The howl of the wolf

WHEN THE KUNG FLU hysteria began in Mexico around February, our president said it was no big deal. Other elements of the government, however, followed the lead of the United States and declared the sky was falling.

Stay home! Stay home! Sickness and death await you outside! That was the advice of many governors and mayors. Businesses were told to close. Face masks were declared obligatory. Many people did stay home. Many businesses did shut.

March and April found lots of folks hunkering down, ourselves included. A government website keeps track of Kung Flu cases in about every nook and cranny of Mexico. It looked scary in some spots, especially around the border and in Mexico City.

Time passed. People wearied of staying home. We were in that number. On May 10, a relatively arbitrary date I chose, we stopped self-quarantine and resumed life as usual with some easy, common sense precautions.

At least here on the mountaintop, life has mostly returned to normal, but here’s the funny thing. The Kung Flu count is worsening by the day. In the whole nation, the cases increase about 4,000-5,000 per day, but the daily recovery count is almost the same, so it’s a roller-coaster. People sicken, people recover.

wolfHere’s the wolf thing. They cried it when the situation was relatively calm, and people hunkered down. But the citizens wearied of home life, and we’ve mostly returned to the streets.

The government should have waited longer to cry wolf. Or maybe not have cried it at all.

If you drive our mountaintop streets now, it’s back to normal. Even the multiplex movie theater reopened a few days ago. Almost all businesses are open. However, City Hall still has our two downtown plazas roped off, for all the good that does.

And the governor says it’s still obligatory to wear masks in public, but most do not, and those who do often have it hanging below their chin, a form of virtue-signalling.

But is this whole thing overblown, as some suspect? On my mountaintop, our death toll of three (!) is 0.003 percent of our population. Our confirmed case count of 23 is 0.025 percent of the population. In the entire nation, the death toll of 16,000 is 0.012 percent of the population. And the confirmed case count of 134,000 is under 0.11 percent of the population.

Those are darn good odds.

However, some spots in Mexico are taking the Kung Flu threat very seriously. A small burg in the State of Oaxaca will toss you in the slammer for 24 hours if you’re seen in public without a face mask.

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.

gym
The gym set awaits me weekday mornings upstairs.

Going full Swede

SwedenENOUGH ALREADY! We’ve been doing what many are doing for the past five weeks, which is staying at home except for essential activities. But now we’re adapting the Swedish system instead of the shoot-yourself-in-the-head routine. And perish of boredom.

Today, we’ve officially gone Swede even though we kinda started yesterday when we drove downtown to visit a favored pastry shop on the plaza for breakfast biscuits. I bought 10 to go. And today, we’re lunching in a restaurant, a big breakthrough. Then we’re passing by the Downtown Casita to measure a spot in the carport which we’ll fill with ceramic tile. And then we’ll go to the tile store to buy (or order) the tile.

When we have the tile, we’ll call “the guy” who will install it. He needs work.

We’re going to lead normal lives, but we’ll do it like Swedes who do it smart, which is wear a face mask when convenient and maintaining distance from others when we can. If we can’t, we’ll do whatever is required. It’s hard to pay someone from six feet away.

Or have a waiter put sushi on your table.

I’ve done some calculations regarding this Plague Year hysteria, much of which is being pushed for political purposes in the United States, and the hysteria has affected the Mexican media too, though Mexicans are, for the most part, at least in my area, going about their daily lives as always. When we went downtown yesterday, I noticed some businesses were closed, but many were open, probably the majority.

Most were nonessential except to the owners, of course.

When the Kung Flu appeared on the scene a few months ago, it looked frightful. It was very contagious, we were told, and each sick person could infect five or 10 others, and each of them would do the same, and on and on. By God, in no time, the entire Earth would be either dead or breathing heavily. That’s what we were led to believe.

Now, when many are saying it’s on the point of winding down to some extent, I’ve done some calculations. Mexico’s population is about 128,700,000 souls. The number of people with confirmed Kung Flu now sits at 0.002 percent of the population.

The death rate, of course, is far smaller than even that minuscule figure.

Here in my colonial mountaintop town, with a population of about 93,000 people, the confirmed-case percentage is 0.015 percent. Do you have your reading glasses? Can you even see those numbers? Our fatalities? Just one, over a month ago.

But I’m an old dude, and more at risk, you’re thinking. Well, I am an old dude, but how much of a higher risk am I? Unlike most people my age, I have no known health issues. I do not take daily pills for this, that and the other. Not one. I’m not fat. I don’t have diabetes. I breathe just fine, and my heart pumps on a regular basis. My blood pressure is excellent, ditto for the pulse rate. Cholesterol is normal.

So off I go, to live like a Swede. Call me Nils or Ludvig.

And if I die of the Kung Flu, etch Call Him Stupid on my gravestone.

I won’t care.

* * * *

(WARNING! If you live in the United States, unilaterally adopting the Swedish lifestyle may land you in jail and/or facing a steep fine. This is much more likely to happen in zones controlled by Democrat politicians and judges. Proceed with caution, and always vote Republican if you value your liberty. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s because you read the NYT and listen to CNN.)

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.