Update in this Time of the Unknown

My, how things have changed. A month ago, we were getting excited about our upcoming trip to Japan in May. That trip has now been postponed until May 2021. Our tour company was not canceling the 2020 trip as of a couple of weeks ago but we decided that we did not want to wait until it is too late to make the change. We will deal with our flights as the timeline approaches…

Then, there was the trip to Chicago in April to visit my daughter and her family. Not surprisingly, we hope to move the trip to the fall, hopefully, once the coronavirus situation has diminished. We would have loved to host them here but again, this is not in the cards for now. Jim’s son and his family were supposed to be here this past week during Spring Break. That trip was obviously canceled for the time being.

So, what is happening in Mexico at this time? As of last night, there are 717 reported cases with 15 deaths. This relatively low number may be due to the low volume of testing throughout the country. Also, much of Mexico is rural, doesn’t travel much outside of their villages, so contact with those who may have contracted the virus may be less than other countries. Most of the cases and deaths, however, have been in Mexico City and the surrounding state of Mexico. There are less than 100 cases in Guadalajara, an hour from us, and only a couple of deaths. Those deaths have occurred in persons mainly who had compromised health systems, diabetes, heart disease, and/or obesity.

Our little town on Lake Chapala has had no recorded cases so far. This area is a haven for retirees, mainly American and Canadian, who could likely be targeted to get sick. And, many have underlying medical conditions, enhancing their risk. However, they have adhered to the guidelines of staying home, canceling household help (but still paying them), not socializing, etc. We check in with each other often, communicate via email, Facebook or Facetime. Some of the restaurants have reopened, sanitizing and being cautious to avoid transmission of any kind. Many have taken to delivering meals at no cost. There are some people in restaurants, with tables at least six feet apart. We are holding off going out to eat. Besides, our fridge and freezer are full to the brim, in addition to lots of provisions in the pantry. We could quarantine for months, that is until we run out of toilet paper!

Folks who are “snowbirds,” coming here for the winters, have generally returned early to their home cities, mainly to take advantage of their healthcare services and be closer to family. Truthfully, those of us who live here full-time feel that being here is probably safer than being up north.

The Presidente (Mayor) of Chapala, who governs our town and many other  towns in the municipality, is ramping up testing, mandating sheltering at home through tomorrow (Sunday) for a total of almost two weeks, helping restaurants establish delivery options for those who need their services (not to mention trying to keep them solvent financially once this nightmare ends), closing street markets selling fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. They may reopen this week, depending on the status of virus cases that are revealed.

In the meantime, we are having beautiful weather, enjoying the sights, sounds, and beauty of spring. We are keeping fairly busy with household tasks. Other than binge-watching programs on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV in the evening,  we (and mainly me) are watching previous episodes of Flip or Flop, cooking shows, Project Runway, and movies. I have returned to my weaving project, will begin making jewelry again, ironing the pile waiting for me, organizing delayed areas of the house, and a bit of herb gardening. Jim, who relies on golf as his main diversion, is a bit more challenged to find things to do. He has been reading a lot, playing poker online, and helping around the house.

We hope that you all are keeping safe, following the protocols recommended and we will get together on the other side of this, either in person or by various means. No, we get to sit on our terrace and enjoy our days of quiet.