No signs of easing. The lockdown in Panama continues
Playing with the camera during the lockdown: the staircase in the building, where my apartment is situated, Panama City, May 2020
We are all a little disappointed here in Panama. Two day ago, we all hoped that the government would announce to the public a clear roadmap on how the country would start opening up, after the measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. Today, we still know nothing, and the frustrations are growing. There are no indications of dates when the restrictions may ease up, causing concerns to the citizens and residents of the country.
Many of the country's poor are scared and left without survival means. Even if your family is eligible to some state support (80 USD/month/family), the amount is not feasible to survive on, let alone that the system does not incorporate large groups of the society, such as refugees or migrants, and does not always reach the people, who theoretically should be receiving this aid. The economic hardship forces people to go on streets and protest. We have seen the increase of protests in various parts of the city and beyond, as people demand creating conditions where they would have additional means for their families to survive on. The protests are increasingly violent resulting with threats to physical well-being of those, who already suffer disproportionally, but also, compromise the epidemiological gains of the confinement that Panama has imposed.
Given the above situation, I am very grateful to my friends, who help me support some of the migrants in Panama City, who ended up stripped from their income as the businesses where they had worked before the pandemic closed down. I am very aware that eight families/households that benefit from the support is a drop in the ocean, but another way of looking at it, is that at least these people have less existential challenges. To those of you, who have managed to support the little project, I would like to direct my sincere gratitude. Thank you very much!