July 7th, 2021 en Buenos Aires.

If you follow the news about Argentina there are a couple of positive changes going on as the supply of vaccines has increased greatly as the Argentinean Laboratory Richmond has produced almost half million doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine.  Argentina has had a slow roll out of the vaccine due to lack of supply, and currently there are 18 million people with one does and 3.5 million people with 2 does [source Reuters.com]

Buying the Vaccine

Recently, in my reading I also discovered that the government of Argentina has negotiated to receive vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna. These shots are being donated by the US government to Argentina. [Source BAtimes] This process was overly complicated in Argentina, as there was a need by the government to create a Corvid reparation fund to respond to any demands for indemnity by people who can prove they were damaged by a Corvid vaccine.

New Travel Restrictions

And the newest restriction was announced a few days ago and it is in place until July 12. Now with the limit of returning Argentinian people quota lowered from 2000 a day to 600, many people are stranded in the US. Whenever they can return, and for some this might be weeks, this new decree states you must isolate in a hotel for two weeks. For many people this is an expensive turn of events. This decree might have been instituted as a way of dealing with all the returning vaccinated folks, who do not believe they need to isolate for 2 weeks in their homes.

From my understanding, the justices have called for a meeting with the government to discuss this decree.  As this is Argentina. No one knows. As most of the world is starting to reopen, not sure what will happen here.

If the vaccines are received, and if they are administered during this winter season which goes thru September, then maybe 25 or 30 million people will be vaccinated and most with double does.

And maybe the country

What I will suggest is that this government will open for the upcoming summer season that begins in early December. I hope so. The economy here really needs the infusion of foreigners, both their bodies and their money. Then maybe we will see a return of the Milonga. I believe most venues will be smaller in scale and scope. The dancers might also be different, as some will choose not to return, some dancers will have passed on from the disease and maybe there will be a plethora of new dancers who want to experience the embrace of Tango.

​As of the day of the date, Argentina exceeded 50% of those vaccinated over 18 years of age (51.62%). In the age group over 60, coverage reaches 84.1%; between 50 and 59 years, 79.8%; between 40 and 49 years old, 59.6%; between 30 and 39 years old, 32.6%; and between 18 and 29 years old, 15.3%. [Source Infobae.com]

Abrazo grande to all who are currently dancing in the world!

And the new restricciones

Wahoo. On Saturday, June 12th we learned what the new restricciones are. We are back to the future. The number of cases has come down and more vaccines have arrived. People still wear masks on the street, socially distanced from one another and the use of alchohol is obligatory.

And the new restrictions are:

We can now stay out until 11pm.

The hours we have to be off the streets and in our homes are mandated from 12pm to 6am.

Restaurants can serve food until 11pm as long as they are serving food and alchohol outside.

As the season is getting colder, after all it officially becomes winter on June 21, with the arrival of the winter solstice, many restaurants and cafes now have heaters. It’s a crazy kind of cozy!!!

The kids of all school ages are back to school with alternative days of in person and online learning.

The shopping malls will reopen, as they have been closed since the beginning of May. They will have the amount of people allowed in this closed space be limited.

Movie theaters will open too with limits on how many people can be in the theatre at one time.

Gyms reopen with most workouts and gatherings of people to be held outside. Some types of exercise classes will be held inside.

And here’s the interesting one, groups of 10 people can gather for events outside. Hmmm an outdoor milonga for 10 or less people.

Currently we are in halfway through June 2021, and in this country of 44 million, approximately 13 million people have been vaccinated. The new variant of the coronavirus, Delta has arrived here, but hopefully was caught on arrival at Eze airport with the testing. This event was featured in local online periodical.

Previously with the warmer weather, many outdoor clandestine Milongas happened in the evenings in the parks, but as the lockdowns got greater and stronger, these events ceased.

Am not ready for an outdoor milonga, as my knees complain greatly about dancing on concrete and or asphalt.

But my thoughts are hopeful that this country will open for international tourism in October or November. This country in my opinion desperately needs a fresh injection of dollars from the outside world.

