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Thread: Musings on Bonaire reopening to tourists

  1. #21
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    It is incredulous that they exclude the US due to the "high risk". The requirements for entry show this clearly. They require a test to be completed no more than 72 hours prior to departure with documentation provided on arrival. The only problem with that is the Netherlands up to recently is very poorly tested. On the RIVM website it says "As of 1 June 2020, anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can get tested. Testing of everyone with symptoms is essential to control the spread of COVID-19 in the Netherlands. For information about testing locations and how to make an appointment, go to the information page at Government.nl." Based on this, the only ones who will be able to travel to Bonaire are those with symptoms. How are the 1000 tourists per week going to get tested? Here in Maryland anyone, with or without symptoms, can get tested, for any reason they choose, without a referral. Since widespread testing has begun here, 30% of those testing positive showed absolutely no symptoms. Assuming the virus behaves the same way in the Netherlands, there are planeloads of people who have it and can't be tested in Holland. When the testing parameters change from day to day it is impossible to analyze the data any certainty. As the number of tests goes up, so will the case counts. What happens when the Dutch start to thoroughly test like they do here in Maryland and the numbers spike? Will Bonaire kick the Dutch out and lock down the airport again?
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  2. #22
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    The US is absolutely "high risk". It has more cases than anywhere and the number is still climbing. The government is now pushing to open up everywhere for financial reasons and a spike in the number of cases is expected. As far as testing, you may be able to get tested in Maryland, but that is not the case everywhere else. The areas that are providing testing have limits on how many. You also have many people in the US who don't even believe that it is a pandemic and refuse to even wear a mask. I doubt if any of them would even agree to be tested. Bonaire currently has no cases and it needs to stay that way.

  3. #23
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    Mark,
    You are missing the point. They are opening Bonaire to western Europeans who have even worse testing protocols then the US. The numbers are likely rising in Europe as well, yet the lack of testing makes it impossible to quantify. The numbers in the US are rising, but is that caused by the huge increase in testing? Nobody can say definitively. If the only criteria to entry is having a negative test with 72 hours of departure, that can be accomplished in the US and Canada as well. This criteria is especially weak considering the Dutch currently don't allow testing without symptoms unless you are medical personnel. In addition, there is always the possibility to get infected in the 72 hours between testing and departure. What if just one person gets through and spreads it to the entire plane? A plane load of a couple hundred viral human time bombs could land. If they enforce the same criteria on all visitors then they would be limiting the risks as much as possible. Opening to western Europe only doesn't ensure there will be no cases on Bonaire. Other than a 100% closure there is no way to guarantee there will be no cases. While there are people in the US who behave as you say, I am sure there are the same in every other country in the world. We go to Bonaire between 2 and 4 times per year, up to a month at a time. In all those trips I rarely see the types of people you describe. I would say that in general, divers and retirees, are more cautious, conservative, and health oriented, than the general public. They would be safest possible visitors when it comes to communicable disease.
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkD View Post
    The US is absolutely "high risk". It has more cases than anywhere and the number is still climbing. The government is now pushing to open up everywhere for financial reasons and a spike in the number of cases is expected. As far as testing, you may be able to get tested in Maryland, but that is not the case everywhere else. The areas that are providing testing have limits on how many. You also have many people in the US who don't even believe that it is a pandemic and refuse to even wear a mask. I doubt if any of them would even agree to be tested. Bonaire currently has no cases and it needs to stay that way.
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  4. #24
    MelE is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    I think the government is trying to be cautious about opening and it makes sense to me that they would allow Dutch tourists in first with Bonaire being a Dutch island. And I just thought about the fact that the Dutch have a universal health care system so all the tourists from Holland are covered on Bonaire as well.
    Letís all hope things go smoothly and surely American flights will resume sooner rather than later.

  5. #25
    Avalpert is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    It is just not true that Western Europe (outside of the UK) is in the same place today with regards to the risk as the US - they are in a much better place. We absolutely do know that the case decrease in most of Europe is not due to testing less - their positivity rates have declined alongside it. On the other hand the US total new case rate has held steady (it needs to be declining) and that really masks troubling increases in some areas (including Texas which is a big feeder to Bonaire) while the early hotbeds of NY and NJ come down. Of course the risk for them isn't zero - but nobody is saying we need the risk to be zero (some people accuse others of saying that but nobody is actually saying that) but it is much more manageable for them then it was as long as they are selective in where people come from.

