Orlando Leaders Detail Potential New Rules for Disney, Universal

April 28, 2020, 6:25 PM · Florida's governor said that tomorrow he will announce his plan for reopening the state's economy, while today community leaders in Orange County worked through proposals for new rules governing businesses in the nation's theme park capital.

Local developer Chuck Whittall, who co-chairs a working group of Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force, detailed the proposals, which would require the use of face masks by employees and the widespread deployment of hand sanitizer.

Theme parks specifically would be required to have all employees wearing face masks and to offer touchless dispensers for hand sanitizer at the park's entrance as well as at the entrances and exits to all attractions. Parks would have to mark six-foot social distancing boundaries in queues, and employees would have to wipe down railings and other surfaces "regularly." Admissions would be limited to 50 percent of park capacity in a first phase of reopening and 75 percent in a second.

Employees would be subject to temperature checks to work, with those testing 100.4 degrees or above sent home. Park employees ages 65 and older would be encouraged to work from home, as would be the case in all business sectors.

Theme parks' restaurants and hotels presumably also would need to comply with new restrictions for those businesses, including the placement of hand sanitizer at all tables. Non-automatic doors would have to be kept open or staffed by an employee so that patrons would not have to touch them.

Hotels would be encouraged to require mobile check-in by guests, and front desks would have to be equipped with "sneeze guard" panels. Hotels would be required to remove coffee makers, mugs, and glasses from guest rooms and to quit stocking minibars. There would be no guest collateral, such as shampoo and body wash, offered in rooms except for single-use items.

You can watch a replay of the meeting here:

These proposals are suggestions at this point, although task force members expect to have a formal set of recommendations by week's end. Orange Country Mayor Jerry Demings would issue any local restrictions at some point after Governor Ron DeSantis makes his announcement.

Of course, Disney and Universal will be free to implement any additional restrictions beyond those mandated by the state or county. I have been told that Walt Disney World already has prepared to mandate the use of mobile check-in at its hotels when the resort reopens. Some of the proposed operational changes included in Universal Orlando's recent guest survey go beyond the ones detailed today.

Ultimately, restrictions on park capacities and social distancing rules might not end up being relevant if large numbers of tourists do not start coming back to the Orlando area once the parks reopen. For that to happen, people will need to have the money and confidence to travel again.

Will these plans be enough to help them feel that confidence?

Replies (45)

April 28, 2020 at 6:46 PM

Apologies if this is a repost — If these suggestions were implemented, then I’d be the first in line at Universal — it’s a nice mix of responding to safety concerns while not feeling draconian or excessive to attendees.

April 29, 2020 at 12:58 AM

Yep, as I figured, Florida goes before California in a lot of things. I still see WDW trying the phased "testing" of one park (probably DHS) before the others to see how it works.

April 29, 2020 at 4:52 AM

Most sounds OK to me, with a major exception being the reduced capacity policies. Just thinking about flying my family to Florida, having tickets bought, paying for parking and then not being able to get through the front gate. There is no way for someone to get fully compensated for something like that happening, especially when you consider PTO time from work. Even if you could get fully compensated to the point of not losing anything (except your mind), it still couldn’t be made right.

Actually, I don’t really understand the shampoo & other toiletry items not being provided in hotel rooms either. Maybe just change them out every time, even if they weren’t used by the prior guest. These are items that are used for cleansing, which controls the virus. If I touch a bar of soap, chances are very high that it’s to wash my hands with, and not just to handle for fun before I touch my face. Of course I can’t expect Hotels to comply with new soaps & shampoos provided each time a guest room turns over. After all, they expect us to believe that not changing bed sheets and towels each day during our stay is some sort of “save the planet” movement they are involved with.

The widespread hand sanitizer stations sound great, but assumes that the product is readily available (which it currently is not) in greater quantities than ever. Government agencies are also attacking the manufacturers of hand sanitizer right now with lawsuits, which probably doesn’t help the cause. You can’t make these products out to be a saving grace with one hand, while making them out to be villainous frauds with the other.

How do the park employees 65 and older work from home ???

