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.

The morning light

chair
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.

Rain in the night & flowers

TWICE OVER the past week, a premature and gentle rain fell in the middle of the night. The datura are blooming as are red-hot pokers, bridal bouquets, birds of paradise and little white roses. The occasional weed too.

I am of two minds regarding the rain, which normally does not begin till June. It’s good in that it cools our world down. It’s bad in that it encourages grass to grow, grass that will need to be cut, and the lawnmower has yet to receive its annual servicing.

red-bopAlso awaiting servicing is the Honda, which has reached 210,000 kilometers. I should have dropped it off at the garage a month ago, but we had this Kung Flu thing that put lots of chores on hold. Same for the lawnmower.

My child bride is getting skinny — well, skinny for her, which is still lovely — due to her gym being shut. What she’s lost is a bit of muscle weight, but the gym reopens next week, we were told by phone yesterday. She’ll be pumping iron soon. The Plague Year has caused many people to get fatter, not skinnier, but she’s always been a bit of a contrarian.

As previously announced here, next Sunday is our official end to staying (mostly) at home, no matter what everyone else is doing. Obviously, the gym agrees with us. I’ve already started to bust out. So far this week, I’ve gone to the post office and a carwash, neither of which was “essential.” This afternoon we’re driving downtown to visit a pastry shop for a sack of breakfast biscuits. I can’t abide by Costco’s version anymore.

During that same excursion, we’ll visit a yarn store because my child bride needs more of the purple stuff she prefers this month for a sweater.

Springtime, usually the most miserable season here, has been fairly bearable this year. Must be that climate change everyone is in a tizzy about. If that is the cause, I’m not a climate-change denier, I’m a climate-change lover.

Challenges of an aging carcass

AT 73, I FIND myself faced with challenges.

bodyGetting older is an interesting process. I do not recommend it, but it is interesting. It only recently began to pummel me. That began at 73. It will, of course, vary with other individuals.

Up until 73, there were physical changes, but they were almost entirely a reduction in energy, nothing extreme but noticeable. I passed my 73rd in August, and that’s when things racheted up a few nasty notches.

First the foot problem, which I wrote about last September. That appears to be permanent. It’s only an issue for about a minute after I stand up after being seated a spell, but I’ll never again be able to flee from someone or something chasing me. With an ax or an appetite.

I am easily nabbed now.

Then there was the back issue, which I wrote about last month. Not the first time I’ve suffered that problem, but it’s never lasted so long, a tad over two weeks of Hell. Usually, it self-cures in four to five days. Big difference.

It was the back issue that knocked me upside the head.

I had been getting lazier by the day, and that needed to change.

For decades, I’ve done regular, moderate exercise, and I eat healthy. For these reasons I have been svelte for almost 40 years. But my regular, moderate exercise had been very gradually diminishing. I knew I had to change my habits.

Old routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday. I often cheated on the frequency. And I have a home gym set, a big fancy one I bought about decade ago. I was doing a 10-minute weight routine three mornings a week. Again, cheating was not unknown.

New routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday with no more cheating on the frequency. A second brisk walk around the big plaza downtown following my afternoon coffee. Weight routine on the gym set every weekday morning. No cheating allowed. Yoga. Well, that’s what I call it, but it’s actually two sets of stretching, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon. Weekends off.

I was losing my flexibility to a notable degree. Thus the stretching, which helps a lot.

I’ll close now with the following words from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The “good night” being, well, you know …