Panama, like the rest of the world, continues to struggle with the Covid-19 Pandemic.
As of August 5 the number of positive cases of COVID-19 iin Panama ncreased by 807 reaching 70,231 on Wednesday, August 5 with 31 new deaths brought the total to 1,153 with the fatality rate standing at 2.2%. 2,535 tests were applied, for a positivity percentage of 32%. Active cases total 23,886. With 1,504, hospitalized, 1,340 in the ward, and 164 in intensive care.
Everyone wears a mask in public … by law. And the police will stop you if you are not wearing a mask. This is a caring country: human life is important. We have had various iterations of lockdowns.
As of August 7th the airspace remains closed: no planes fly in or out of Panama except for occassional humanitarian flights arranged by other country’s embassies. With no flights there is no mail from the US since all US mail to Panama whether marked “Air Mail” or not, comes into the country by air. The border with Costa Rica remains closed as is the airport in Costa Rica. There are restrictions, “sanitary fences” between provinces and some towns. You can only be on connecting highways if you have a pass … but judging from the weekend traffic out of Panama City, the definite hot spot, lots of folks have friends in high places.
Right now you can travel where you live and be outside your home Monday-Friday from 5 am until 8 pm. Saturday and Sunday are stay in your house complete lockdowns. The Mayor of Panama City decided that he was important enough to leave the city to go to his beach house in Coronado and maskless take a walk on the beach in front of his house. In Panama all beaches are property of the state and the police stopped and fined him, which of course made the news and there are many who are calling now for his removal from office. This is serious, life and death stuff, folks, something which some other countries, no names, fail to grasp!
Schools, which would be in session from March through December, are all closed. Many places of business, gyms, bars, theaters, churches, restaurants are all closed. Restaurants can have take out service which you pick up at the restaurant entrance.
Panama has beds and equpment to spare and generally, aside from the “dry law’ periods and the inconvenience and boredom of lockdowns, has generally done a pretty good job. Of course since this is all new, there have been some hickups and confusion.
Many of our neighbors are out of work and these are people who generally live payday to payday. Some folks have lost jobs. Anything to do with travel and hospitality is dead.
Nikki and I feel blessed to be “stuck” in our beautiful home albeit with some frustration and boredom. The most exciting thing is to discover a new bug we hadn’t seen before. We’ve been able to keep our gardiner working since he is also a neighbor and can come to and from work without going out on the street. Since he has two kids, and twin babies to take care of it is important that he continue to work. The Mayor of Boquete has organized food bags that the town is distributing to families in need.
I had planned a busy 2020 with lots of cruises which, of course, have all been cancelled.
Here are some of the posts I have done since Coronavirus reared it’s ugly head. Most were in the early days of Covid … now its all become a boring and bad dream.
Stay safe world! Let’s get through this together … we hope and pray.