Quarantine days

WE EASED into it, gradual-like. At first, early last month, during our habitual afternoon stays on the downtown plaza with a hot café Americano negro and the Kindle, I’d just keep away from the passing mob to the best of my ability.

During that time, the two of us were driving downtown afternoons in both cars as usual because my child bride required more time chewing the chorizo (Mexican fat) with her sister than I was willing to sit and wait for it all to peter out.

Great God Almighty, women can talk. No fleeting thought is kept inside.

Then we started driving down there in one car, returning together. A week or so later, we stopped going altogether as things seemed to worsen a bit, especially the first report of Kung Flu here on the mountaintop. That report remains questionable.

We stopped shopping entirely except for necessities. Grub and knitting material. Now we’re at home. I ordered face masks online, and we began using them yesterday during our weekly shopping trip to the nearby capital city. Costco and Chedraui.

Our governor announced, starting yesterday, that it is absolutely forbidden to leave one’s home for anything other than essentials. And masks required! The penalties include fines and community service.

The governor of the abutting state of Jalisco has issued the same order.

Clearly, these two think they’re talking to Germans or Swiss, not Mexicans.

During our shopping trip yesterday to the state capital, we encountered exactly what I knew we would encounter: life as usual. People out walking around, riding bikes, eating sidewalk tacos, the same ole same ole. Some wore masks, some not.

Yesterday afternoon we drove downtown here on the mountaintop for knitting gear. Again, everyone was doing the same as last week. Nothing had changed.

Humorously, the Gringos seem to be hunkering down at home, fearful not just of the Kung Flu but of being arrested, fined or whatever. There is an online forum that focuses on Gringos hereabouts, and it’s a hoot to read their hysterics.

Here at the Hacienda, the days go like this: My child bride does a daily frenzy of calisthenics and she knits. She dearly misses her gym. I read my Kindle and see stuff online, especially film noir from the 1950s and cheesy horror/sci fi from the 1960s.

The evenings have not changed. Salads and Netflix.

And we continue our exercise walks on the neighborhood plaza weekdays. I doubt we will be fined or pressed onto community service chain gangs.

I sure hope not.

chain-gang-suffolk
Is this what awaits me?

27 thoughts on “Quarantine days

  1. I clicked on your link, fully expecting to see the SMA Civil List. Surprise. I used to read it 8 or 9 years ago, but dropped it after getting so many conflicting views.

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    1. Phil: The San Miguel forum is worse than where I live. As for our forum, well, I’m on permanent moderation due to having opinions the moderator does not agree with and for not “being nice” too. As you well know, I am always nice. It’s my online trademark. Not “being nice” on our local forum means disagreeing with the shared opinions of about 99 percent of them. Sad.

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  2. Both Stew and I are getting itchy with this quarantine routine, particularly Stew who seems to be inventing “emergency” reasons to go shopping somewhere, anywhere. I think just to be safe, we’d all be wise to sit still until this thing blows over or under. Some experts say 14 days after the last reported case (14 days being the incubation period of the virus) is a good marker. That sounds logical to me. The last thing we want is for everyone to go party and then have a relapse.

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    1. Señor Lanier: I agree with you. Better safe than sorry is not a philosophy I generally embrace, but in this case, I do. As for Stew, I recommend hogtying him and placing him in a closet. They should settle him down a tad. Free him in June.

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  3. “Clearly, these two think they’re talking to Germans or Swiss, not Mexicans.”

    The reaction here to the governor’s order is about the same as your town’s. It has been interesting to watch the cultural difference between Mexicans, Americans, and Canadians — our three major groups here on the coast. Of course, there are individual differences, but there is no missing the fact that we are different peoples. And each group has reacted just as you would expect.

    At first, I thought the Canadians were over-reacting. They are a very compliant people. If told to do something, they will. And if you are not doing the same, they are concerned that you are not complying. But, in this epidemic, I think they have got it right. At least, in going to ground with almost a Blitz obsession on survival. The low number of cases in Canada may be proof of that. The hard part will be transitioning out of isolation. If a person has drawn comfort from sheltering away from others, it will take far more convincing that the “all clear” is safe.

    At the opposite extreme are my Mexican neighbors who think the government is lying to them. Activity on the street has lessened, but a lot of people are still going about their days unmasked. I asked a friend where his mask was. He had not heard any of the governor’s announcements. Of course, once he heard, he just blew it off.

    The Economist has been running a series of articles on the practicalities of letting people get back to earning a living for their families. I certainly would not want to be a national leader during this epidemic. No matter what they do, they will be criticized.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Mexicans always have a very bad opinion of government, and the government rarely disappoints them in that.

      And then there’s AMLO, just floating out there doing his endless nonsense.

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  4. It seems as if Spain, Italy and Iran were caught flat-footed. We are lucky in that immigration from China was shut off by the “racist” Trump. Some cultures adhere to the shutdown more stringently than others. Judging from what I see on YouTube, it seems as if nations like Ecuador are really suffering. I don’t know if that is the truth or if it is just over-reported.

    Sadly, there is a move by some greedy people who want to end the quarantine. This will undo all we have achieved.

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    1. Señor Gill: According to the stat website I use to keep up on the situation, Ecuador has had 10,000 cases, 500 deaths. Mexico, in contrast, with a larger population, I’m sure, has had almost 9,000 cases and 700 deaths.

      Time will tell, as they say. It ain’t over till the fat lady croons.

