Happy New Year everyone! This year is going to be better, not right away, but by the time we celebrate the next New Year I think we will be living much more “normal” lives.
But, right now, it feels like the whole world is…. well… handbaskets come to mind. (Para aquellos de ustedes que leen en español, “irse al infierno en una canasta” es una expresión para que las cosas vayan muy mal.) The virus is raging out of control everywhere. Panama is also dealing with a surge in cases, hospitals are reaching capacity, and field hospitals and other options have been made available. One can create more beds but one can’t just create more health care personnel, which is an even bigger concern. Doctors have been brought in from Cuba, and any available nurses and other health care people have been put on the job of caring for the rising number of sick people.
We won’t even talk about the insanity that has been going on in the USA. Are we living in some kind of altered reality where such a thing is even conceivable? I’m already tired of explaining to Panamanians that I don’t understand what is going on in my home country, but this?? Panamanians have opinions and may argue strongly for their points of view. There are protests that may block travel and inconvenience a lot of people. But violence, threats to people’s safety and property? No, that is not done, ever.
But there is hope. Things are changing in the USA. We will continue to have huge problems but I hope we will be going in a better direction both in the pandemic and in the political/social climate. Here in Panama also, the vaccine is coming later this month. The have storage ready, a plan for the phases of administering the vaccine with the most critical people first, and they are already accessing the number of people in need so the health department can be ready to get to work. Of course time will tell how everything works out but they seem to be increasingly organized every day.
This is the latest article I’ve seen outlining the plans for administering the vaccine, and some information about how the vaccine works. (If you have google translate and a smart phone, you can point it at text and it will translate for you. Cool huh?)
So, that’s pretty much the news around here. For us, we’re just home, sometimes a bike ride for exercise and some conversation with friends in the area (at a distance, outside, with masks), and maybe….. now that town has calmed down a bit from the holidays and lockdowns, we might tackle the supermarket next week. We rode by this morning and there don’t seem to be the lines that there were in the last few weeks. But overall we are contented at home and so lucky to have everything we need here.
Summer in Panama starts in December but we continued to have some rain off and on. The weather reports say there continues to be a chance of rain but they are wrong more than they are right. By March, the height of the hot, dry summer, we’ll be complaining and praying for rain but right now, it’s sunny, breezy, and just gorgeous.
When you’re mostly home there isn’t much else to talk about. The mangoes are flowering everywhere, and the avocado I grew from a pit is flowing for the first time. I dug out some yucca I planted months ago and got some really good roots that are now in the freezer or my soup.
I just finished “Artic Dreams” by Barry Lopez. It’s not so much that things happen, but it’s more like art in the pictures it paints in your head about life in Alaska. Before that – “Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef” by Aarón Sánchez which I really enjoyed. I can’t imagine being a cook though, all that really hard work and long hours, but if that’s your passion and food is love, that’s what you’ve got to do.
I’m working on Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots. It has a really challenging bass part, but it’s going to be very cool when we put it all together. And then also, In Bloom by Nirvana. I wasn’t such a Nirvana fan but it’s growing on me, and our audience really loves them. We thought maybe we’d be playing again by now but with this recent virus surge, that’s probably still months away. But, there’s an endless supply of music to keep us busy at home while we wait.
What do you DO all day when you’re retired, and stuck at home? Thankfully that’s not a problem for us. It may not sound exciting but we’re very content.
As always, take care of yourselves and each other! We need kindness and caring more than ever.