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gowlerk

TI Covid-19 poll

Are you willing to do tandems?  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you willing to do tandems despite social distancing recommendation?

    • Yes
      27
    • No
      14


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Similar to the sport jumper poll in the general Forum. When the DZ you do tandems at reopens are you going to be willing to harness up and jump with strangers? In the context that social distancing is still recommended. If you like, please post if you are older, younger, depend on tandem income, or any other factors that you will use to decide.

Personally I'm 63 years old and I'm a partner with others in our DZ. So I have real skin in the game and I'm thinking I don't want to take that kind of chance.

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That's an interesting position for you to be in. Being invested in the dz, you'll want tandems to resume when they can, but if you're unwilling to do them yourself, how will you feel about allowing others to?...

Another factor is headwear. Most TI's, like most jumpers these days, wear full face helmets. Other TI's wear open face, or no helmet at all. Some old schoolers still wear frap hats. Myself, I've never liked full face, I always liked the wind in my face. Being old school (my 41-year anniversary was Saturday), I was a frap hat guy for most of that time. Some years ago I finally went to open face helmet for AFF and fun jumps, but still wore a frap hat for tandems. So a question would be, and I suppose the answer would vary for different helmets, is how much air gets in under the neck of a full face. My thought is that the full face would protect you from most of the wind (their breath), but what does get in would remain trapped in there, perhaps making it more likely that you'll inhale it. Hmmm...

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(edited)

I don't think a full face will do shit! Most are vented to keep the visor from fogging. The airflow in freefall is going to be coming up from the student. I have cleaned some nasty snot off my full face visor from students that didn't have the common sense to reschedule their jump despite being sick, or the courtesy to disclose that extra information to me.

Jump with a full face and a customer who chain smokes cigarretes, or has a unique body odor due to ethnic food, and you will still smell it in freefall, sometimes more than when you were sitting in the plane. Blech. >.<

You also have to consider the plane ride to altitude.

Edited by DougH

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(edited)

I dont think it matters. there arnt going to be that many tandems for a long time. It's not exactly tourist season considering current world events.I think DZs are going to be running lean for awhile. Fun jumpers will take a larger portion of the market share for a bit.

Edited by Westerly

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(edited)

A review of the situation:

Nothing substantial has changed biologically regarding the coronavirus.  It still is happy to infect whenever and wherever it finds a host.  There is not yet a proven safe & effective vaccine available, although that will eventually change.  The only reason numbers currently are down is due to us starving the virus of new victims. As new hosts become available, the numbers will rise, especially the easier we make it for the virus to find a warm, moist host.  

We do not yet know everything about this virus, but we do know this one is especially contagious.  Masks by themselves are proven not sufficient to stop infection. Good masks, goggles/face shields, 6' distance, frequent hand washing, avoiding eyes/mouth/nose contact with infected media, all together help in greatly reducing risk of infection, but may not be totally effective 100%.

One can be infected but asymptomatic and spread the virus unaware to family, friends and co-workers.  Symptoms vary, and can take a week or more to manifest, if at all.  In some cases, hospitalization may follow about a week later, sedated intubation may follow a week after that.  In extreme cases, death may follow quickly, or take weeks, or one may recover completely quickly or slowly, or recovery may result in lingering, perhaps permanent damage to certain organs and/or senses.  The elderly and health-compromised are most at risk, but victims can come in any age and health status.  Recovering survivors of those sick enough to be hospitalized describe an extremely unpleasent experience.

As skydivers, we are used to understanding risks and devising technology, methodology and training to mitigate those risks.  Good luck is always welcome, but we know better than to rely on it, because we know just how unreliable luck is.  

With careful and committed mitigation, we may know just enough to safely resume sport jumping, perhaps even student jumps.  I am not at all convinced we yet know enough to safely resume Tandem jumping.  For those choosing to Tandem jump at this time, please let us know the mitigation protocols you've implemented and how they are working.  Any obvious symptoms should start manifesting some 2 weeks following infection.  

Edited by skyguyscott
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I would love to hear the reasoning of those tandem instructors who decide to do tandems in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. 

Are they driven by the economics?  Do they think they are bulletproof? Do they believe that they will either not get it, or that if they do get it they will be asymptomatic? Do they have others close to them, or are they loners, or do they simply not care.  

Have they researched what we know about this virus, or are they acting out of ignorance?  

Are they being pressured into jumping by DZ management or by peer pressure?

Do they believe that the protocols they have in place are effective at blocking transmission for the duration and distance required during a tandem jump? If so, how do they know?

Please share your rationale and evidence, I would love to resume hauling meat!  

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54 minutes ago, skyguyscott said:

Have they researched what we know about this virus, or are they acting out of ignorance?  

