Peace Corps and coronavirus UPDATED

Peace Corps update — From what I understand, Peace Corps Volunteers have been sent home from China and the new Philippines group has been delayed six months, both due to coronavirus. (The China program, in general, has been ended going forward, due to other reasons.)

Non-essential travel for all current Peace Corps Volunteers (worldwide) is not permitted to the following: Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Kyrgyz Republic, Nepal, Mongolia, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka, India, Japan, South Korea, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Laos, Vietnam, Bhutan, Brunei, and Italy.

The group for which I originally applied (in Jamaica) appears to be leaving their U.S. homes on schedule tomorrow (Sunday).

The CDC’s new recommendation for the general public to limit travel for those over age 60 (actually, they recommend that folks over 60 just stay home) has my radar up re: whether or not Peace Corps will make different rules based on age (I am 56.) There are still 10 weeks or so until my departure date for Uganda.

So, long story short, I continue to pray that God puts me where I’m needed, and I continue to trust the journey.

In the meantime, I’m growing food again and Traveling at the Speed of Bike as much as possible (I just got home from a second eldercare trip to Florida where I averaged 20 miles a day on bike as transportation, which was very stress-reducing). Both actions make me feel better and as if I have a small semblance of control in an out-of-control world), and life-affirming things keep happening as a result.

I know the coronavirus situation is impacting (or starting to impact) everyone’s lives right now, and I want to send out a note of support to all of you.

(Street photography capture from the airport yesterday — which was still packed, by the way. Here is the rest of my street photography album.)

Update 3/10/20: I just saw this on my Peace Corps 50+ Facebook page:

Good morning. Peace Corps has begun not sending some groups to their assignments due to the coronavirus. A group heading to the Dominican Republic actually went to staging, spent 3 days, and all were sent home for a 30 day waiting period.

Update 3/16/20

All Peace Corps volunteers globally are being evacuated and all operations are being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Update: 3/26/20

According to the communications I am receiving from the Peace Corps, I am still scheduled to leave for Uganda in June.

Update: 4/1/20

All departures have been delayed until September 30, 2020 the earliest.

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