The Good news: After 3 & 1/2 months, Peru finally began to open back up at the beginning of this month (July)! To get you caught up to where we left off on the last update, we were under a strict quarantine that involved military curfews & only leaving the house for essentials (aka food & medicine) from mid March to the end of June. Thankfully, at the beginning of July, the government finally called a gradual end to the quarantine and began a phased approached to reopening. Around the 15th of July, they began to allow inter-provincial/national travel again (i.e. buses, planes, & boats). Once we finally finished with the government quarantine at the beginning of July, we realized, "Oh look, now we're 2-4 weeks away from Mia's arrival!" Soooo we've basically transitioned from one type of quarantine to another. Haha, the joke's on us it seems. We may or may not be under an official "quarantine" in August, but both Nem & I will understandably be sticking close to home now up until Mia's birth and then for a bit after that. =D
The Bad News: Sadly, since beginning to open everything back up, cases here in Cusco have sky-rocketed for the first time & the health system has basically collapsed at this point. Given this, the Cusco regional government has warned the population in the last few days that we will likely be under an even stricter quarantine possibly starting the 1st of August. We'll have to wait and see what the local & regional governments decide.
Once the official quarantine was over, the number of cases quickly started to rise. Cusco was one of the few regions in Peru where it appears that the initial, March-June quarantine was successful in keeping the number of cases to a minimum, but now that things are almost back to normal, the number of cases from this past week is starting to cause the collapse of the health system. This has already happened in places like Lima, Pucallpa, Iquitos, and Arequipa. The crisis in the hospitals just hadn't reached our region up until now. All of this is causing the regional government to consider a possible return to quarantine for another 14-28 days. We'll see what they decide and how the health system holds up over the next few days.
While these last few months have not gone anything like what we had planned for the 2020 ministry year here in Peru, we are so thankful that in the end, it's not up to us, & God's plan for us is so much better than what we could come up with! Boy, has this year been a reminder of that. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father only asks that we turn over our plans to Him & let Him guide our steps in ministry & in our personal lives - which is so much easier to say than live out most days, especially for us with workaholic tendencies. X)