 

Pretty sure most of the people at the DZ are acting out of ignorance. The general population is acting out of ignorance. Most of the people at the DZ are just laughing it off as a 1% fatality rate (which is incorrect to start) and so they likely feel that they are not in any real danger if they get it.

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9 hours ago, 20kN said:

Pretty sure most of the people at the DZ are acting out of ignorance. The general population is acting out of ignorance. Most of the people at the DZ are just laughing it off as a 1% fatality rate (which is incorrect to start) and so they likely feel that they are not in any real danger if they get it.

i would love to know what the REAL number is, both for total infections we have and have had and the mortality rate.  there is currently no way to know, because even if we had tested everyone (nowhere close to 15% of us) the fact that some of the tests are up to 50% wrong makes all the data we do have bogus.  there is no way to tell how many have been exposed, have had it and lived, and the true mortality rate until we know all the numbers, so not anytime soon.

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(edited)

One other interesting and relevant factor is the pool of people that choose to buy a tandem jump during the pandemic. 
 

After many weeks of answering the DZ phone, I can attest to the cavalier, myopic and rather selfish disregard many of these callers exhibit. Many are wet Egyptians (Dey r deep in de Nile) and some have even expressed their opinion that this is all a hoax. 
 

Thus those showing up wanting to spoon with me are highly likely to have already disregarded most if not all of the safety protocols epidemiologists have clearly outlined and come from a much higher risk pool than usual. 

Also, I am reading reports of people who are symptomatic but do not isolate themselves, and continue to spread the virus without regard to others  There is also a report of some who have tested positive, kept the results secret and still didn’t quarantine

For me the concern is not for myself as it is for the elderly and already health-compromised I take care of. Any exposure to this coronavirus would be fatal to them. 

Edited by skyguyscott
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(edited)

I’m not really sure I understand how knowing the statistics on Covid mortality rates would inform a decision to resume Tandem jumping. What number would be acceptable?

Or put another way, what odds would convince you that playing Russian roulette was safe or within an acceptable risk range?  

Besides, the stakes go far beyond mortality. There is also the possibility of a long, protracted illness that may result in lingering, perhaps permanent damage to certain organs and senses. There is also a very real likelihood of spreading a potentially fatal illness to others, including those most close to you, such as your aging parents, grandparents significant others, and close friends, and in turn, their parents, grandparents, friends in an ever growing web. 

“So I know whatcha thinkin’, and so the question you got t’ask yourself is do you do ya feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?”

Edited by skyguyscott

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4 hours ago, skyguyscott said:

For me the concern is not for myself as it is for the elderly and already health-compromised I take care of. Any exposure to this coronavirus would be fatal to them. 

Not a TI but this right here is a major risk factor that YOU need to take into consideration.  I was talking with some people about the risks that I'm willing to take and I mentioned this very factor. 

I am choosing to let my guard down some while I still take what I consider to be reasonable precautions for MY situation.  Because I am choosing to let my guard down some, and because I understand that I am increasing the risk that I could carry the virus, I am also paying special attention to who I am around.   I am actively avoiding anyone I know who is in a higher risk category, I also avoid those who I know are wanting to avoid risk more than I am out of respect regardless of what their reasoning is.  I am not visiting my older relatives.  I live alone, I don't have anyone who is high risk depending on me, nor do I have the need to see anyone in those categories in person.  If your situation is different, act accordingly. 

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Just now, skyguyscott said:

If we are to survive this pandemic in the quickest and least lethal way, we need to stop thinking in terms of YOUR situation and MY situation and realize that it is in fact our situation  

Good luck with that. Since when has anyone ever cared about anything other than themselves. At the end of the day people are jumping because they just flat-out dont care. They want to go skydiving and they are not concerned with the risks involved. It's really not any more complicated than that.

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The goal of flattening the curve was never to stay shutdown until the threat goes away, that's simply not a realistic goal at this point. It was to help hospitals be able to deal with the influx of patients.   We did that, it's time to open things back up now. 

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(edited)

You do understand why we can't keep everything shutdown right?  The whole economy thing, people having jobs, needing to make a living, food on the table, etc etc?  Even those "unnecessary" things provide someone's job.

Or do you honestly think that keeping everything shutdown for a year is completely ok and doable?

 

Edited by nate_1979

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I am limiting the scope here to tandem skydiving.  

I think with the proper precautions and critically, social distancing and barriers such as masks and face shields we can help minimize the risk of transmission doing a lot of the other activities. But even so the virus doesn’t care, until we have a proven safe and effective vaccine, it will continue to find a way to spread as ruthlessly fast as it possibly can. 

I do think the fastest way and least lethally way to get back to normal is to do a hard stop, but we don’t seem to have the patience or support for that in this country. Evidently we would rather string this along until we or someone we care about is affected, and after the losses reach apocalyptic levels. 

