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Safety in St Martin during Covid #243340
12/26/2020 02:10 PM
12/26/2020 02:10 PM
Joined: May 2014
Posts: 110
Canada
vetteguy Offline OP
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vetteguy  Offline OP
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We are booked to take our annual visit to St Martin in February but I have some concerns about safety on the island with respect to Covid 19.
Our rental property is in Orient Village so we will be spending most of our time in that area but will also travel throughout the island.
I would like to hear from those now in SXM or have recently visited the island, what your feelings have been?
Have you been comfortable with the precautions taken for Covid and did you feel safe?
Are most of the residents and tourists following these precautions? re: wearing of masks, sanitizing of hands and distancing?
Did you feel safe to go out to restaurants, grocery stores or shopping?

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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243344
12/26/2020 02:58 PM
12/26/2020 02:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,260
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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I have learned a lot by reading the many previous posts on the same subject.....

Last edited by boucharda; 12/26/2020 02:59 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243346
12/26/2020 03:06 PM
12/26/2020 03:06 PM
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In early November, there was hand sanitizer everywhere and if you entered a restaurant, they had you hand sanitize. That was happening everywhere. Some places also took your temperature before you entered. I saw the locals being very good with the masks, and at restaurants and bars, it was about 80 to 85% compliance on masks from what I saw from visitors on the island. I read online here that a vaccine supply is now there for the residents, or at least the Dutch side as I think the vaccine supply came from Holland. We really did focus on dining outdoors to mitigate chances of getting the virus. We are not late night partiers and stayed on the Dutch side for this trip. Certainly as more people are able to get the vaccine and booster, the numbers will begin to fall -- I think dramatically.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243349
12/26/2020 03:31 PM
12/26/2020 03:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,302
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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We also are very recently back and I would say our experiences were mostly positive. Hand sanitizers abounded and we chose to do most of our dining in outdoor or in semi-outdoor situations. I can only think of one situation where masks were not worn by service staff but I was told our experience was not the norm for this place. We only went once so I can’t say yes or no to that.

We were pretty self-limiting in our activities - no shopping to speak of this trip and no casinos or music clubs and in most cases we were home by 10 pm and generally speaking even earlier yet. It was strange not to be able to exchange hugs and kisses with old and dear island friends but they were just as strict about this as were we. On the beach or at the pool we did NOT wear masks but we did distance ourselves safely away from others.

The hardest part of Covid practices for me was in wearing our masks from the limo through the airport onto the planes and back into the airports where we did all the necessary requirements to be allowed on the island and home again but we both came home healthy and tested negative just as we did before we left for the island so the efforts were well worth it.

The biggest surprise to us was the Saturday midday flight home from SXM. Generally speaking, there is standing room only in the departure hall at PJIA and our experience was that even though some airport seats were blocked for distancing, there were still plenty of seats available with no crowds at all. And of course, there were the few travelers who refused to wear their masks but we did see security speak to at least one couple who ultimately complied.

All in all, we had a great trip and I have no regrets having made the effort and taken all the appropriate steps to comply. Sint Maarten was more than worth the efforts and I’d go again in a heartbeat..


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243351
12/26/2020 04:01 PM
12/26/2020 04:01 PM
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dvesc Offline
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You may have already read this, but my trip report discusses our experiences in Orient last week. We got back home on Tuesday.

http://www.traveltalkonline.com/ubb...rt-my-questions-answered.html#Post243224

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243352
12/26/2020 04:02 PM
12/26/2020 04:02 PM
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wanderer01 Offline
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Hi.. we are in St Martin now. We are staying away from crowds in an apt in Princess Heights- Oyster Pond area. This hotel is doing a good job w social distancing, mask usage, etc. Yesterday we went to Mullet Bay and Grand Case and no one was in mask on the beach and there was no social distancing. The beach chairs were not properly distanced, people were cramming into a relatively small space.

My guess is the people that mask up at home, are the same ones masking/ social distancing here on the island. As far as the locals, it seems that it is 50/50 w mask usage.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: wanderer01] #243355
12/26/2020 04:31 PM
12/26/2020 04:31 PM
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Your comments concern me. Did you know the people that you saw close together on the beach? Perhaps they were a family group, or a group traveling together. Our group of eight and later six, spent most of our time together, and all sat together on the beach. We were distanced from people who were not a part of our group, but certainly not from each other. And we certainly didn't wear masks on the beach; did you? If I thought I had to remain completely isolated and wear a mask 24/7, even when outdoors, I'd just stay home.


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: GaKaye] #243357
12/26/2020 04:50 PM
12/26/2020 04:50 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,165
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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I am with you Georgia. I would NOT expect to see masks on the beach. If that is a concern, I would stay home as well.


