Out of Control

That’s one of my favorite Rolling Stones songs. This performance was from Havana Cuba, where the people didn’t get to hear rock concerts and they were so excited and appreciative. It must have been quite an experience to have been in that audience.

But, unfortunately that’s not the only thing that’s out of control. Here the virus isn’t exactly out of control but the numbers are up enough to give the authorities a lot of worry. The RT is 1.24% (rate of transmission is higher than one person infecting only one other person, and the goal is less than 1%). Indicadores de la COVID-19 en Panamá denotan que el confinamiento es una opción real (tvn-2.com)

Fatality is 1.8%, below the goal of under 2% so that is good, but hospitalizations and admissions to ICU are up so that is very worrisome. They don’t want the health care system overrun and unable to take care of everyone who needs care, whether from COVID or something else.

30-40% of infected people don’t feel sick so they don’t know they are risking others. And, people are just plain tired of all this virus stuff. We just passed the national holidays, and Mothers Day and Christmas are coming. People want to see the friends and family they haven’t seen for many months. It’s so easy to “just this once” go visit, and let down your guard with people you have known and trusted your whole life.

Because of the increased numbers, the curfew has been extended in areas around Panama City, and liquor sales have been stopped at night to try and decrease the partying. Word is that tighter restrictions may be coming, especially in areas where the virus numbers are increasing. Thousands and thousands of tests are being done every day and contact tracing teams are hard at work. Infected people quarantined at home are they being supported with food and medical care so they don’t need to go out and risk infecting others. I can only imagine the frustration of the authorities who are doing everything they can to control the situation and keep people safe, but the numbers still rise. Now that they have the economy mostly open they don’t want to reverse that, but they don’t want to lose any more lives either.

Our area seems more stable but the virus is definitely still here. My friend said her neighbors are quarantined. He is a policeman, and he had lunch with a coworker who had shrimp to share. The next day she felt sick. Now 4 other police are infected, and my friend’s neighbor’s whole family is infected, thankfully not sick but he, the wife, and the two kids all tested positive so they are quarantined at home with daily support from the health department.

I know it could be worse. I just saw yesterday that California is being shut down again, and my daughter said their area is also under red alert for fire danger. Sheesh. We also see bad news from everywhere in the USA, and around the world.

Here, we’re the same, mostly home. I miss my family but it was a surprisingly good Thanksgiving. I talked quite a bit with both my daughters and all the grandkids. Usually we have a big Thanksgiving get together but this year we did it on zoom, my kids and families, their in-laws, my sister, and both of her kids… it really worked out. We all got to talk and no one was left at the far end of the table. We got to meet the dogs and the cats, and see everyone from the comfort of their homes. Maybe there are some good sides to this situation. It worked so well that we are planning to do more group chats, and the extended family can keep in touch more than we have in the past. And, my grandkids have also gotten really good at video chatting which is great fun.

There is also hope coming in the form of vaccines. Panama has bought millions of doses but I’m not sure when they are coming or how they plan to prioritizes who gets them. But, they are coming! Myself, I don’t think I’ll feel comfortable going out with the band, and certainly not traveling to see my family until I can get vaccinated. We’ve waited this long, I don’t have a problem waiting a few more months if it means not risking myself or anyone close to me.

I know some of you aren’t comfortable with the vaccine. Some of you even think the whole virus thing is a hoax. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but don’t bother me with them. I’m no more likely to change my mind than you are. I’m just reporting what I see from here, from my little spot with an internet connection in western Panama.

So, back to the usual conversations. Is it going to rain? Is it not going to rain? We’re going into summer here and it looks like summer today, blue sky, lots of sun, hardly any clouds. Yesterday though, and the day before, and the day before that we got quite a bit of rain. Yes, life here continues to be pretty chill for us.

Let’s go listen to the Rolling Stones, or any music you enjoy! Take good care of yourselves and each other, and stay safe so we can all enjoy another day.

The banner pictures was taken in Boquete a year ago. We’ll be there again to play more music, not today, but soon.

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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8 Responses to Out of Control

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that great post, Kris. I am happy to hear they are doing contact tracing. That’s certainly not happening in the states 😦

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    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, different countries are approaching the pandemic differently. Hopefully conditions will change for all of us, and meanwhile stay safe and take care.

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  2. Richard says:

    If you look at the site “Newsroom Panama” there’s a story about possible re-imposition of lockdown measures which prompted right wing comments about the use of masks as being part of “One World Government” plot and other nonsense by expats living in the mountains above David. One of the reasons I avoided visiting Boquete was to keep from meeting fanatics like them. And it’s not just one or two of them up there, either.

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    • Yes, that is possible, even probable. Expats can complain but it doesn’t change the fact that we are here and subject to the instructions of the Panamanian authorities. Sometimes people want to complain to me personally, or enlighten me, and that’s also a waste of time on both sides.

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  3. Barbara says:

    Thank you, Kris, for this post and the goings on there. It is wonderful to hear how the authorities are taking care of those who are quarantined. I certainly wish the US govt. would be more proactive and do this as well. Stay safe and be well!

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  4. Jayne says:

    Thanks for the update Kris, we are eagerly awaiting the vaccine as well. Stay well!

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