Wednesday, May 06, 2020

DAY 54..........But, who is counting?

I'm amazed to write that it has been fifty-four days since I have left my home!  Some days it seems like forever and other days seem to pass quickly.  On Friday it will be eight weeks since I made the
decision, based on all I was reading, to STAY HOME!

Stocking up on essentials was done on the morning of Day 1 with the idea it might be for three weeks.  Au contraire, it has been much longer, as we all know.

The Universe doesn't let us see the future, thankfully.  If it did and I had known that I wouldn't be
leaving for eight weeks, it may have caused a mini meltdown.  But, taking it "one day at a time", for me, has been the best way to press on.

Now there is a rhythm, sort of.  Lots has happened that was unexpected in the previous eight weeks.
My upstairs neighbor, A Vietnam Vet has moved back to be with family in Minnesota.  He had lived in San Miguel for twenty-four years so it was quite a surprise.  He left a week ago with his worldly possessions.  I wish him well. 

We have had baby kittens born about the third week of March.  They are so cute and Matilda helped
Corazon, the Mama with the births.  I'm hoping to bring one of them over here to live soon.  We'll see!

Easter came.  The kids dyed eggs at their house.  Matilda attempted to bake an Easter cake but used a bundt pan at her house and it was a funny Bunny cake this year.  Usually we have an Easter egg hunt and all the fun times, but this year was completely different.  Instead the kids brought the dyed eggs over so I could make deviled eggs and I handed over the Easter baskets filled with goodies that many others helped to bring from Texas to make it a fun experience.  We had a picnic outside on the grass. With the three of them on the blanket and me on the porch, about ten feet away.  Instead of a fancy Easter meal, we ordered fried chicken from Crunchy Chicken.  That plus the goodies in their baskets seemed to be enough.  Nope, no hugs or getting close.  Wow, that is so hard.

Yes, there are photos but for some reason, I cannot get the photos that are in Google photos to post on the blog right now!  I have tried every way I can think aggravating. 

San Miguel has been SHUT DOWN since the end of March!  No Semana Santa events.  All hotels, businesses and B&B's were closed to prevent the usual 250,000 tourists that come for Easter.  It is truly weird to see photos of all the streets devoid not only of vehicular traffic but even people walking.  We ARE a ghost town.

But, due to all the restrictions and closings there has not been a death in San Miguel.  In fact, at present, we have eight cases here of which four have recovered.  Amazing and hats off to everyone
for doing their part to "flatten" the curve.  

What has worked best for me, since I'm not leaving the house because I have damaged lungs, is to have food delivered or to have my son John go to the store for his family and me about every two weeks or so.  The kids have not been anywhere but here on Easter!  Somehow it is all working out.

I have found all kinds of things as I have straightened and cleaned this and that!  Yesterday I found an entire box of Miracle Gro in the space under the sink where all the cleaning supplies are located.  You would have thought I had found the "golden egg" or something.  I had thought I was out and had no way to get to the hardware store to get plant food, unless I broke the quarantine.  Needless to say, the plants will be happy and look better in a week or two.

April was hotter then Hades.  Unusual.  No rain of course and little watering.  It will take a while to
get things back ship shape.  Hopefully Josefina, who has been at her home for eight weeks, will be
able to return next week to help.  She has been sorely missed!  We are family and darn, that is the hardest part of this is not being able to be with family and friends.

Yet, I admit I am grateful every single day for having this wonderful little place to live. For having a bed to sleep in, a TV to  watch, music to hear and food to eat!  Add to that the fact that the birds, butterflies, squirrels (there are now three) and one possum add to my enjoyment.  The antics of the squirrels cause me to laugh out loud once in a while.

I try not to watch but thirty minutes of news at 5:30PM but read many things on the internet about COVID 19.  A group of health professionals here in SMA, post a daily digest with all kinds of succinct and helpful information both from the government of Mexico, the state and city  government as well.  Otherwise I'm watching other things that don't impact my blood pressure or mental health.  It seems to work better that way.

There is no talk of anything opening up here any time soon.  They even didn't allow alcohol sales last weekend which was a big Mexican holiday weekend.  Now they have announced that the cemetery will be closed on Sunday, May 10th which is Mother's Day in Mexico as well as the USA!  Shocking as many families go there to decorate the graves of the deceased.

Who knows what will happen next?  I try not to try to figure it out but to have my "ducks in a row", if possible.  I hope the same for all of you and that in the last eight weeks, you too, have figured out a
way to live in this strange and startling time.



