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  #8121  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 4:05 PM
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We had our first in person colloquium yesterday in a long time. It was very nice after a year and a half of Zoom snoozefest colloquiums.

It was a local speaker, the chairs were spaced out a bit more than usual and everybody was wearing masks (per University requirements in non-private offices) except for the speaker (since that is apparently an exception to the university masking requirements, provided they are sufficiently displaced from the audience). And of course the university has a vaccination requirement (though people don't get fired for not complying for 2 more weeks). The reception was outdoors with individually packaged snacks. Some may think these precautions are overkill, but physicists/astronomers rarely truly retire and the audience members aged 60+ usually have the best insights/questions.
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  #8122  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2021, 4:19 PM
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Some may think these precautions are overkill, .
^

I don't know if they are precautions any more, or something more akin to a ritual at this point. Like doing a rain dance, but more subtle.

It's more of a display than anything else
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  #8123  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2021, 6:06 PM
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  #8124  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2021, 10:40 PM
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Thank you for posting that
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  #8125  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2021, 8:49 AM
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How is office vacancies looking in your city? I noticed commercial estate/office buildings are coming down in valuations. Not selling at a loss per say, but I saw an example recently of a commercial property held for 17 years that was sold without much in the way of appreciation at less than 1 percent annually, well below the rate of inflation.

This will probably hit municipal budgets as the tax burden shifts from commercial with residential and retail picking up more of the share.
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  #8126  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2021, 7:09 PM
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Thank you for posting that
It is much easier to take that position as a Country when 80% to 90% of your population is fully vaccinated and you have the hospital capacity to deal with it. Singapore has only had 107 deaths the entire pandemic. A much different outcome when only 56% is vaccinated and you clearly do not have enough people in the healthcare profession to deal with it and you've had people in power and in media continuing to push an anti vaccine message and over 700K deaths... Norway and Singapore are in a position where it probably can't get too bad so I support their decision. Plus I do not know of any place in America that is in any lock down and doubt that would happen unless the virus became so much more deadly. I support vaccine mandates but if a business establishment has one I don't think there should also be a mask mandate. Transit since there is not a vaccine mandate I support mask wearing.

Last edited by dktshb; Oct 3, 2021 at 7:22 PM.
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  #8127  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2021, 9:04 PM
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^ But the US has vaccines available for everyone which is really what matters. You can’t let stubborn morons hold everyone else hostage. Just let them die.
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  #8128  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2021, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
As recently as July 6th Florida's 7-day rolling average of deaths per day was just 21. Now we stand at 445 deaths per day on average (and still climbing, it was in the 300s last week). More than twice as high as the previous wave back in January 2021. Almost 10k dead recorded in Florida just since August 23rd. All with a vaccine readily available. Meanwhile DeSantis has instituted fines on businesses that try to find ways to force vaccination of their employees or business (like cruise lines) that require vaccination.
But why try to save these idiots?
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  #8129  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2021, 3:04 PM
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New York wants its foreign tourists back.

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As Borders Reopen, New York Wants Foreign Tourists Back, and Fast

The city’s tourism marketing agency is starting a campaign in several countries to attract visitors after the long pandemic lockout.

As New York City struggles to revive its economy from the devastation wrought by the pandemic, one key element is still missing: big-spending foreign tourists.

Before the coronavirus arrived, the city was flooded with record numbers of visitors from Europe, Asia and South America. They filled hotels, restaurants, Broadway theaters and museums, spending billions of dollars and fueling a surge of jobs for local residents.

Now that the federal government has decided to open the country’s borders to vaccinated visitors on Nov. 8, New York City is preparing its most aggressive campaign to lure them back quickly — in time to salvage, if it can, the end-of-year holiday season.

While visitors from across the United States have streamed back into the city, the absence of foreign tourists has left a gaping hole in the city’s economy because they tend to stay longer and spend more money.

...

To spur the tourists’ return, NYC & Company is partnering with foreign airlines like British Airways and big tour operators in countries that have been reliable sources of visitors, including England, Germany and Brazil. The advertising campaign will also run this year in Canada, Mexico, France, Italy and South Korea.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/n...c-tourism.html
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  #8130  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2021, 3:08 PM
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^ I'm sure Chicago will spend like NO money on foreign tourists, as usual, because its self promotion arm sucks balls
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  #8131  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2021, 3:10 PM
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^ I'm sure Chicago will spend like NO money on foreign tourists, as usual, because its self promotion arm sucks balls
I’ve seen ads for Chicago on the tube in London (pre-Covid of course).
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  #8132  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2021, 6:23 AM
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Checking in again with an update from Spain, specifically Mallorca, where I am for a cycling event tomorrow.

