Good morning. Happy Monday. What’s going on with you all? I don’t read the news much because so little of it is good, but I have a general idea. So many of you are dealing with more virus surges, along with everything else mother nature throws at us and whatever else we do to each other.
Here in Panama thing are changing as they open up more and more of the economy, but other things are not changing, thank goodness. Our virus numbers (knock on wood!) are staying pretty steady. There continue to be strict requirements of businesses and individuals to avoid spreading the virus. Thousands of tests are done every day, and teams go house to house for contact tracing. Hotels are available for those who aren’t sick enough to go to the hospital but need to be separated from others. Care packages are given to people in homes (medicines, vitamins, food, thermometers, etc.) and there is follow up to be sure they have what they need so they don’t go out while quarantined, and to monitor their recovery. Hospital censuses are staying stable, and mortality rates continue to be considerably less than world averages. It’s difficult for everyone, and terribly difficult for many who haven’t been able to earn money but things seem to be working, and people are generally very cooperative.
The borders and airport have opened, but there is only a fraction of the usual flights coming and going. But, it’s a start and it’s going well. People arriving need to have a negative COVID within the last 48 hours, or they will be given a rapid test on arrival (word is it takes about 30 minutes and costs $50). If you test positive you will be quarantined in a hotel for 7 days (paid for by the government). If a second test in 7 days is also positive you will be quarantined for another 7 days. Otherwise you are free to go.
Curfew has been changed from 7pm to 11pm, and now includes weekends (we had been restricted to home all weekend. Yesterday was the first Sunday in many months that people have been allowed out, and the first time in many months that I have been out at all for something other than exercise and necessities. I went with my friends to help them tend their land and fruit trees a bit north of Dolega and it was a beautiful and wonderful day!
But, except for the above we have been home all the time, and the internet has been our main source of information. One great source is Bob Adams, who has been here for years and makes it his business to know what’s going on in the country. Check out his YouTube channel at this link for info on the current situation and a multitude of other subjects. https://www.youtube.com/user/globalist426 ..
It’s interesting… an aside here…. it’s interesting how much people here follow what’s going on in the USA. For the last few weeks, every single person who I’ve had a conversation with has brought up the subject. They are very polite and gently find out my views before saying anything for or against, but once they feel free to share their feelings they let me know that they are very worried about the virus and other issues in the USA, and they are watching the upcoming election closely. I don’t want to start any discussions on politics here, but I have to say I’m very tired of explaining that I cannot explain what’s going on in my home country.
So, that’s about all I have to report at the moment. We continue to be thankful every single day that we are here for a multitude of reasons. I miss my family terribly and look forward to the day when we can be together again, but I know this is best for everyone at this time.
Meanwhile, we live in an absolutely gorgeous place! Here’s a few from my day yesterday.
You all take care of yourselves and each other. I know we are all so tired of all this, but we still have to deal with it so be kind to each other, and help those who are having a hard time. And, remember especially to take care of yourself!