The virus statistics for Panama on March 28 stand at 901 cases, with 17 deaths reported. New cases have been added for the past 4-5 days at the rate of about 110 per day. This rapid increase in the past week is a bit alarming, especially since a handful of cases aren’t far from Boquete, but this seems to follow the global pattern – a rapid increase of cases, then (hopefully) a leveling off and decline of new instances.
Panama is doing many things right regarding their attempts to limit the spread of the virus – airports are closed, bus service suspended, residents are under quarantine except for a two-hour window per day, and that is only for necessities like buying food and medicine. IDs are being closely checked to make sure people are going out only at their allotted time. Numerous people have been arrested, and companies have been fined, for ignoring the rules.
The streets are eerily empty, compared to the usual hustle and bustle downtown. Below is a recent photo someone posted on Facebook of Boquete’s main street. Normally, there would be cars parked on both sides of the street, vendors selling fruits and vegetables from the backs of their trucks, and people filling the sidewalks, going about their daily business. Not today.
So while I’m hunkering down at home and staying safe, I’ve been enjoying some of the very creative efforts of people who are making well-done song parodies online. These are some of my favorites. This “Coronavirus Rhapsody” is phenomenal, and the couple singing “Homebound” is adorable! Gotta love the “Quarantinaville” homage to Jimmy Buffett, too!
Although very different, life under quarantine is not nearly as difficult as the alternative – this illness is no joke, and being in a higher risk demographic, I’m not about to tempt fate. With patience and calmness, we all need to be smart about our health and remember these four little words, “This, too, shall pass…”