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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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On that note, the Montreal NABC website has rooms available pretty much every night at all the host hotels. No time like the present to book one.

EVERY day seems to bring new models, new predictions, new news. We are now entering the worst period. Let's pray it passes sooner rather than later.

By May 15 (2 months before the start) we should have a much better idea if Montreal will be a go.

Stay Healthy and never, ever lose your sense of humour. We need it now more than ever.

The darkest hour is just before the dawn
9 hours ago
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March 2-8, 2020. Total masterpoints: 8509.77 earned by 772 players.
Total attendance: 1312 tables.
16 hours ago
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I was shocked to read that the parking lots at Walmart's and Costco are littered with used and discarded masks and gloves. Gross and disgusting. This is in Toronto and suburbs. Is it happening in other cities?
March 31
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If it was possible for EVERYONE to PROPERLY wear a face mask, that might be best. But that is impossible because there is an extreme shortage and priority should be given to the front-line workers who are in desperate need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

As we both stated, masks do NOT protect the wearer, but do protect other people from you.

Finally many (most?) do not wear masks properly which can actually be worse than not wearing one at all. I see people on the streets of Toronto fiddling with their mask, wearing it half on/ half off, uncovering their mouths to speak…

This is an unprecedented world-wide crisis. Hoarding goods including PPE, panic & fear are not helpful.
March 31
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The advice from the WHO, CDC, my medical friends who are doctors, nurses, volunteers, and paramedics is unanimous. The ONLY effective mask is the N95 which should be reserved for health care professionals, or caregivers of ill patients and/or individuals who are sick and wearing a mask to protect others (although if sick you should be staying indoors).

The surgical and home made masks are not effective. Further unless they are fitted properly they are useless. Constant adjusting, fiddling, touching INCREASES you risk. If the mask get moist, it becomes worse and can trap germs, viruses and the like. Face masks are NOT recommended for the healthy general public.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html

Please be sure to watch the video.

STAY HEALTHY!
March 31
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It appears that their last game was 4 tables on March 18.

A decision has been made to close the club and terminate all activities at the location until further notice.
Board of Directors
Bridge Center of Buffalo, Inc
March 23
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This may be the best advice I have yet to read. Very well spoken. I hope his future estimates are as valid as his message to separate the young from the old. It is from the Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=273432253659859
March 22
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Don may well be correct. Not sure if it is quite that many for me, but as I near 70, the passing of bridge friends, partners and acquaintances has become a sad and regular occurrence.

The 2019-2020 US flu season has been worse than average. As of mid-March in the United States, there have been 23,000 deaths, 38 Million cases, 400,000 hospitalized. Source: CBS Evening NEWS, March 21, 2020

The numbers for COVID-19 have begun to skyrocket which is why more and more States are going into lock-down. As is Canada and Toronto.

As of 7 PM, March 21, the number of World-Wide cases has surpassed 300,000. In the US the number of cases is approaching 25,000 with 6,220 cases reported in the last 24 hours. 301 deaths. By tomorrow March 22, the US should pass Spain and have the third most cases in the world behind China & Italy. Source: https://covid19info.live/

An excellent overview from LiveScience. Look at how low the COVID-19 numbers from three days ago are compared to today.

https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html
March 21
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Debbie, this type of message reads like my multiple Toronto Star BREAKING NEWS e-mail alerts which reports (or at least tries to) the death of every individual, age, location, any other known information.

In the bridge world, I understand being unable to name names but if anyone is going to report on fatalities or illness, it would be a service to know where and when these individuals may have played bridge.
March 21
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Most experts as well as the WHO advise against wearing masks except for people who really need it.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

My nephew, who is a paramedic, posted the following advice:

“The surgical masks that you see most people wearing will not protect you from the corona virus. It will only prevent you from spreading it if you have it and yes even then it is only effective for 20 minutes. Unless you are sick, or are a healthcare professional, you should not wear any mask. They can actually INCREASE your chances of catching a disease.

When the surgical masks get moist or wet (which happens just from breathing) in addition to becoming useless they become a biofilm which attracts and traps bacteria and viruses which you are now breathing in. Furthermore, you have a tendency to keep readjusting the mask thus touching your face and bringing your dirty hands near your mouth and nose. Finally, by you buying and wearing any mask the people who do actually need it (the sick and healthcare providers) won't be able to get it and the spread of the virus will increase. So in short… DO NOT WEAR A MASK!