J.D.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243360
12/26/2020 05:40 PM
12/26/2020 05:40 PM
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dvesc Offline
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I’m attaching a picture of the configuration of the beach chairs in front of Bikini Beach in Orient on Tuesday morning. I think you’ll be fine with distancing on the beach. I’m sure it doesn’t always happen, but you can find a place to spread out. We saw similar spacing of chairs other places on Orient, too.

Attached Files BDD6CBD7-C73F-48B5-A7D6-CF2DB3DDC1B2.jpeg
Last edited by dvesc; 12/26/2020 05:43 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: wanderer01] #243361
12/26/2020 06:02 PM
12/26/2020 06:02 PM
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wanderer01 Offline
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i did not expect to see masks on the beach once seated, we did not wear mask either. The servers/ bartender in the restaurant/bar on Mullet beach had very few people wearing mask, once again we did not expect to see people wearing masks while eating, but while standing around waiting for seat, etc. The lack of social distancing i am referring to is chair rentals next to that small bar/ restaurant on Mullet bay (sorry do not remember name). On the french side it seems like they are taking more precautions in restaurants and on the beaches and, there is more serious mask enforcement. This is just based on my few days on the island....

Last edited by wanderer01; 12/26/2020 06:14 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: wanderer01] #243363
12/26/2020 06:51 PM
12/26/2020 06:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,757
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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The reason you're seeing that on the French side is that the penalties for non-compliance are quite stiff. The first violation is a 750 euro fine, for the second violation they shut you down.


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: GaKaye] #243368
12/26/2020 07:33 PM
12/26/2020 07:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 13,872
Auburn, WA
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As it should be. Comply or pay the piper.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: GaKaye] #243371
12/26/2020 07:37 PM
12/26/2020 07:37 PM
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wanderer01 Offline
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its working smile

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: wanderer01] #243372
12/26/2020 07:50 PM
12/26/2020 07:50 PM
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Where are masks required on the French side? I’m asking because I didn’t see masks being used all the time. Instead, masks were occasionally being only worn under the chin at some places, mainly the grocery in Orient. I wondered about the point of even having them if they weren’t really worn, and considered it may have been just in case someone checked.

Last edited by dvesc; 12/26/2020 07:53 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243385
12/27/2020 10:35 AM
12/27/2020 10:35 AM
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Sugar Land, Tx
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we’ve been here for several days now, and except for the very few people you see out at night in the restaurants, bars, casinos, etc., you wouldn’t even think COVID is still a thing...during the day you rarely see anyone wearing masks, and most of the time if worn, they’re just hanging down by the wearer’s chin... we’ve been in restaurants/bars where no one, neither customers or workers, are wearing masks...no or very little social distancing at Mullet beach...we didn’t expect much, so not really surprised


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243386
12/27/2020 10:39 AM
12/27/2020 10:39 AM
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LoveSXM333 Offline
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We returned from Sint Maarten beginning December after a week stay. We felt overall very safe and had wonderful time.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: IslandBoi] #243387
12/27/2020 11:09 AM
12/27/2020 11:09 AM
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IslandBoi--that is discouraging, especially with regard to Mullet Beach. I had hoped that covid at least would change their chair policies, with chairs being smack dab up against each other. I guess that is not the case. Considering how few tourists are on island, that really makes no sense, to continue to make the chairs so crowded. Do they continue to put chairs all up and down the beach, and crowd them close together, or just put out a few chairs, crowded close together?


Carol Hill
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: Carol_Hill] #243395
12/27/2020 12:49 PM
12/27/2020 12:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 346
Sugar Land, Tx
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IslandBoi Offline
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the biggest crowds we’ve seen on the island, by far, are at the beach, but only Mullet so far...Christmas was especially packed...chair guys were unboxing new umbrellas to keep up with demand...looks like the chair guys try to put as many lounges on the “first row” as possible, so the line of chairs extends way down the beach in both directions...the second row almost as much, and the third+, not nearly so...i’ll try to give them the benefit of the doubt, and say they allow an extra foot of space compared to normal times...lol....still many maskless congregate at Rosie’s ordering food, and we still see many people meeting & greeting up close

today we’re heading to Orient, so we’ll see how the french compare

by comparison, we spent 2 months this summer in europe, and although we went out almost every evening, we felt people took masking up and social distancing way more seriously


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: IslandBoi] #243398
12/27/2020 01:15 PM
12/27/2020 01:15 PM
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OK, well Christmas Day was probably an outlier..