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  5. In the New York/New Jersey area we are allowed to go for a walk, jog, bicycle ride (besides the essential food market and pharmacy runs) and it’s encouraged, as long as we keep to the social distancing guidelines. It’s encouraged for the benefit of not only our physical health but our mental health. In supermarkets and pharmacies we Must wear masks, or will not be let in, unless there is a true medical reason for not wearing one.

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    1. Andean: That makes sense to me. Letting people out for their emotional balance is great.

      But in Mexico we do whatever the hell we want to do.

      Latinos! Gotta love ’em.

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  6. The small village that I live in, and the next one to us, has closed all areas where people might get together, most people sit outside the tape and talk or have a beer. People at the bus stop have masks, but most others do not. When they see an expat walking up to their business, they put on their mask until they see I’m not wearing one, take it off and laugh.

    Went out to pick up a pizza. Mexicans were sitting and eating their food, no masks, expats sitting in their cars waiting to pick up.

    I have my own thoughts and look at as much info as I can get. I’m not a better-safe-than-sorry kind of a guy. Not trying to talk anyone into doing anything they don’t want to do, just another opinion.

    Ecuador has 10,000 infected at least, probably more, 17,000,000 population.

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    1. Kirk: I hear they’ve closed off the two main plazas downtown, but I have not seen it because I’ve not been there in a week or more. Our big neighborhood plaza, however, is open in spite of hardly anyone ever going there except Thursdays. That’s when an open-air veggie market appears.

      Now go put on a mask. Don’t make me come over there, old fella.

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  7. Only Sunday when we go into lakeside to get some groceries, or people will pass out and go into convulsions from seeing us walking around without masks. As an aside, Walmart was the only place handing out masks so you could enter the store.

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  8. I’m not sure whether it’s the heat or the Covid that’s making me lose patience with these people who’re constantly bringing up the example of strangers on the street who’re unmasked. I suspect they’re the same ones who would tell the cop who pulls them over for speeding (back in the Old Country), “But everyone else is speeding,” followed by “I pay your salary.”

    Yesterday an acquaintance whined that he’d driven all the way to Morelia, only to find the Apple store closed. How was he supposed to know that nearly all of the mall was closed? Reading or watching the news, I supposed, was beyond his capacity. “But I don’t like staying home,” he’d go on to cry. Like anyone could give a damn. Like he’s the Lone Ranger in these times.

    Education isn’t going to change these people. Fines aren’t. Only social pressure will. Meanwhile, I’ll just settle for telling them that I don’t give a f*ck whether they live or die, but I don’t want any of their germs. And giving them a dirty look.

    This afternoon my Mercado Libre shipment of masks arrived from an address in Polanco. A pack of twelve, with two extra added in. Along with a handwritten note, saying “Please give these masks to someone who needs them.”

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      1. My car’s gas tank is probably only 90% full. I think I’ll go to the Pemex station tomorrow and fill it up. That should make for a darn exciting outing. The quarantine isn’t getting to me. It’s the incessant heat.

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        1. Ms. Shoes: Did not rain here, and I’m sorta glad of it. While the cool would be nice, inspiring the grass to grow would not, so a mixed bag, as far as I am concerned. It is cloudy, however. That helps.

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    1. Say what???? “Taking notice of a well-dressed woman about my age, maybe a decade younger, I reflected on how she took the time to put herself together during these times when everyone else was much more casual, and then I saw her mask-free, unprotected face. What a piece of white trash, I decided, she was. I began judging the character of my fellow shoppers by whether they were masked and how they conducted themselves, feeling superior to the bare-faced heathens so lacking in common decency that their knuckles might as well have been hitting the ground as they strode past.”

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      1. Jax, P.S.: Has the quarantine got to you? I recalled that quote of Ms. Shoes’ and thought she had left it here, but it’s on Al Lanier’s blog, not here. You took a wrong turn at the last intersection.

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      2. Jax cracker, you might provide some attritbution to that comment. Since it’s mine, allow me to proceed to elaborate. That woman was easily part of one of the bad eggs of Morelia’s 1%, the kind who views handicapped parking spaces as specially reserved for the privileged and unimpaired, the kind who pushes ahead of you, the kind who paints all gringos with a brush that they’re only here for life on the cheap. Her simple but stylish blue and white striped dress easily cost hundreds of dollars and her platform sandals definitely were more Ferragamo than Flexi. She was not part of the street crowd who disdains masks, but she clearly bore an attitude that somehow her bodily emissions were superior to yours. Now, do you get the picture?

        The other fresas at Costco that morning were masked and even gloved, protecting themselves as well as others.

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  9. “As for our forum, well, I’m on permanent moderation due to having opinions the moderator does not agree with.” That gave me a laugh. Ain’t it the truth? I’m running out of platforms to be banned on. And just like you say, I always try to be nice. I don’t swear or rant at people. But if you have the “wrong” opinion on certain subjects that makes you a persona non grata in some people’s eyes. Oh well. Their loss!

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  10. Anyone with common sense could come to conclusion that any cloth mask is better than nothing. In fact, a common T-SHIRT mask is about 70% effective blocking virus on inhalation. It’s even more effective preventing spread on an infected person.

    Now, armed with this knowledge, how many people will voluntarily wear a mask?? Not many apparently. This is why only enforceable mask usage without exceptions is the only way to speed up the end of the crisis.. Otherwise, just prepare for a repeat of the consequences of the Spanish Flu.

    Once again, I apologise for the rant.

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