We are okay. We are not complaining. Our hands are tied because communications are crucial to coordinate relief efforts and everything else. Yet, we are getting used to tap water, hot nights, cold showers, radio, walking, talking with neighbors, pasta and tuna.
We see less trash on the streets and more people wandering around. The curfew has been extended to 9pm until 7pm. Nonetheless, people continue to ignore it. La ley seca (temp alcohol sale prohibition) was lifted mid-Friday, just in time for the weekend. Apparently the government thinks that if we start drinking, everything is gonna be alright and we will be happy at them. Not sure that's the way to go: stop lights don't work, all roads are pitch black after dawn, there are lots of debris and trash, and people are walking with flashlights. Drunk drivers are not a good call on the road right now. And there are no hospitals to treat emergencies.
We hear diesel is distributed everywhere. That's not true. More gas stations have opened, but lines continue to be long (not as log as before), which is hard evidence that there is not enough fuel. This is just the metro area, the rest of the island is not receiving the necessary diesel, water, food, meds, and relief aid to solve immediate issues and concerns. Hospitals are filled with patients, others had to close. Elderly homes have consolidated or elders have been moved to shelters due to lack of diesel and water. The unionized truckers have hard government demands and a working agreement has not been reached. Apparently they are on strike, but the media is not talking about this. Independent truckers have been showing up to government headquarters offering to help, but they keep getting waitlisted and told: "give us your info, we will call you if needed." Really? How would you contact them if most phones don't work!!??
We must keep pressing and demanding for help, especially everyone in the diaspora and all US citizens abroad. This crisis cannot dissipate from the world's attention. Fellow "american citizens" are dying in Puerto Rico because the help continues to be slow and logistics are not working. Over 9,500 containers have been parked at the port for days and distributed to those in urgent need.
All sorts of health issues may start to arise due to flooded areas, clogged sewage systems, and rotten foods. We cannot afford any epidemic now.
Crimes continue, prices on some items have gone up, water is more expensive in some markets and so is the diesel, I heard of people paying $12 for a gallon of diesel! Private dealers taking advantage and ignoring the government's price freeze on goods and fuel. And the few ATM's that function are crowded with long lines. In PR, many people depend on credit, but cash is king now.
It is estimated that 500-600,000 people are unemployed and will remain like this for months.
Trump is coming on Tuesday and we must organize to say HI (yeah right) in the best way we know how to protest. Puerto Rico has challenged him to shame. He must swallow his egocentric pride and do something. He feels the pressure from senators, celebrities, US citizens, and world leaders. History will remember him as the asshole that has no filter, no heart, and no compassion. This is a chance for him (not to redeem himself, because he cannot), but for once, say and do something that matters.