Where did April go??
With our weekend quarantines now a fact of life and Colombia’s devastating third COVID wave showing no real signs of relenting, the months are whipping by. As travel bloggers, we’ve been a bit challenged to come up with interesting things to write about as we stay grounded by the pandemic. Until we can hit the road fully vaccinated and ready to travel, we’ll keep highlighting interesting news about Colombia every month. Here’s our April Colombia news roundup.
Colombia’s April COVID news isn’t good.
Just yesterday, the New York Times published a story with this distressing headline:
If you subscribe to the Times, here’s the full story. But in essence, it quotes Colombia government officials, among others, and states that the COVID crisis in South America has taken an ominous turn for the worst – posing a major threat to the progress that’s been made in other parts of the world. And – horrifically – the article notes that Latin America accounted for 35 percent of all COVID deaths in the world last week, despite having only 8% of the global population. Yesterday, Colombia posted its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began: 505. That makes a total of more than 73,000 Colombians who have lost their lives to this awful disease.
But there’s a ray of hope here in Pazera-world.
John is scheduled to receive his second Pfizer shot on May 8, and just yesterday the Colombian government opened up vaccine eligibility to my (Susan’s) age group. I’m hoping to get my first jab this week. With John on the verge of being fully vaccinated, it all feels a little surreal. Is it possible that we’ll soon have some semblance of our old lives back?
Epidemiologists around the world concur that mass vaccination is the only real way out of this crisis – and it will take a true global effort to end the pandemic. That’s why it’s been so difficult to understand why rich countries continue to horde vaccine to the point of surpluses (we’re looking at YOU, U.S.) while poor countries like India, Brazil, and Colombia are struggling to get their vaccination programs off the ground. There really is no good excuse for this vaccine inequality, but it’s just one more symptom of a world order that favors rich white people over poor people of color. There’s so much more we could say about that . . . but, yeah. Point made.
Which leads me to a rant:
We know vaccination is a personal choice. But if you’re not vaccinated yet and you’re lucky enough to be in a country that has a vaccine surplus, for heaven’s sake – PLEASE – just get the jab!! As The Wolf would say, “Pretty please with sugar on top!” (Bonus points if you get the movie reference.)
Here are a few more April Colombia news stories that got our attention.
Medellín is continuing to advance its leadership on the world stage.
Medellín is one of two cities (the other being Mumbai, India) chosen by the World Economic Forum to lead regional city networks in Latin America and South Asia as part of the Forum’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. The goal of these regional networks is to share knowledge on smart city development while protecting public interests related to privacy, security, and sustainability. Full story here.
More new avian discoveries in Colombia.
As we mentioned in our recent post about our backyard birds, Colombia has the world’s highest bird diversity. Apparently this has gotten the attention of actor Leonardo Di Caprio, who tweeted this month about a recent expedition of biologists who discovered 30 new bird species in Colombia’s Córdoba department. They’re on the hunt for a rare parakeet that’s on the verge of extinction. Here’s the full story in El Tiempo (in Spanish, but easy to translate with Google).
Speaking of flying things, Colombian is building towards its aviation future.
Looking ahead beyond COVID, Colombia’s Civil Aviation Authority has added 32 new international routes by 11 carriers to the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and Curuçao. Here’s the full story:
Back on the ground, Colombia continues to expand its highway infrastructure.
Colombia is in the midst of a huge expansion of its national highway system, with up to 7,000 kilometers of new highway construction expected to be completed by 2023. Here’s a recent story about it. (We ran into plenty of evidence of the highway projects on our road trip to Jerico last year – here’s our post about that trip.)
In the meantime, work is getting underway to build a new toll road right in our own neck of the woods. This new road is sorely needed, since the current roads connecting Medellín with the international airport are highly congested. Full story here.
And finally, this – as we conclude another Easter month.
Pretty please – get vaccinated if you can, people! And have a safe and happy May.
