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  1. Just a couple of quick notes for those interested: The Voyage is running pretty well this season. One train is running better than the other (not sure which is which as I didn't take notice of the train numbers). One train is giving rides that are good but a little bumpy. The other train is giving rides where you can feel like an immediate re-ride is on the table even in the back rows. It's also not completely braking on the mid-course which is nice. I have twelve (12) quick access passes I was unable to use on my earlier visits. One access pass can be used for one ride on any ride at either the dry side or waterpark. The access passes expire on October 31, 2021 and I don't plan on going back this year. Please DM me if you're interested in the passes and I'll make arrangements to get them to you.
  2. Just wanted to mention that the Diamondback crew right now is absolutely amazing. The average dispatch time is under 90 seconds. Outstanding work by this crew so far this season!
  3. Fast Lane and the like are only what I would consider to be negatively impactful to the average guest at a few parks around the country - Cedar Point and the Disney parks leading the way. I would argue on the "average" Kings Island day Fast Lane is really more of a nuisance. The problem is that when the park is moderately busy or busier then it becomes a real impediment to the standby line at the popular rides, particularly at Orion, Diamondback and The Beast. The reason that it's an issue at those rides is because they're allowing half of each train to be filled with Fast Lane guests (I'll leave aside the issue of them receiving the first choice of seats, as that's a separate issue). It's clear that management is trying to artificially suppress the Fast Lane waits at the popular rides to make the Fast Laners happy. The problem with that is that the overwhelming majority of Fast Lane usage is at a handful of rides, which creates even more demand for the stuff everyone wants to ride. I would argue that the best thing for everyone involved would be for Kings Island to raise the price of Fast Lane on weekends ($75 FL/$90 FLP is too inexpensive for weekends, and especially Saturdays IMO) and/or limit the volume of Fast Laners allowed on each train to a more reasonable number. Cutting that Fast Lane allotment each train from half down to a third would make a significant difference to standby waits.
  4. This 100%. I was down in Pigeon Forge last week. Their mask mandate expired on April 15, and very few of the businesses decided to keep their mask protocols in place there. Walking into an establishment with no mask requirement for the first time in ages was one of the most refreshing things I've done in years. The difference in mood at the park will be palpable, and it will be MUCH more fun this year than most can imagine. I just hope that employees aren't required to masks so that everyone can breathe freely!
  5. Absolutely agree on all counts. Posts that have been on either extreme have been challenged and refuted with reasonable and rational replies. I think one of the reasons why the post quantity in this particular thread has come down is because most now know the rules of engagement; i.e., that if you post something you should be prepared to defend that position with clear reasoning. There's a check-and-balance system here that seems to be working well. That is the very definition of healthy discussion!
  6. I think we would agree that "flattening the curve" has a definition of "hospitals not being overwhelmed"; i.e., that sick people wouldn't overrun the hospital resulting in some people not being able to get treated. I want to make sure we quantify this so that we get an accurate picture. You'll find the link to the data here, which contains information from the CDC about US hospital capacity in three areas for each state (figures through July 14): Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds being occupied right now Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients right now Estimates for the percentage of ICU beds being occupied right now The state of Ohio is about average overall as far as the states go. The Ohio percentages are as follows: Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds being occupied right now in Ohio - 55.6% Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients right now - 4.4% Estimates for the percentage of ICU beds being occupied right now - 40.2% Based on those figures, would anyone reasonably conclude that hospitals are being overwhelmed in Ohio? Let's take the worst looking state right now, Arizona: Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds being occupied right now - 72.1% Estimates for the percentage of inpatient beds with COVID patients right now - 25.2% Estimates for the percentage of ICU beds being occupied right now - 71.7% Based on those figures, would anyone reasonably conclude that hospitals are being overwhelmed in Arizona?
  7. Here's the exact verbiage from that study: What that study is inferring is that there were likely 7 times as many cases in that area than were reported during that time (math: 20,141 deaths divided by .0145 fatality rate = 1,389,034 cases. Divide 20,141 into 1,389,034 and you get =0.0145, or 1.45%). Testing figures in that area during the height of the action in that area also bear that out (13.9% infection rate in New York State, 21% with antibodies in New York City - Source). That area is also the absolute worse-case in the entirety of the US. For reference, New York and New Jersey together have one-third of the US COVID deaths thus far, more than the next seven states combined. The point is that there is a close to zero percent chance that the IFR is more than 1.45% across the US. I'll grant you this. I'm sure some of the numbers will be adjusted. But I hardly think it's realistic that the reported number of deaths due to COVID is going to be adjusted upwards by a factor of 1.5, 2 or 3. I will take exception to this. Have any statements I've made in this or in any other recent post been misleading or without facts to support? Most every post I've made in the last couple of weeks on this topic has included some kind of tangible information from credible sources; charts, graphs, information from studies that have been done, etc. Many other posters have done the same thing to reinforce their statements. The post I made on Sunday indicated that a total of 188 people aged 24 and younger have died with COVID in the US. I linked to a CDC chart which clearly shows those numbers in chart 2/2 under "Age and Sex" (Source). The future of approximately 80-100 million school-age children is being impacted right now because of decisions that are being made against the data and not with it. What is the end game here? The original stated goal was to flatten the curve. We did that - so well in fact that now hospitals lost $160 billion in revenue from March to June 2020 and are expected to lose over $320 billion through the end of the year (Source). What is the goal now?
