NO FOOL – REAL April – 2020

I cannot believe this is already another month, but you read last month about Quarantine, and as of March 23, it was more like LOCK DOWN!!! No more swimming in your pools, private or otherwise!. I was already wearing a mask when out in the grocery store, but now it was Mandatory, and even while driving in your car. Then came the separation of men and women. We (women) could only be out on M W F for one hour ( you went either at 12-1 (for the senior citizens) or the hour that was designated by the last number of your Passport (for the ex-pats) or your Cedular (Panamanians). YOu had an extra 1/2 hour on either end for travel, so if you were really close by the store, you could actually get to more than 1 store if needed, or the bank. BUT- that was it as everything else was and still is closed. Men could go out on T T S until they decided in the past few weeks to lock down Saturday and Sunday completely with NO outings permitted at all. YES, there have been many arrests, fines and if the Panamanians could not afford it, they are being put to WORK for the Panamanian government (road work, etc). To better protect us, when you enter a store, your feet go into a huge Alcohol sponge so that the bottoms of your soles are cleansed before entering, your temperature is taken and you better have that mask on and you are encouraged to be wearing gloves as well.
There is no question that the economy of Panama, as well as everyone else is suffering and it will be a hard recovery here. So many are not allowed to work or leave their homes. In fact, the Mayor of San Carlos, which is my community had asked the head Administrator and our Building Administrator if we could please do something to help. Norys who is a Panamanian who had married an American and does live on this property is well known in circles here had been involved. Then one of our Residents, Barbara got involved and asked me to please get involved, so we all brainstormed and Barb is extremely clever with her words and diagrams.

Call to Give.
Vladimir, Norys, Jose and Phyllis.

Before we knew it, we were contacting friends and people we knew within our VistaMar Community and were trying to raise enough money for 25 food bags which Norys was overseeing with a local grocer that she knew. After only 1 week, we raised enough money for a little over 100 bags of food to some very needy Panamanians within our local area. So proud of us and what we can accomplish when we really need to help! Thank you Vladimir, Jose and Norys for truly coordinating all of this and being “on duty” to collect all the funds from people and keep us moving so we could not stay and socializing! Very well coordinated! I wanted a picture, so got it and was literally “shooed away.”
I had my Seder for ONE on the eve of Passover,

Candles lit Erev Passover.
Matzah Ball soup.
Main dish – Half Cornish Hen.

and I must admit that that this evening was most meaningful. I , having had to be alone because of isolation, did a lot of thinking and remembering so many wonderful Seders of the past years – with family, friends that are family, and even my Childhood Seders at my Grandmother’s hotel in Lakewood, New Jersey. So many truly wonderful memories for me and especially with my children with me and Larry so many years ago in St. Petersburg, Florida. When do we ever get the time to think and remember? Whatever we are going through right now in our lives is giving us the time for reflection and it is truly so wonderful. I do honestly believe we will all emerge better people – more caring and loving and giving!!! Whether or not our lives, or our Country will ever be the same, I do not know, but as individuals, we will be better!
When our “lock down” here will start subsiding, I do not know, but I do hope soon. It is truly getting to many and causing some people to start going batty. I take walks 4-5 times a week. Although not allowed out, we are a gated community with LOTS of open space. There is not a soul out when I have chosen to walk, so I am OK for the 30 minutes or so that I am out. The guards that are on duty know what we can and cannot do. I also sit in the sun 3-4 times a week as I do know that the fresh air and sunshine is healthy. In fact, Barb and Joe, who are friends in this building have one of the larger Condos with a BIG wrap around Balcony and the breezes will blow you away! I went to their Condo this past week for Champagne and Cheese and Fruit to just celebrate “US” !

Toasting on Barb’s and Joe’s balcony.

It was a lot of fun to be out in the breezes and talking to someone other than myself for a change!!! The time has come – we know we have to be careful, and the Seniors do know that better than anyone else. BUT- enough is enough. We still cannot buy any liquor and this is now over 6 weeks. Thank heavens some of us keep our wine cellars full. Cant say that anore. I need to find a Bootlegger!!!!!!
And as another month comes to a close, I must say, I have gotten to speak with a lot more of my friends from all over, and even on Facebook, many of us from hears ago have sort of reunited with comments, messenger and it has truly been so gratifying to know you are remembered and that I am remembering old friends and being in contact. When in our busy normal lives did we have time for this? We never TOOK the time but now we have the time, we are taking it and channeling it to good use. What a fabulous feeling for so many of us. Many memories o the past food our minds and as we reconnect with those we have not been in touch with, new memories pop in. Its a great feeling folks, I must admit!!!

I can only wish all of you reading this, the very best. I do hope you and your families are well and will continue to be so. WE WILL SURVIVE THIS TOGETHER. I love and miss you all and let’s not lose the contact. It is stronger than ever!

Until next month……………………………………………

P.S. Please note that the format of Word Press has changed and it took a miracle and a lot of help from my friend here, Eryka to get the images inserted. So forgive and know I will post more pictures in the future.

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Category: Dispatches
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