It seems that pretty much everyone in the world can relate to this, as we all hunker down and stay home to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
I posted yesterday about Panama, who is doing everything possible to keep people safe. Today news came through that hotels are ordered to close. Buses and planes from David (western Panama) to Panama City (east) are shut down, so if you want to fly out of the country from the international airport in Panama City, you have to drive there and make it through numerous checkpoints. If you don’t make it out this weekend with the numerous cancelled flights and closed airports, you aren’t going anywhere since all flights are stopped as of tomorrow midnight. And, to further complicate things, if you make it to Panama City but don’t manage to fly out, you risk being stuck in Panama City since traffic from there to the interior is being closely monitored and restricted. But, there are no available hotels in Panama City…. (or anywhere)
Thank goodness for friends, social media, and good people who are stepping up to do whatever they can in these difficult times. Our neighborhood chat group shares news, prayers and especially lately, lots of jokes to keep everyone’s spirits up.
If you are quarantined, how do you walk your dog?
For us here, our main difference is the lack of band gigs. We usually played on Sunday which means Saturday was spent preparing and practicing. Sunday was for last minute practice, packing up, driving to Boquete, setting up, playing, tearing down, driving home, and eventually winding down so I could sleep. On Monday I was usually tired so that was for cleaning house, unpacking, re-setting up band equipment in the living room, and catching up on correspondence and other low energy things. Tuesday – Friday was time for working on new material, vocal exercises (I’m trying very hard to be a singer who does not suck!) and we would have band practice if we could (which takes another good part of another day).
Now though, every day is a day off. When we finally get back out, we could be almost a new band! So far we have added Otherside, by RHCP, Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses is in the works. I also drug out New Years Day by U2 that I did a long time ago, to see if I can sing it better now that my voice is stronger. Next… we always have a list that changes day by day so who knows. We can’t really practice as a band since we’re down here and our drummer is up in Boquete, but if we all learn our parts we can usually put things together quite quickly.
I’ve also been cleaning up the yard. It’s hot, dry, windy summer so there are leaves and dead stuff to clean up, but not much weeding since it’s hard for anything to grow right now. We are eagerly looking forward to the return of the rains! Maybe 3 more weeks? And, if I get restless there are always home maintenance projects. Today I worked in the bathroom cleaning out a couple catch-all boxes, and scrubbing the tile floor with comet and a brush. Maybe tomorrow I’ll scrub the shower?
And of course there is always the internet! Playing balcony bingo in Spain….
Check youtube. There are many videos of people singing together from balconies, exercising together, and even eating together, each family on their own balcony. There are also so many other things on the internet, operas from the Metropolitan Opera, kids books from Audible, virtual tours of museums, many artists streaming their music for free on line, the list goes on and on. Everybody is having a hard time but many good people are contributing whatever they can to ease the pain.
Well now it’s Saturday evening. News just came through that there has been another death in Panama, a 50 year old female doctor in Panama City. We also have one case in Chiriqui, a bit west of David. There is more and more news of supermarkets not allowing anyone over 60 to shop, which, at 67 and 73 would be a hardship for us (though there is no official notice that this is supposed to be happening). And now, there is also a rumor that we will soon get a notice to stock up for 2 weeks because we will be told to stay home, EVERYBODY, in the house, nobody allowed to leave at all for any reason. Wow… but if everybody is quarantined, maybe this will allow the country to get control of the situation.
I’m really glad to be here, but concerned for my family back in the US. Thankfully though they are all working from home. Both families have young kids without school/childcare though which makes work challenging, but they are home and their jobs/paychecks are continuing, which is huge. I don’t dare think of the devastating economic impact this is having on so many people. My older daughter (who works for the city) says the need for housing, food, and very basis necessities is heartbreaking and overwhelming, and it’s only going to get worse.
Crazy times! We all do what we can to stay safe and help our neighbors. If you doubt this is real, if you doubt that this is serious, just look at what is going on in Italy. That is truly heartbreaking. Stay home, stay calm, and wash your hands.