Coronavirus in Valdivia, Chile
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Mar 20, 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...
We do not have reported cases in the city but in the region stemming from the ports of entry within 2 hours. It feels safe here and people are careful
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? She replied...
People are staying home and following the rules - especially since Thursday.
Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads
We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? She replied...
People have begun to wear masks are staying home and not greeting each other with a kiss but occasionally the elbow bump. Everything feels safe.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. She replied...
Extremely well - especially compared to other countries. They have closed everything and are trying to limit the spread. The police/military presence is more obvious this week - a slight concern in Chile - but people are orderly and following the rules here.
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...
We have many types of "expats" here. Right now the biggest headache are the umpteen cruise ship passengers who traveled even after the outbreak and the government is trying to help them leave. The general tourist is being advised that hotels will close outside the capital. The expat living here is getting visa extended easily with an appointment and I feel they are really kind and flexible in helping us.
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? She replied...
No - stores still have food. The alcohol, gel and disinfectant wipes sold quickly but the start of school also exacerbated this. I can still buy Lysol, cleaners, soaps etc. Paper products are plentiful and food - especially fresh produce is plentiful.
Preparing for the Future
We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? She replied...
We have about 4 weeks of supplies. If the situation deteriorates we will leave the country but we are 8 hours from the capital and getting there could be difficult. I did reach out to a local doctor this week and extended our visa with immigration.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
We are able to work from home. We also have been reaching out to friends and family globally more than usual. We have been watching more TV & Youtube. We have GREAT global news coverage here from Spain, CNN, Chile, Al Jazeera, BBC, NHK, Latin America CNN, Chile CNN, VOA etc. We feel informed. We miss our Gym but have been taking brisk walks around our very hilly neighborhood and to shop.
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...
No - the hospitals are all private in Chile. However, we have private insurance and I have a doctor.
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...
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 only have private available
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...
We are considering it - but at present the State Dept can't tell us if we would have to quarantine in our first port of entry or what. We may be asked to return early but our work has us here until middle of June.
Advice for People Outside of Valdivia, Chile
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...
We are NOT heavily affected but I speak with Australia daily and am shocked how little they have done compared to Chile. Similarly the US has no national plan. A national plan has really really helped here and the tourism here is really big and has brought Coronavirus.
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