Revoke Permits on Cruise Ships to Monterey during Coronavirus Outbreak

Revoke Permits on Cruise Ships to Monterey during Coronavirus Outbreak

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Protect Monterey Bay started this petition to City of Monterey

Cruise Ships incubate mass disease outbreaks among other harmful effects on our community and ocean sanctuary.  The first person to die of coronavirus in California, yesterday, was a passenger on the Princess cruise ship that traveled from San Francisco to Mexico in February 2020.  The City of Monterey must revoke the permits for the Princess ship carrying 5,000 people to anchor in Monterey harbor and discharge passengers on the city wharf 3/31, 4/14, and 4/28.  This is clearly not in the interests of our community health and welfare, or the general statewide interest and benefit.  The Governor of California won’t let the Princess ship implicated in the  California coronavirus death dock in San Francisco, but we are still hosting Princess ships in Monterey.

This issue isn’t a test of our toughness or stoicism. This is a test of our humanity and compassion for others in the community. A lot of people are going to get the coronavirus. Most won’t even feel it, or will have mild symptoms like the flu. But some 20% infected will have severe symptoms and will need ventilator support to breathe. If you are age 60-69 then the death rate is thought to be 3.5%. If you are 70-79 the death rate is 8%. 80+ the death rate 14.8%. Someone’s grandpa is going to be one of those people. Quite a few grandpas and grandmas. As well as people who are younger and have underlying health issues they have been fighting. People we know, love, value in our community.

We will get the virus here. But the experience and impact on the community can go in many different ways. The worst case scenario is that we get a sudden influx of sick patients that overwhelms our facilities, staff and equipment. The best case scenario is that we get it staggered, by ones and twos. Our local hospital only has 258 beds. They are all not sitting empty waiting for a big bolus of patients to arrive. The Princess in Japan resulted in over 700 coronavirus patients. Once the hospitals here are maxed out, other people needing medical attention will be impacted, possibly fatally. There are only so many ambulances, so many still healthy providers. People experiencing heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, needing dialysis, chemo, etc will be impacted by full hospitals and unavailable ambulances. There are articles from ER doctors on this issue.

So we want to manage risk. We do that by keeping the higher risk, lower yield mass gatherings from happening right now. We know that bringing in 5,000 people on a cruise ship is a proven mass outbreak risk. The Princess is coming here three times in four weeks, starting March 31. That is 15,000 exposures from passengers who have been confined in prolonged high density and high contact conditions. There are scholarly articles on why this makes the ships incubators. Aside from what happened on the Princess in Asia, cruise ships have experienced outbreaks of norovirus, e. Coli, influenza, chicken pox and measles over the past couple of years. There are articles from Microbiologists on this. The disease outbreaks are so prevalent that the CDC has a database available to track the outbreaks with their Vessel Sanitation Program.

We can’t stop the virus from coming here. But we can take prudent measures to slow the pace, scale and timing of its arrival. This will have direct impacts on survivability.  The more we delay and slow will save more lives. We do this not because we fear for our own health, but because we are thinking beyond ourselves to our larger community, and our most vulnerable citizens. 

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