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What Next?

by Beth McGuyton on July 22, 2020
What Next?

What Next?

 For a while now, volumes of information have been published online, a never-ending reiteration of the dire situation we live in.  Sorting through the good and bad information requires effort and probably creates stress. There has been little positive news as the medical, economical, and psychological toll from the pandemic impact causes a turning away from science only to face even more serious consequences.

This morning news (Australian Jewish News) of a one-minute coronavirus breath test invented in Israel gave me hope for the first time in a long while. The scientists applied methods from physics, photonics and electrical engineering to invent a device which could be used in ports of entry or workplaces for fast results. Approval processes are pending and will be fast tracked.

This type of innovative thinking is what is needed to bring the world back to some type of normalcy.

Consider the impact of just this device on daily lives. Individuals can be tested daily, positive tests identified quickly to reduce transmission from asymptomatic people. Putting those testing positive into immediate isolation, ensuring their daily needs are met, providing medical care and monitoring their movements and progress will go a long way to reduce additional spread. Contract tracing remains required and could be tied to an assigned support worker for each patient.

While the lockdown was initially effective in containing the spread, it is not a viable long-term solution. People need to be able to move about, interact with others and the long-term impacts are yet to be determined.

Each and every one of us should be compelled to think outside the box, get the creative juices flowing. The old ways do not serve the public anymore. What will fall away and what will rise remain to be seen.

The lockdown has forced us into a new way of living. What have you gained in the downtime?  When we can safely meet again, what will remain of our communities?  Each of us should consider what matters and put steps in place to do your part to make it happen.

For now, the same message remains, wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask.

Panamanian women have been creating matching head wraps and masks, they have found an outlet for their creativity. Victor Perez and the Guna Yala women have made beautiful masks which have now been shipped to the US, funds going back to the community. Finding a new way to generate much needed income will have to be applied for many.

As we await further developments in the fight against coronavirus, spend some time thinking of ways you can improve your situation and the community at large. We are surrounded by good people who from the start of the pandemic found ways to provide services.  Many have been dedicated to feeding our neighbors in need, please continue to support their efforts. Ordering from your favorite restaurants helps them stay open another day and you get a day off cooking.

All the expats who chose Panama for its natural beauty, temperate climate, warm people and healthier lifestyle will have to band together as we rebuild our communities. The end result may not resemble the past but it will be the way we move forward.

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