Coronavirus in Tola, Nicaragua
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Mar 19, 2020 Update
We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. He replied...
There is only once "confirmed" case of Covid-19 in Nicaragua at this point in time (3/19/2020). The government is "monitoring" the situation but has not imposed any restrictions at the borders or internally. But our local Expat community is actively taking steps to minimize potential transmission of the disease.
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? He replied...
We live in a gated Expat community near the beach in southern Nicaragua. In the past two days the HOA has ordered the 5 restaurants on site to close their dining areas and serve food for take-out only. The beach bar, a popular local hangout, has been closed. Effective tomorrow, tourists and visitors will not be able to enter the property. Workers and suppliers will still be able to enter the property.
Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads
We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? He replied...
The government of Nicaragua has indicated that it will not quarantine people if they have the virus. But concerns within our community have increased significantly in recent weeks. A couple from Canada flew back to their home country this week, after the Prime Minister of Canada asked citizens to return from abroad. My wife and I cancelled upcoming travel for a family visit in the USA.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. He replied...
As previously noted "The government is monitoring the situation but has not imposed any restrictions at the borders or internally." It is not very clear what the government will do as more cases appear.
Government Response with Regard to Expats
We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. He replied...
No specific actions by the local government. The US Embassy posts general updates on the situation.
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? He replied...
Not at this time.
Preparing for the Future
We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? He replied...
We did some shopping for groceries and prescription medications in the nearest city a few days ago to stock up on essentials.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
My wife and I mostly stay in our home - occasionally go for a bike ride or a walk on the beach, which is not very populated. We stop to talk to friends when walking but do not shake hands. We swim in our pool to cool off, and spend much time on our electronic devices. We generally have the TV on, varying between news channels, favorite TV shows or movies, and Pandora music. We recently completed a large jigsaw puzzle and may start a new one soon. Our daughter, son-in-law, and 2 granddaughters live nearby - but we have stopped having periodic meals together or swimming in the pool together, as my wife is a senior citizen with an active heart condition. Our grand daughter has also had a fever for the past 2 days. We miss our family time togehter.
Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals
We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? He replied...
Expats do not consider the public hospitals as being very reliable here. We do have a couple of small private clinics nearby for minor issues. We generally go to a private hospital or private doctors in Managua for important health issues - but that is 2.5 hours away by car.
Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals
We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. He replied...
We do have private international health insurance, and we are covered by Medicare in the USA if we travel there.
Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment
We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? He replied...
We would go to Hospital Vivian Pellas in Managua. It is a very modern private hospital - our 2 granddaughters were born there and my wife had emergency cardiac care there.
We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. He replied...
We currently plan to stay in Nicaragua. We cancelled travel to the USA to visit our daughter and her family in Colorado, since the virus is more prevalent there. And a conference that I was going to attend in Chicago was cancelled. We hope to be able to travel back to Colorado later in the year, but we plan to stay in Nicaragua to live for the near future.
Advice for People Outside of Tola, Nicaragua
We Asked: If you live in an area already heavily affected by coronavirus, what advice would you share with others elswhere in the world who may be facing the same challenges in the future. He replied...
Our area is not currently affected directly, but I would recommend following current recommendations to minimize contact with others.
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