April 29, 2020 at 4:33 AM

OK, this "Testing" conversation is just pissing me off, sorry to be so blunt. Does anyone think it's not desired? I work in manufacturing, it's just not so easy to build up massive production regardless of complexity and this is VERY complex.
This will only be carried out by the government.
Until there is supply to test the entire population why would theme parks get testing units before all others?
The absolutely only option is sanitation and best practices with disclaimers, people will come, just need workers willing to work.
Last question on testing, can you test every day? if no, then what is the point? To eliminate the virus you would need to lock the population down for 2 weeks and test the world in that time. Is that possible?

April 29, 2020 at 7:05 AM

6-foot distancing is great. But the virus is primarily spread through the air. When you are in an indoor space, the aerosols simply won't dissipate. They will travel via the airflow pathways of the air circulation system and recycle around and around the building. Unless every conditioned space in the park is going to have the HVAC system retrofit with higher than MERV filtration (such as HEPA or ULPA), this is false sense of security. And it isn't as simple as just adding on this filtration. The higher the filtration's ability to remove viruses from the air, the more of an impact it has on the static pressure/airflow of the HVAC system. So there are design considerations. There is a great article in today's New York Times talking about the subject of airborne spread.

And it also doesn't address the mass ejection of aerosols when people laugh, yell or scream on attractions ... indoors or outdoors. All of the yelling and screaming is what caused the Bergamo, Italy soccer game to be ground zero for infection.

Sorry, folks. I won't be back anytime soon, regardless of these increased protocols. They are step in the right direction, I suppose. But a very false sense of security. It is a dangerous combination, because people already suspend the rules of the real world when visiting Disney and Universal.

And this won't just be a Florida issue. People will visit, then return home to locations all over the place - potentially spreading the virus even faster. Just look at the cell phone location tracking data right as the spring training games ended in Florida. It shows a mass exodus to areas all along the east coast and into the center of the country. I couldn't think of a faster, more efficient way to accelerate the spread than reopening an international travel destination.

April 29, 2020 at 7:22 AM

Once the parks open the probability of the virus spreading faster than ever before is very real. It doesn't matter if it's 5% or 100% capacity, it's going to happen.

If passholders are allowed to visit, I'll consider going back to the parks for my usual walk after a few weeks, but it'll be almost at elimination and/or vaccine time before I go on any rides. They are the classic example of a petri dish.

If Disney/Universal want to control the crowds and the spread of the virus, the only way to do it is by allowing on-site guests only. Get the people back in the hotels, test them, and test them again, and see how it goes.

If they are going to start opening up, then please don't just do it, but do it right, for the health and safety of everyone going back to the parks.

April 29, 2020 at 8:57 AM

I'll again reiterate that these buffoons have no idea what the parks look like when they are at 50% capacity. The fact of the matter is that the "capacity" of most theme parks is massive, and that 50% of that attendance would allow enough guests inside that would be similar to levels during an average week in September or January. If you've ever visited the Orlando parks during these times, the parks are by no means packed, but there are enough people to generate 60-90 minute lines that occasionally spill out into pathways (without applying social distancing in queues) along with relatively dense crowds on pathways leading to and around major attractions (think Everest and MK Tomorrowland attractions).

I would hope that the 50% number is just guidance and that park operators will have enough sense to know that you simply can't observe CDC recommendations on social distancing while allowing 30-50k people into a theme park.

I think the remote check in requirement is something that has been coming for some time to reduce labor costs manning hotel front desks (major chains have been slowly doing this for the past 3-5 years). In fact, I think in order to control and limit crowds, Disney and Universal might require all theme park guests to be staying in an on-site hotel, and all other guests would enter a lottery/pre-reservation system to gain admission.

April 29, 2020 at 10:01 AM

I think it sounds like a number to me too. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if the park is 25, 50 or 100% capacity. If they’re crowding one section, eg batuu, then that measure is a fig leaf.

I think you Americans are moving too fast. The only countries with a theme park presence that on the stats I think could even look at opening now are China, and Australia.

April 29, 2020 at 11:06 AM

@Russell Meyer: Well, it is Florida so "buffoons" is a good term (I used to live there) and the fact they've had beaches open shows they have little understanding of how this works. As I've said in other threads, a difference between how things are going there and in California which affects things but it does seem too many are assuming "the worst is passed" and ready to go back to business, ignoring the risks.

