European theme parks closing again with Covid resurgence, bad news for California operators

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The latest wave of COVID-19 outbreaks spreading across Europe that have closed nearly all of the continent’s top theme parks could have an impact on the reopening of Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and other California theme parks. Government officials have ordered theme parks to close in England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands as part of a string of national lockdowns amid a continent-wide spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Read more from The Orange County Register.

The question I have is this--

Is there any *evidence* that Europe's amusement parks are contributing, causing, or worsening the pandemic there?

I don't know what they know about how people are getting sick, but my understanding is that the best evidence we now have is that most people are catching and distributing the virus *at home*. It's long-duration close contact with contagious individuals, something that really doesn't happen that much when you're in an amusement park, or indeed in almost any public place. I'd say the major exceptions are walking tours, public transit, and (unfortunately) theaters (of any kind). Restaurants are a special high-risk case, for which special mitigation is employed, and amusement parks contain queues which are also high risk, but again they tend to use special mitigation to reduce that risk.

So how much of this really boils down to a response to the demand to "DO SOMETHING!" about the case spike?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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kpjb's avatar

RideMan said:

(unfortunately) theaters (of any kind).

Not the drive in!


Hi

kpjb said:

RideMan said:

(unfortunately) theaters (of any kind).

Not the drive in!

Unacceptable. On a lighter note, the lockdown in Wales is slowly easing.

RideMan said:

The question I have is this--

Is there any *evidence* that Europe's amusement parks are contributing, causing, or worsening the pandemic there?

No. But it sounds like over there they are pretty much shutting everything down again, so it wouldn't make sense to *only* keep amusement parks open when they are going into a second lockdown with much more serious and strict guidelines than anything we've done here in the US. Anything that's non-essential is closing again, and I can't imagine anyone trying to argue that a day out at the park is essential.

Obvious point. And again, there seems to be some evidence that the lockdowns even as practiced here were not nearly as effective as hoped; again, most infection seems to be happening in private, where effective controls can't be applied.

I wonder how it would be possible to develop policies that encourage people to gather safely in public settings as a means of discouraging unsafe private gatherings...I mean, I don't even know what that would look like...

(I wasn't able to read the original article, so the only real info I have comes from the headline and what I pick up from elsewhere. Sorry, $NEWSPAPER, I want to read one article. I don't want you to spam me daily with local news I don't care about.)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Jeff's avatar

We should keep in mind that the population density of much of Europe is very, very different. You can also cross a dozen countries, driving, in less time than it takes to cross the United States. If the sparsely populated Dakotas can "achieve" 130+ cases per 100k, imagine what France could potentially do with 30x the density.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

RideMan said:

(I wasn't able to read the original article, so the only real info I have comes from the headline and what I pick up from elsewhere. Sorry, $NEWSPAPER, I want to read one article. I don't want you to spam me daily with local news I don't care about.)

Could be worse. You could be in Europe where a sizeable portion of American journalism is blocked "due to legal reasons" – usually with a platitude about how "our European readers are important to us" more than two years and change after the GDPR became law.


Jeff's avatar

And it's a dumb "legal" argument anyway. What consequence is there for an American newspaper who doesn't conform to GDPR?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Maybe they'll reopen in some small fashion by the end of the year like Carowinds did? We do have a presumptive vaccine that's coming not too far along.

Jeff's avatar

And by "not too far along" you mean you and I might get it in six months if we're lucky.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

And I might get it in 5.

The idea that we should reopen stuff because we'll have a vaccine in 6 to 9 months is exactly backward. We should maintain mitigating measures because they are worth more if a vaccine is around the corner. It would be really sad to have a spike in deaths just before the vaccine came out because society stood up before the finish line.

(This is not a judgment on the wisdom/folly of opening amusement parks specifically.)

Jeff's avatar

No, I think your point is correct. We don't stop using masks and crowd into bars because a few people get the vaccine. If we do the work now though, we do come out of it faster once the vaccines are readily available.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

kpjb's avatar

All the people who stand up as soon as the airplane taxis to the gate are gonna be the ones who give up all mitigation as soon as the vaccine is announced.


Hi

Jeff's avatar

"If you are in Zone 6, please back away from the gate so those boarding in the other zones may board first!"


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

99er's avatar

I hate Gate Lice. You bought the cheapest ticket, you're not boarding first.


-Chris

Vater's avatar

I never understood the urgency to board a plane immediately. I was sitting in the terminal, now I'm sitting on the plane. Yay?

99er's avatar

I've never understood either. Aside from Southwest everyone has an assigned seat so getting in line early doesn't equal a better seat. Getting to your seat first just means you'll likely have to get up at some point unless you're window.


-Chris

Vater's avatar

Except for pissing off the folks in first class, I can’t comprehend for the life of me why planes aren’t loaded in sections, beginning in the rear.

...of the plane.

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