Carol Hill
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: IslandBoi] #243401
12/27/2020 01:18 PM
12/27/2020 01:18 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
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Auburn, WA
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Disappointing to hear. Hope it improves but I doubt it with some peoples mindset.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: IslandBoi] #243414
12/27/2020 03:52 PM
12/27/2020 03:52 PM
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We have been here since Nov 7 and I totally disagree with your synopsis of the Island and it’s people regarding Covid .
You cannot enter most restaurants or stores or banks ; casinos dr office without a mask and having your temperature taken and are asked to use sanitizer before entering the places.
As for Mullet Bay on Sunday and also holidays ; we don’t go there as many locals and visitors crowd the beach and it is very difficult as to social distancing and going to the bar for food. No Masks on beach goers which is to be expected. We go weekdays and all is well spaced and all chairs are sprayed and wiped down when people leave. We have no problem with being there during the weekdays. Most restaurants staff wear masks and also are respectful as to the Covid problem.
Now as to people walking in the streets with masks down on their chins; it is because it is so hot and they are outside as well.
There are idiots who don’t follow the rules in some cases but they are not allowed into many places without following the rules.
I feel safer here than in Massachusetts now and am thankful for having more of a normal life as we can do much more here while being careful.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243416
12/27/2020 04:22 PM
12/27/2020 04:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,260
Massachusetts
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Safer than in Massachusetts? Wow....everywhere I go in MA ...EVERYWHERE....masks are just an accepted and required way of present life. Other restrictions far exceed those in SXM AND are enforced ..but I guess it's all about everyone's personal comfort zone. Regarding my upcoming SXM trip in January I will be pleasantly surprised if it is as you describe...here's hoping

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243421
12/27/2020 04:53 PM
12/27/2020 04:53 PM
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Not surprisingly, different people are having different experiences in different places. We didn’t see any temperature checks or mandatory sanitizer in Orient, but I’m sure it’s happening some places. I felt safer at restaurants in St. Martin than at home since it was outdoors and it’s too cold to do that here. On the other hand, I felt less safe in the grocery store, but I assume there are places that are just as strict about masks on the island as you’d see in the U.S. At the end of the day, you’ll most likely figure out where you’re comfortable once you arrive. Just like at home, there will be places you’ll choose to avoid.

Last edited by dvesc; 12/27/2020 04:55 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: badbenni] #243422
12/27/2020 05:01 PM
12/27/2020 05:01 PM
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Tustin CA
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I agree with Badbenni. We have been on the island since December 7, returning to recommission our catamaran we left hastily last March. We were supposed to depart Dec 31 for SXM but the way covid was beginning to surge in California, we decided to cut and run early, which I believe was a prudent decision looking at current infection rates back in CA. I feel very safe here compared to Southern California.

Our first 10 days back we stayed in a charming ocean front airbnb in Simpson Bay close to the bridge, while we shuttled back and forth to our vessel daily. We noticed that to enter a grocery store, bank or retail, hand washing or sanitizing was required prior to entry in addition to mandatory masks. Some stores limit the numbers of patrons inside while shopping.

We have now launched our boat and moved aboard. Simpson Bay is very quiet, not many vessels anchored or in the marinas.

We have dined out multiple times and choose outdoor tables in the breeziest location possible and furthest away from other diners. With the exception of 2 restaurants, all servers wore masks. We have had wait staff thank us for returning to the Island and dining at their establishment. People here are grateful.

We did rent a car this past weekend to take a break from boat projects and spent Christmas Eve at Anse Marcel Beach Club, it was fantastic as usual although the weather not the best as Christmas winds arrived right on schedule. Christmas day we explored the Dutch side, spent a few hours at Maho watching planes land, stopping in for an afternoon beverage at Sunset. We have never seen Maho so deserted in all our trips. We decided to look for another beach and happened upon Mullet Bay, the parking lot was jammed packed full, so we decided to keep on exploring as we are not so familiar with the Dutch side.

All in all, we are extremely happy to be here. We plan to stay on the Dutch side in Simpson Bay until late January, then we hope to sail to the French side and spend a month there before deciding to where to venture next. We will continue to take necessary precautions and mitigate our personal risk. And yes it is all about everyone's personal comfort zone and risk tolerance.


Last edited by d_fish; 12/27/2020 06:55 PM.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: boucharda] #243423
12/27/2020 05:11 PM
12/27/2020 05:11 PM
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When we left Massachusetts on November 7 the average daily Covid cases was between 275-375 a day . Now it is averaging over 4,500 to 5,000 cases a day and the case rate per 100,000 is over 7% .
Here in St Maarten the cases per 100,000 tests is 200 or .002 % .
Starting on January 7, 2021 St Maarten will receive the 2 vaccines and start giving it to the elderly essential people first , then the general public based on age etc.
there are always stupid people doing the wrong thing but as I have said I feel safer here now than at home in USA except that if I was at home we wouldn’t have any semblance of a normal life.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: badbenni] #243431
12/27/2020 05:38 PM
12/27/2020 05:38 PM
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ruralcarrier Offline
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In talking to my long-time local taxi driver friend, he stated just as you did. Pretty much a mask is required to enter most to all businesses, temperature checks, hand sanitizer, etc. I am not there so I can not see anything firsthand but for someone to expect to see masks at the beach, I just do not get that thought at all.

