Fooling ourselves

Or rather, Mask Madness! It’s well known that people who (inexplicably) still vote for Democrats are far fonder of wearing masks than more sensible folks who vote for Republicans. Why is that? One wonders.

Medical experts from The New England Journal of Medicine to The World Health Organization and also the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the Journal for the American Medical Association, the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons have all publicly stated that wearing masks is mostly useless.

Even the medical bureaucrat Dr. Fauci said in March:

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”

I hear that in some areas above the border, going out sans mask can actually get you attacked, either physically or verbally or both. Or arrested. Here in Mexico that is rare because we are peaceful people who mind our own business.

I only mask up when necessary, mostly to enter a store that requires it. Otherwise, I walk about breathing freely. We do have our mask fanatics here, and my favorites to laugh at are people driving alone in their cars or walking alone in the open air.

If you want more depth on the details I mentioned above, go right here.

New neighbors en route

When we built the Hacienda and moved in more than 17 years ago, we had neighbors directly to the right, a vacant lot across the street and a vacant lot (with a resident cow) to the left.

Now we have a sex motel to the left, the same neighbors to the right, and what appears to be a house under construction across the street. Exactly what’s going on there is a mystery. The property owner lives about two blocks away. We asked what he was building, and he told us he was just putting a wall around the lot.

But that is baloney, the sort of baloney the locals voice on a regular basis. It’s going to be a house or some other sort of edifice. We hope it’s not going to be a salon de fiesta, a rental space for parties, which are quite common in Mexico.

But that’s unlikely … he said optimistically.

***

This morning, I made my biweekly trip to the post office downtown to check my box. There was nothing. If what I read is correct, Trump is mailing me a check for over $2,000 to ease the financial blow the Kung Flu has dealt me. Of course, I have been dealt no financial blow whatsoever by the Kung Flu, or the China Flu as Trump likes to call it.

Love his sassy humor, don’t you?

I’ve given some thought to what I would do with that dough. First, I’d have to figure out some way to cash a dollar check here in the middle of Mexico. There are exchange houses, but I’ve not used one in ages, and I rather doubt they would react well to a check for over $2,000. My bank will not accept it. Too early to fret about that. It might never arrive.

But if it does, I’ve decided to give a good chunk to a niece and her husband who recently opened a small business in the nearby state capital. They sell cheeses and other dairy products, but cash is a problem for them. They bought a used display case, which immediately stopped working. Trump to the rescue!

That he dislikes us Mexicans is a bald-faced lie.

***

Let’s move on to weather, something that interests everyone. This rainy season has been the lightest I remember. Maybe it’s that “Climate Change” Greta is so hysterical about. If so, I’m a fan because the rain has been quite sufficient for the yard, but not so much that we’re wading in mud for months, which is usually the case.

Hooray for Climate Change!

We have happy plants.

Plagues in perspective

THERE WAS A global pandemic in 1957-58, an H2N2 virus. The estimated death toll was 1.1 million. I was 13-14 years old, and I do not remember it. Do you? If you weren’t born yet, ask your mom and dad.

In 1968, an H3N2 virus caused another pandemic. It killed an estimated 1 million to 4 million globally which, yes, is a very wide range, and about 100,000 in the United States, most of whom were over age 65. Sound familiar? I was 24 years old, married with a daughter. I do not remember this pandemic. Do you?

Why are they forgotten?

During those pandemics, nations did not clobber their own economies nor force citizens to stay home and wear face masks to walk outside. What has changed? Communication has changed. And we’re scaring ourselves out of our wits.

This year we have the coronavirus, which has killed about 700,000 worldwide and about 159,000 in the United States, and it seems to be winding down in many places. In Mexico, 48,000 have died, which is one of the world’s highest tolls.

Mexico’s GDP has taken a terrific hit due to forced business closures.

To put that global death toll of 700,000 in perspective, it’s about midway between the populations of Albuquerque and Austin. For the whole world, which houses 7 billion, 800 million and change, people-wise.

Following is a brief video from the inimitable Katie Hopkins. She is addressing a ham-fisted shutdown in Melbourne, Australia, where lockdown has reached stellar absurdity.

This and that

elyssum
Sweet allysum and wet stone.

LET’S LOOK AT a bit of this and a tad of that, if you please.

The monsoon began a bit late this year, and it’s still getting its sea legs, so to speak. We like it when the rain starts, even though we dislike it by September when it’s outlived its welcome, and the mud is growing old.

A quite noticeable result of rainfall is the blooming of sweet alyssum, a ground cover that looks like snowfall. From January to June, it’s brown and appears dead, but give it a couple of days of rain, and this is what happens. Sweet,  huh?

In other news, City Hall opened our two main plazas downtown a few weeks back because it thought the incidence of Kung Flu was winding down. That lasted about a week until the plazas were taped off again, and that’s how it remains today.

When will this end? I’ve not experienced such a lousy year since 1995 when my last wife dumped me, and then 1997 when a romance with a lovely Latina ended by mutual insanity. You can read about that here if you wish.

lampI enjoy décor, and I like to take photos. Here is one I took yesterday when I found myself in the bedroom, looking at the scene, and with camera in hand. I’m so good at décor that you’d think I’d be gay, but I’m not.

I bought this lamp in the first few months after I moved to the mountaintop from the nearby state capital almost 20 years ago. It’s made locally, woven from a reed found in the area, if memory serves.

The lamp is almost two feet high.

It’s one of the few pieces of furniture we brought to the Hacienda from the two-story rental closer to downtown where I lived previously, two and a half years — one and a half solo and one more with my child bride.

Speaking of the state capital, we’ll be driving there today for a shopping expedition, a weekly event that gets us out of the house, and we might even eat lasagna.