April 29, 2020 at 11:27 AM

Jeremy--If it was anywhere near as easy to catch it as you and the NY Times believes Orlando would have the same proportion of cases as NY and the most affected parts of Italy and France right now. Which is most, most definately does not. Despite people traveling from all over the world to come in contact with cast members and workers all over the city. Especially, Brazil with a large and growing quickly number of cases. The NY Times credibility is 50/50. A coin Flip. When it comes to stories about the Pres. it goes down to 5 percent chance of being completely true. The virus (like any viruses) can be present somewhere in a small concentration. It requires a fairly large concentration to actually infect someone.

April 29, 2020 at 12:26 PM

@davedisney It's always funny to see a MAGA cult member come through, you poor folks can't seem to talk about anything but the propaganda being pushed into your minds by Fox News. This thread is about opening amusement parks, not about whether your crazed leader thinks a particular news paper is fair to him, hahaha.

April 29, 2020 at 2:15 PM

I would think that a 50% capacity reduction would mean that the parks would be available on a reservation-only basis. They can't risk having to turn away large numbers of people (and if the crowds are actually lower than 50%, no one would be turned away anyway).

As I've mentioned before, and based on what Russell wrote above, I think 25% capacity would be a lot better, with the understanding that Disney et. al. would be forced to increase admission prices considerably. Also, virtual queues at all rides, to prevent clusters of people in indoor or outdoor queues.

As for temperature checks for employees, of course that makes sense. But it doesn't make much sense to leave out temperature checks for guests! I know that would piss off some unreasonable people, but most would accept it, just as we now put up with metal detectors and bag checks. If it's for everyone's safety, most people will understand.

April 29, 2020 at 2:24 PM

MikeW and anyone else commenting on beaches. The democrat calif gov and lower level democrats, has been allowing people on beaches as well outside of LA county. The Gov said the other day "he was concerned any might do something about it" but has not. The fact of the matter is tons and tons of people are putting on lots of weight while unemployed. Long term that will cumulative in several million lost years of life thoughout the united states population from all medical causes of death. Multiply that for the world. Quoting from the movie ARGO (letting people go back to work, phased through may) is the best of the bad plans.

April 29, 2020 at 2:31 PM

the colonel (of what i ask) totally ignored the actual content/point of what I wrote. The orlando area has a rather muted number of cases. The villages (130,000 people retirement community) was predicted to be death city. Those people go to WDW constantly as anyone passing that exit in the around 10pm can tell you. Their cases are very low. Cases among cast members are very low. The virus was active all of feb up through march 17 when the parks closed. Yet not that many cases. Why? Theme parks are not a huge speader. Mass transit is. Everywhere in the world that is hit really really bad has huge mass transit system and high density. Which the climate change crowd belonging to one political party always wants to create denser and denser urban cities. I have heard absolutely no rethinking of this by those thinkers on any newscast or on social media

April 29, 2020 at 4:16 PM

@davedisney: Cases are rising in Iowa, hardly a "huge urban center" and Florida is seeing a spike. The fact that CDC is now saying death tolls could be even higher than suspected shows that reopening too soon is a bad idea.

April 29, 2020 at 4:24 PM

Am I the only one who finds the almost constant political bickering around this terrible disease sickening? I thought Americans were supposed to care for each other and work for a common good. Where'd that go? Yesterday, almost 2,500 people died from this disease. Not some fodder for a Marvel villain, but real people. Unfortunately, they died in ICU units or at home. Maybe if five 747's smashed into the ground and burned on the evening news, people might care about them.

April 29, 2020 at 5:41 PM


Look at the graphs. The idea that the US has controlled this outbreak in any significant way is absurd. Numbers are still rising, maybe not exponentially but they are going up. You're delusional if you think that reopening your economy now will not lead to anything more than increased deaths.

Opening theme parks where people travel from all over the country will lead to a nice nesting ground for viral spread that people then take home interstate with them. People do not know how to wear masks properly, making them next to useless. People don't know how to wash their hands properly.

An infected person coughs in a poorly fitted mask, aerosol droplets land on the hand rail in a queue. The next person touches the rail then scratches their face.
This is not a far fetched occurrence. I'm a doctor in a hospital, I see how people are managing this in the community. It will spread.