Hi, John & Susan! It sounds like we’re in similar situations–I get my #2 on MONDAY!! and hopefully John will get his first in May also. (age before beauty?!!) We’ve been noticing your move to El Retiro, but we are really hoping not have to buy a car. Much as I love to drive, one of the things I like about Belen is the public transport (but not the pollution!) so…we’ll see. Hopefully we will get to rendez-vous at a meetup again at some point, or, maybe the dentist’s office?! Stay well and keep blogging. Best wishes, John & Mary
So interesting to read about the holy week beliefs! Heres hoping you can get out and about again soon!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Hi Mary! So great to hear from you – and congrats on your #2 jab! Hope it went well – it must feel great to be fully vaccinated. John’s due for his second Pfizer this Saturday.
I’ll send you a longer email (very red face for not responding before). But thanks for your comment!
It’s really sad to know that the Covid-19 situation in South America is getting worse. I hope mass vaccination can be rolled out even more quickly with now more and more countries are producing their own Covid vaccines — I read that Cuba is in its final stage of testing its own vaccines. It’s good that you’re about to get your first jab soon, Susan. My mom just received her second dose earlier this week, much to my relief. Thanks for this update of stories from Colombia. I hope both of you stay safe and healthy!
So glad to hear your mom is fully vaccinated. I remember how relieved I felt when my mom got her second shot. Hope you can get yours soon, Bama! Crazy world, eh?
Terrible news about the set-backs due to Covid in much of South America. I keep reading how a decade of poverty eradication in Latin America is being undermined by this terrible situation. Still, it’s good to hear the vaccination roll-out in your region of Colombia has now progressed to the 60-64 age group. Take good care and enjoy communing with all those colorful backyard birds!
Thanks, Henry! Hope you’re doing well and loving that beautiful spring weather in North Carolina.
Hello John and Susan…Covid is also on the incease here In Thailand but unlike you there is no sign of getting a jab in the forseeable future…I don’t know if it was complancy as phase 1 and 2 were not really felt here thus vaccinations were not seen as a priority…I think they are now but not really any indication only vague announcements of when they will be available…Stay safe and well 🙂
Hi Carol. Wow, it seems that so many countries are struggling with covid and vaccination right now. Sending best wishes that things will improve there and you will be vaccinated soon. Likewise – be safe!
Great news that John will be fully vaccinated soon and hopefully you will get your first jab very soon. Have to agree with you about everyone getting vaccinated if they have the chance, crazy not to. We’ve both had the first with our second due in a few weeks.
Hi Jonno! I thought I had replied to you before, but my message is missing for some reason. Anyway, thanks for your comment – and glad to hear you’re proceeding with the vaccinations!
Good news that you’ll both be fully punctured soon, woot! I’ll make a few calls to my old buddy Joe Biden and see if he’d direct a few of our surplus vials toward Colombia. Here’s another superstition around holy week/Friday that I learned a while back: Portuguese fisherman won’t leave port on Friday (any Friday), and I bet you can guess why not.
Thanks! More, please.
Ha, your buddy Biden must have listened to you – we saw that he’s releasing a bunch of Astra-Zeneca out to the world (why they were sitting on so much of that, when it’s not even approved in the U.S., is a big mystery). Who knows if any of it will trickle down to Colombia.
That superstition isn’t just for Portuguese fisherman. During the three years we sailed through Latin America, it was commonly understood that leaving port on a Friday was a no-no. I think we tried it once, and something happened that required us to return to port. I don’t think it was major, but it made us go “hmm.” So who knows!
Hugs to you both.
Sad to hear you are in a third wave but at least you both will be fully vaccinated soon. We totally agree with you, everyone should accept the jab, we both have our second one booked in for the end of May. It is heartbreaking seeing the situation of the likes of India, terrible situation
The stories coming out of India are just so horrifying. I don’t know what’s happening to mankind, that governments and countries allow each other to get to such a state. Just like in the U.S., so much of the tragedy in India could have been prevented with the right leadership and guidance. But on a brighter now, it’s great to hear that you two will be fully vaccinated soon. Vaccination is the ONLY thing that will get us out of this mess.