Covid is very much still a thing here - masks everywhere indoors, the usual social distancing nonsense that makes little things a pain in the ass (e.g. long waits for a coffee in the morning at the hotel, because it can’t be self-service). It’s pretty dead in the evening and rather than the usual Spanish custom of eating dinner at 10pm, everything closes at 10/11pm. Importantly there are still no tapas bars, because everything is table service only (and no real socialising between people who don’t know each other at bars/restaurants as a result).

I’m here for a specific reason but otherwise wouldn’t recommend visiting Spain for the foreseeable future. We’ll see about next summer.
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  #8133  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 5:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Checking in again with an update from Spain, specifically Mallorca, where I am for a cycling event tomorrow.

Covid is very much still a thing here - masks everywhere indoors, the usual social distancing nonsense that makes little things a pain in the ass (e.g. long waits for a coffee in the morning at the hotel, because it can’t be self-service). It’s pretty dead in the evening and rather than the usual Spanish custom of eating dinner at 10pm, everything closes at 10/11pm. Importantly there are still no tapas bars, because everything is table service only (and no real socialising between people who don’t know each other at bars/restaurants as a result).

I’m here for a specific reason but otherwise wouldn’t recommend visiting Spain for the foreseeable future. We’ll see about next summer.
Wow really? I had no idea, I assumed everything there was back to normal. What a shame. My good friend from Seattle just spent a month traveling around there, he's 22 and it's his first visit to Europe. He didn't complain, but I guess he had no idea what to expect. What a terrible experience to see Spain without all the vibrance it typically has.
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  #8134  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 5:19 PM
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Speaking for the situation in Los Angeles...

It still feel like business areas, like the Wilshire Corridor and DTLA, are pretty dead. Sidewalks seem kinda of barren and there are lots of "For lease" signs even in popular retail areas like the high end stretch of Melrose in West Hollywood.

With the exception of having to put on a mask when entering an establishment (and immediately being able to take it off right after lol), otherwise things seem pretty back to normal. Restaurants, clubs, and bars are popping and there are no crowd limits.

I did go to a concert last Sunday and they required proof of vaccine and masks indoors, but I like many others took it off because well...we're all vaccinated and it makes no sense lol.

But it's really great to see the city waking back up. Just miss the buzz of DTLA and office-heavy areas.
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  #8135  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 6:15 PM
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This weekend was the first "normal" weekend in a long time in New Orleans.

Parades, concerts, shows, etc. were going on all over the city. It was great to see the city so vibrant and full of life again. The mayor has also publicly stated that Mardi Gras parades will be going on next year. They may just have to follow the same route (some big parades like Zulu and Endymion have their own routes through different neighborhoods) due to manpower shortages within the police department.

The vaccine mandate for entry into most businesses is still in place, but with over 80% of the eligible population vaccinated it's not a big deal anymore. Hurricane Ida repairs continue, but most businesses have reopened in the city.

Krewe of Boo Parade
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  #8136  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 6:22 PM
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Speaking for the situation in Los Angeles...

It still feel like business areas, like the Wilshire Corridor and DTLA, are pretty dead. Sidewalks seem kinda of barren and there are lots of "For lease" signs even in popular retail areas like the high end stretch of Melrose in West Hollywood.

With the exception of having to put on a mask when entering an establishment (and immediately being able to take it off right after lol), otherwise things seem pretty back to normal. Restaurants, clubs, and bars are popping and there are no crowd limits.

I did go to a concert last Sunday and they required proof of vaccine and masks indoors, but I like many others took it off because well...we're all vaccinated and it makes no sense lol.

But it's really great to see the city waking back up. Just miss the buzz of DTLA and office-heavy areas.
Downtown seems pretty vibrant on the weekends. I guess it depends on where you go in LA. It's so huge after all.
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  #8137  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 6:39 PM
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Wow really? I had no idea, I assumed everything there was back to normal. What a shame. My good friend from Seattle just spent a month traveling around there, he's 22 and it's his first visit to Europe. He didn't complain, but I guess he had no idea what to expect. What a terrible experience to see Spain without all the vibrance it typically has.
Quote:
Endemic Covid-19 Has Arrived in Portugal. This Is What It Looks Like.
By Eric Sylvers | Photographs by Daniel Rodrigues for The Wall Street Journal
Updated Oct. 24, 2021 1:43 pm ET

LISBON—In this soccer-crazed capital of a soccer-obsessed nation, the stadiums are full again. Portugal, a country ravaged earlier in the year by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, now has the highest Covid-19 vaccination rate in Europe and offers a glimpse of a country trying to come to grips with what is increasingly looking like an endemic virus.

Tens of thousands of screaming soccer fans crammed into the Estadio da Luz here Wednesday to watch hometown favorites Benfica take on Bayern Munich. They amassed on the subway to the stadium, at the entrance as officials patted them down and, after the game, at food trucks where they downed sandwiches and beer as they tried to forget the drubbing their team had just received.