Steve Cotton said...

Even though we live in the same country, our experiences are about 180 degrees from each other. Like the governor of Guanajuato, the governor of Jalisco issued a "stay home" order just after Semana Santa. Our local authorities closed the beaches and the townfolk protested in the streets to discourage Semana Santa tourists from hanging around. Without access to the beach, most tourists left.

There was a brief lull in daily life after the announcement of the "stay home" order. But our streets are almost back to normal for this time of the year. (Until school vacation starts, the weeks after Semana Santa are always slow.) About 20% of the people have masks, with about half of them dangling around their necks. Even a lot of the clerks in the stores do not wear their masks.

I know all this because I have been following my regular life routine. That means that I am sequestered for most of the day in the house. But I get out to go to the store five to seven days out of the week.

Yesterday I saw two tourist buses pulling into Melaque. Tapitios were here in Barra over the weekend. Nobody (other than a few northerners) seem to be willing to wait for the all-clear order on 15 May to get back to living their lives. Without any serious social distancing or isolating, there are no reported cases of the virus in the entire municipio.

Babs said...

Steve, we have been lucky in that the Municipality and the Bishop of Celaya issued the notices of NO religious ceremonies or desfiles for Semana Santa the middle of March. So, no one came, literally. There have been many photos of the streets of SMA posted on FB showing literally not a single person walking on the main streets of centro or other places. Only LaComer, Soriana, gas stations and restaurants with curbside pickup or delivery are operating. It is quite extraordinary. ALL the stores at the mall by Liverpool are closed! Even Office Depot.

I would say, based on what others are writing, that 60% of the people are wearing masks. Since I haven't been out, nor do I intend to go out, can I give you a true
assessment. The order to wear them just began last Friday but I had gotten some made for the kids and myself while John got a surgical mask from friends.

The all clear here is the 30th of May and if things are still in good shape, possibly the 18th. The mass of cases and deaths is expected in the next two weeks.

Good luck.

Retired Teacher said...

I just counted and I am at about the same number as you. I have been isolating myself (except for a weekly trip to buy groceries) for 52 days. I should have been in Mexico at this time, but, of course, that didn't happen. Thank goodness for Skype. I talk nightly with Alejandro.

I'm very worried about the situation down there, especially in Mexico City. Very little testing is going on, and, according to Alejandro, the official statistics only reflect tests done at government hospitals. Deaths at home are simply listed as pneumonia, diabetes, etc. without any testing to determine if the corona virus was to blame.

Nancy said...

Hi Babs, What a nice blog today. I am like you, grateful for so much and I'll do whatever it takes to steer clear of this awful virus. We have been staying home since March 1 I think or maybe a bit before and it is going ok. Paul and I enjoy each other and our new place and garden. There are lots of people doing deliveries here so the art store delivered a jigsaw puzzle the other day and groceries and dog food come to the house too. I go out about every 2 weeks to get a few things and go to the bank but I time it first thing in the morning while no one is about.

Our area in Jalisco is much different than where Steve is. I think it has to do with the beach attitude maybe. Here people are very compliant, I watch out the window and most people have masks on and the rules are being followed. There are no cases Lakeside at this time but there is a cluster of 20-ish in a small town not too far away so we assume it will get here eventually.

I'm glad you're doing well. It is such a strange time for everyone. Take care! Nancy (&Paul)

alcuban said...

What a beautiful post today. Being able to say home for 54 days without going crazy is an achievement. Hats off to you. After this is over, you'd be ready for a cloistered religious life, although I don't know in which denomination. Glad to hear you're doing well!

R. P. said...

"Now there is a rhythm". Truth. If only humanity would find it's rhythm again. The agitation is still around. And for what purpose? Breathe. Saludos, dear friend.

Babs said...

Hi Bill, Good to hear from you. There are a group of health professionals in SMA who write a post daily on the methodologies, the info on the stats, the number of beds throughout the country and all kinds of very professional and informative stuff. it is Covid19SMA. Put that in and see if you get the correct address. If not, let me know and I'll get the exact info for you.
By reading that, I feel so much better informed about the methodology which is the method that WHO, the CDC and others put in place 14 years ago. I'm impressed about how things are being handled here among other things.
The sheer volume of the population of CDMX is a daunting scenario. They do have the most deaths. Any govt # published as to cases, deaths etc needs a multiplier of 8 to 10. So, use that factor to give you more realistic numbers.Tests are now being done both in public and private hospitals and other facilities throughout Mexico.
I'm glad you and Alejandro Skype each night. It must be difficult and very worrisome. Now CDMX is checking people who enter the city and not letting many people in. I don't know where but I did read it yesterday. Same with Queretaro.
Hang in there. I think we are MUCH better off here then you are in the USA with that nutjob in the White House.