Thanks for your input.


J.D.
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: dvesc] #243439
12/27/2020 06:52 PM
12/27/2020 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dvesc
At the end of the day, you’ll most likely figure out where you’re comfortable once you arrive. Just like at home, there will be places you’ll choose to avoid.



Exactly.


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243512
12/28/2020 05:41 PM
12/28/2020 05:41 PM
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The best disinfectant is UV light from the sun. The more you expose your body to the direct sun light the more disinfected you will become. The beach is full of it (sun) , the more intense the sun light the greater/faster the disinfection. Most virus's are destroyed quickly by UV exposure to UV light. ( the sun has just about all wave length's of UV light, making sun light one of the best and effective ways to destroy bacteria and virous.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: Bobinmobile] #243516
12/28/2020 06:09 PM
12/28/2020 06:09 PM
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Auburn, WA
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" making sun light one of the best and effective ways to destroy bacteria and virous."
Along with your skin.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243522
12/28/2020 06:47 PM
12/28/2020 06:47 PM
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Southport, North Carolina, US
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Originally Posted by vetteguy
We are booked to take our annual visit to St Martin in February but I have some concerns about safety on the island with respect to Covid 19.
Our rental property is in Orient Village so we will be spending most of our time in that area but will also travel throughout the island.
I would like to hear from those now in SXM or have recently visited the island, what your feelings have been?
Have you been comfortable with the precautions taken for Covid and did you feel safe?
Are most of the residents and tourists following these precautions? re: wearing of masks, sanitizing of hands and distancing?
Did you feel safe to go out to restaurants, grocery stores or shopping?


We were there from November 28th through December 12th and we thought we were safer there than at home. There are so few people that the restaurants were near vacant. The restaurants had people sanitize their hands, took their temperatures and and tables were spaced apart. People wore their mask up to the tables sand then took them off. The beach chairs were far apart. We have been home for three weeks and we see more problems here than in SXM.


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SSN691-May She Ever Prowl The Seas in Defense of Human Freedom!
SSN787-Preserving Peace, Prepared for War
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: SXMScubaman] #243537
12/28/2020 10:00 PM
12/28/2020 10:00 PM
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Allentown, Pa
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I agree the sunlight along with the benefit of vitimum d are very good in avoiding the virus. I like the sun but agree that it is harmful to your skin as I am awaiting to have my 8th surgery to remove skin cancer.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: bobbarb] #243542
12/28/2020 11:20 PM
12/28/2020 11:20 PM
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Auburn, WA
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I just went through a 4 week treatment on my scalp for sun damage. Fine line between beneficial and harmful.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243552
12/29/2020 07:49 AM
12/29/2020 07:49 AM
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Massachusetts
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Vitamin D is the issue and you can supplement your levels orally if you have sun exposure concerns

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: boucharda] #243559
12/29/2020 09:29 AM
12/29/2020 09:29 AM
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Central Florida!
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I had a blood test that said that I am low in Vitamin D, so I have been taking supplements for a couple of months now, for other reasons than Covid, but if it helps ward off Covid, it's an added bonus.


Carol Hill
Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: Carol_Hill] #243584
12/29/2020 11:58 AM
12/29/2020 11:58 AM
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Auburn, WA
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We take multiple vitamins plus Vitamin D every day. Have been for years.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: boucharda] #243606
12/29/2020 01:20 PM
12/29/2020 01:20 PM
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,757
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
I'm neither a doctor nor a scientist, but I believe it's the sun's UV rays that kill viruses, not Vitamin D. Vitamin D is another benefit to exposure to sunlight, and 10-30 minutes of exposure is sufficient for adequate levels of D, from what I read.


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Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: GaKaye] #243635
12/29/2020 03:18 PM
12/29/2020 03:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Northern Virginia
ecm56 Online happy
Traveler
ecm56  Online Happy
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 711
Northern Virginia
Viruses are not alive.

Re: Safety in St Martin during Covid [Re: vetteguy] #243649
12/29/2020 04:46 PM
12/29/2020 04:46 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,260
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
Traveler
boucharda  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,260
Massachusetts
Sunlight has shown some effect ON SURFACES to kill viruses...Vitamin D levels in humans has shown promise for reducing COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths

Vitamin D levels and COVID link


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