lost at sea

The Google tells me there are around 335 cruise ships in the world. I’ve no idea if that’s a reliable figure, but would the Google lie to me? (SPOILER: yeah, it probably would, but what are you gonna do?) The Google also tells me the average number of passengers on a cruise ship is around 3000. The Google isn’t terribly helpful when it comes to average crew size, but it appears to be about a third to a half of the average number of passengers. So let’s split the difference and say the average crew size is 1250. That would make the average number of humans on a cruise ship would be around 4,250.

If that’s the case, then the MSC Divina would be THE average cruise ship. It can carry 3502 passengers and has a crew of 1388.

Glittery and glam, the MSC Divina not only offers an impressive lineup of entertainment options, but also gives cruisers a taste of Italian culture – all for bargain prices designed to compete with other party ships departing Florida’s harbors. With vibrant nightlife and special kids’ fares, MSC Divina has something to appeal to everyone.

Now, imagine if the MSC Divina sank with all hands. The entire ship, all the passengers, the captain, the deck crew, the beauticians, the pursers, the entertainers, the galley staff, the hosts and hostesses, the gift shop operators, the photographers, the fitness instructors, the housekeepers, the bartenders, the dance instructors, the stewards, the massage therapists. All of them, every single one, down with the ship, drowned. Four thousand, two hundred and fifty souls lost at sea.

Now imagine a cruise ship the size of the MSC Divina sinking with all hands every week for thirty-five weeks.

That’s what we’ve got with Covid-19 in the United States.

If 35 cruise ships sank off the US coast over the course of five months, what would we do? What we ARE doing is ignoring the professional ship builders and designers who testify under oath that Covid cruise ships aren’t safe. We have a president who not only dismisses the expertise of the ship builders, but who claims to know more about ship building than anybody else. We have a president who treats cruise ships sinking as a public relations problem. We have a president who claims he’s saved millions of people from drowning by banning Chinese cruise ships from docking in US ports.

We have state and federal government officials who have the duty and the authority to prevent passengers and crew from boarding those MSC Davinas, but for political reasons refuse to issue a DO NOT BOARD mandate. They argue that there are several cruise ships that haven’t sunk. We have state and federal officials who argue children should board the MSC Davina because they are less likely to drown. We have state and federal officials who will encourage folks not to board cruise ships, but won’t stop them. They say they trust people will act responsibly and decide for themselves not to board.

Today we’ll hit 150,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths. We’re dying here. We’re drowning. And the people whose job is to protect us claim it would be government overreach to pull up the gangplank.

EDITORIAL NOTE: I’m sure the actual MSC Divina is a grand ship, perfectly lovely, excellently staffed, and crewed by consummate professionals, as are all the ships belonging to the Mediterranean Shipping Company. This is me covering my ass.

8 thoughts on “lost at sea

    • Billy, you ask “do you expect the government to do to “protect” you?”

      The answer is yes. Yes, I do. That’s the whole purpose of government. I expect the government to make sure the public food is safe to eat, that the roads are in good repair, that planes don’t crash into each other, that fires are put out, that warnings are put on hazardous products, that truckers don’t drive more than 11 hours during a 14-hour period, that when a global pandemic arrives on our shores to insure we follow the best medical practice to save lives,

      That’s what government is supposed to do.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. The cruise ship industry is another example of “too big to sink” (literally, in this case). But nature may have the upper hand. What if Covid-19 keeps mutating and mutating, keeps sickening and killing? It could happen. Nobody really knows with this one. The cruise ship industry may need to take a backseat to this microscopic organism. (If “organism” is even the right word. Agent?) In any case, *I’m* not going on a cruise anytime soon—or, actually, anytime ever in my life ever again.

    I have been on three “cruises,” though none of them on Divina-style ships: one a small ship along the Turkish coast; the ferry up through the Inside Passage of Alaska; and just this last February, a small ship along the Antarctic Peninsula. I’m super glad I snuck that last one in, in the nick of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is another example of the democratic nature of a virus — it treats all venues the same. Ship, indoor arena, polling place, church, shopping mall — doesn’t matter. The virus doesn’t care if the ship is a floating Disney theme park or a research vessel or a military ship.

      All it cares about is the density of hosts.

      Like

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