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Expat Coronavirus Report


This may be a selfie taken in Cuenca.

Coronavirus in Cuenca, Ecuador

By Artpainter

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March 22, 2020 Update

Updating report; I am feeling fine thank you, and trying to keep a routine studying my Spanish, growing new seedlings in the yard for some vegetables. I am questioning friends in different parts of the world. This response is from Cuenca: Hospitals are fine, testing is available through a few different sources, There are new cases in Cuenca and surrounding areas. Many people have been arrested for breaking curfews. Another friend wrote that Tucson, Arizona is just getting the first corona virus cases. In Phoenix an art buddy is staying alone in the house, but preparing meals for her 96 year old mother-in-law nearby. I don't think there are shortages in Cuenca in Supermarkets yet. Ecuador has locally grown produce. I see cows in rural areas, and some have hogs. There may be some shortages in other areas since ordering goods from outside Ecuador because of risk of infection. As far as general mood in this area, one ex-pat friend in Cuenca wrote that elderly Ecuadorian people have knocked on her door asking for food.It brought tears to her eyes and she says she is not usually emotional. She found some food in her cupboard for them, and tomorrow she is going to dig deeper and have more food ready in giveaway bags. She thinks there will be more people in need here. My advice for people in other parts of the world could be to follow examples of countries that have risen quickly to the needs of the people, such as South Korea, and learn what they did there to curb the virus in the beginning. "Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist began analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases world wide ini January and correctly calculated that China would get through the worst of it's coronavirus outbreak long before many health experts had predicted. Now he foresees a similar outcome in the United States and the rest of the world", There is more, see Yahoo!News. Written by Joe Mozingo, LA Times.3/22/20204:03 PM GMT-5

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. She replied...

Everyone is quarantined and obeying the law. There are less outbreaks here than other parts of the country.

How People are Coping

We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? She replied...

Shopping for seniors who are staying in. My town doesn't have a lot of people, so I imagine they are going to work and returning as usual. Not as many children in the playground and no adults.

Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads

We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? She replied...

People are nervous. Similar to other parts of the world, people are realizing how serious this is.

Government Response

We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. She replied...

The government is simply shutting down flights entering the country, and monitoring every aspect of care. One example of a man driving after hours and admitting his guilt received a fine but escaped being put in jail.

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. She replied...

I don't know. I am an expat and I live in a remote village with all Ecuadorian people.

Supplies and Shortages

We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? She replied...

I think there is a problem with gas deliveries for heating, cooking and hot water.

Preparing for the Future

We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? She replied...

I fortunately have an English speaking friend who runs a market here who has offered to pick up fresh produce in town for me.

Lockdown & Passing the Time

We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time? She replied...

I am doing my art, which means finishing paintings, starting new sketches and pastel on paper since I will run out of new canvases. I need to make a Keynote presentation on computer which will take a bit of time. I have a garden in the back too work in.

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? She replied...

I am enrolled for now in a private healthcare system. I know there are only a thousand beds in all of Ecuador for handling ill patients. As in Italy, there will be a choice as to who will get ventilation and who will die because they didn't receive it.

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. She replied...

I don't know but my insurance broker knows and if I fall ill I will be able to figure this out with him online. I am not a member of any hospital at this time.

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? She replied...

I think it depends on the doctor. I don't have a hospital choice lined up and I don't have a doctor.

Returning Home

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. She replied...

I can't return to the USA because the situation is worse there than here in Ecuador. My daughter is worried about me, and I am worried about her back home.

Advice for People Outside of Cuenca, Ecuador

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. She replied...

I don't live in an area havily affected. I would say to others, stay put, get food delivered. Keep yourself and your house clean. Eat mostly vegetables and fruits, no sugar or alcohol.

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