So what’s going on in Panama? Not much. Everything seems to be pretty much stalled. There was a 6 phase plan to reopen the country but we have been stuck on phase 2 as the daily count of new virus cases has risen and remained high.
We continue to be allowed out from 5am-7pm, though some areas near Panama City that have especially high numbers of new cases are back to two hours out, 3x/week according to ID number and gender. Hardware stores, repair shops and some other businesses are open (sometimes with long lines because of health related restrictions) but many others remain closed. Many people are still without work and you see people trying to earn money however they can. There has been an explosion of people selling vegetables, eggs, and anything else they can to make a few dollars. A friend’s husband is selling pajamas and underwear. Families are banding together and neighbors help each other when they can. The government has been helping with money and bags of food but it seems very inadequate for the large need.
I think the most frustrating thing for many is the unknown. There was the plan for reopening in stages, but now progress has stopped. The president addressed the country last night but there was no information on when progress might start again. I think the isolation is also very hard for people. Panamanians are all about family and friends, but now they can’t get together to celebrate family events or just enjoy time together. Church services are on line, but it’s not like attending with your fellow parishioners. People spend a lot of time on the phone and other technology to keep in touch, but when you have to leave grandmother’s birthday present on the porch instead of enjoying a big family bash for the occasion, it’s definitely not the same.
For us, we are so thankful every single day because we are doing fine. There aren’t many cases in our province, and everyone is wearing masks, following social distancing, and stores are taking all the precautions they can. If we don’t want to go out to do something, we have a number of people we can call on who would be happy for the job. I am able to ride my bike regularly for exercise and fresh air, and I try to support some of the vendors when I’m out. It seems so little, but hopefully it’s something.
I continue to stay mostly away from the news and social media. The news is almost always bad. My family is safe and well in their homes, but so many others can’t say the same.
Anyway, that’s about all for now. Meanwhile though, nature is oblivious to the current problems. Mornings have been absolutely gorgeous and it’s lovely to go for a bike ride.
Right now I’m on my terrace listening to the many bird songs. We’ve been getting quite a bit of rain so everything is green and growing, which means more yard work.
We’ve had an occasional baby iguana visiting us, and I enjoy the toads, lizards, and wide variety of bugs that we see on a daily basis.
One day is a lot like another though, which seems to make the time go faster. If it wasn’t for the info on my devices I wouldn’t know what time or day it is, or even what month. July??! How did this happen??
But we keep busy, and we’re happy and thankful. You all please take care of yourselves and each other!