I spent an extensive amount of time in Panama over the past 6 years, a country that I personally love and a great base to come back to as a digital nomad. The country has constantly one of the best yearly growth out of all the Latin American countries, and every time I come back, I am amazed how fast things change, from new restaurants opening and closing to new sky-scrapers popping everywhere!
But this time around, arriving in February 2021, amidst the second lockdown the country had imposed, it totally felt like another country. I just couldn’t believe it. Just the ride from the airport was an adventure. The highway is usually packed with horrible traffic, and this time, not a single car could be seen on one of the main highways called “Corredor Sur”. Arriving near my hotel in a Uber, a cop stopped us at gunpoint, confused as to why we had broken the lockdown, all for us to have to explain we were arriving from the airport. The situation was tense, absolutely unbelievable. Downtown Panama felt like a total ghost town, which is usually buzzing with activity!
Constrained to stay inside a hotel was a little bit overwhelming this time around. Even crossing the street to the nearest ATM felt like a mission!
Hopefully we never get to see this scene in Panama, or anywhere else around the world, any time soon…