Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you happen to be in the world.
In today’s episode of Morning Recess, Dan checks in with our friends, editors, and correspondents from around the world. These updates have been taken from our main IL Facebook page, where the correspondents have shared their experiences, from designated shopping days in Colombia to the possibility of instant COVID-19 tests in Uruguay. We’ll also hear about Dan and Suzan’s own trip to the shop, which didn’t exactly go to plan.
Episode 9 Transcript
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you happen to be in the world. This is Dan Prescher with International Living’s Morning Recess.
Welcome, I’m going to update you on some stuff going on around the International Living and expat world. Might be a short one today. The weather is changing here where I am today, and we need to get outside and get some stuff done before it gets nasty out. So I want to spend a little time checking in with our fellow friends, editors, and correspondents from around the world. These updates are all taken from their Facebook pages, their International Living Facebook pages, in their respective countries, and the main International Living Facebook page as well. There’s a wealth of information out there.
Marsha Scarbrough, for example, is reporting in from Madrid, Spain, where she is getting by having her groceries delivered from the local Globo supermarket. Susan and I just did the same thing. I’ll mention this in a little bit, but it’s a great service to avail of if it’s available to you unless, as Susan and I found out, there are some hiccups in it. We’ll get to that.
Valerie Fortney Schneider is in southern Italy where she’s having a better time than we’re having in the north. In her small village, everybody is pulling together. They’re having a much better time than they’re having up north right now.
Same with Tricia Pimental in the Portuguese countryside where Facebook and YouTube are keeping her connected. The infrastructure is still up. People are still maintaining their social distance and yet getting on with their lives.
Laura Diffendal in Belize found herself being locked down on Ambergris Caye. She has a number of businesses in various parts of Belize, but she was on Ambergris when this lockdown happened. She says it’s amazing to her how this little country is pulling together to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks. And she’s doing volunteer work now, helping restaurants make deliveries. Great way to be of service in her community.
In Uruguay, I found this very interesting. David Hammond says that local businesses got together to raise two million dollars for instant COVID-19 tests. Apparently, these tests are 90 percent accurate. It’s a finger prick and you get the results in 15 seconds. Doctors there are doing telemedicine, virtual doctor’s appointments. Uruguay has their act together in this respect. Instant COVID-19 test. Think about that.
Keith Hockton reports in from Penang and says that Malaysia is handling things very well. He has an 8 p.m. curfew in Penang right now and the local police are out politely breaking up football games and family picnics and telling everybody to get inside in their polite Malaysian Penang way.
Nancy Kiernan, our friend in Medellin, says that Colombia started letting people go shopping on particular days depending on the number of your cedula. It’s kind of like what Ecuador did with driving days. You could only drive your car into Quito on certain days, depending on the license plate number. This is a system where, according to your schedule, a number, you can go shopping on different days. I think Nancy says she can go on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tuula Rampont is in France and reports in that everyone is respecting the lockdown there with the help of regular daily happy hours and liberal appropriations of French wine. French wine helps everything. That’s just a fact of physics.
In Hanoi, Wendy Justice reports in and says that there are no shortages of anything in Vietnam as far as she can figure out. They did institute a nationwide lockdown and facemasks are required for going out in public now. But in Vietnam, there are no shortage of facemasks. That’s good to know for them.
Here in Omaha, Nebraska, where we are. I mentioned that Susan and I went out for our groceries this morning, called them into a local grocery store. They assembled them. We went to pick him up. It is not a smoothly oiled machine by any means. There was no social distancing involved when we got there. The guy came out with our groceries, handed me his clipboard and his pen, no gloves on. I signed up for it. Handed it back. He put everything in our car and we left. We may as well have gone shopping ourselves, actually, for all the social distancing that we got. And when we ordered, we said it’s okay to do substitutions. So we got plastic lawn bags instead of paper laundry bags. We didn’t get any rye bread and I got light IPA instead pf regular IPA. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as light IPA beer. But these are all firmly in the column of first world problems, and as Susan said, if this is as bad as things get for us, we’re golden. No worries.
In fact, we’re starting to think, we’ve had a lot of time to think, we’re starting to think about where we’re going to travel after this and we will travel. Things will get back to normal or whatever normal looks like after a pandemic and we will travel. I’m starting to pay attention to the travel strategies that people are coming up with, the changes in the various travel industries that will inevitably follow this worldwide pandemic. Watch for updates because I’m going to be interested in seeing how this evolves.
In the meantime, as I said, I might cut this one short, try to get outside while the weather is still nice. Stay calm. Breathe deep. Always maintain situational awareness. And I’ll see you next time. Dan Prescher signing off. Ciao for now.