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 Still Quarantined in Colombia


Musings, Thoughts and Happenings

By Michael

Hope all readers are surviving the Covid-19 OK. 

Lock down continues
The national quarantine in Colombia is extended until July 15, 2020. Except for getting money from the ATM, some shopping and medical appointments Graciela and I stay home. On the downside is that at the doctor's office this week she informed me that I gained 3Kg (almost 7 lbs) in the last three months. 

The Bogota airport. El Dorado, remains closed to international flights until Sept 1. Humanitarian and cargo flights continue on a daily basis.

What is going on with the United States Postal Service. 
We use a freight forwarder in Miami to get things from the USA to Colombia. Recently one package went missing and two more seem to be stuck in the Miami post office for over a week now. This is even though the post office says they delivered the items. 

The problem seems to not be the exception but the new norm. The freight forwarding service wrote to me, 
"Unfortunately, USPS is marking packages in its website as "delivered" when they are in fact not.This issue has created so much trouble for our clients that our company has decided to personally visit the nearest USPS store on a daily basis to pick our clients' packages. Therefore, we will keep visiting USPS and hopefully they will give us your packages soon. "

If the quarantine is slowing the mail down that is OK.  They just need to let customers know. But to lie about the delivery is unacceptable.

Even United States news services mentions there are problems in the postal system. Here is a ProPublica article about that.


Many asking what was the President  thinking?
Ivan Duque,  President of Colombia, received many pot shots for his attempt to stimulate the economy. News service around the world covered what is being billed as "Covid Friday". While the USA gave out stimulus checks President Duque decided to create a sales tax free day. So, while the country is in lock down and suppose to keep social distancing President Duque declared a day where customers did not have to pay sales tax.  

Sounds good since Colombians pay sales tax of 19% . So it is like an almost 20% discount on many items like televisions and computers. 

My wife received E-mails from seven stores telling her to come and take advantage of the deal. People ignored the social distancing and crowded stores. I mean standing shoulder to shoulder just to save on a 50 inch television. News agencies around the world wrote about the complete lack of thought in the plan.

You can see a photo of one store in THIS ARTICLE by Colombia Reports.

Many pointed out two main problems. The lack of social distancing could promote the spreading of the virus at a time when cases are still rising in Colombia. Second  is that the stimulus method does not advantage the poorer people who really need the help. 

Didn't Vietnam started this way?
According to Army Times The United States is sending the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) to Colombia. While the basic idea of combating drugs sounds good, there are others reading more into it. Some believe it is President Trumps way of getting more reliable information on the drug war after in March he said, that Colombia's President Duque, “has done nothing for us.” Another thought is to be prepared if anything happens in Venezuela.

Thank you for reading. Wishing all readers virus free days. Take care and stay safe.

 

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