Coronavirus | COVID-19

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World Camp Family Members,

Based on a March 12 report that said we probably will not see any comprehensive results on the virus for 8 weeks, World Camp will be waiting to make a final determination about our summer on, or by, June 15.

I've been following the news of the coronavirus closely since December, watching it slowly move to the front page and then retreat to the back pages of the news and then, with fury, return to top our headlines. My personal hope is that the virus mitigates itself in spring as it warms, and at a minimum the CDC has a better understanding of what to expect, and can relay that to us all. I'm also hoping that hysteria does not rule the day - but we get solid, executable information. 

If there is a silver lining, it's that the severity of this illness for people under 39 years of age is much less than the published averages.  Plus they believe many more people may have been infected (who show minimal symptoms and have not been recorded) which means all statistics may be lowered.

- Know, at this time we are monitoring the situation closely.
- We have no plans to cancel our programs. 
- Our Dutch partners have every intention on executing a summer program.
- We are seeking clarity so we can properly plan for the safety of our kids.
- At this time, everything regarding our summer tours is status quo. No policy changes have been made.
- Again, this is a fluid situation, we seek clarity and are following all news and CDC advisement.
- Our plan is to reevaluate all programs, protocols and policies by mid-June.

While we recognize this is somewhat different than world issues in the past, we have been operating without incident since 1989 and through it all have never had to cancel a program.  We hope that will still be the case.

If there is any comfort it's that the collective "We" are all in this together. The situation is ever-changing. It moves at warp speed.  At this time, there is simply no way to keep up with the impact of the coronavirus on our North American sports leagues, teams, and tours.

So, with that said, World Camp is still a go! We are confidently moving forward with program planning and execution.

Our heartfelt hope is that this current health issue does not touch you or your family.

Bob Whitcher
Co-Founder, World Camp USA

PS: We will try as best we can to update this page as more information is known. Information on the virus is fluid. My goal is to determine and filter the facts from the daily news hype. Fact over fear.


CDC (Center for Disease Control) website:

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call, citing World Health Organization data that studied more than 70,000 cases in China. Most people won’t develop serious symptoms, but 15% to 20% of the people who are exposed to the virus get severely sick, she said.

Of the 70,000 cases WHO scientists looked at, only about 2% were in people younger than 19. However, the odds of developing COVID-19 increase with age, starting at age 60. It’s especially lethal for people over 80.

More good news for Gen-X & Millennials
Generally Covid-19 has had very little impact on children or young adults. The Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said its analysis of just under 45,000 cases revealed that less than 1% were under nine years old, while those aged between 10 and 19 accounted for just over 1%. By contrast, those aged between 50 and 59 made up almost 25% of the cases while those between 60 and 69 made up 19%.

“The information suggests that children are less likely to be infected than adults and that is a bit of a puzzle,” says Professor Jimmy Whitworth, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

In South Korea, where there is a lot of testing and a strong public health system, not a single person under 30 has died from the disease. And only two people under 50 have died out of 3,263 South Korean cases reported on March 8.  

Good Read - These people had the virus and tell their story:


Here's What We Know

    Common Flu vs Coronavirus - what's the difference?: 
    Scientists have studied seasonal flu for decades. So, despite the danger of it, we know a lot about flu viruses and what to expect each season. In contrast, very little is known about COVID-19 ( Coronavirus) because it's so new. This means COVID-19 is something of a wild card in terms of how far it will spread.  

    "Despite the morbidity and mortality with influenza (common flu), there's a certainty … of seasonal flu," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a White House press conference on Jan. 31. "I can tell you all, guaranteed, that as we get into March and April, the flu cases are going to go down. You could predict pretty accurately what the range of the mortality is and the hospitalizations [will be]," 

    Fauci added. "The issue now with [COVID-19] is that there's a lot of unknowns."  

    Some 80.9 percent of infections are classified as mild.
    13.8 percent as severe
    and only 4.7 percent classified as critical.   
    Up to age 39, the rate for critical care remains much lower.

    Patients with cardiovascular disease are most likely to have complications from the novel coronavirus, followed by patients with diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and hypertension.

    Bottom line:
    Unknown. Anxiety is caused by the unknown of the coronavirus.  How long will it last? Will it decrease as we move into spring like the common flu?  Will a vaccine be available? All unknown at this time. The stock market hates uncertainty, and people fear what they cannot quantify.  At this moment, our CDC cannot quantify the coronavirus.

    What does it feel like to have the new coronavirus?
    The illness, now known as Covid-19, feels similar to the flu. The main symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Although this is a new virus, so far it appears that the illness is mild in 80 percent of those who get it. An unknown number of people get infected but have no symptoms at all.

    That doesn’t sound so bad. What’s the big deal?
    Children don’t seem to be affected. But elderly people and people with chronic illnesses are at high risk. So even if you survive a Covid-19 outbreak, someone you know may not.

    In what other ways is Covid-19 different from the flu?
    It’s more contagious. Each person who gets sick with Covid-19 on average infects two other people. For the flu, it’s closer to one person.

    How does Covid-19 spread?
    Doctors believe that the primary mode of transmission is the same as for the flu or a cold: When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets bearing the virus spray into the air and then quickly fall to surfaces below. If you’re within 6 feet of a coughing and sneezing person, you could catch it. If you touch a surface with live virus still on it, and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, you can become infected. It’s not known how long the virus survives on surfaces.

    And researchers have not ruled out the possibility that the virus can become airborne and able to travel through ventilation systems.

    What is the treatment for Covid-19?
    So far, there is none, although a new collaboration between Harvard Medical School and Chinese scientists is working on it.

    The National Institutes of Health has begun testing an antiviral called remdesivir to see if it can treat Covid-19. 

    How can I avoid getting sick?
    You may be tired of hearing it, but your best defense really is to wash your hands often when out in public. Bring along a little bottle of hand sanitizer for backup. Put a real emphasis on washing often. It really works. Also avoid touching your face. The virus gets into your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes.

    Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief of emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that studies during the outbreak of SARS, a similar coronavirus, found that hand-washing and avoiding touching the face decreased the risk of illness by 30 percent to 50 percent.

    Also, try to stay away from sick people.

    And if you’re sick, do your part — cough into your sleeve, stay home.

    How worried should I be?
    There is so much we still don’t know about this virus and how it will play out. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess.

    For many people, the biggest difficulties may not be illness but the disruption of daily life as the result of such possible measures as school and business closings, event cancellations, supply chain disruptions, and travel restrictions.

    Should you worry?
    Uncertainty is hard to cope with — but worrying can be unproductive. 

    Planning for a Safe World Camp experience
    We've come up with these new standards that our staff will use to encourage healthy conditions.  Note too, we stay in nce hotels, not hostels. Cleanliness of our facilities should not be at issue.

    • Wash hands frequently, with soap and hot water, for at least 20 seconds. Do a good job!
    • If you can't wash your hands, use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or higher).
    • Stock up on packets of tissues (widely available throughout Europe) and alcohol-based sanitizing wipes (less common in Europe, so bring these from home).
    • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing (with the inside of your elbow).
    • Avoid touching your face--the eyes, nose, and mouth are areas where germ spread easily.
    • Stay hydrated--drink lots of water.
    • Get your sleep.
    • Opt out of activities if you’re feeling tired or unwell.
    • If not feeling well, go to your EuroTour chaperone and staff for help.