I'm really disappointed in some people's attitudes on this site. It seems that going to Disneyland is more important than controlling the spread of disease that is killing tens of thousands. For it to occur safely, you have to have control of the virus.

Your President had spread dangerous disinformation, had mocked real efforts to save lives in your country and has absolved himself from any responsibility regarding the biggest loss of American lives since World War 2. If you want leadership, look elsewhere, maybe to some of the governors who have managed to minimise the spread in their states.

April 29, 2020 at 5:56 PM

MikeW may want to look at more than one day's numbers before being so critical. FLorida has a rise yesterday. I said that in a post on the other thread on TPI. However, sometimes nursing homes don't report death to the state right away. That is likely what happened. Because yesterday florida was 82 deaths. Today's numbers are miraculously 47 deaths. For the entire large state. Which is where they have been most days for several weeks now. California's deaths today is eleven (11). In the entire state that is the largest in the nation!!. Iowa did have a substantial increase today. But, all three states. And, most states, are substantially below the normal deaths for flu in the avg flu year. Now. Social distancing and people wearing masks likely does make the numbers lower. But. When we were told we had to go into lockdown all the gov's said it was to prevent the hospitals from being overloaded. That has been accomplished. The only state that has any chance of being close to capacity if they open are new york and perhaps new jersey. Because of the dense population and mass transit that joe biden has championed, as a climate change activist. I have suggested many mitigation techniques to open the theme parks. Not just going to the old way, until we see the numbers for a while under modified opening techniques.

April 29, 2020 at 7:36 PM

I love all the Trump bashers who just spout CNN talking points. The guy is not perfect and can sound stupid a lot, but what he is doing is hardly normal republican norms. People expect perfection for something nobody was prepared for, Obama did not prepare us for this but nobody says a damn thing.
The amount of money the government is spending it most likely driving the repubs nuts.
@grant crowford, what responsibility? He has given EVERY governor, EVERYTHING they asked for. I live in NY and listen to Cuomo every single day. If you erase the politics, they sound extremely similar, and behind political doors they are getting along and working very well together.

April 29, 2020 at 7:55 PM

Just a quick correction to someone’s comment above this is not an airborn virus. It is spread by the amount of viral load you are exposed to. This is found even on the CDC’s own website if you read all the information about COVID-19(SARS) Masks only help in suppressing moisture droplets from being spread if a sneeze or cough occurs. There is also no way to truly disinfect any surface in a short time span as most require a surface wait time of 10min or more to be effective. I will gladly be going to WDW and Universal once they are open again as life is an inherent risk and I have no desire to hide from it.

April 29, 2020 at 10:10 PM

@MrTorrance: Um, actually, Obama did help prepare us for this with a pandemic response team that would have been able to cut this off from reaching serious levels....except Trump dismantled it in 2018. Obama has been out of office for over three years, how is he to blame for this?

April 29, 2020 at 10:24 PM

MrTorrance, Obama had left in place the infrastructure to help identify these outbreaks in China, and manage it in the USA. Trump either severely diminished the capacity of these agencies or dismantled them entirely. He said that he did not want to pay for services that weren't needed, and if they were required they knew where the people were and could get them back at a moment's notice. Did they bring any of these people back? No, no they did not.

The outgoing Obama administration ran Trump officials through an exercise regarding the response to a pandemic. Bush also laid the foundations for this, recognising that a major pandemic was a huge threat to the US and the world at large. Last year your Department of Health and Human Services ran an exercise examining the implications of a respiratory infection originating in China and leading to a pandemic. This identified the key weaknesses in the US preparation for such an event. There is no defense for saying noone was prepared for this. Trump is culpable.

I couldn't care if republicans are upset if they are spending money on saving their own citizens lives. The party is repugnant in their politics. They gave the top earners a tax break leading to a trillion dollar annual budget deficit, yet balk at supporting people who can't afford rent, food or medicine.

As for Trump giving EVERY governor EVERYTHING they want. Seriously??? They've been asking for weeks for more access to testing kits. Testing is still not where it needs to be (it certainly is improving). When addressing shortages of PPE and ventilators he mocked people openly. He's basically outright said that if governors want anything from him they have to publicly praise him and say what a good job he's doing.

