Monday was the first reported case of Coronovirus here. By Tuesday, they were reporting the first death and 7 more people infected. The last information I have is that the current count of confirmed cases is 32.
I have had a number of conversations about this recently with my family in Canada, and my coworkers in the States. I think for me there are two things that worry me: I remember last year when we moved here there was an outbreak of respiratory illness among children and there were a number of fatalities. Given that (and I remember a similar thing also happening within the last two years in Costa Rica), I am worried about the levels of care and accessibility to care that could be provided when the number of sick individuals is that much more. I also worry about what will happen due to the economic impact – there are already so many people here that live paycheck to paycheck and in debt. What happens as they lose their sources of revenue?
One thing that I like to hope they are doing right, is having such a quick and immediate response to things. By Tuesday they were already announcing school closures, and I think by Wednesday afternoon all schools and universities in David were closed. The feria in David was cancelled, and when I logged into Facebook the other day, it was a wall of ‘CANCELLED’ notifications from David and Boquete.
So, I am trying not to freak out. It seems like there is a lost of misinformation here, and a lot of gossip. I’ve already heard people for week spouting things like “the virus doesn’t affect hot places” as the number of cases in Qatar grew, and the first cases appeared in Brazil. Since Tuesday I’ve also heard that two people have died, the guy who died had travelled to David, various other rumours. It seems like people on social media are freaking out (although for the account I am thinking of people are always freaking out!).
We’re going to see. I went to SuperBaru the other day to stock up on some groceries, and I was not the only person. Hand soap was almost completely gone, and I felt like every single person I passed had Lysol spray in their cart, or disinfecting wipes, or something else suspiciously Coronavirus related.
As the number of cases here, and in Colombia and Costa Rica continues to grow, there is a part of me that wishes I was back in Canada. Or that maybe at least I had stopped being lazy and gotten around to actually buying insurance at some point. And that maybe it was a blessing in disguise that Alejandro’s daycare shut down two days before the new school year was supposed to start. I am very happy I have a remote job right now, as well. I keep thinking ‘oh man, this time off is going to be so great, I can get so much done!’ only to remember I still have to go to work on Monday, that it’s just Gaby, Luis and Alejandro who will be home from school and work.
I’m going to try to enjoy my time at home with my family, and wait for all of this to just blow over.