As of now Canada has 87,000 total confirmed cases, compared to 1,700,000+ in this country. New Zealand and Germany have dealt with their outbreaks much more successfully. We are now averaging over 1000 confirmed Covid deaths a day. FWIW that is the equivalent of two 9/11s every week. In the last three or four months, USA has had more casualties to this pandemic then we have had in all our wars since World War II combined - in just three months!  While  the trend is declining in some states, it is increasing rapidly in other states and is still on the rise measured nationwide. 

And those are just the stats on fatalities. 

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(edited)
4 hours ago, nate_1979 said:

You do understand why we can't keep everything shutdown right?  The whole economy thing, people having jobs, needing to make a living, food on the table, etc etc?  Even those "unnecessary" things provide someone's job.

Or do you honestly think that keeping everything shutdown for a year is completely ok and doable?

 

If everyone would stay at home for just two weeks we could effectively irradiate the virus entirely. However, there will always be assholes who dont want to get with the program which means even if 99% of those are doing the right thing, the virus will happily spread to the 1% who doesn't give a shit which makes it impossible to get rid of this thing. We dont need people to stay at home for a year. We just need everyone to stay at home for two weeks and this thing would have been a done deal a long time ago.

Anyway, you are right about flattening the curve. Here is the thing though. If we reopen so fast that we end up overwhelming the hospitals with new infections anyway, then what the was the point in doing everything we have been doing for the last three months?

Edited by 20kN

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Of course its IMPOSSIBLE to shut everything down for 2 weeks. Some people HAVE to go places, nurses, long term care facilities, hospitals, people who make sure you get power to keep that food that you go to the store cold, people in the food chain, people who keep your city water up and running, etc etc... The list goes on and on.   Your 100% shutdown could never happen and even suggesting that it could be possible even if everyone wanted to do it and agreed to it is simply out of touch with reality.

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(edited)

A complete and total quarantine is not necessary to stop the coronavirus, just look at what other countries have done to successfully bring their infection rates down to near zero.

But it is certainly possible to put a moratorium on tandems until we discover and implement a way to do them without risk of transmission. 

In the meantime, our DZ is having remarkable success in steering people toward the static line or AFF program. This also has the added benefit of introducing more people to the sport itself and has the potential of increasing the number of licensed skydivers in the sport. 

Edited by skyguyscott
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23 hours ago, skyguyscott said:

I am limiting the scope here to tandem skydiving.  

Yes, shutting down the incredibly covid-19 risky act of strapping yourself to a stranger for a thrill ride is not the same thing as "shutting down the economy".

On 5/27/2020 at 9:44 PM, skyguyscott said:

I would love to hear the reasoning of those tandem instructors who decide to do tandems in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. 

I can tell you the thinking here in my Canadian prairie DZ. 7 out of 8 of our TIs are currently willing to saddle up next week when phase two re-opening starts. And given the very low rate of Covid-19 in these parts it is not unreasonable at the moment. But most of the skydiving world is not as isolated as we are. That 1 in 8 that is saying no thanks is me. I am a part timer who drives a truck into the US one week on, and one week off. I am exempt from the 14 day self quarantine rule, but I am supposed to make an effort to social distance myself because of my travel.

 

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(edited)

So now that ppl have routinely been standing shoulder to shoulder in crowded bars, not social distancing at beaches and pools, and resuming tandem skydiving, any reports of TIs contracting COVID?  Are TI’s that do tandem jumps being routinely tested? 

Edited by skyguyscott

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22 hours ago, skyguyscott said:

So now that ppl have routinely been standing shoulder to shoulder in crowded bars, not social distancing at beaches and pools, and resuming tandem skydiving, any reports of TIs contracting COVID? 

Of course. How is that even a question. I know of TIs who have been infected with it. I know fun jumpers who have been infected with it. I know TIs who mysteriously just 'disappeared' from the DZ for 'unknown reasons.' Not everyone is going to come on DZ.com and write a full page report about it, but I assure it's happening. There are skydivers who have died from Covid-19. Most families arnt exactly quick to rush to the Internet and tell everyone about it when their loved one passes away.

Regarding your second question, probably not. The type of person who is willing to strap themselves to some unknown rando and sit ass to ass in a tight airplane during the worst pandemic of our lifetime isint exactly the type of personality to care enough about getting regularly tested (or tested at all for that matter). 80% of those at the DZ seem to drink the Trump coolaid and think that Covid is all a bunch of bullshit that's an over-hyped version of the flu. I follow some FB SD groups in Some of the hardest hit areas in the world right now (mostly CA, TX and FL) and they are talking about hosting boogies, who's jumping this weekend, ect. even though those areas are quite literately ground zero for Covid right now. Most people dont give a shit.

Edited by Westerly

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