Gualeceo mayor has Covid-19; Air, water quality improve due to lockdown; City diverts money for crisis, Wild animals replace people in parks

Apr 1, 2020 | 4 comments

Martes, 31/3/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –
De la pagina cultural –

Independent bands – The “Mutees” app allows a music fan to buy a physical object from an artist or band. <Already, I’m not understanding this app.> The object seems to be some sort of souvenir related to a song or CD and comes with an access code that will allow you to listen to a play list. You can download the app from Google Play and Apple Store. Participating bands include Los Zuchos del Vado, Santamuerte y Mamá Vudú.

Otras cosas –

Titular – Clases virtuales; el aire es más puro (Virtual classes; the air is purer) – <Is the air purer because there’s less professorial hot air in the atmosphere?> Este lunes, the U. of Azuay (UDA) returned to classes – virtually. The U. of Cuenca will start academic activities and face-to-face administrative functions el 4/5. <If that’s truly going to be the return of normalcy, I could live with that.> The U. La Católica de Cuenca started its second week of classes online este lunes.

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Wild animals are venturing into tourist areas of local parks.

Naturaleza se recupera en cuarentena (Nature recovers in quarantine) – Measurements taken by ETAPA show that the quantity and quality of water in the sources supplying Cuenca have increased. EMOV measurements show that air quality has also improved. In the last 15 days, except for 25/3 when there was ash from the Sangay volcano in the air, the air quality in Cuenca has been optimal. <So put down that beer, and enjoy taking a deep breath.> Fine particles have been reduced by half, carbon monoxide has gone from an average of 140 to 7 (ppm?), ozone from 45 to 12 and sulfur and nitrogen dioxide are practically gone. This is due to the reduction of at least 90% of the vehicles circulating in Cuenca and the decline in industrial activity. The flow of cars through the Cajas has been reduced by a factor of 10.

Water quality has also improved. Reduction of pollution in the Parque Nacional Cajas has improved the health of water sources and stopping large scale commercial, industrial and agricultural activities has reduced water turbidity. In addition to bringing better water to the city, the cost of purifying it has been reduced.

The behavior of wild mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles has also changed as a result of fewer vehicles and visitors. Park rangers in Quimsacocha and the Parque Nacional Cajas have seen deer, large mammals and exotic birds in areas where they haven’t been seen in 25 years. Biologists with the Ministerio de Ambiente and ETAPA are hoping that people will take this time to become aware of their impact on nature, and commit to behaviors that will permit a sustainable environment after the Quedate En Casa. <When this is over, what forced changes can you make permanent?>

Coronavirus – The mayor of Gualaceo confirmed este lunes that he tested positive for coronavirus. <Does it seem that this virus is remarkably democratic? Even the rich, powerful, and famous are getting it – not just poor people living in substandard housing and not getting enough food.>

Respirators – Two graduates from UDA in Automotive Engineering and Electrical Engineering presented a project for a mechanical respirator (ventilator?). They are developing a respirator with valves and sensors that can be set up in health centers should this equipment be needed. Currently the public sector in Azuay has 38 beds with respirators of which 7 are in use by patients. The health coordinator for Zone 6 is waiting for this equipment to arrive in the next few weeks.

Psychiatric support – A clinical psychiatrist said the current quarantine can affect people psychologically, and that if you need support, get on the phone with a professional. She said it’s necessary that the family gets reliable information, maintains daily routines where everyone participates in caring for the home, and avoid isolating yourself within the house by staying in one room all day or staying in bed for more time than needed.

$1 million for emergency – Yesterday, Mayor Palacios officially confirmed that the money for the fiestas for the Founding of Cuenca and from other departments will be redirected for food and medicine to people with limited resources. The city has a food bank where donations can be made. Up until last week, 9,000 food packages were distributed with 2,500 more yesterday.

The city’s Telesalud platform has 16 doctors to attend to callers, including psychologists. Hours are from lunes a viernes from 8-13:00 and 14-17:00 at www.telesaludalcaldiacuenca.ec. The mayor also announced that there will be massive fumigations starting today around the mercados and will later be extended to different barrios.

Traffic tickets – 298 tickets were issued in Azuay for driving on the wrong day. Since 28/3, the days you can drive depend on the last number of your license plate. <At least in Cuenca, there’s nothing about restricting movement based on your cedula number.> If your plate ends in 1,2,or 3, you can drive on lunes y viernes. For plates ending in 4,5, or 6 – martes y sábado; for 7,8, or 9 – miércoles y domingo; and for 0 – lunes y jueves.

Gold for liquidity – The Banco Central del Ecuador has placed 240,000 oz. of gold somewhere as security for a short term loan of $300 million at 2.6% interest. If the country doesn’t pay the loan back, it will lose the gold. The loan is to be able to import $300 million in bills from the US Federal Reserve in anticipation of logistical problems with international flights as a result of the expansion of the coronavirus worldwide. <The multinational financial vultures are circling.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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