His main responsibility isn't necessarily in supplying PPE, testing and ventilators (it is a large component though). It is in providing leadership to a nation under siege. He has not offered good advice or leadership. He presents 3 hour long sessions of rambling disorganised nonsense littered with self adulation.

I live in a country of 25 million people where the 1st 100 cases were identified around the same time as the US. We now have 89 people dead and 100 new cases identified over the last week. Our "conservative" federal government and "liberal" state government have both done an exceptional job in managing this crisis, and we can look at slowly reopening our economy safely. It can be done.

The fact that the most wealthy country in the world with 4.25% of the global population accounts for 1/3 of the COVID-19 cases and 1/4 of the deaths should alarm you. Erasing politics from this, there's 1 person more responsible than anyone for the remarkable failure of the US handling of this crisis. His name isn't Obama.

I'm sorry if I'm getting political. I'd like to go to the US next year to visit family and go to Disneyland. I like the US a lot, and the people are mostly awesome. Unfortunately it will likely be on a no-fly list for my country for a long time.

April 29, 2020 at 10:38 PM

Trump did not dismantle anything. He consolidate on part of an agency into another agency. No disease control experts lost their jobs. that is total BBC/CNN fake news lies. The agency responsible to monitor pandemics in the NIH (the one that Dr Fauci is the head of the pandemic unit) and the CDC. I just looked it up. The trump admin has given the NIH a budget rise of double the rate of US inflation thoughout the president's tenure. I know actual facts can be inconveinent.

April 29, 2020 at 11:33 PM

As someone excellently put it, what Trump did is just like if you needed your car fixed only to find the repair shop had been combined with the sales department of the local hardware store and all the mechanics reassigned to places that had little impact on car repair.


April 30, 2020 at 12:53 AM

Mike W can explain to me where Dr fauci and Dr Birks were reassigned to. Oh. That's right. The scientists in the infectious disease dept's were no re assigned anywhere. If what you were saying had any validity at all, the surrogates for Joe Biden in the washington press core would be hounding the president on it every day. Instead of trying to debate him and Dr birks on how many american's have been tested. And. Losing badly since we have tested more people per capita than every nation on earth, except for a few small ones like Iceland.

April 30, 2020 at 12:54 AM

As I said, he dismantled the group and in reassigning them elsewhere diminished their capacity. Every year Trump has tried to reduce the budgets of both the NIH and the CDC, but congress has increased them. He does not care about the health of Americans, during a pandemic or otherwise. He has ignored his advisors from the start and undermines them at every opportunity. His lack of leadership and accountability have led to a financial and health disaster of historic proportions. Defend him, whatever. Just don't go suggesting that opening theme parks at this stage is sensible., It will lead to avoidable deaths that sensible management of this crisis could avoid.

April 30, 2020 at 2:12 AM

@davedisney: And did Trump listen to any advice of Fauci? No, he spent months ranting about this being a "hoax" and playing golf. And you're ignoring how CDC and others are warning on a second wave which can be likely if we reopen too soon. That is our key issue, that in six weeks, more Americans have died of this virus than attended the last Super Bowl (and it could be higher) and it will be more devastating if we can't cut it down fast.

April 30, 2020 at 2:45 AM

Hey Mike,
We are still at Flu level deaths and Cancer deaths are about 10x where we are at per year. Do we shut down the world for cancer?
Everything you say is a CNN talking point. Yes, Trump WANTED to cut the budget but the ACTUAL spending increased, do some research. Obama was in the WH for 8 years and left all states completely unprepared for this, you want Trump to fix in 3? Cuomo could have increased his ventilator capacity a few years ago but didn't see it necessary, now he is some sort of god on the left for his response?
I say no politician is to blame, left or right, but somehow only Trump is to blame?
Do you know anything about supply chain an manufacturing? There is an actual limit to the amount of test kits that can possibly be manufactured. With the Trillions we are spending do you really think anyone would not buy them if available?
Also, do you want me to gather all the videos of left leaning governors telling people in late February and early March that they should go out and do whatever they want, this is not a big deal (Pelosi, Cuomo)?

April 30, 2020 at 5:13 AM

Why would you shut down the world for cancer?

April 30, 2020 at 7:05 AM

>> We are still at Flu level deaths

No, we aren’t.

The CDC estimates the US faces 24-62k Flu deaths per annum.

