What a Day!

Yesterday was Wednesday, January 20, 2021. A lot of very good things happened yesterday!

First, of course, is the inauguration of a new president in the USA. I know many wished for a different outcome, but this is a new beginning and I hope better times are ahead for all of us. The pandemic and the recent violence made for a very different inauguration ceremony, but I don’t think it lessened the impact. Lady Gaga sang an incredibly beautiful performance of the national anthem, and she was only the first of a number of amazing participants. I thought Biden gave an excellent speech stressing unity and healing. It felt honest, heartfelt, and very hopeful, which I think is what we all need right now.

A woman of color is now the vice president! What a momentous thing that is. I saw the whole ceremony was full of women and people of color, but to have this woman, to have her in this position, it’s an awesome thing.

But wait… there’s more!

Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning, the first doses of the vaccine arrived in Panama.

COMUNICADO N° 330 | Ministerio de Salud de la República de Panamá (minsa.gob.pa)

The first people were vaccinated in a happy ceremony attended by the president and other officials. The first people to get the vaccine were ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and other front line workers.

We only got about a third of the vaccine that was ordered, but Pfizer said that when they get caught up they’ll sent the rest (“in the first quarter of 2021”). Since supply is limited, they are going to vaccinate people in the Panama and Panama West districts where the virus has been the biggest problem. So, it’s going to take time to get to everyone, but what a hopeful thing to see the first doses finally arriving here in Panama!

My friend in California got her second dose of the vaccine yesterday. She’s an ultrasound person at the local hospital, and her husband, the radiology guy, should get his this week also. We all hear the stories about the disorganized and inadequate vaccine distribution, but it feels great to hear that some people are getting protected, especially those in the front lines of patient care.

What else? We had electricity yesterday. We got a notice that the power was to be shut off yesterday while they did some repairs. But, they shut off the power about 10PM and it was back on in the early hours of the morning, so we had power all day. It was an especially good day to have electricity since we wanted to watch the inauguration ceremony.

I got my teeth cleaned and got a clean bill of health from our dentist. My life long battle with dental problems came to an abrupt halt when I arrived in Panama. I’m not sure why, but thank you!

My daughter sent me pictures and art of my grandchildren, and the package seemed to have gotten lost in transport and was in the never never land for two weeks. But, now I have notification from the mailing service that it arrived in Miami and is on its way to David. And, my husband’s repaired hearing aids are also arriving.

The virus numbers in Panama seem to be improving. I don’t want to say anything too quickly, but the statistics of the last few days seem to be a bit better. Maybe all the restrictions made a difference? Hospitalizations are still high, but since someone usually needs a few weeks rather than a few days to improve enough to leave the hospital, maybe those numbers just need more time.

Did I share this already? It’s a recent Bob Adams video where he talks about COVID in Panama and the plans for the vaccine. He says the country is generally doing well, and that eventually everyone will get the vaccine, citizens, residents, and even tourists. Jump to about 5:55 in the video if you want to go directly to that part.

Summer has definitely arrived in Panama now. We haven’t had rain in quite a few days, and the trade winds have been blowing. Mangoes and avocadoes are flowering, along with other ornamental and fruit trees.

We are still in a very difficult period with this coronavirus, but it feels so good to see good things happening, and these signs of progress that reassure us that this won’t last forever. It probably won’t even last through this new year.

Hang in there everyone! And, as always, take very good care of yourselves and each other. I want to see all of you still here when we come out the other side.

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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2 Responses to What a Day!

  1. Doug Banks says:

    Thanks for another well-written article Kris, I look forward to them. Good to hear that you and Joel are in good health and look forward to seeing you both on the other side.


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