Back to less restrictions but…

It’s the Tuesday after finishing a week of strict lockdown. June 1.

The cafes are back with chairs and tables, last week most were closed. A few choose to open but they only put a few tables out.

On Sunday nite, was the last nite of strict restrictions and being in by 6pm. After being in for two days, I decided to go on a walk about.

The parks were crowded with people sitting in groups socially distanced. Children and dogs were running about. And my favorite part, the sky was blue anc the sun was warm. Lots of folks just taking in the sun.

We are back to being in our homes by 8pm. At least the restaurants can serve outside again

Many are prepared for winter with heaters and blankets. Many have chosen to close. I read that 12,000 restaurants and hotels have closed in Bueno Aires.

Am sure, Paris, New York and many other large cities are experiencing the same loss.

But yet there are a brave few who are trying to figure out a way to stay in business. I support these folks.

On my way home on Sunday night I found a small asada outside one of my favorite little bars. I bought a churipan sándwich. And it was so good.

Enjoy. Abrazo

New restrictions begin

Protocols now is the empty streets in BsAs by Ruthoffen.com
Empty streets in Buenos Aires, with the reminder to Maintain your distance

New protocols in Buenos Aires.

Now. New restrictions and new protocols are being put in place. By now maybe you have heard the news about the virus and Argentina. 
And it is not good. Earlier in the week the number of infected cases rose to 24, 000 and yesterday was  36, 000. Argentina is in the middle of it’s 2nd wave of corvid 19 infections.

And the restrictions are

As of tomorrow Saturday May 21 there is a a renewed push by the president of Argentina and all the regional governors and the city of BsAs to reduce these numbers drastically.
The way the governments have chosen to do this is a return to the strict protocols of last year. These new protocols are in effect until May 31.
We can only shop in our neighborhoods. Again the food store and pharmacies will stay open, but most other retail will be closed. Closed are gyms, clothing stores and the malls Malls have been closed for a while. No gatherings of any sort.
The restaurants and cafes on the streets are only open for delivery or take out. You cannot be out on the street past 6pm.

Maybe this time

Now, perhaps a bit of better news. Two of those days of restrictions, Monday and Tuesday are a holiday here, 24th y 25th de mayo.  The holiday is known as First Patriotic Government created to commemorate the 1810 revolution the first Argentine government and Independence from Spain.
Among most local business, the closure 3 or 4 days out of 10 days as many stores are closed on Sunday.
And the weekend of June 5th & 6th again business where folks can gather will be closed.
Am hopefully the slow recovery that I have been seeing will not  be impacted so badly. 

And now with the vaccine

In Argentina with the cooler weather upon us, the need to bring the cases down is crucial. As has happened in the Northern Hemisphere, the virus proliferates with the colder weather and the indoor environment.

The vaccination process here is slow as the delivery of the vaccine is still sporadic. Right now, the recently signed agreement with the manufacturers of the Sputnik vaccine allows for this vaccine to be made in Argentinean medical labs.   I have been told, the medical laboratories in Argentina are among the finest in the world. Recently Argentina received COVID 19 vaccines thru the COVAX deal will receive almost 2 million doses. In Argentina many more vaccines are in need. As of today, less than 10% of the 44 million people have been vaccinated

Personally for me

Currently I am in the process of getting my temporary residencia. This process will allows me to live here for 6 or more months a year without having to leave every 3 months to get a visa. In January 2021, I started my immigration paperwork. This process is long and arduous. In these times, getting any paperwork from any government takes of time. Nowadays because of receiving this certificate I was allowed to get vaccinated.

Understandably, the US Embassy both here in Argentina and elsewhere in the world are unable to help out with vaccinating the citizens who choose to live abroad. Ironically we pay our taxes and can vote, but cannot get a vaccine. Somehow that does not seem proper, especially in these new times of the virus.

Will update when more information is available..

Till then, un abrazo grande.

