I haven’t written much lately, because there hasn’t been much to write. One week is like another and we haven’t seen much change in the country, or in our little world at home. But, last night there were announcements.
There planned changes are:
Right now in many areas, mostly in and near Panama City, people are allowed out all day but still by gender, women on M-W-F and men on Tu-Th-Sa. As of September 14, the restriction by gender will be lifted and people can go out on any day. The curfew will continue, however, from 11PM – 5AM. A salvoconducto (safe conduct or permission to be out) will only be needed for workers who need to be out during the curfew hours.
On September 21 sports activities will be allowed, but without the public.
On September 28, retail stores, restaurants, and inns will be open to people (apparently for shopping in the store, not just ordering and picking up at the door, and for dining in a restaurant, not just take out). Professional services, administrative and general services will resume, as will national aviation, and family activities at the beaches, rivers, and parks. The racetrack can resume, but without the public. (we have a racetrack?!)
On October 12 there will be no more curfew. People can go out any time on any day. Also to resume – international flights, hotels, hostels and other lodging sites and related tourist activities, and recreational and tourist transport. Also to resume, creative and cultural activities, music, art, libraries, swimming pools, and the national lottery.
Dates are still to be determined for opening schools, universities, and child care services. Also waiting are movie theaters, other theaters, museums, tourist sites, casinos, bars, discotheques, concerts, fairs, parades, and other such activities.
Health related measures must still be strictly followed by everyone! It is stressed that the safety of the people is the most important, and everything must be done to keep everyone healthy and safe so the country can continue to move forward.
So, this is the plan at the moment. Of course there will be questions about details but the general direction is clear. But, we have seen it happen in the past when they reopened some things, that the cases of the virus went up and everything came to a screeching halt for weeks and weeks. I figure we can’t count on anything this time either, but this is definitely a hopeful sign. The authorities have done more and more testing, and are very serious about contact tracing. There continue to be more cases but the number of people in the hospital has remained stable, and the transmission rate has fallen below the ratio of one person infecting one more. There are hopeful signs!
For us, nothing much is changing. Travel to the US and live music, the things that affect us personally, are still way out there in the future. Thankfully we are happy at home indefinitely, and have everything we need. So, now we wait and see what happens to the country, and to the rest of the world. Be careful out there, and take good care of yourselves and each other!