Our interesting times

May you live in interesting times.

— ancient Chinese curse

CITY HALL here on the mountaintop yesterday reported the first Kung Flu case in our quaint Colonial town, news I could have lived long without, perhaps literally.

So we have pivoted, the two of us.

Till today we had reduced our gadding about, but every afternoon, simply to get out of the house, we had gone downtown with a Thermos of café, which we filled at home, to sit a spell in the open air of the coffee shop on the sidewalk abutting the plaza.

People-watching and reading.

Well, that’s off the table, so to speak. We’re staying home.

There will be exceptions. For instance, early this morning, we drove down the mountainside to the nearby capital city to shop at Costco and Chedraui. We got there just after they opened. There were few shoppers, which was the idea.

We’ll make that jaunt every Monday.

We purchased enough vittles at the two stores to last a week since we have now eliminated restaurants from our lifestyle.

Days will consist of some light exercise on our gym set at home, plus the daily walk around the neighborhood plaza. One must keep the blood circulating.

Mexico has relatively few Kung Flu sightings, 2,143 cases and 94 fatalities as I write this, but it will worsen, of course. Government action has been somewhat spotty so far, and our demagogic, airheaded president is setting a horrible example by continuing his hugs and kisses to one and all, including relatives of a famous narco capo.

The uneducated, not surprisingly, love him, especially since he gifts money, á la Bernie Sanders, but there are even a significant number of otherwise well-educated Mexicans who also embrace him, literally if possible. Astounding.

The good news is that his popularity is slipping.

I think we have an old backgammon board in a cabinet downstairs, and we need to wash windows and do other chores that we’ve been putting off. And there is also the internet, Kindles and Netflix. Life plods on.

About that Chinese quote at the top. It’s those damn Chinamen who got us into this Kung Flu mess in the first place. Ah, the irony.

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We’ll be sitting out here more often. Come join us, but sit over thataway.

29 thoughts on “Our interesting times

  1. Well, I see that you’re finally taking this virus thing seriously, and staying home and otherwise “isolating.” Most people are not used to house arrest, even those who claim to be introverts, and so being alone puts your routines in a new light. Heck, we all might emerge with a couple of new routines.

    Like going grocery shopping first thing in the morning. We went to our local Mega this morning, and there was hardly anyone there, and the few customers avoided each other, as if everyone had BO. Not long ago, we went to Costco at 10 a.m., on a Thursday, and the place was empty. In both stores we avoided waiting 20 minutes to check out, just by showing up early. Keep that in mind, post-quarantine.

    No more siestas for me either. Used to take a half-hour nap in the afternoon, which being under house arrest, has extended to an hour or more. By the time you wake up, take a shower and re-make the bed, the whole afternoon is shot. At our age, we can’t afford to waste time like that.

    Bernie or AMLO, you can keep them both.

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    1. Señor Lanier: Oddly, for the first two or three years down here, I took siestas in the afternoon. Then I quit. Never did it since. Got no idea why I changed that.

      Yeah, I had some sort of impression that all was well enough before one case showed up. Being a relatively small city, that puts things in a new light. Our biggest concern is that my wife’s sister does not want to close her coffee shop, which is also where she lives. Greed is making her do that even though she is scared to death of the Kung Flu, plus she’s a nonstop smoker and only a couple of months ago had a case of bronchitis that was so bad she spent the night in a clinic because the doctor initially thought it was pneumonia, which it wasn’t. Changing her habits is akin to changing course for the Titanic. If she gets sick, it’s going to present a huge dilemma for my wife who is her sole relative here aside from her son, 17.

      Time will tell.

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      1. Yes, I too wasn’t taking the virus too seriously, and then I started when it got closer to home. We only have, supposedly, two cases in San Miguel, but I don’t know how reliable those figures are, who’s doing the counting, how many test kits they have, etc. etc. There is a bit of magical realism involved here.

        And AMLO, I finally decided, is a certifiable case of chronic idiocy or early Alzheimer’s.

        That’s too bad about your sister-in-law. We have a couple of lady friends who have COPD, and they are locked up in the house, afraid to come out to even look at the sun.

        This is a new show, indeed.

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  2. Also at Costco when it opened this morning, I didn’t see you. But I did come upon two fresas, all made up, wearing nice clothing, platform shoes, that kind of thing, who had face shields that looked stylish. So I asked them where they bought them, and they sent the information to my cellular.

    Then I came upon Werner, a German who’d been alive during those Holocaust years, full of cheer and averring that we’ll get through this,” as if The Late Unpleasantness was nothing more than a nuisance.

    After venturing over to Imprenta Tavera (https://www.facebook.com/ImprentaTavera/), located in one of my favorite houses in the city, which was out in the countryside when it was built in 1943, to buy a mask, figuring that I owed to those who must cast their eyes upon me , or at least who cannot avoid looking, to look at least as good as those fresas, I stopped over at Arquitectura en Barro, where the owner greeted me by name even though I hadn’t been in there for more than half a decade, to buy macetas, large ones to continue my gardening efforts. No masks there, and the owner’s wife tells me that eventually we’re all going to die of something, cancer, getting hit by a car, assassination. I reflect that death is one of our duties, making room for others, moving on, completing the circle, you know, Throwing Stones with the Grateful Dead.