If you aren’t already over the 62k figure for hospital Covid confirmed deaths as I post this, you will probably be over it by the time you read this. So even if you stopped everyone dying right now, you’d be over even “really bad flu” level

There are further deaths on top of this. Between March 1 and April 4 in the US there were 15k more deaths than normal not attributed to Covid-19. 8k In the same period are attributed to COVID-19. The implication is many of that 15k if not almost all of it were COVID deaths but didn’t use the right magic words to be counted as COVID deaths .

>> Do we shut down the world for cancer?

We essentially shut the asbestos industry due to Cancer, and that’s not the only one. We demolish buildings to avoid it.

April 30, 2020 at 11:21 AM

@Chad H: I have lost count how many people actually pull the "but annual deaths" line, ignoring the tiny difference between tens of thousands of deaths spread over 12 months and the same amount in six weeks.

And how cancer is not a contagious disease you can catch just being within six feet of people. Then again, someone who claims Obama is more at fault for this clearly is not thinking rationally....

April 30, 2020 at 11:59 AM

A few observations:

1. A lot of people are cherry-picking their favorite statistic to support their position. That's okay, but are you really capturing the true situation or the situation as you view it through your perspective? And comparing different locales is like comparing apples and oranges. I'm not going to go into them, but there are way too many variables that can affect the data, and make it useless for comparison.

If you want to look at statistics, why don't you compare the average daily number of people who died from all causes in the US before the coronavirus pandemic to the daily number people who died from all causes during the pandemic? I hit the CDC website and the US Census website and did a few calculations and determined that roughly 7870 people should be dying from all causes on average every day. If you want to see the effect that COVID-19 is having, just track the difference between the average expected daily death total (7870) and the actual daily death total. By looking at the big numbers over a period of time, you eliminate interpretation bias.

2. It appears like most politicians are doing a pretty good job in a thankless situation. You may disagree with that assessment because of your personal political biases, but perhaps you might want step away from your personal point of view and look at their actions in light of all of the demands being put upon them by their constitutes - and I mean all of their constituents and not just the people who think like you. They have to answer to many masters.

3. I'm also disturbed by the attitude that some internationals have when it comes to criticizing the actions of our political leaders. Keep in mind, you've got no skin in the game. If Donald Trump acts like a knucklehead sometimes (and he does) that's an American problem, and we're the ones who pay the price for his mistakes. Criticism from someone overseas comes across as just plain arrogant, and my suggestion would be to mind your own backyard, please.

April 30, 2020 at 1:30 PM

In fact Dr. Fauci said covid 19 was not going to affect the lives of most american's in feb. About a week later the president did the ban of travel on china. Which joe biden strongly opposed and called racist. A week after that the president banned travel from europe. Which joe biden again called racist and xenophobic. Those 2 actions alone by the president has likely saved 100 thousand lives. Which Joe biden, Hilary Clinton and every other top democrat strongly opposed on the day they were enacted. As to " a hoax", I watched that news conference live. The president said the media misquoting him about the corona virus was a hoax. At not Point did he call the corona or covid 19 (really the CCP virus) a hoax.

April 30, 2020 at 2:20 PM

>> Those 2 actions alone by the president has likely saved 100 thousand lives

How on earth do you calculate that figure?

April 30, 2020 at 3:57 PM

Tim, I understand as a foreigner my opinion may not be welcome. Fair enough. I have close family in the US, and I would like to revisit family and theme parks soon. This is also one of my favourite websites, and if I'm going too be involved in it I'll give my opinion.

Trump made the right decision in closing the border to China, but it's unlikely he saved many lives by doing so. That act slowed the spread to the US and bought time. He then squandered the next several weeks by not preparing and pretending it would never affect the US.

As for US being number 1 in testing, check the facts. You're about 40th, behind small countries like Russia, Canada, Australia, pretty much every western European country and many others. Trump says you're number 1, but he lies.

Pretending the US is doing well in this situation is ignorant. Some individual states are doing well and should be commended. Opening parks and the economy without adequate disease control (You don't have control) of adequate testing and tracing systems in place will lead top another spike and tens of thousands more deaths. This can be beaten, but it takes time and fortitude.

