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Everything posted by Bonnie

  1. In my role as U.S. Warden, I met with Velkys Munoz of Mailboxes, Etc. at her request on Tuesday. She sought my help in relaying to the expat community that customs is now requiring for certain things, including medications, very burdensome paperwork which includes a prescription from the doctor in the originating country, a doctor in Panama, and a signed statement by the recipient that the products are for personal use. Supplements require the signed statement of the recipient, too, as do other items like creams, makeup, etc. The delay time for receiving such items in Boquete therefore is approximately one month after the required paperwork is submitted. I contacted the U.S. Embassy to see if they could obtain a more official account of exactly what is required. The Embassy agreed to contact the Panamanian authorities and, once they have this information, will issue a Message to U.S. Citizens which I will post here. In the meantime, those of you who depend on imported medications need to start well ahead of time on your order if you cannot find the drug(s) in Panama.
  2. Okay. I understand that the Embassy has responded individually to at least one person who brought this matter to their attention. I therefore wrote today and asked if the Embassy intended to provide a copy of the guidelines obtained from MINSA to the Wardens and/or to issue a Message regarding it. After exchange of a couple of emails, here is the final response: Ms. Williams, At this time, we feel that it would be better to provide information on a case-by-case basis. They may change in the future, but right now we feel that this is the best approach. I am sorry to hear that you have been swamped with inquiries, and I would ask that you refer anyone with questions to the ACS inbox and we will do our best to answer them as quickly as possible. That should be easier now that we have some guidance from MINSA. We sincerely appreciate your continued assistance and we do not want our wardens to be overwhelmed with questions, so please refer them to the ACS inbox Regards, Thomas Hayes Vice Consul American Citizens Services/Federal Benefits Unidad de Asistencia a Ciudadanos Estadounidenses/Beneficios Federales Again, the email address is panama-acs@state.gov. The phone number is 317-5000.
  3. http://speedtest.cableonda.com/ I pay for 30 and register 61 this morning without resetting.
  4. You CAN'T get sick, Dottie. Way too many animals depend on you!
  5. Bochinche or not, it certainly makes sense. Thanks a lot. I have yet to hear from the U.S. Embassy.
  6. I'm delighted to hear this, Doug. Others, however, have been waiting for weeks. The uncertainty remains. That's what's maddening, particularly when one's well-being can depend on receiving the drugs. Who's your courier, if I may ask? It'll be interesting to see if this makes a difference.
  7. Because the unvaccinated are a threat to the health of others.
  8. No drug is without risk. That's why there are so many lengthy warning notices in ads and in the drug's info. The choice is to weigh the possible side effects and the percentage of their occurrence (the risk) against the potential benefit. I agree that your decision is a reasonable one, Jim. My quarrel is with those who cite anecdotal evidence, repudiated studies, and quack science to support their point of view.
  9. This claim, and the article and science on which it was based, has been retracted by National Geographic. See http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2014/07/30/narcolepsy-paper-retracted/ And as for vaccines causing autism, "The widespread fear that vaccines increase risk of autism originated with a 1997 study published by Andrew Wakefield, a British surgeon. The article was published in The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal, suggesting that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine was increasing autism in British children. The paper has since been completely discredited due to serious procedural errors, undisclosed financial conflicts of interest, and ethical violations. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet."--from PublicHealth.org
  10. The autism myth has been thoroughly debunked, the testimony of your employee is the worst kind of anecdotal information, and Dr. Mercola is a quack. The first sentence attributed to Dr. Mercola above misstates the issue, and the second is patently false. Everyone needs to ask him- or herself whether he/she would even be here today were it not for the smallpox vaccine, the yellow fever vaccine, the typhoid vaccine, the polio vaccine, the tetanus vaccine, the rubella vaccine, etc., etc. But I don't think extending this discussion will change anyone's mind.
  11. Below is a report on Facebook by our friend Roger Bellido concerning a television news story about the new cosmetics regulation. It sounds as though the courier companies are making inroads into putting some sense into this. However, am not aware of anything official being issued yet. This is the news on channel 2. It talks about changes and that will allow people to bring those products but in limited quantitiea Descontento por restricción en la importación de cosméticos La Dirección de Farmacias y Drogas del Ministerio de Salud (Minsa) sólo permitirá el ingreso al país de uno o dos productos cosméticos en las compras vía "express".… tvn-2.com Top of Form Rogelio Bellido This was the result of a meeting between the Asociation of Couriers Companies in Panama and the Direccion de Farmacias y Drogas. The couriers were concerned about the increased claims from their customers regarding the prohibition to import those goods without any registry in Panama. They agreed in terms of the amount and also every individual should fill a form accepting respinsability for the use of such products Bottom of Form
  12. I'm not sure what this is. Can you explain, Keith?
  13. And I had pneumonia earlier this year. I've never been so sick in my life, and I never want to have it again. There are loads of medical "studies" out there, but it's the clinical trials that count. And clinical trials have given a thumbs up to both the flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine. Moreover, the older you get, the more important they are.
  14. I respect anyone's right to their own opinion, but I dislike the dissemination of misinformation that can impact the health of others. Both the flu vaccine and the pneumonia vaccine are available free of charge at the public health clinic (Centro de Salud) across from the bomberos.
  15. Of course the flu virus, like all viruses, has the capability to mutate. That's why the WHO makes specific recommendations for specific flu seasons. Neither am I a medical professional, but I trust the WHO to know more about this than I do. I also know that the flu can be deadly for the elderly and the infirm, so I think it's irresponsible to suggest on a public forum that there is no need to get the vaccination.
  16. What makes you say it's not working half the time? "These are the first three deaths from AH1N1 in 2017, said de Hewitt and said the deaths should not have occurred because Panama this year has the tetravalent vaccine that covers two types of influenza A and two of the B." The point is that those who died hadn't been vaccinated. As to the composition of the vaccine, do you know something that the World Health Organization doesn't? http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/2017_18_north/en/
  17. And it's common knowledge that malpractice insurance and the practice of defensive medicine is what drives the cost up in the U.S. Throw this in the "DUH" file.
  18. The request for blood was back in June, Judy. Marcelyn is just seeking an update.
  19. Message from US Citizens

    This is odd. The message I received from the Embassy says "Message For U.S. Citizens." I forwarded that message to News Boquete, I also posted it directly on CL under the US Consul Panama category. I made the CL subject line say "U.S. Embassy closed August 14-18." It is the poster to CL who completes the subject line, so we can't blame the Embassy for this one. I think we all know what it meant, though. In fact, I didn't even notice it until you posted.
  20. Don't forget that there is a biodegradable plastic. It's going to cost more, but that's a small price to pay, IMO. And because it will cost more, people will learn of better ways to handle most of their trash and garbage.
  21. panama-acs@state.gov Aug 10 at 5:25 PM The American Citizen Services (ACS) unit will be closed to the public for most regular services from August 14-18. However, a limited number of appointment slots for passport and CRBA applications will be available on August 14 and 15. Other than those limited appointment slots, ACS will only process emergency passports and provide emergency services from August 14-18.
  22. Agreed. I honestly don't see how the list could be employed in any manner. It's a hodge-podge of drugs and cosmetics, lists of which are posted on various dates without alphabetization. Moreover, if both drugs and cosmetics are on the list, I don't understand why they are treated differently in the latest directive. I confess that I have not spent much time examining the list(s) itself. It's too intimidating.