Editorials: STAY HOME!, and Bad people take advantage

Let’s put it another way. Even if you have loyalties greater than that to Panama, staying home is how you protect your family, your friends, your neighbors and yourself. Ignore the curfews and travel restrictions and you’re signing up for an enemy virus’s army.

Stay home as much as possible

Do we want to get into comparative blundering? As in Panama may stumble, but look at Spain, or Italy, or Donald Trump?

That would be foolishness in the face of a life and death health crisis.

Even worse would be to point at the problems in Panama’s responses to the virus and demand the removal of those in key positions and making some mistakes along with making the necessary and proper measures.

Tell the unvarnished truth, suggest better ways to deal with things, and help rather than obstruct the Cortizo administration in this crisis. You may not have voted for him, might not even be a citizen who could vote for him, but he’s the only president we have. He and his team are making their honest best effort.

Even if the restrictions they decree are inconvenient, given your accustomed lifestyle. It will be weeks and months of social distancing, economic dislocations, travel restriction and difficulties obtaining the mood-altering substances you prefer. Your personal comfort is at the moment a lesser priority than the survival of this society and the members of it.


This person — or the better word is persona — is new to the progressive Facebook group. He / she / it professes intense Bernie Sanders loyalty, without any evidence of activity for that cause. The message that she / he / it is spreading? DON’T VOTE IN NOVEMBER. Boris and Natasha message from snowy Russia? Good old boy message from a klavern deep in the heart of Texas? Brought to you by a Trump boiler room? The Internet is again flooded with such stuff and it’s a sleazy Trump re-election campaign, to be blamed on “Bernie Bros.”

The enemy

In Panama, the enemy includes that majority of the National Assembly who used the coronavirus crisis to pass pro-corruption legislation like the free pass to convicted criminal corporation Odebrecht — which has bribed leading members of all of Panamas main political parties — to remain eligible for bidding on public contracts.

In the United States, the enemy includes those members of Congress, Republican or Democrat, who got intelligence briefings on how badly the coronavirus epidemic would disrupt the US economy and then with this insider information went out and dumped stocks. One of the Republicans who did this did so along with her husband, and he’s president of the New York Stock Exchange.

We have calls for investigations by the senators who handled the Trump impeachment case, or for prolonged criminal investigations. But both parties ought to know that this sort of thing is politically and socially unacceptable, as much or more as the behavior that led Democrats to force the retirements of members of their congressional caucuses for sexual harassment, without the need for any prior court judgment.

The enemy is all who consider themselves so privileged that the health measures imposed in this crisis don’t apply to them.

The enemy is the rural maleante who figures that now is the time to strip the weekend cottages of people trapped in the city.

Soon enough the enemy will be boredom and depression and family fights and suicides as the health lockdowns become tedious. The enemy will often be inside of you or me.

Hold on. Persist. Go into the virtual world to talk up virtue and denigrate vice. Don’t fall for online con games, whether they originate in Nigeria or in the White House. The terms of our existence are changed for the moment, and in certain respects probably forever. Our basic humanity, though, is expressed through timeless values. Hold onto not only existence, but decency.



The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.

Ida B. Wells                        


Bear in mind…


You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

Mark Twain


You must come to terms with your wholeself. the wholeness which exceeds all our virtue and all our vice.

Ursula Le Guin


I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

Kurt Vonnegut


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