So happy you both will be vaccinated in the near future! My husband and I flew back from our flat in Croatia 🇭🇷 and got vaccinated and are a week out of our second dose. (Croatia has been a little slow in the vaccine rollout and everyone is the USA can get the jab now.) Unfortunately many people we know in Louisiana are choosing not to get it. It’s a little bewildering. 🤦🏻♀️ Most of my family have gotten it though, so I’m so relieved. Good luck to you and your family!
Hi Cindy – glad to hear you’re getting the jabs and that most of your family is doing likewise. We really hoped we could get it done here in Colombia, but like you, we’ll go to the states if we have to. Hope you can get back to your home in Croatia soon!
It’s good to hear you guys are getting your vaccines. I agree, far more should be being shared by the U.S. now that we seem to have plenty. I think this administration will do right. They just had a mess to clean up. I know – cold comfort for those around the world waiting on aid. Hopefully they’ll start shipping more and more in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, stay well.
Totally agree with you that the Biden administration had an enormous mess to clean up, and he’s done an amazing job of taking charge and getting the country on the right track. If only they can figure out how to overcome all the vaccine hesitancy that’s taking over in the U.S. They have their jobs cut out for them. Stay well and healthy, yourselves 🙂
It’s difficult to know how to feel as we come out of our own lockdown in the UK. We should be celebrating with a renewed sense of optimism but somehow – with the horror stories coming out of India and Brazil especially – it still feels like a long way off. And, as you say, unless there’s a collective effort, we could be right back where we started if we allow the variants to run amok. Glad to hear you’re both in the process of being vaccinated, though. Can I collect my bonus points when we see you next for correctly identifying `Pulp Fiction’?
Bada bing, you get the bonus! Surprised no one else mentioned it – but maybe the PF fan club is smaller than I thought. We will have to think of an appropriate prize for you when we see you 🙂
Hope you and Nicky are well and hanging in there. Lots of bad stuff in the news lately – we’re just hanging in and looking towards better days. Cheers!
Lots of good news here apart from the pandemic. I hope one day we’ll be able to look back on it with relief that it’s finally over. We’ve had one shot each, but will have to wait til the summer to get the second. Love the bit about the discovery of all those new bird species.
Thanks, Alison! Glad you two are at least on the road to vaccination. I do think this will pass – it just might take longer than anyone thought. I bet you and Don are loving that glorious BC spring right now! xo
We certainly are. It’s a flower explosion!
Hand surgery makes commenting tough. Stay well!!!!
Oh, NO! Hope it’s not terribly serious and you’re on the mend. Sending healing thoughts!
I am glad you guys are getting vaccinated, I will be having my second dose in June. Keep well 😄
Thanks, Gilda – glad you’re getting yours as well! We’re looking forward to following you two on your newest caravan adventure 🙂
Glad to hear that vaccines are close at hand for both of you! We are in the thick of the third wave here in Alberta but thankfully seeing an upswing in vaccine supply.
We have been seeing a lot on the media here about violent protests in Colombia. Have been thinking of you and hoping you are safe.
Thank you, Sue! All is well, peaceful, and quiet here in our small town. Thanks for your thoughts!
Quite an interesting blog with an interesting list of Colombia news stories. It’s sad to hear about the death rate from COVID in Colombia despite the small ratio of global population it holds, and I completely feel for developing countries like India. However, since I have been keeping track of news updates, countries like India had sent off thousands of vaccines to neighboring countries, unaware of the second wave! It’s all about mismanagement and not being self-sufficient first. Applaud US for being foresight – the citizens of a particular county will only reach out to their own government or rulers for help in the first place. Moreover prevention is always better than cure. So a good move there, nevertheless I completely get the other picture too. It was nice reading your thoughts. The highest bird diversity found in Colombia is so appealing. Thanks for the stories. Looking forward for your next.
Hi – and thanks for visiting! Yes, Colombia just can’t seem to shake this latest wave. Lack of vaccination is playing a big role, we think, along with the recent paros (protests). We’re hoping things improve soon. How you and yours are well and healthy!