In case you have not heard…

As of today, Friday April 16th, 2021 day 393 of Quarantine, the president of Argentina Alberto Fernandez had added extra protocols to the current restrictions, as Argentina is experiencing it’s second wave of coronavirus. Yesterday’s numbers were very high for the 3rd day in a row, approximately 29,000 new cases…the hospitals are experiencing a large influx of cases.

The most impactful restrictions are no one is allowed out after 8pm or before 6 am. The city is locked down at night from the rest of the province to prevent further transmissions.

Business and restaurants have to be closed and employees home by 8pm.

But by far the one that has caused the most reactions are the closing of all schools again, after barely a couple of months of being open.

This leaves many upset and frustrated parents, as all involved where settling into a new pattern and kids were getting the education that they lacked for the previous months of lockdown. This restrictions is only suposed to be until April 30th…many parents and educators fear will be the rest of the year. Personally I believe that parents and students and teachers will not allow this to happen. Am sure a large demonstration will occur. And perhaps the school lockdown will only go until the end of April.

Meanwhile the signs of fall are in the air. The mornings have a slight chill until the sun and its warmth are directly overhead.

For a closed to the world country, I find it odd to hear so many planes in the sky and recently lots of helicopters flying around the city. The president, did mention bringing in the army to supplement the police in the compliance of the new restrictions.

Worlwide, we all have pandemic burnout, but will see what people will endure from the government for their own protections.

The world is a big crazy place…we only have the moment.

From Buenos Aires, listening to tango music of Osvaldo Pugliese’s Amurado on my laptop, I am reminded why I live in this beautiful city, where resiliency is the middle name of all the people. We will survive.

Tango protest to the government:

We need sanitary protocols!

Tango protest  Image from Tango organizers
Letter inviting all people to the protest

On Thursday, March 11th I joined approximately 75 other tangeros, milonga organizers, teachers and tango student to make a Tango protest about the return to tango in Buenos Aires. This was a protest to the government for Tango to start creating the necessary protocols that will allow the tango community to return. The gathering was at 7pm in front of Buenos Aires City Hall on Avenida de Mayo.

Tango protest  image courtesy Ruthoffen.com
Tango protest about the return to Tango in the city of Buenos Aires

The protesters were amicably chatting in little groups of 2 or 3 people with their tango signs. All wore masks and observed social distancing

Tango protest Image courtesy Ruthoffen.com

Reading the handwritten paper Tango protest signs with the messages:

We have not danced in a year. Tango is culture. Tango is our work.

Mostly the protest signs in Spanish read: We need to return to work. We need to return to dance.

Tango protest image courtesy Ruthoffen.com
Holding Tango protest placards in the street in front of city hall of Buenos Aires

The organized tango protesters spoke to the city government and said…

Tango protest image courtesy Ruthoffen.com
Tango protest about the return to Tango in the city of Buenos Aires

We NEED the government of BsAs to specify what protocols are needed for the tango world, to be in place. We need to go back to work. We have not worked in a year. We are culture. We are Buenos Aires.

tango protest image courtesy of Ruthoffen.com
Waiting on Avenida de Mayo

Tango Protest

The protest lasted about an hour. Tango music played on the sound system. The protesters demonstrated a few different dance dance stance. No actual dancing occurred. Many photographers and media outlets showed up. In the Buenos Aires Times, nothing has shown up about the protest. Its the only English language paper here. Will reserach and see if any other papers have any mention.

This is an important issue here in Buenos Aires, as many teachers, organizers, performers and students are waiting for a return to Tango. Honestly, expecting the old normal ways now, is not important. What is important is to return to dancing Tango.

Currently, there are many outdoor milongas around the city in various parks, somewhat sanctioned as all observe sanitary protocols, including wearing mask and usung lots of hang sanitizers.

Many tangeras & tangeros do not like dancing in open embrace as many feel, including me that this is not tango. Again and again, the most important issues are the government issuing sanitary protocols. Return to the embrace again. To hear the music of tango streaming into the clubs and spaces of Buenos Aires.

Now we wait. We see if something happens.

tango protest Image courtesy Ruthoffen.com


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