As the COVID cases continue to rise, with an increasing proportion coming from community transmissions rather than through follow-up of contacts of known cases, the government has started shutting us back down again. My walk to the swimming pool this morning was in vain, as it turns out that gyms, pools and beaches were all shut down by a government proclamation this weekend - likely to be for a three-month period 😭.
Bars and nightclubs have also been closed again. I suppose I should be grateful that I went to a bar - my first time during 2020, I think - on Friday evening for an expat social do, and managed to strike up potential friendships (numbers exchanged) with a couple of people there. Just in time, before it became pretty much impossible to go out and meet new people once again. Also yesterday I visited someone I met at one of the same expat events a year or so ago, following increasing interaction on facebook, and got on well with his wife plus exchanged contact info with another guest. So perhaps my social life will pick up even as the opportunities to go out diminish once more.
It's sad that it has come to this, as the government were dealing with this rather well, but they gave in to the various pressures to relax various parts of the restrictions they had put in place, with the inevitable results. I don't know anyone here who has been infected, so the pandemic itself still all seems rather distant, but seeing what is going on elsewhere in the world we know we cannot be immune, and with the low level of testing here you have to ask what is the true extent of the problem. The age profile of the country helps us, as does the hot, humid rainy season that we are now well into, but I can only see things getting worse.
So apart from my two outings this weekend, and my now curtailed weekly swim, I have continued to do nothing here but work, look out of the window at the sky (the photo above being one of many I have taken over this period), and enjoy mango season, now sadly coming to an end.
I know I mentioned in my last post that my department would be sharing news in early August of job cuts, but as yet they have not done so although the cuts will still go ahead. It's unsettling - for me more than my colleagues as I am the only one in my department for whom losing my job would also mean losing my current home. I guess it is on my side that my employer has decided to extend our organisational international travel ban until 31 December (out of concern over the safety of flying allied with an expressed duty of care to staff) as I would have a good argument that they could not fly me home before that date even had they wanted to end my contract in, say, October. But I try to push the thoughts from my mind, as the world is so uncertain at the moment that I could not plan what to do next - where to go - even if I knew that I were to be amongst the victims.