Last week, Panama closed their borders to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The only people who can come in to Panama are Panamanians or foreigners who have a permanent residency Visa. And those who do come in must be in self-isolation for 14 days.
We’re not on total lockdown but everyone has been advised to stay home and practice self-isolation. That means you don’t invite friends or neighbors over or go walking around town. You can still go to the grocery store if necessary. There is a nationwide curfew from 9pm to 5am.
As of March 18th, Panama has 86 cases and 1 death due to the Covid-19 virus.
Movie theaters, bars, malls, gyms, museums, etc were ordered to close. There can be no social gathering so the Friday Panama Relocation Tours Alumni Happy Hours have been cancelled. Even beaches are closed to the public. All schools are closed.
Grocery stores are still open but only 50 people are allowed inside at any one time. No one is hoarding. There is still plenty of food and even toilet paper. Senior citizens get to go to the front of the line if there is one.
Pharmacies are still open too. Hardware stores are still open. Many workers are wearing masks and gloves and some shoppers are too. Masks are still for sale in pharmacies and hardware stores.
Restaurants that are still open can only offer take-out or home deliver service. No dine in service is allowed. Some restaurants have closed temporarily.
Yesterday, they put a ban on alcohol sales throughout Panama. People seem to be more upset over that than the virus. You cannot buy alcohol anywhere in Panama. I have one bottle of vinto tinto (red wine) which I’m saving for the day they announce the “all clear”!
We had to cancel Panama Relocation Tours through April 17. We hope it is resolved by then so we can resume tours. Most of those who had a tour cancelled switched to a tour later in the year before those dates are completely sold out! We’re still taking new reservations for 2020 and 2021 every day.
It all sounds drastic. And it is. We’re fighting an invisible enemy.
But it’s Panama’s way of stopping the virus in its tracks! I’m proud that Panama has been very proactive at trying to stop the spread of the virus. The Health Ministry (MINSA) and President are keeping us all informed with daily communications.
Panama is a great place to ride out a pandemic. The skies are blue. The weather is perfect. There is plenty of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits like pineapple and papaya readily available. And we have fresh fish from the Ocean.
You can still go outside and walk around but it’s advised to stay away from other people. Life is what it is right now, but it’s also what you make of it. My daughter is here with me and we’re starting a new gardening project and have started growing micro greens which are super high in nutrients to keep our immune systems strong.
Where ever you are in the world, we hope you’re safe and have enough food and toilet paper and wine/beer to ride out the storm too.
Panama is the IDEAL place to retire!
In fact, when this is all over, retiring in Panama may be more important than ever because this pandemic could affect the economy in every country and the bank account of every person. Your retirement income will go much further in Panama.
Panama is a much more affordable place to live than other countries. Little Panama, with only four million people, will bounce back faster and easier than North America or Europe.
With all the recommendations for social distancing, staying inside, businesses shut down, and no tours to keep me busy, it’s easy to lose that sense of a real-world community. You’re probably feeling a bit isolated too.
To keep you informed about what it’s like to live in Panama, I’ll be offering a FREE special Panama Expat Interview Call every Saturday during this Covid-19 pandemic. You’ll be able to connect with someone who already lives in Panama and learn what their life is like.
This Saturday, March 21 at 5pm CENTRAL (6pm Eastern, 4pm Mountain, 3pm Pacific) I’ll be interviewing an expat who lives in Panama for 45 minutes then we’ll open the call up for questions for my guest for 15 minutes.
ACCESS CODE: 120440#
Every week, we’ll interview a Panama expat who will share what it’s like to live in Panama, talk about where they live and why they picked that area, learn what they don’t like about Panama too, plus much more.
During this time of self-isolation, this will give you something to look forward to every week.
Even though you can’t jump on a plane to fly to Panama to go on a Panama Relocation Tour right now, you can still stay informed about how you can live better for less in Panama with our weekly Panama Expat Interviews.
During our special Panama Expat Interview Call, you’ll be able to connect with someone who already lives in Panama. You can learn why they moved to Panama, what their life is like in Panama and much more. On Facebook, I’ll even post photos of where they live and their views so you can see what it’s like to live in beautiful Panama.
Please join us this Saturday, March 21st to connect with a Panama Expat during our one-hour Conference Call which starts at 5pm Central.
The current Covid-19 situation will be over soon. Don’t let it get you down.
Even though borders are closing all over the world, we can still stay connected in our virtual community through our FACEBOOK page, by email, and during our weekly Panama Expat Interview Calls.