The N95 mask actually will protect you from the coronavirus if you are clean shaved, have been fit tested to have the right size for your face and you know how to properly put it on and take it off. In that case and only in that case it will be effective for 8 hours. However, you do not and should not be buying or wearing these unless you are a healthcare professional.

Don't want to catch COVID-19? What can you do to protect yourself and others? Simple!

Stay home and wash your hands (Yes hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer like Purel)!!!”
March 20
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In many ways, bridge is analogous to other sports, pastimes, activities. We are all in this together. On the positive side, China appears to have fully recovered within about 3 months. Factories are re-opening and life is returning to whatever their normal is.

Since N. America is not a totalitarian state where the military can impose drastic restrictions, containment may take longer. Anyone who says they “know” what will happen is foolish.

Yesterday there were reports of two drugs that show promise in treatment. Tests are underway and one of them may even be used today with an RX for off-label use. Very likely to have effective or partially effective new treatments within 3-4 months. I'm told a vaccine takes 12-18 months.

North America went from a semblance of normalcy to a limited lock-down in barely over a week or ten days. Scientists say we need to wait at least 2-3 weeks to see if it is having the desired effect.

At some point (2 months, 3-4 months, longer?) restrictions will ease, conventions and travel will resume, the economy will start to recover. So will bridge.

In the interim I hope the ACBL Board of Directors that are meeting by phone & Internet this week are looking at the financial numbers (loss of revenue from club games and all tournaments) and have a PLAN to reduce expenses and a PLAN for recovery.

Always preferable to be optimistic. I can see a smaller ACBL with fewer tournaments in the short term. I will leave long-term predictions to others.
March 20
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MARCH 18, 2020: Gatlinburg has been CANCELLED. You can read the official notice here: http://www.gatlinburgregional.org/
March 18
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I think we all realize that the chance of any tournament play resuming before AT LEAST May 11 is approximately zero. And that date will depend upon the course of the virus and how contained it is or isn't.

At the same time District 7 has a fiduciary responsibility to do what is in its best interest. At the appropriate time, they will announce the cancellation in such a manner as to minimize the financial consequences.
March 17
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Thanks for keeping us informed and thrilled to have read on the other post that you are feeling much better and are almost fully recovered.
March 17
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I received a mass e-mail from ACBL urging cessation of all club & tournament games games thru May 11. Urged people to play online. But all in all it didn't really say very much.

What about cutting expenses, even closing HQ for 4-6 weeks? Or just a skeleton staff? Cancelling the May Bridge Bulletin? Laying off staff?

You never want to do those things but if it is a question of survival…
March 16
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Hazel's Bridge Club in Toronto is temporarily closed indefinitely

The Aurora Bridge Club has cancelled all games from March 16 until at least March 27
March 16
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The Toronto Easter Regional, April 7-12 has been cancelled.

The Brampton (Caledon) Sectional April 18-19 has been cancelled.

Both of the above District 2, Unit 166 area.

Given the CDC recommendation on banning large gatherings of 50+ for the next 2 months, I can't envision any bridge tournaments or club games during that time span. Very sad for all of us.

The bigger question is when will normalcy return. Will bridge players return? Will some clubs re-open or not?
March 16
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The Province of Quebec is recommending that all people over 70 stay at home. All bars and cinemas are closed. Restaurant should close half of the tables and ensure adequate separation.

Canada now has 342 cases; US 3,689
March 15
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If taken literally that would automatically cancel ALL bridge tournaments and club games of more than 12 tables. But it is a recommendation, not an order.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? There are increasing rumours that the Canada/US border may close and/or all domestic air traffic in the US may be cancelled or sharply curtailed.
March 15
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Very true, Ray! For all of us, let's hope the pessimists are wrong.

I stand by all of my statements. Times and numbers change as does reputable information. As of tonight, 77,200 have fully recovered.

Unfortunately, panic & fear are increasing. Just witness the empty shelves and hoarding across the country.

Richard is correct: I do not put my faith in Twitter accounts, but rather from reputable medical professionals and experts.
March 15
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