Organization Assisted Atlanta Woman And Disabled Aunt Forced To Quarantine In Panama Without Accessible Housing
The two were required to quarantine for 14 days in a room that was not accessible to people with a disability.
January 10, 2022 at 7:36 pm
Multiple groups came to the aid of an Atlanta woman and her disabled aunt who were in quarantine for ten days in the country of Panama after they both tested positive for COVID-19 just before the new year, 11 Alive reports.
Danielle Bullock and her aunt, Donna Davis-Nunes, 65, had to quarantine for 14 days due to a government mandate in a room that was not accessible to people with a disability.
Davis-Nunes lives with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair for mobility. In addition, Bullock was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes and was low on insulin.
After 11Alive's previous story about Bullock and Davis-Nunes aired, the U.S. Embassy reached out to the two women, as well as several local groups, to render aid.
"An organization called the Healthcare Alliance, which is actually a group of VSOs in Panama, they got in touch with us as well and provided us with food and supplies, and also provided me with insulin because I actually ran out," Bullock said.
Other groups including the Black Expats in Panama and The Society of Friends of the West Indian Museum of Panama sent an email message to 11Alive. They informed the news organization they went to the hotel to help the ladies but were denied entry.
Bullock also noted the hotel did not relocate the pair to a disability-friendly room, despite requesting them to do so and being reassured the hotel would comply. She said the hotel offered to transport her aunt to a hospital, but Bullock knew they would separate them, and it would be challenging to stay in touch.
"I wasn't letting her out of my sight for any reason, and she felt the same," she said.
Bullock later overheard other Americans speaking on her floor and learned through them that the quarantine period changed from 14 days to 10 days. She contacted the doctor at the hotel and inquired about leaving on Jan. 6.
Both Bullock and her aunt headed to the airport and once they arrived, the airline staff said they needed additional documentation rather than a signed certificate from the Ministry of Health in Panama. The two also had to take another COVID-19 test and produce negative results before flying back home.
Davis-Nunes, however, hesitant to take another test in a fear of receiving a false positive, opted to stay behind.
“I’m going to let her let me know when she’s comfortable enough. I think it’ll be at least a week,” Bullock, who returned to Atlanta, said of her aunt.