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The lockdown!

Empty streets of Casco Viejo on Friday night (normally full of people), Panama City, March 2020

The lockdown over Coronavirus has reached Panama, and our office in Panama City. As a result, I am not moving out of my flat, except absolute necessities (emergencies, occasional shopping), and spending time writing emails (professional and personal), reading, watching Netflix, talking to my plants, and sitting at my balcony watching nearly empty streets.

Panama has banned lots of fights for time to come, but so did Poland, and many other countries, so travelling (even after the lockdown) looks like a bit of an unknown. Clearly I am not going for my work conference to Cartagena anyone, and they have cancelled my flights to Poland in April. I am now trying to work out some kind of a plan B, but given that plans of other people have changed too, and that call centres of airlines are impossible to reach, it will take time to work out what next.

My life is good though, and I cannot complain really. My employer is great, I have a really good health insurance, and I genuinely do not have any reasons to complain, so except being a bit frustrated, I try shutting my month up and not whinging, so that I am not a pain to other people.

Tahir in Canada is doing well too. He is taking it easy, and although he still goes to work, his employer reassured him that if he feels unwell, and needs to stay home, he is welcome to do so, with full pay! Wonderful piece of news! Mum and family in Poland are well too. We are a bit concerned about Mum as she is over 73, but then she is on the self-imposed lockdown too, and she is in a good health… With a bit of luck, we hope, she will be okay.

The Coronavirus makes me uneasy and furious on many other fronts. I am really upset at how many of us treat it. Without trying to diminish the significance of the situation, I find it really hard to resist the thought that there is so much panic and concern, only because the wealthy people/societies are not immune to the potential problems. There are so many other issues that are equally or more worrying, but we fail acting the same way as in case of Coronavirus, simply as many of us do not feel threatened. Ebola, locust infestation in eastern part of Africa, or parts of Asia, displacements caused by fighting… The consequences of these stresses frequently outpace the problems of the pandemic that we are experiencing… Even with the Coronavirus pandemic, we just report on what is happening in wealthier parts of the world, forgetting the needs of the most vulnerable communities (for example the displaced).

Staying at home leaves me with time to think of this stuff, and it does not cheer me up. Let's hope, we move on with whatever we need to move on with soon!