experiencing symptoms similar to the common cold. Much like the Hong Kong Flu pandemic in 1969, they are not seeing a second wave, but more of a bump with "smoldering patterns."
This is largely due to the fact that Italian experts have determined that the virus has mutated many times since the initial outbreak, and has become a much weaker version of its former self. It no longer packs the punch it once did, and does not spread as easily as before.
This information is very encouraging, as many feared that Covid-19 might carry a second wave more like the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and that is not materializing. With better therapeutics for the rare cases that do get sick, the recovery time is significantly faster than before, and those that are hospitalized are typically only in for a couple days now, while the average hospital stay was measured in weeks back in March and April.
Add all of this to the fact that several of the vaccine trials have had no complications and are close to submitting for FDA approval, even the most conservative estimates show that vaccines will be widely available to the general public before our 2021 season begins.
Concerns over how many people will be vaccinated
This is a growing concern in the United States, very much surrounded by the political volatility of 2020. These concerns are not so strong in Europe. However, suppose you are one of the people that choose not to get vaccinated, here is what that would look like: As mentioned before, we are already dealing with a significantly weaker version of the virus, so it we get it, it is not like having gotten it back in April. Additionally, Europe already has an extremely high immunity count. These are people that cannot catch it or transmit it. In North America, it is estimated that roughy 10% of the population has built up antibodies already, and that number will continue to rise. If only 50% of the population gets vaccinated by May, that would bring the immunity percentage of the American population to roughly 60%.
Herd immunity is a term we have heard quite a bit about. Some say you need to reach 70% herd immunity before it is safe. The reality is that 70% is a number that the scientific community uses to call something entirely eradicated with a spreadability rate of the earlier strains of Covid-19. With the current strains, it is closer to 50%. Lower percentages make it significantly more difficult to catch. As the virus R0 (spreadability) decreases as it has been, it is more difficult to spread, and as more people become immune, it becomes even more difficult. So even when we reach 30%, the likelihood that we are exposed drops close to zero. Add that to the fact that the virus has so significantly weakened, the fear of traveling this Spring because of Covid becomes more like being afraid to travel because you might catch a cold.... even if you are one of the people that did not get the vaccine.
Fear is a powerful emotion
When we have constant news coverage on a topic, we cannot help but build fear, and the news media relies on that to get your attention. When one person put a razor blade in a piece of chocolate on Halloween, we had a nation full of people afraid they would find a razor blade in their chocolate. When any fear-evoking event happens, we cannot help but feel fear. We feed on it, and mass media and politicians can use that fear. But we can also choose to look at real probabilities. There is no doubt that earlier this year Covid-19 was a serious threat, but at some point we can choose to look to see if the level of threat is still high. For example, in October 2017, there were more people hospitalized, and more people dying of influenza than there are of Covid 19 in October 2020.
Hope is a MORE powerful emotion
We believe in hope over fear. The data we have been looking at gives us significantly more hope. The weakening of the virus, the number of therapeutics, including preventative, and the imminent vaccine give us extremely high levels of hope. We are 100% confident that traveling to Europe will be safe this year. And our hope is that enough of our guests choose hope over fear and finally put 2020 in the past. We will be here, and we will be having the best year ever with all of our wonderful guests that chose hope, optimism and bravery over the fear. After all, that is what CDV is about! Our guests are not afraid of getting outside of their comfort zone. You are brave, and you are pioneers.
So we cannot wait to see you in 2021. Because all of our partners know one thing. CDV is different, and CDV guests are truly special!
With all of our love and gratitude,
All of us at CDV