Red-letter afternoon

red letter - Bing imagesSOMETHING SO incredibly astounding happened yesterday that I absolutely must share it with one and all.

Around 5 p.m., I stepped out to the upstairs terraza with my Kindle. I sat in one of the cushy chairs facing the mountains in the soft afternoon air.

And I did not immediately fall asleep.

This has never happened before. It’s perplexing. I actually read my Kindle for about an hour with not one moment of drowsiness. The upstairs terraza is so comfy that merely sitting usually puts one to sleep. Not just me, but my hyperactive child bride too.

It’s hypnotic.

The book I am reading is Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country. It’s about Australia, a nation about which I knew little before reading the book. I would like to visit there now, but it’s too far away and too late. I should have done it decades ago.

We made our weekly shopping trip to the nearby capital city yesterday, quite early. Entering both Chedraui and Costco, we sported our N95 face masks that we purchased on Mercado Libre. They were delivered right to our front gate a week ago.

Mexico is currently in its Phase Three of Kung Flu, and cases/deaths increase daily. I read a news story from above the border yesterday that claimed Mexico’s Kung Flu will be even worse than what’s happened in the United States. Meanwhile, our megalomaniac president who goes by his initials, AMLO, has declared it under control here.

The man is a nincompoop.

An exquisitely detailed website provides case/death count, plus other data, on every city and about every little village in Mexico. That is, after you learn how to use it. Looking at my mountaintop town, it says we’ve had just one confirmed case and one death, the same person, one deduces, and that over the past two weeks, there have been two additional “suspicious” cases. So, maybe, maybe not.

In the nearby capital city, 50 kilometers away, where the urban area population is just under one million, and about 600,000 live inside the city limits, there have been 37 confirmed cases, four deaths, and 43 suspicious cases in the last two weeks.

Clearly, this is not a raging plague, laying waste to all in its path, especially on my mountaintop where the population is about 95,000. Again, just one confirmed case, one death.

So I have a plan, and my child bride is on board. After watching the excellent video on my previous post, here’s what we’re gonna do. Wait two more weeks, and if the situation remains mild, we’re not hiding at home anymore.

A return to our normal life won’t be drastic. We will eat in restaurants again now and then, if we can find one open, and we’ll head downtown to the main plaza afternoons for my café Americano negro plus endless gossip between my child bride and her chain-smoking sister whom we’ve not seen in over a month now.

Enough already.

32 thoughts on “Red-letter afternoon

    1. Kirk: Quite right, and now I have one. Alas, after writing the post yesterday, our town went from two suspected cases to 12, which I imagine includes the initial 2. So, 10 more in 24 hours. But “suspected” is just that, a maybe.

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  1. I don’t trust the accuracy or currency of Mexico’s COVID-19 statistics. Just yesterday, there were five deaths reported in Querétaro. Sometimes I think that Mexico had a head start in preparedness and therefore the country will be spared a full-on pandemic outbreak, as in the U.S. At other times, I fear the worst is yet to come. As an elderly (72) person like you (75), I plan to proceed with an abundance of caution before running out on the street waving the flag. I don’t trust anyone on this one.

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    1. Señor Lanier: Mexico had a head start in preparedness?! Needless to say, I disagree. Not with the dingaling president we have. More on that mañana.

      But I am with you on the accuracy of stats. Alas, we have nothing more to depend on.

      A distant relative here in town who is a GP told my sister-in-law there were two additional Kung Flu deaths yesterday. I am quite skeptical of that. Rumor in Mexico is more epidemic than the plague. He also — an MD, mind you — told her that she could reduce her chances of getting Kung Flu by taking aspirin and Vitamin C.

      Yeah, sure.

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  2. In our province there have been just as many overdose deaths as COVID and generally those are much younger people. So which is the epidemic we should be more concerned about? I expect Mexico has had more cartel murders than COVID deaths over the same time period, but they probably wouldn’t want to point that out. I agree that your leader AMLO is as big of an idiot as ours. Not sure who’s worse.

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    1. Brent: Lots of folks point out that other things kill as many or more people than the Kung Flu, but you cannot really make a fair comparison with events that are not contagious. It’s apples and Chevrolets. Making a comparison between the Kung Flu and the seasonal flu, for example, makes sense.

      And trying to choose which leader is worse, Trudeau or ALMO, is difficult because they are bad in different ways. They are both bad though.

