It is day 107 of our mandatory quarantine and today, June 30th is our last day with the current restrictions.
Behind the scenes of Zoom meetings
A little Playdoh time while watching church in Michigan
Saturday morning pancakes with blueberries
Father’s Day celebration during Will’s preschool Zoom call
Father’s Day gifts made during preschool activities
Little by little, things have started opening up here in Peru. Last week, shopping centers were able to open at half capacity with the necessary sanitary protocols in place; like hand washing, temperature checks, more regular cleaning and masks. Masks are required any time you are not inside your private residence.
Late on Friday evening, the President and his cabinet announced that the State of Emergency would be extended through July 31st but that the quarantine would shift to a focused quarantine. The focused quarantine means that children under the age of 14, as well as people in high risk groups (such as adults over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions) must continue in compulsory social isolation. Sunday is no longer a mandatory curfew day (we were not allowed to go anywhere and all grocery stores, etc. were closed), the nightly curfew is now from 10pm until 4am, and more than 1 person can leave the house at a time – more on that later though.
There are 7 (of 24 total) regions in the country where the quarantine will not be relaxed, but the city of Lima is not in one of those.
So what does this mean for our family?
Unfortunately, not much will change for us overnight from June 30th to July 1st. At just 3 years old, Will is part of that focused quarantine population and must continue in compulsory social isolation. Either way, minors also are not allowed to go to grocery stores, markets, shopping centers or basically anywhere there would be a group of people. Since Will’s not quite old enough to stay at home by himself, either Billy or I will have to continue to stay home with him. When July 31st comes, Will will have spent 138 days in quarantine!
It is uncertain if we are allowed to take Will for a drive around the city and not get out of the car or go somewhere wide open without people to run around. He hasn’t been in a car since March 14th and it would make us all happy to see something new outside of our neighborhood!
The only real changes we will benefit from is that we no longer are restricted to our local district, Surco, for groceries or stores, and Billy will not need to get a special permit for the car when he goes to other districts within Lima for work.
Participating in our church’s small group Sunday school for 3 year olds over Zoom
Will was asked to draw a picture of his favorite part of preschool so he helped color his Zoom screen.
Will is still able to go on daily walks around our neighborhood as long as we remain within about 5 blocks of the house, and he is allowed to stay out for up to 1 hour each day. On Saturday morning I asked Will if he wanted to ride his bike or scooter around the nearby park and his answer was “no, bikes don’t go to the park, they are to be used on the roof!” After assuring him that we could, in fact, take it to the park, he decided to whiz around the neighborhood on his scooter for the first time in more than 3 months.
As part of the State of Emergency, the international borders will remain closed through at least July 31st. Any kind of group gatherings including religious services, parties, family get-togethers, etc. are prohibited through December. Schools in Lima will continue virtual learning for the remainder of the school year, but some remote schools with very low COVID-19 cases will resume in person classes because of their lack of access to virtual classes.
Since group gatherings are still prohibited, most of our work will continue to be carried out virtually. For the time being, our focus will continue to be direct mentoring where Billy regularly “meets” with a few of the young men we have been walking alongside over the past months/years. This means a lot of phone calls, WhatsApp messages and now occasional socially distanced meetings to see how they are doing. Since some of the larger stores recently opened, we were able to convert a corner of our bedroom into a little office space to make things easier to work from home. After many months of working while sitting on the bed while Will and I were in the living room, Billy was very happy to have a real desk and chair to use!
As always we very much appreciate your prayers for us, our ministry and for the country and people of Peru.
Please stay safe.
– Kate, Billy and Will