Covid in Peru
Peru holds the highest death rate from Covid in the entire world.
By May 2020, just two months after extreme lockdown measures, Peru declared that its medical system had collapsed. Decades of government corruption put emergency planning and medical funding on the back burner which lead Peru to be completely unprepared for a global pandemic. Peru outsources for almost all of their medical equipment and there were only two oxygen tank facilities inside the country. Completely unequipped with medial personal, PPE, and oxygen equipment, Peru unsuccessfully tried to buy all they needed from other countries. This was the main reason for their medical collapse. They simply did not have the enough of anything to help anyone who was sick with Covid.
With public hospitals and clinics overrun and understaffed, if you needed treatment, your only option was the private clinics, which were costing more and more. During the height of the pandemic in Peru, we were quoted $15,000 USD per day for one bed.
75% of Peru's population works for a minimum wage and lives in impoverished conditions.
There was absolutely no way for the average person could afford medical care during the pandemic.
In early 2021, a government mandate was passed for those lucky enough to get into the public hospitals. It stated that all ICU beds were meant for people younger than 60 years of age, because they were more likely to recover. The government didn't want to waste their limited resources on the elderly, who would most likely die anyway. The majority of the sick were told to go home and isolate themselves. If someone died in your house, you had to wrap them in cloth, plastic or cardboard and place them in the street the following morning for a truck to pick them up and take them to a mass grave site. There were no funerals or goodbyes to your loved ones. People lying dead in the streets and outside hospital doors is a harsh reality for many of us living in developed countries to grasp, but this was happening all over Peru and many countries in South America.
In addition, mass starvation was plaguing Peru's lower class because of extreme quarantine mandates. 75% of the population was starting to starve to death.
In January 2021, Peru entered their 2nd wave of Covid and it was much worse than before.
For most of 2021, if you were over the age of 55 and caught covid, you had a 9 out of 10 chance of dying.
In mid 2021, the vaccine started being distributed and stats showed, even with the Omicron variant, that deaths were tapering off.
By 2022, Peru reopened its economy at limited capacity with a continued country wide curfew, mask mandate and no social gatherings allowed. Currently, you must show your fully vaccinated Vaccine Passport card to enter any enclosed place of business. The starvation crisis and lack of work has increased the crime rate in the larger cities because people are desperate for money and food.
Overall, Peru seems to be slowly coming out of the pandemic, but the average community is still years away from being prosperous again.
What we did to help?
Pucusana has a population of 12-15,000 people. At least 10,000 of those people are living in devastating poverty. And that was before the pandemic happened. These people do not have clean water, many do not have electricity and they all live in shack type homes. With no work, money and very limited ways of getting food, thousands of Pucusanian people began to starve in April 2020.
From April 2020 to December 2021, The Pucusana Project distributed food bags to the starving neighborhoods of Pucusana EVERY MONTH. In 2021, we created and supplied 12 Soup Kitchens. These soup kitchens gave one free meal a day to their surrounding community and were run by a team of local volunteers.
We also supplied the local clinic with PPE, gave out school supplies to encourage home learning for the 2 years schools were closed and donated Christmas gifts to the children in the poorest neighborhoods.
In February 2022, after the conclusion of our food relief, the Pucusana City government recognized our work and the Mayor gave us a "certificate of thanks" for feeding thousands of people, being a light in the community and helping Pucusana survive the horrors of the pandemic.
Without our faithful donors and the courage of our local volunteers, Pucusana would have not survived the Covid 19 pandemic. We are eternally grateful to everyone who had a hand in helping us during those two years.
We still need your help!
Even now, post pandemic, there is still a lot of work to be done to fend off starvation in the barrios and help people get back to work.
Please consider donating.