Let’s breathe freely

There has been much dispute since the pandemic began about the efficacy of face masks, even within the medical community. Some doctors say wear it. Others say its help is minimal.

I favor the latter approach. I don’t wear masks. I am not a pandemic denier, and I am not anti-vax. I have been vaccinated, though hesitantly this time due to the rush job.

I fight the pandemic in two ways: First, I wash my hands a bit more frequently. Second, I embrace social distancing, which does not require changing my lifestyle in the slightest.

It appears that if you are ill and cough or sneeze, the mask will help reduce whatever you may fling into your immediate vicinity. The mask helps you protect others. Makes sense.

However, if you are healthy, it does little to block your inhaling Kung Flu because virus droplets are microscopic, passing through most materials and around spaces in your face coverage.

And then there is the weird political aspect to the pandemic. If you are a leftist, you embrace masks. If you are a conservative, you embrace liberty. Do viruses vote?

Thankfully, here in Mexico, mask obsession is minimal. And we have few Karens. But there are places you must wear a mask. One is my wife’s gym, which is quite heavy-handed on the mask issue.

And wearing a mask while exercising, from what I have read, is a lousy idea. Exercising or not, it’s unwise to inhale your lungs’ exhaust.

I recently discovered a solution for her. It’s the unmask. That’s one in the photo. It’s sold by a small American enterprise. You can breathe normally through it. I bought one for her. It arrived this week.

If you want to unmask, buy one. If you enter the code UC20 at checkout, you’ll get a 20% discount. Tell them that Felipe sent you, and you’ll score an additional reduction of 0%.

That’s not a typo. I’m always here to serve, amigos.

A neighborhood view

I circle the neighborhood plaza afoot for 20 minutes every weekday morning except when I’m feeling lazy. It’s half of my two-pronged effort to keep as fit as one can at my advancing age. The second prong is a gym set I have at home, which I actually use, which is more than most people can say honestly.

This photo was taken opposite the plaza, which is to say across one of the four surrounding streets. Normally, I walk directly on the plaza, but on this morning, I was going down the sidewalk outside the surrounding businesses.* I noticed this view, so I paused and took a shot with my phone camera, which I rarely use.

It turned out pretty good.

That’s an agrarian scene on a mural down there. Someone painted it some years ago, and someone else defaced it a bit with watery white paint. Graffiti is rare in our woebegone barrio. The Hacienda is on a main drag, and we’ve been lightly defaced just once in 18 years.

I quickly painted over it, which is what they say you should do.

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*”Businesses” is using the term lightly. One might say hilariously.

The morning light

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Dining room table awaits biscuits or croissants.

DEPENDING ON THE season or the dawn hour I stumble out of bed, I am greeted with great scenes upstairs and down as I start the day. I enjoy this.

Life is gradually opening in the Plague Year. I declared it mostly over — for me at least. My child bride is less certain — on May 10, and started going places like in the pre-Plague times. We’ll be eating Japanese this afternoon, which has become a new Thursday tradition. That restaurant is only open Thursday through Sunday, and Sunday is reserved for another establishment directly downtown. It’s called Meraki, open just Saturday and Sunday for now and with a trimmed-down menu. It faces the Basilica.

Next week we’ll be driving to the nearby state capital not only for groceries but to visit a bank due to a mystery account and Home Depot to buy ceiling lights for the Downtown Casita and my child bride’s pastry kitchen, things we’ve been putting off.

We’ll eat in a restaurant there too, which we’ve not done since early March.

Since May 10, I’ve visited Auto Zone and a pastry shop on the downtown plaza various times, and I have not died. Neither have the Japanese joint nor Meraki killed us.

Why, we’re even going to the dentist soon for overdue cleanings. I’ve found a new place here in town that comes highly recommended. Gotta tend to the pearly whites.

Must tend too to the physique. Weekday mornings, before First Breakfast, is when I do my limited routine on the gym set. It keeps me on my toes, in a manner of speaking.

Speaking of exercise, it’s time to head out for my morning walk. Nos vemos.

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The gym set awaits me weekday mornings upstairs.

Where’s the onerousness?

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Felipe runs a butcher shop in the next block. He’s a good guy.

I WAS READING yesterday on the blog of an old Gringo who lives in the sticks outside the touristy, Gringo-infested burg of San Miguel de Allende that the old Gringo in question — his name is Alfredo — was finding life in the Plague Year “onerous.”

I am not finding it onerous, just a bit inconvenient at times, but mostly I’m doing just fine. I read, I watch Netflix, I fix lunch, which is the main meal of the day in Mexico, I power walk around the neighborhood plaza every weekday, and I tend to the  yard. With some exceptions, it’s what I did before the Kung Flu tossed everyone into a tizzy.

I don’t garden every day — not the lazy days — but I do what needs to be done, and Abel the Deadpan Yardman does the heavy lifting, so to speak, and there’s rarely much heavy lifting. This morning, I hosed the yard plants for the first time in a couple of weeks, just the plants, not the grass, which fends for itself.

Then I rested on a downstairs veranda rocker and shot this picture of myself. That’s me in a good mood. I already had the camera at hand because I planned to photograph the butcher minutes later during the power walk. The butcher is named Felipe too.

That young man is a red-meat entrepreneur. I like him. He has a wife and a young boy, and they are all well-behaved.

me
Grinning from ear to ear.

I’m a little scraggly, but I tidied up later. One must maintain standards of appearance and deportment. I learned that in the Air Force decades ago. Or not. Just after snapping this shot, I grabbed my mahogany cane — to thrash unruly dogs — ushered my child bride through the big, red gate, and we powered around the nearby plaza.

Perhaps there was a bounce in my step. She detoured to a little store to buy peanuts for  cookies this afternoon. They are tasty cookies and go great with coffee.

The plaza was empty, so we didn’t have to maintain social distancing. The space was all ours on this lovely, blue-skied, cool-aired, carefree day.

plazaa
The neighborhood plaza was wide open today.

We’re not letting the Kung Flu get us down. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting a guy named Miguel at the Downtown Casita, and he’ll do some renovation in the carport that will entail removing plants — one of my preferred activities — and installing ceramic floor tile.

Faux brick. It will look sweet.

To date, the Plague Year has prompted two cancellations for the Downtown Casita, leaving just one in place, a couple who’ll arrive in late October for only two weeks. I don’t much care for two-week reservations because the income is hardly worth the effort.

There’s plenty of time for them to cancel too. I rather hope so.