    As much as I was hoping they would open it up for US citizens, you really can't argue with their decision on the basis of public health. We need to get used to that, on the current trajectory we are going to be trailing others for awhile and will get to watch as they return closer to normal while leaving us behind.

  6. #26
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    Avalpert,
    The number of visitors from Texas is no greater then most regions of the US. If the comment is directed at the fact that about 10% of the US flights to Bonaire are United via Houston, than it is of little consequence since these travelers are not residents of Texas. We fly through Atlanta yet we have nothing to do with Georgia rates. Currently the Netherlands tests at less than have the rate of the US. As of June 10th (the last day the Netherlands reported) the US was testing 1.15 people per thousand while the Netherlands was only testing 0.49 people per thousand. It is true the US had a positivity rate of 5.1% versus the Netherlands at 2.1%. The reality is there is risk either way and this is what they choose. The ironic part is many of my Dutch fiends said Trump was racist for banning China. When I point out the rational for banning the US is the same, many of those same Dutch friends deny it....BUT there are a few who are honest enough to admit it is exactly the same thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Avalpert View Post
    It is just not true that Western Europe (outside of the UK) is in the same place today with regards to the risk as the US - they are in a much better place. We absolutely do know that the case decrease in most of Europe is not due to testing less - their positivity rates have declined alongside it. On the other hand the US total new case rate has held steady (it needs to be declining) and that really masks troubling increases in some areas (including Texas which is a big feeder to Bonaire) while the early hotbeds of NY and NJ come down. Of course the risk for them isn't zero - but nobody is saying we need the risk to be zero (some people accuse others of saying that but nobody is actually saying that) but it is much more manageable for them then it was as long as they are selective in where people come from.

    As much as I was hoping they would open it up for US citizens, you really can't argue with their decision on the basis of public health. We need to get used to that, on the current trajectory we are going to be trailing others for awhile and will get to watch as they return closer to normal while leaving us behind.
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  7. #27
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    To clarify here a missunderstanding between US & Europe re. testing, i would like to input, that "only tests for people with symptoms of Corona are executed" is wrong. If you show symptoms, your insurance will pay it and its covered by your health insurance. If you go to private laboratories, pay around 180 Euro (or i payed 208 swiss francs) then you get your test done right away. So its not true, that only people with symptoms & negative tests from europe are coming to Bonaire. If the negative corona test is a must for legal entry, you pay yourself and its done......
    Didi (Austria & Switzerland)
    TDI IT # 2020
    Manatee Divers Int'l HQ (Reg. TDI/SDI Facility)
    CDAS (Cave Diving Association of Switzerland) HQ
    RSDAS (Russki Schnuffski Diving Association of Switzerland) HQ

  8. #28
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    randl is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Test rates can be confounding. It might be useful to compare new deaths per day per million population. I tried that for a few countries using reported deaths for 6/13/20 (source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries)
    Country Population (millions) new deaths 6/13/20 new deaths/million
    US 328 702 2.1
    Netherlands 17 4 0.2
    Brazil 210 890 4.2
    UK 67 181 2.7
    Spain 47 no report
    Italy 60 78 1.3
    Mexico 126 504 4.0
    Canada 38 58 1.5

    Using this, Holland looks distinctly different from everyone else I checked. Your thoughts?

  9. #29
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    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Data from just one day can be very misleading, because of the day-to-day variability. You need to average over at least 3 days, better 5 days, best a week, to be able to compare countries. What do the smoothed data look like?
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  10. #30
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    Okay, that will take a few days. But I did it for 6/12 and 6/13, the only data that is easy to retrieve:

    Country new deaths 6-13/mil new deaths 6-12/mil
    US 2.140 2.412
    Netherlands 0.235 0.529
    Brazil 4.238 4.014
    UK 2.701 3.015
    Italy 1.300 0.933
    Mexico 4.000 4.659
    Canada 1.526 1.447
    Germany 0.048 0.145
    Sweden 2.000 4.000

    Countries with large nos. of deaths (e.g., Brazil, U.S) didn't change much. Countries with small numbers of deaths changed up to three fold (e.g., Holland 4 vs. 9, and Germany 4 vs. 12). Still, the difference between countries is there. I'll keep this up for a few more days. I can't give you smoothed data of per capita deaths per day because I don't know it. Stay tuned and I will calculate it myself.

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