I went out again yesterday! Since we got our US stimulus money we decided to replace our broken air conditioner. We’re doing OK but the warmer afternoons are more comfortable with AC. So, I went to the ATM for some cash. I’ve heard that something funny is going on with all the ATM’s and you can only take out $200. I found this to be true, but you can immediately do another $200 transaction. Rinse and repeat until you have what you need. Thankfully Schwab reimburses ATM fees.
While I was there, I went for a flu shot. They have nurses at stations around the Terronal shopping mall. The one closest to the street had a line of more than a dozen cars waiting for the drive up option. Another in front to DoIt Center had maybe 6-7 people with children waiting. The other three in front of Panafoto had no waiting at all. The nurse gave me a painless shot, took my name and basic info for my card that says I’ve had the shot, and that was all. I saw names with $1 after them on her list, but maybe mine was free because I’m retirement age?
Panama is encouraging everyone to get flu shots. They started with the people at risk because of age or medical condition. Now everyone is asked to get one and they are making it as accessible and easy as possible. They don’t want to care for a lot of people sick with the flu in addition to the pandemic.
Everyone, every single person wore a mask, everyone in cars, everyone walking, children, elderly, everyone. Oh and speaking of children, this yesterday was the first day children were allowed out. They can only go out with a caregiver during the hours allowed for that caregiver, but they can play a bit, and get some fresh air and sunshine.
It’s interesting to see the contrast between attitudes here and in the USA. We are under much tighter restrictions, as I have described in earlier posts. Panamanians, like people everywhere, find the restrictions of the quarantine difficult and tedious, or really stressful if they aren’t earning much needed money. But they are generally very patient. If anything, they worry that Panama is trying to open the country too fast. News from the US says they are hurrying to reopen the country more quickly but many say its too slow, and many others say it shouldn’t have been closed down at all.
I’ve been spending less and less time on Facebook and social media. It seems like everyone has their own opinions and versions of the truth and wants to fight with anyone who has different opinions and versions of the truth. I think this only adds stress and negativity. We are all learning as we go and there is no definitive rule book for managing a pandemic.
Be kind to each other! Arguing with each other doesn’t change minds, make anyone feel better, or change decisions made by government and officials. It’s a stressful time for everyone and we all need to take care of each other.