Going too a theme park currently and saying you're willing to take the risk is plain selfish. As fit, healthy younger people the risk you take is minimal. All the people you spread it to though potentially take a much bigger risk. The way to beat this thing is by not thinking about yourself, but the community as a whole.

Stay safe all.


April 30, 2020 at 6:05 PM

Grant, I get what you're saying about Donald Trump. Instead of being a smooth liar like most politicians, he's a blustery liar - in your face and defiant. That doesn't play well with most people, especially those folks who are opposed to him politically. But as someone who's become a reluctant supporter of the President, I'm astounded at how effectively he's gotten into the heads of the news media and the democrats. He makes every story about him, and his opponents (news media, democrats, Brian Emery, etc.) fall for his baiting every time. Do any of them ever learn? He owns them. (That's for you, Brian.)

Please don't confuse my respect for the political leaders (the President, governors, mayors, councilmen, etc.) in a no-win situation as a statement that I think the USA is doing well with dealing with the pandemic. I look at a ton of statistics on several sites (thank you for the worldometers.info link BTW), and I truly don't know how well we're doing as a country. Should I use the statistics that the USA has 1/3 of the confirmed cases but only 1/4 of the confirmed deaths as confirmation that we've got our corner of the pandemic under control, or should I cherry-pick another statistic that makes us look bad? There's really not a good answer out there.

I also agree with you that opening up too soon may cause a spike in new cases, but instead of looking at this as a disaster in the making, maybe we should step back and let the people and the states who want to be viral crash test dummies find out for us. Yes, I know that their actions affect us all, and innocent people will die, but maybe this is the price we have to pay as a society to be able to effectively enforce the measures that we think we need to employ to control the pandemic.

Here's another big reason to turn loose the barbarian hordes. Of all of the hundreds of people that my wife and I know personally, only one person has been visibly sick with the virus. Unless you work in a retirement facility or you're in healthcare, most people are in the same situation. That has a dangerous effect on believe-ability, and for a fair chunk of the population, this pandemic is not real in a personal sense. That's not my personal opinion, but I'm hearing it more and more.

So, 'nuf said on my part. Gotta go. Dinner's about to be put on the table.

May 1, 2020 at 4:31 AM

Tim, I'm not adverse to the idea of opening an area to see what the impact would be. It makes sense and there will be deaths no matter what you do. To do that most effectively testing and tracing should be in place to monitor things. The advantage of delaying this is that the more control you have with lower incidence of infected people, the lower the risk of a significant flare up and the more controlled it can be.

To open highly tourists areas like theme parks or (heaven forbid) Vegas is dangerous since people travel from all over the country (and potentially world). This means that tracing becomes almost impossible and the spread of disease becomes far reaching. This is even more concerning in destination parks like Disney and Universal. If you could close borders to travel, it would make it far safer (my understanding is that that would be heresy in the US).

I do know doctors in the US in areas significantly affected. It is not a pretty scene. I'm thankful that where I live we are not so profoundly affected and I don't have to endure that. This is because in my community it's been taken seriously and people are doing the right thing, and I have them to thank for that. Effective leadership is largely responsible for that, which is something identifiable in most countries or states that are doing well.

If this pandemic seems distant and like it doesn't affect you individually, understand that it is real (not talking to you specifically here Tim). Every individual's decisions are what eventually lead to the community as a whole beating this pandemic. We all have to make sacrifices, some much greater than others. If not going to Disneyland this summer is too much to endure, think of those who have lost loved ones, jobs or houses and what they are going through.

April 30, 2020 at 10:04 PM

@Grantcrawford nails a key issue: People in places where cases are very low think it's no big deal, ignoring how easily it can spread. Even in Illinois, a feeling of "Chicago can be shut down but not the rest of the state," when viruses don't care about county lines. Really, unless it truly happens in huge numbers before them, some folks aren't going to get how serious this is.

May 1, 2020 at 2:26 PM

Viruses do care and kill intensely in high density cities with lots of mass transit. Which almost all candidates with a D beside their name heavily promote at every turn. Most commonly citing the climate as a justification, but also using other arguments for high density, mass transit that are not very convincing once you research the issues with thoughfulness

May 2, 2020 at 8:13 PM

So, davedisney, let me see if I've got this right:

Bad: public buses, subways, and commuter rail

Good: airports, interstate highways, train stations, and the suburban street that runs in front of your house

And what in the world do democrats and funding for mass transit have to do with the theme of this thread?