    Now, where is that referendum AMLO promised us?

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    1. Ms. Shoes: We got to Costco just before 10, which is the official opening hour, but they’re opening earlier, 9:30 or so, now.

      I ordered some high-tech face masks this morning from Amazon, but they won’t arrive till May or even June, I was told. They’re coming from the United States. No matter. We’ll have them for the next plague. Anyway, everything I read says masks do nothing to protect the person wearing them. They can be of service if you’re ill, protecting others from you.

      Sounds like you were gadding about all over the place. I’m with Werner. We’ll get through this. I might add, dead or alive.

      What has the idiot president promised a referendum about?

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        1. Ms. Shoes: Ah, that promise. Well, first off, unfortunately, we are not halfway through and, second off, I think he would still win the vote. Stupidity reigns.

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  3. Glad to see ya’ll are taking this little virusy thing seriously. Just about all of us here in our little frontier burg are doing the same. It will end, or we will, or both will.

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    1. Ricardo: Yeah, the bug’s arrival in town made me sit up and notice.

      You are right. It will end. Soon, I hope. Just glad I don’t have a job I might have to go to. That’s nice.

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  4. Nice photo. Looks like a good place to spend the next few weeks. With 337,000,000 people in the USA and 363,000, and probably more than that, with the virus. There are a lot of people not infected with the virus. That being said, we are self isolating and shopping in small stores to avoid contact with the rest of the population. Doing our exercising at first light.

    We will come out on the other side much the worse for wear, but we will come out. Keep positive thoughts, no negativity.

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    1. Kirk: Yep, far, far more uninfected people than those infected. Important to keep that in mind. And my thoughts are almost always positive ones. Don’t worry! Be happy! Hang in there.

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      1. Kirk, PS: Since you brought up population and case counts, I just calculated the percentage of the Mexican population that has, so far, come down with the Kung Flu. It’s a staggering 0.002 percent.

        Looking at it that way, I guess I’ll go out for a pizza.

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  5. I read that Mexicans are panic buying beer down there. They better open up the breweries for production or it’s going to get ugly.

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  6. Felipe, no confirmed cases of Kung Flu in Gringolandia. However, that hasn’t stopped the crazies from becoming even crazier. There was one case announced on FB of a person who lives in San Juan Cosala catching it while visiting the U.S. However, a quick check of the Jalisco government website proved that it was fake news. That virus is the far more contagious one! Our frac has been on virtual lockdown for weeks now. They closed the pool, clubhouse, and gym weeks ago. Two weeks ago they stopped letting maids in. Last week they sent the gardeners home too. Very quiet here these days.

    Stay safe.

    Regards,
    Troy

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    1. Troy: The unfortunate part of all that is that the gardeners and maids are now out of work. I can sort of see the thought processes behind firing the maids, but the gardeners could have done the social-distancing thing pretty easily out there in the yard.

      There seem to be two approaches to this issue. The Gringos, perhaps, are going too far in one direction, and plenty of Mexicans are going in the other direction of not taking it seriously enough.

      And then we have our nincompoop Mexican president.

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      1. The gringos around these parts were making a big deal out of sending their help home with pay for two months. As you may have guessed, I’m not one of them.

        Social distancing is easy with household help, too. Just leave the house, the room, whatever, when the maid’s there.

        My mozo, who thinks of my place as his own after 32 years here, volunteered that it’s much more pleasant to be in the fresh air and working in pleasant surroundings than sitting at home. Of course, he also enjoys a nice bathroom here, kitchen privileges (all right, it’s just Nescafe, vitamins, Bubulubu, agua de fruitas, and a bowl of fruit), TV, and his mancave.

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            1. Bubulubu is iconic, right up there with Zote, Vicks, and Knorr Suiza. Freezing takes it to another level. While it’s easy to dismiss as a white trash favorite, up there with Mountain Dew and Hostess pink snoballs, it’s also a secret obsession about those with presumably cultivated tastes. (I’m not one of them.)

              If there was a national candy, it would be Bubulubu, a.k.a., Bubu Lubu.

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                1. Surely every abarrote, no matter how small, in the Village of the Darned has some in stock. I think there may even be a double-secret federal law requiring that no Mexican ever be more than 500 m. from a source of Bubu Lubu. We will await your report.

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      2. My house is perfect for social distancing. When Antonio (the pool guy) and Dora are here, we shift from.place to place.

        The bigger problem is Omar, who not surprisingly takes the Mexican position.

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    2. Troy, P.S.: Thinking more on that, I imagine the Gringos and Canucks in your area likely laid off the help with pay. Most Mexicans, I think, would have just laid them off and hoped they would not have to pay anything.

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      1. Felipe, residents were requested to keep paying their maids. Gardeners are on the frac’s payroll and are continuing to be paid as well.

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