Coronavirus in Montevideo, Uruguay
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Mar 23, 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...
Note: I do not speak or read the language of Uruguay [Spanish] so my knowledge of what is happening is strictly first-hand. My local grocery story is open and, as of 3/21/2020, was well stocked. The check-out clerks wear face mask but other store employees do not. The major mall is closed. Most eating establishments are closed although a few are open here and there.
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? She replied...
People seem to be calm; are out-and-about on the Rambla; some are wearing face masks but not many.
Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads
We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? She replied...
I am too new to Montevideo [only three weeks in country] to be able to report on any changes.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. She replied...
Without access to the language, I cannot assess the government's handling of the situation, except to assume that the closure of major businesses [the mall; restaurants] is by official decree.
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 am unaware of anything the US government has done for expats. But then, I have not sought any such info or contacted the embassy.
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? She replied...
There was a shortage of fresh veggies in my market one day, but the next day all those empty spaces were refilled.
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 am trying to find other English speakers so I can communicate. I plan to prepare food and freeze it in the event I become ill. I live alone and have not yet had the opportunity to make connections here since all avenues of social exchange, including church, have been shut down.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
I am staying home except to exercise daily by riding my bike. I pass the time with reading, watching Netflix, writing friends and family, and doing chores.
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 not enrolled in the public health insurance program but I am covered under a comprehensive travelers' insurance plan.
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 am not familiar yet with the hospital system in Uruguay.
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 would go to the large public hospital in the center of town because I know where it is and how to get 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. She replied...
My plan had been to return to the US on 1 June, 2020. So far, I hope to keep this plan but predicting international travel options that far out [ten weeks] is not possible. I haven't really given any thought to returning to the US any earlier. If anything, I feel safer in Uruguay than I would in the US.
Advice for People Outside of Montevideo, Uruguay
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 am aware of about 100 active cases of coronavirus in Uruguay but there have been no deaths reported.
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