We’re Still Here

Yes, we are still here! I haven’t written much because nothing new is going on. We are still home under the same strict quarantine rules. Women are allowed out on M-W-F during their designated limited hours, and men on Tu-Th. The men lost their Saturdays because more men are being arrested for breaking quarantine, and more men are becoming infected.

There are a few glimmers of change on the horizon. Tomorrow they are supposed to bring out the three phase plan for reopening the country. The first phase will be hardware stores, car repair shops, and other such businesses with social distancing / infection control measures. They want to give everyone the heads up so the businesses can start preparing, but no date has been set for anything to actually happen. But, they want to get people back to work as soon as possible without jeopardizing safety.

https://www.panamaamerica.com.pa/economia/reapertura-de-empresas-se-dara-en-tres-grupos-1162745

The last phase opens tourism and non-essential air travel. I have a feeling it’s still going to be a long time before I can visit my family, or you all out there can visit here. It looks like it’s going to be a long time before schools are open also. Some families are home schooling but many don’t have the technology to keep in touch with schools so not a lot is happening. I saw a radio station advertising hours for different class levels to help kids keep learning. It’s going to be quite a challenge though to get classes going again and figure out where all the kids are in their various stages of learning.

But, I appreciate that the country is being very cautious, watching the numbers, and proceeding slowly. Of course this is a huge problem for the economy and the government is trying to support those affected (which is never enough, of course) but they are prioritizing health and life above economy.

Other news is the lifting of the dry law. When a state of emergency was declared weeks ago, a dry law (no alcohol sales) went into effect as part of that. It is said that the dry law will decrease the incidence of bad behavior and thus the burden on the police, decrease domestic violence, and save money for essentials like food for the family.

But, Thursday night it was lifted, but NOT in Boquete and some other towns where the mayor said no. (No you can’t bring it in either because you’ll be busted at the checkpoints) There was such an uproar that the Boquete mayor backed down, but not until Friday evening and by then, we were all on weekend quarantine and nobody could go anywhere until Monday.

Don’t break quarantine, because if you get arrested you’ll be put to work – community service aka cleaning up the city.

But, overall we seem to be doing well. There are new cases every day but the number seems to be holding steady, and so is the number of people in the hospital. Hospitals haven’t been stretched beyond their capacity, and there is more news every day of people who have recovered and were sent back to home from either the hospital, or the hotel (where they stay if they aren’t sick enough for the hospital). Here in Chiriqui province the news is ever better. There are many days without new cases or anyone in the hospital, and there have been no deaths since the few that happened at the beginning of the pandemic.

Of course I haven’t been anywhere or talked to many people, but the feeling I get is that the Panamanian people are cooperating with the requirements. There have been some demonstrations by people who need food for their families when government help didn’t come quickly enough, but people wear their masks, wait patiently in lines, and look out for their friends and neighbors even more than ever. I haven’t heard complaints about losing rights and freedoms.

So, this continues to be life here at the moment. It’s very quiet and peaceful.  At night all you hear are the bugs and birds, and daytime is quiet too. We are contented at home but still worry about those who are out there working, or who are struggling to get by.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! We’re all going through crazy times all over the world, so I hope you all are safe and have everything you need. Take care of yourselves and each other.

 

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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14 Responses to We’re Still Here

  1. Carole says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to you.Glad to hear it is mot bad there. We have 3 pp in the hospital and a total of 4 deaths between our 3 islands. People have to wear masks when entering any business and all restaurants are take out only. We have no restrictions on going out and all beaches are open.

    Overall we are surviving with no incidents.

    Take care and stay healthy

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  2. Jayne says:

    Hi Kris, we listened to you and Jackie last night, and it made us think of David as a place we may want to live, thank you for taking the time to talk !

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    • Oh cool. That was fun, and I was surprised to find out it was quite the weekly event! I think there are a lot of good things about David and Chiriqui, and I hope you find the perfect place for you!

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  3. Hey Kris, we look forward to your updates. We were in the Las Tablas area and had a rental car March when all this stuff happened. We were registered with the Canadian Embassy and they informed us that that if you want to get back to Canada, here is your only chance. So we took it and flew home on the 23rd March. We had to drive to Reo Hato airport and on our way we picked up an employee from our car rental place and he drove our car back to their office. We were lucky to get out when we did, we were scheduled to fly back last week. PS, it snowed where we are from in NB, eastern Canada yesterday…all day storm. Keep up the great work.

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  4. Sunny Bryson says:

    Hi Kris, I heard you on Jackie Lange’s conference call yesterday. Thank you for your time and answering all the questions. It seems you and hubby have carved out a nice little retirement in David and I loved hearing about your experiences vs someone living in Boquete. I plan on relocating to the highlands in Chiriqui Province as soon as all the insanity has died down. I’m not going to take Jackie’s tour as I am purchasing her guide book instead, but I do plan on doing some exploring and I hope to meet you and, hopefully, have coffee or a drink with you and your husband.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

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  5. Oh wow, you just barely made it out. Glad you are where you want to be, but snow? Hopefully spring is around the corner!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. eswini says:

    Hang in there:) Things are very similar here and any substantial easing is a long way away. It’s hard to see the rest of the world go back to normality without you in it but I’m trying very hard to control the feeling:) https://helpincoronatimes.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/while-the-lucky-soar-the-locked-roar-poetry-in-no-motion/

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    • Interesting post. Has this been a lesson in priorities, and are we going to forget each other when it’s over? I hope not. Don’t worry, will be here. I’m fortunate to be able to have minimal contact with the outside world, in an relatively safe part of a country that is doing a good job of managing this pandemic. I hope it is so for you too, and that you remain safe and healthy!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kris, I haven’t posted in quite a while , I rented a a apartment in Boquete for 3 months, back in 2017 I think it was , I got it through your contact Eduardo Horna, , i tried to message him through his email, “riochriqui@gmail.com , but the email was not good , do you know if he has another email , lm looking for some land or to rent a house, my name is David

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    • Eduardo is still around. I’ll let him know you are trying to contact him. His email is riochiriqui@gmail.com with an “i” after the “ch”. I wonder if that’s it? Remember that we are under quarantine at the moment so his time out is very limited but I’m sure he’ll do what he can to help you.

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