May 3, 2020 at 7:06 AM

>> Viruses do care and kill intensely in high density cities with lots of mass transit. Which almost all candidates with a D beside their name heavily promote at every turn.

And respiratory viruses, including this one, have a higher kill rate in areas where pollution is higher.

Guess what can help reduce pollution? Using mass transit.

May 3, 2020 at 6:24 PM

Tim-Grant, MikeW, Me and You veered (somewhat) off of Robert's start thread a couple of days ago. But. It is still related. As a tourist, I love cheap mass transit. But, in a contagion it's a death trap. I went to Italy, France and Germany last summer. Italy and France has the most crammed in, packed in like cattle/sandines mass transit I have ever seen outside of NY city. Guess where the most deaths rate in the world are. Those cities/countries and China. (I presume mass transit in wuhan was very packed too). For the purposes of both having much lower deaths rates in a contagion (and being more conveinent for the consumer), cars are preferable. Yes. Cars also promote lower influenza rates as well as the covid/CCP virus. train stations and planes are still a form of mass transit. Mass transit is still needed in some places for economies to function well and for middle class people to be more prosperous. But. the moral of this pandemic is we want to reduce our dependence on mass transit, manufacturing from China, and transition to lower density cities that are more sustainable and better protect our health from this and future contagions. As well, as the regular yearly influenza

May 3, 2020 at 6:34 PM

Chad H--I am glad that you made that point. Because I live in a county of one million people that also has the worst pollution rate in the entire united states of america. I have mild asthma, that will personally get worse as I age. So. It would be a plus to have lower pollution (I do know pollution in the USA has already been reduced what it was in 1980 by half. Before covid). But. I am not willing to condemn my child to a life of poverty for me to live a couple of yrs longer. Being, that it would require reducing air travel by a large amount (and cars as well) in order to achieve that result. Back to your main point----One million people here. 8 covid deaths. Not a misprint eight out of one million. There is a bus system here, but not that much of the population uses it. It's actually in the lower ten percent of wealth in the county in california. Not entitled rich people. Hard working, patriotic people. A very diverse population and somehow we don't have racial animosities, either. Because it's a fairly conservative area.

May 4, 2020 at 5:24 PM

Chad and Mike. By the time you are literally in a police state it is too late. At that point, the only was to resist is civil war or be slaves and not have free speech. The people of hong kong are currently pondering which one to do. . It would be really nice, to not let it get to that point. Sadly, for the people of hong kong they are facing an army of 10 million soldiers or so that seems determined to shut them up and impose totalitarianism on them. Even in hong kong, protestors do not just disappear, as you claim. The communist let them protest for several months. Then, arrested several hundred of the protest leaders once the world's attention was distracted from hong kong. Even the communist gov, left all of the other leaders untouched. With the exception (that since they participated in a protest) they now have lost their right to travel to mainland china or ever leave the country for a vacation until they prove their loyalty to the communist party. For most people, that is punishment enough to never protest the government again. Governor's are already talking openly about keeping constant eyes on the entire US population through a phone app. They may say voluntary, but a few years after it begins it will cease to be voluntary. Or. be voluntary, but you cannot go on a plane without cooperating with the tracking app. Which makes it mandatory for anyone who wants to have a decent leisure life. Like go to walt disney world

May 4, 2020 at 5:32 PM

If the death rate does start doubling every 7 days again, we can shut down the economy a second time for a month or a month and a half. At this point 2 full months in (as of may 15, it takes time for most businesses to resume even with permission) we are at the point of significantly diminishing returns. The amount of deaths being prevented at the moment is not worth condemning the middle class to poverty for the next 25 yrs. Yes. I said it. Save it on your hard drive when I run for office.

As one example. I looked at the news channels you tube videos for columbus ohio today. One of the bigger cities in Ohio. They cited more people dead over the last 7 days to drug overdoses alone, than corona virus. And. Ohio is one of the top 10 hit states per capita for the corona virus. the majority of states are in better shape than ohio, yet are still suffering a similar amount of drug overdoses per capita. Not even considering the amount of general suicides in the last 15 days.

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