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        1. Sorry, the reason it was “censored” was it was contrary to WHO
          Just saw another site mentioning it was censored. Glad if it is not.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in Arizona, the virus is running rampant on the reservations. It sure looks like it was the woman who drove the water delivery truck that spread it. Those folks live in isolation, miles from others, but they get their water delivered by a tank truck. She went just all over the reservation.

    In Ecuador, it seems as if they have figured out who patient zero was. She was a retired teacher who was living in Spain. When the disease hit Spain, she fled back to her native village in Ecuador. She brought it with her and wiped out her family and neighbors. It only takes one infected person. Wear the mask, stay away from other people and wash your hands.

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    1. Señor Gill: So, heap big trouble on the reservations? Sorry, sometimes I cannot control myself.

      As for this Patient Zero thing, I don’t see the usefulness of that information other than a matter of curiosity. Once it gets started, it’s started.

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  4. I think if one feels themselves getting sick, they had better stay in one place. That said, I am off to the VA hospital today.

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      1. No, my wife thought it was cellulitis again, but no, just more psoriasis. Going into the hospital, they check every one for the virus, and then they get a painter’s mask. Yet people wander around in the hospital without the mask on their face.

        We have used the Walmart grocery pickup three times now. I see whole families going into the store. No masks, no distancing. We don’t need no stinking masks. Like you say, they do what they want to do.

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  5. We traveled to Australia when my son was living there. It seemed like an awful long way to travel to get somewhere a lot like here. It would make much more sense (in normal times) to drive a few hundred miles south and experience a much greater change in language, cuisine, culture.

    On the other subject, we have no plan here, much to my disgust. The BB outlined some criteria for reopening a week or two ago, but there has never been a plan to achieve those milestones. Now he is pushing states to open even though no state is anywhere meeting the criteria. Sad!

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    1. Creigh: As the doctors demonstrated on the video of my previous post, new data indicate things are not anywhere near as bad as initially — and still in many parts — believed. It’s time to return to normal. I’m ready. Found this comment of yours and one other of yours in the trash file just now. Dunno why.

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  6. You, like Steve and Al and Stu, are not self-isolating. You went out to Costco and Chedraui.

    I, on the other hand, am a paragon of self-isolation and sacrifice. The last time I set foot in a supermarket was on April 5, and the last time for Costco was 16 days ago. Now I order whatever I need online from Amazon, MercadoLibre, and Walmart. And I’ll continue that habit after The Late Unpleasantness ends. I have made weekly forays, on foot, to the fruteria two blocks distance for a bag of produce.

    But then I am contemplating going to Parrilla y Canilla on May 2nd to celebrate my late mother’s 100th birthday.

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  7. Yesterday I came across a CDC paper authored by at least 20 South Korean doctors. South Korea had strong systems in place as far as quarantine and back tracing. It seems that 97 people in a call center were infected by one person. Aerosolization of the virus was spread around an office through ventilation ducts. A very tight, close quarters setting. This was on March 8.

    After reading this, I don’t think I’ll be visiting my local restaurants or gym, anytime soon. I will probably opt for curb service or open-air patio during slow times (We usually find that around 3 p.m. anyway, no one around).

    This is just info I’m sharing, not trying to be alarmist. Here is the link if anyone is interested. It’s not a hard read.

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1274_article

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    1. Dave: One of the many advantages of my area is that there is no air-conditioning, nor the ducts that often come with them. We’re an open-air area, for the most part. One little advantage for us.

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  8. Don’t get too complacent about current case counts. Mexico’s current case fatality rate is around 10%. No, this doesn’t mean that Mexicans are dying at a fantastic rate from this virus. What it means is that there’s very little testing in Mexico, so the case fatality rate is well overstated. In short, there’s probably a lot more of this virus around you than you think. And the latest research is suggesting that it’s not a whole lot more fatal than the flu. But before you get too excited, yeah, not much more fatal than seasonal flu, but about 10 times more contagious. And that’s the rub.

    I was out this afternoon chatting with my neighbors, who are wonderful people, and I’m thankful to live amongst them. My neighbor two doors down believes that her whole family got it in the first week of March. Given that Boston is one of the big “hot spots” in a state that’s a big “hot spot,” it wouldn’t be too surprising. Anyway, they have kids in college and are in their 60s and went through this fine. So despite all the deaths, the vast majority of otherwise healthy folk get through this just fine.

    Be careful, but don’t go overboard.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where being shut in is getting old. Very old.

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      1. Mexico’s case fatality rate of around 10% means that there’s simply not enough testing. So CCP virus is far better established in your burg than you’d like to think. It’s just that no one knows, especially since about half of cases are totally asymptomatic.

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