Family income plunges; Pedestrians at risk; Vaccine production possible; Tik Tok use booms; Cathedrals, new and old, reopen to public

Aug 18, 2020 | 5 comments

Lunes, 17/8/2020

Hola, Todos –

I will be taking another vacation for a week starting on 24/8. Seems like the older I get, the more vacations I need. Thanks for your understanding.

Actividades –

Del cuerpo del periodico –

Visits to the Old and New Cathedrals – You can visit the Terraza Santa Ana at the Catedral de La Inmaculada Concepión from lunes a viernes a las 9, 10, 11, 12, & 14:00 or sábados a las 9, 10,11, 12, & 13:00. The entrance is from Calle Santa Ana between the Catedral and the Seminario San Luis. If you climb the 165 steps to the highest view point, you will be rewarded with an incomparable view. The Museo de Arte Religioso Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral Religious Art Museum) is open lunes a viernes from 8:30-13:00 and 14:00-16:30. The entrance is at Luis Cordero y Sucre.

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Otras cosas –

The viewing terrace at the cathedral has reopened to the public. It’s only 165 steps to the top.

Titular – Gastar menos, evitar deudas y crear fondo son claves en crisis (Spending less, avoiding debt and creating a fund are key in crisis) – Unemployment, which has increased by 10%, reduction of salaries, and debts contracted for before the virus are contributing to an economic crisis for Cuencano families. The Banco Central del Ecuador (BCE) projects a decrease of 8.4% in household spending in the second half of 2020 from the same period in 2019. The BCE also estimated that 70% of the productive apparatus of the country was at a standstill between marzo and abril. Remissions from the US, Spain and Italy dropped 22%.

Consume de redes sube; TikTok en boga (Network consumption goes up; TikTok in vogue) – Use of social networks has increased in Ecuador. At the beginning of 2020, Facebook had 12.04 milllion users, and by julio, the number had grown to 13.1 million. <Sounds like any Ecuadorian old enough to read is signed into Facebook.> TikTok is the network that has grown the most from 1.4 to 2.6 million users in 7 months. Users of instant messaging number 9.1 million on Whatsapp, 8.4 million in Messenger and 300,000 on Telegram.

Campaign financing – It has been 18 months since the elecciones seccionales (sectional elections – local elections), and the CNE and Ministerio de Finanzas have not paid $32 million they owe communications media for campaign advertising. This debt and Covid will complicate the situation for these businesses. The 2021 election campaigns are at risk because the media will find it difficult to continue to finance the Government. One idea was to charge the movements and parties and make them responsible for collecting the campaign financing from the Government.

3 causes of pedestrian accidents – According to ECU911 data, since 1/2020 to date, there have been 36 emergencies involving pedestrians. Causes of these accidents include walking drunk or stoned, crossing streets without regard to stoplights or other signs, and walking while using a cellphone. The WHO has designated 17/8 as World Pedestrian Day in memory of the first person run over by a car in 1897 in London. Bridget Driscoll was struck by a car which was in a “prueba de velocidad” (speed test). <I don’t know if that means the driver was racing or just seeing how fast he could go.> The victim was not able to get out of the way when the driver lost control and honked. <Looks like drivers have been running over pedestrians since the beginning of cars. And probably with horses and carriages as well.>

Paving projects in Azuay – The Provincial government is working on fixing potholes on 5 of the 14 roads that are in the $1 million maintenance plan for the rest of the year. The first 5 roads are the vías Guazhalán-Daniel Córdova-Mariano Moreno in Gualaceo; Cuenca-El Valle-Santa Ana-Dizha-La Unión, which connects with Sígsig; and Ricuarte-La Raya at the border between Cuenca and Déleg in Cañar. <Excercise caution at the provincial line: unless Cañar has a corresponding patching program, you might damage your suspension taking this at speed.> Also being patched are the vía Dizha-Trabana at the entrance to Quingeo parish and Ricaurte-Bibín-Octavio Cordero, both in Cuenca.

Paute restarts public transportation – Public transportation including urban, interparish, and intercantonal buses (Paute-Cuenca-Paute) resumed today. Commercial and financial activities can function from lunes a viernes, but are suspended los sábados y domingos.

Ecuadorian vaccine – Ecuador has expressed interest in manufacturing Covid vaccine along with Argentina, Colombia and México. The health minister, Juan Carlos Zevallos, has made contact with developers such as Pfizer, AstraZenica, and Oxford. The country needs to comply with conditions such as adequate microcosms (people who live at sea level and at altitude, short transportation times by vehicles or by air, various ethnicities and age groups.); management of chains of refrigeration; and a well functioning health system. Zevallos said that the vaccine can be tested through the public health system which has been operating well for over 50 years, and that Ecuador is a mid-point between Argentina and México. <I think he ignored Colombia on purpose, and is testing part of manufacturing?> <Quick question – if you had to pick between the Russian or Ecuadorian made vaccine – which one would you choose?>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –

Jeanne

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