content material coming from — thecitypaperbogota.com
We’ve been expats from the usfor 5 years now – first in Boquete, Panamá, and now in Medellín, Colombia. By definition, residing the expat life means going with the circulate. However we by no means might have imagined how a lot the coronavirus pandemic would upend our plans and our lives. It’s a brand new actuality we’re now sharing with mainly each different particular person on the planet.
Simply over a month in the past, we have been going about our enterprise like everybody else: working, strolling our canines, consuming out, taking lengthy bike rides, exploring new corners of Medellín, and planning our future travels. And, oh, we had large plans: on the finish of March, we had a protracted weekend go to to Bogotá booked. In April we have been flying to Europe for 3 weeks in Spain and Portugal. In Could, we have been going to Austin, Texas to see our household. We additionally had journeys to Ecuador and Aruba/Bonaire on the books.
Quick ahead to mid-April – the very week we have been presupposed to fly to Madrid for our large Europe journey. We’ve watched with horror as COVID-19 has tightened its grip and result in nearly insufferable tragedy in Italy, Spain, the UK., and different components of Europe in addition to New York and different sizzling spots within the U.S. We’ve additionally been awed by the braveness and dedication of healthcare staff everywhere in the world, lots of whom have themselves caught the virus and died.
And now, it’s encouraging to see that lots of the hardest-hit locations have handed their peak with the virus. It’s a ray of hope that sometime, hopefully quickly, quarantine measures would possibly begin to loosen up as international locations determine the most secure methods to reopen and restart their economies. We’re additionally inspired by the progress being made everywhere in the world to establish cures and a vaccine for this terrible illness.
In the mean time, we will’t consider a greater place to shelter from a world pandemic than Colombia. In contrast to different international locations, the federal government sprang into motion very early right here to cease worldwide journey, shut down all however important companies and providers, and mandate a nationwide dwelling quarantine that’s now in place till at the least April 27. After greater than a month at dwelling, we received’t lie – it’s getting slightly tougher, and the times are all feeling a bit extra monotonous. However we additionally really feel unimaginable gratitude. We and our canines are wholesome, we now have a secure and cozy house, and we now have easy accessibility to all of the meals we want.
Others aren’t so fortunate, and day-after-day we search for new methods to assist. We have been grateful to take part in a city-wide donatón sponsored by the Alcaldía and EPM yesterday (Easter Sunday) blew out its aim by elevating over COP$13 billion and gathering greater than 100,000 meals packages for needy households.
We moved to Colombia from Panamá a yr and a half in the past for quite a lot of causes: the price of residing, the fantastic local weather, the wonderful and reasonably priced healthcare system, and – most necessary – the folks. Colombians, and paisas (as locals are referred to), specifically, are a few of the warmest and friendliest folks we’ve ever met, they usually have risen to the event throughout this pandemic. Yesterday’s donatón is a good instance. And nearly day-after-day, our Colombian pals test on us and ask about our households (as we do with them). Every evening at eight p.m. we be a part of our neighbors all through our barrio of Laureles to cheer and make noise for the healthcare staff. It’s a celebration that’s getting louder and longer every night.
Briefly, quarantine in a world pandemic isn’t precisely what we bargained for after we selected a lifetime of journey, journey, and multicultural experiences. However as every day passes, we notice what a unprecedented expertise that is, one we’re sharing with an estimated one-third of the world’s inhabitants. It truly is a present – an opportunity for us as a species to set the reset button, determine what’s actually necessary, and begin engaged on the massive issues that have an effect on each single certainly one of us. Let’s hope that involves cross.
By John and Susan Pazera.
John and Susan are authors of the expat/journey weblog Latitude Adjustment.