Babs said...

Nancy, so great to hear from you. I know you are loving being at Ajijic/Chapala. It is so very beautiful and a great walkable place. Yes, I'm amazed at how compliant people are. In fact, my landlord has had a bunch of construction workers here on the property this past week and they ALL have shown up with masks.

The city is serious. They arrested two guys who when told to put on a mask, would not, and they were hauled off to jail for 36 hours! They have closed a bank who was not practicing social distancing too!!!! All of these steps will just help to hasten the end of this, hopefully.

Many, many private citizens and NGOs are working to provide dispenzas to families who do not have food. We have a huge municipality of which much of it is campo but there are several hundred people driving to the villages several times a week to help others. Many are making masks, etc etc etc

One of the best things about Mexico, for me, is the compassion and kindness of all toward each other.

Maybe some day you will come over here or I will come there and we can sit and chat, in person. In the meantime, glad to hear you are staying safe, at home!

Babs said...

Al, just call me Sister Barbara!!!! Oh boy, there is a REAL story behind that. I will have to share when next we get together. I'll have you and Stew falling out of your chairs laughing........seriously.

You know if you're swimming against the tide, it is better to just float for a while. Each time I think I HAVE to get out to do whatever, I say to myself, "Is it importnat enough to die for?" Then I calm down.........

I have thought of just driving out your way to see vistas. Maybe soon!

Babs said...

RP, it is so ironic that we are so close and yet still so far apart
even here in SMA. Hopefully another month or so and we will be able
to connect, even if the distance is still 6 ft away.

I'm not sure I still remember how to carry on a conversation!
Ya'll take care.

I still want some almond croissants! BUT not 200 pesos worth
right now......(minimum order)

Stay home! Stay safe

Dana Hill said...

Babs, I'm so glad to hear you are doing well, as we are too up north in Oakland CA. We are still sheltered at home and expect to be for some time. I read something that straightened out my attitude during the first weeks of this, when I was bored and restless. It was "Don't count the days; Make every day count." So I try to do something meaningful, if only for myself, every day. It, along with gratitude, helps. Stay well, Dana Hill (a good friend of Nora's)

Babs said...

Great to hear from you Dana. The first weeks were the hardest, I think. Interestingly, I had just finished Erik Larson's book on Winston Churchill and the English people living through the FOUR years of the Blitz.

Everytime I started to freak out or feel sorry for myself for one reason or the other, I remembered the English people living through bombings, little food, abject fear and unbelievable courage. I thought of all the mothers trying to protect their children.

Then I would say to myself, "Snap out of it". That only happened a couple of times and now I'm just enjoying not having to wear makeup and laughing at the wider and wider white stripe down the middle of the center of my head and along my temples. Something I have never seen before! But, I'm not going anywhere and so, who cares?

And, even if I was going somewhere, who cares? ha.

Take care in Oakland! I love the whole Bay area and spent many summers in SF house sitting for a teacher each summer before I discovered SMA. The whole attitude in the Bay area, the incredible produce and the ability to get around was a continual joy! Have lotsa friends up there.

Dana Hill said...

Great to hear you're so familiar with the Bay Area. California is still a very special place. We have spent these weeks augmenting our vegetable garden, caring for our fruit trees, looking toward being even more self-sufficient food-wise since we have the climate to support it more or less year-round. Please keep writing. I love reading about SMA, having visited there years ago with many happy memories of its beauty and wonderful culture.

Babs said...

Thanks for your post Dana. I think of the Bay Area with
great fondness.

I will keep writing but probably not as often as I used to
do as it seems to me that I don't have anything to say, ha.

You mentioned in a previous comment that you are a good friend
of Nora's! What a small world! She is one of the dearest and
most thoughtful people that I have ever met. Truly a dear, dear

You must come back to SMA some time so we can all get together.
She has a new condo which she is loving so much. I have only
seen pictures as she moved during the covid mess.

Take care.

Dana Hill said...

I have heard from Nora on email or maybe text fairly recently and she seems very happy in SMA. She and I used to work together years ago and have traveled together and kept in touch over the years. Miss her, of course. I hope to return to visit some day, it would be such fun to see you and Nora too! Ah, we can dream.