  8. There is no credible source that list infection mortality rates (IFR) that high in the US. The highest estimate I saw for any individual location was the City of New York - at 1.45% (Source), and we all know how poorly things went there. Nearly all IFR estimates for COVID in the US are between 0.2% and 1%. Right now the total COVID cases in the US is just under 4 million. The US population is around 330 million. Doesn't it seem strange that only 1% of the US population has contracted the virus given the positive test and antibody numbers that we've seen - 5% to 25% depending on location? The percentage of people who are symptomatic from the seasonal flu is around 8% annually (Source). The lowest percentages I've seen for asymptomatic range from 30%-50%, with some estimates as high as 77%. That puts you at 11%-20% of the US population contracting the seasonal flu each year. Here's the point - one simply cannot say that COVID is way more contagious than seasonal flu, see that the reported COVID case numbers are 8 times fewer than seasonal flu, and continue to defend that position rationally. If the virus is as or more contagious than seasonal flu, one must by definition accept that there are more cases out there than have been reported. We know that cases are being under-counted. From CDC director Robert Redfield in late June: If there are more cases, then that by definition means that the IFR must go down with it, as the denominator - the number of cases - is much larger. This the reason why every credible source has an IFR of under 1%, even the CDC as another poster mentioned earlier today.
  9. There's some interesting info in that study. What that study doesn't clarify is - what are the consequences? The mortality numbers are more concrete, and we already know from the numbers that this is simply not deadly for younger people. Per the CDC, here are the total number of deaths thus far in the US in various age groups due to the virus: under age 1: 9 age 1-4: 8 age 5-14: 14 age 15-24: 157 So through middle school age a total of 31 children have died. Add in the high school and college age children and we have a total of 188. For comparison, in the 2017-2018 seasonal flu season a total of 643 people under the age of 18 died. (Source) 188 out of approximately 80 million under age 18 children. Think about that for just a moment. What about schoolteachers? The median age of a US schoolteacher is 42. The odds of hospitalization from the virus in that group is just over 1 in 1,000 (Source). So even if they are infected, the odds of any individual in that group having major consequences is really low. We can't look at one side - that kids can potentially spread the virus - without looking at the other side; i.e,, what the associated consequences are. The data shouldn't be scaring people.
  10. bjcolglazier has been kind enough to post graphs of the daily case and mortality numbers in Indiana. If you look at the graphs for each state (Indiana and Ohio) you'll notice that from mid-March through June 10 that both the daily case and mortality graphs were essentially identical - with a peak around May 1. From June 10 onward the case numbers started to climb in each state, but the daily cases and daily mortality rates started to diverge and have ever since. If you want an even more extreme example, take a look at Georgia. When they reopened back in late April their daily case numbers were around 800. Their daily case numbers around July 1 were about 3,000. Daily mortalities in late April - around 40. Daily mortalities at present - about 15. More cases doesn't always equal higher mortality, especially when it's primarily younger people that are getting infected. The odds for someone age 30-39, the current median age of COVID infection, ending up in the hospital with COVID infection is 1 in 1,600 (from the CDC). The odds of a grade schooler (less than age 18) ending up in the hospital with COVID infection is 1 in 18,000. Increases in cases is only relevant within context. The demographics of "who" is getting infected is what really matters. There are some states that have seen increases in both cases and mortality - Texas, Florida, California, etc. In the US as a whole, however, the daily number of cases has more than doubled since peaks in late April and yet the daily number of mortalities is less than half, even taking into account the hot spots. Why isn't this being regularly mentioned? One of the things I find really disconcerting is why we aren't talking about the other side of this - the increases in child and spousal abuse, suicides, the effects from continued unemployment, children not really having been educated for 4 months, etc. as a result of the measures being taken to combat the virus. Reasonable minds can differ over the effectiveness of masks, and the virus will eventually fade, but some of the effects of the effects we've seen won't fade nearly as quickly. There are people that are really hurting right now. People are looking for something, anything, that can help them to cope. Many are stepping out into a world where you can't see someone smiling at you, and in many cases, not even looking at you at all, because they're scared that you're a potential source of infection. Loneliness and its associated mental and physical effects was already a major health issue (Source), which undoubtedly is being magnified by this whole situation. The tolls that those conditions take on people are just as damaging as the virus but without the same media attention.