The government recently lifted a 30% capacity limit at stadiums imposed to control Covid-19. But things haven’t returned to what they were: Fans need a certificate showing they are vaccinated, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative. Masks are obligatory throughout stadiums.

Close to 100% of people over the age of 50 have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Portuguese government. For those between the ages of 25 and 49 it is 95% and from 12 to 17 it is 88%. Some 89% of Portugal’s entire population of 10 million has had at least one vaccine dose, not far behind the rate in the world-leading United Arab Emirates, compared with 65% in the U.S. and 73% in the U.K., according to Oxford University’s Our World in Data.

Portugal has been averaging six deaths a day for the past month, compared with almost 300 at the peak in January. Adjusted for population, the current rate equates to about 200 in the U.S. The deaths plunged to one or two a day in May and June before rising to 20 in July. The number of new daily recorded infections and hospitalizations has been trending down since the summer. The country is now averaging about 750 new cases a day, compared with almost 13,000 in January. There are about 320 people hospitalized, down from almost 6,700 at the peak.

On Oct. 1, Portugal ditched most of its Covid-containment rules, but in many ways life in Lisbon is a throwback to the deepest days of the pandemic. Hand pumps dispensing disinfectant gel are ubiquitous and some churches still rope off seats to ensure social distancing even though it is no longer obligatory. The Covid-19 certificate is required at large events and masks are still mandatory on public transportation, in schools for students 10 and older, and for employees in shops, restaurants and bars.

Masks are still mandatory on Lisbon’s subway and other public transportation.
At the same time, subways are full. Lisbon’s fleet of rickshaw taxis, known by the Thai term tuk-tuk, whisk tourists along the narrow streets of the city’s old town. Nightlife pulsates in various parts of the city all week, tram lines popular with tourists skip stops because they are bursting with passengers and almost every day finds a new massive cruise ship docked at the harbor.

Portugal’s cautious return to normality, despite a vaccination rate that is the envy of public-health officials around the world, is being watched as a possible way forward for other countries as their vaccinations inch higher and they contemplate when to ditch their remaining restrictions. The Portuguese approach contrasts with the U.K.’s, where a combination of fewer vaccinated people and almost no restrictions has led to a surge in infections and a rising death rate . . . .
https://www.wsj.com/articles/endemic...d=hp_lead_pos7
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  #8138  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by destroycreate View Post
Speaking for the situation in Los Angeles...

It still feel like business areas, like the Wilshire Corridor and DTLA, are pretty dead. Sidewalks seem kinda of barren and there are lots of "For lease" signs even in popular retail areas like the high end stretch of Melrose in West Hollywood.
Activity levels in the areas of San Francisco frequented by residents seem nearly back to normal but not tourist areas although those are busier than I would have expected with the restrictions on international travel, air travel and so on that still exist. So many businesses still have not brought substantial number of employees back, though, that business areas--the Financial District--seem exceptionally lifeless during the day.

As for the "For Lease" signs and boarded up windows, I am afraid a lot of businesses that were feeling the effects of the shift to online shopping have taken advantage of covid to shut down bricks/mortar locations and won't be back. San Francisco continues to mandate a lot of sidewalk retail on the ground floors of new buildings even when so much of what already exists is unoccupied. I don't know what this means for the future but I am afraid it means a cityscape of ugly plywood on windows meant to display goods for sale. Maybe it's time to reassess whether we are simply "over-stored".
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  #8139  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2021, 8:47 PM
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What is Covid?

Btw I got my booster shot 3 days ago
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  #8140  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2021, 8:09 AM
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Wow really? I had no idea, I assumed everything there was back to normal. What a shame. My good friend from Seattle just spent a month traveling around there, he's 22 and it's his first visit to Europe. He didn't complain, but I guess he had no idea what to expect. What a terrible experience to see Spain without all the vibrance it typically has.
That’s almost definitely the case. I’ve been in Spain twice this year and it is not even close to normal. But if he’s never been, and he’s used to America (open container laws alone prevent a typical Spanish nightlife) especially a quieter city like Seattle, maybe he didn’t notice it.

France and Italy are more normal, once you’ve had your Covid pass checked, although that itself hinders the more fluid aspects of nightlife (ie easy bar hopping). And you still have to wear masks inside shops, so I had to avoid things like department stores where it’s hard to be in and out quickly. I was invited to see the Barber of Seville at La Scala in Milan when I was there a few weeks ago, but declined because watching hours of opera in a mask sounds like hell.

I’ve obviously continued to go to these places, but I go to them every year (if I lived in England and didn’t go to the Mediterranean countries regularly I would go insane). If it’s a “once in a lifetime” or bucket list trip for somebody, they should hold off until the bullshit is over.
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Last edited by 10023; Oct 25, 2021 at 10:06 AM.
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