  11. Just out of curiosity, how would you recommend we do contact tracing here in the US when there are 65,000 daily cases right now? How would you convince people to take on that task? Would the (likely massive) costs of so doing yield anything in the way of tangible benefit? Would you plan on doing the same thing when the seasonal flu kicks in? Regarding New Zealand, they still haven't opened their borders yet. They'll have to eventually if they want to keep their economy afloat given how dependent they are on tourism. What do you think is going to happen when they reopen their borders?
  12. I'm not picking on this specific news story, but how many models or predictions related to this virus have in reality been anywhere in the ballpark of what they predicted? Just some other questions rattling around in my head right now: Why is that mask use in the US has increased significantly in the past few months (60%-80% current usage depending on the source) and yet the number of cases is still climbing? Why is it that despite that huge increases in US cases - 3 times as many daily average cases today as compared to two months ago - that the daily average number of deaths has gone down during that time? Source Why is that South Africa and most South American countries, despite having a couple month advance notice that this virus was coming, imposed mandatory masks orders around May 1 and yet their case numbers are continuing to climb? Source Why is Sweden, who imposed no lockdown nor mandatory mask requirements (less than 10% mask usage there), seeing both their case and mortality numbers consistently go down? Source Why do Asian countries still have major seasonal flu outbreaks despite high mask usage there during flu season? Source This virus simply can't be controlled by man-made measures. If it were controllable we would have been able to contain the common cold and the seasonal flu a long time ago. The sooner we stop looking at these (often grossly incorrect) models and assumptions and start looking at the data we do have available the better off we'll be.
  13. One of the reasons that I305 and Skyrush aren't ranked higher in most coaster polls - and the general public - is specifically due to their intensity levels. If you go on an average park day at either Kings Dominion or Hershey you'll hardly ever find super long lines for those coasters. Millennium Force almost always has a good size line. One of the reasons for that is because it's not aggressive. The general public LOVES Millennium Force, and the high fun and re-rideable nature of the ride lends itself to high demand. Fury and the other really good B&M megas (including Orion) are really popular because they aren't super intense. They give you all the stuff most people like (speed, airtime, high capacity) without taking much off. There's a reason Cedar Fair installed 3 B&M gigas after I305.
  14. Regarding Goliath (SFOG) over Diamondback. I actually like the airtime overall better on Diamondback. The airtime on Diamondback's first drop and first three large hills is actually better than Goliath's first drop and first three large hills. Goliath, however, has three things I like better than Diamondback: Goliath is better-paced throughout the whole ride because there's no mid-course brake run Goliath's helix is a better and more interesting turnaround element Goliath's last three hills are just fantastic. I like the last two bunny hills on Diamondback, but the airtime on Goliath's final hills is more pronounced
  15. Kenban did a pretty good job of describing the gigas, although I think Leviathan is a little better than was mentioned. I think as a coaster type that the B&M mega model is the best in the world. Orion is definitely a worthy addition to that group. Others have done a good job with their element-by-element analysis of Orion so I'll skip that part. I've now ridden each of the North American B&M mega coasters except for Candymonium at Hershey. Overall I think Orion is an excellent ride. The ride is tremendously fun and, as others have mentioned, the ride uses its speed really well. The first drop was outstanding and every bit as good as the first drops on Fury and Leviathan. The speed hill was excellent and arguably the best element on the ride. I didn't get trimmed that much on the big airtime hill so the airtime there was pretty good. I thought the little hill after the helix might offer a nice pop of airtime and it definitely does. It's really well-designed! As it is Orion is in my personal top-10 (in descending order - Fury 325, Boulder Dash, Steel Vengeance, The Voyage, Orion, Mako, Millennium Force, Goliath (SFOG), Behemoth, Diamondback). I could make an argument that had Orion had another airtime hill or two that it would be as good as Fury. The difference between Fury and Orion is in that extra 1,300 feet of track. Orion is like eating at some really fine dining establishments. The stuff that's on the plate is really good; I just wish I felt a bit more full at the end of the meal. Make no mistake though. Orion is a destination ride and will be a high capacity crowd pleaser for years to come.
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