Saturday, December 5, 2020

Nuevo Leon (Monterrey) In Weekend Lockdowns For December

My niece Virginia, married to my oldest nephew, went to a family celebration of life for a brother who passed away last year.  They couldn't wait.  Her uncle died last night from COVID.

Our excellent state Secretary of Health, Manuel de la O along with our governor Jamie Rodriguez, made the decisión to lockdown the state of Nuevo Leon every weekend for the month of December.  That includes the following:

  •  Supermarkets closed
  •  Restaurants, no dine-in or take-out, only home delivery
  •  Bars closed
  •  No Christmas parties
  •  No party romos
  •  Churches are closed
  •  No peringinaciones (pilgramages to the virgin of Guadalupe)
  •  Ley seca, no alcohol sales
Only gas stations and convenience stores are open with sales restrictions.  We were warned and nobody wanted to follow the rules so here we are.  Now everyone is p------ and moaning including big businesses.  Well, we have had eight months to figure this out and come up with a strategy.   Eight months!  Nobody did anything to prepare and we all know that this will last for at least three years.  The scenario is going as the virus has planned for the last 2238 years (recorded history).   What could businesses have done?  Developed strategies to reward people for good behavior, provide free rapid testing, créate permanent safe spaces, more online benefits for placing and receiving orders.   

Small local mom and pop shops; taco stands, small neighborhood businesses, mechanics, etc.,  could have set up webpages that are practically free, offered discounts to online buyers, free delivery with a mínimum order, hung banners advertising their webpages.  Nothing was done because no one took this seriously.   The American continent now has 850,000 COVID deaths and by the beginning of 2021 that number will likely hit 1,000,000,  That's right, one million dead people from Canada to Chile.  

I'm glad the world isn't on my team because I would be running with the ball and they would be sitting there doing their own thing.  In other words, nobody really cares about anyone but themselves.  We have spent the last 100 years living the high life with modern inventions, the age of technology, computers, internet and now social media.  George Bush Sr. was called the "me" generation.  That turned out to be a lie because we are living in the midst of a "me" annihilation.  Everyone is out doing their own thing and to hell with anyone else.   If I pass away during this pandemic from some other ailment, well, that's just history.  

I've got major computer problems.  Best Buy Mexico has 52 stores here.  We had a great policy with the Geek Squad for one year.  I took my laptop this week for a cleaning and to check the mouse pad.  Guess what?   Best Buy closed all their stores here in Mexico two days later.  I don't know if I'll get my laptop back.   Not good  and  not happy.  We have been calling but the phones just ring and the local news says the stores are not reopening.

It's been cold here this week.  Down to 1C 34F, and it will continue into the next week but warming up during the day and around 6C at night.  Good thing we got the LP radiant heaters checked and clean.  I don't like be cold or hot.  I have never slept with a hat on and never will, not in my line of thinking.  If I'm going to wear a hat to bed I'd might as well sleep outside in a cardboard box.  I'm the biggest sissy in the world when it comes to being uncomfortable.  Life's to short for suffering.  

I need to go, I'm supposed to be baking bread.  Be safe, stay home and read a book, paint a wall, do some yard work, knit, sew, work in the wwoodshop, wax the car whatever it takes.  Wear your mask.  Remember, BE THE EXAMPLE. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Thanksgiving That Was 2020

Update:  Our friend Irma passed away last night after six weeks on a ventilator.  QEPD

The days are passing and this year has flown by.  Who would think that, when you spend all of your time at home?  This isn't the first time in history and it won't be the last.  The first recorded pandemic goes back to Athens in 430 B.C.  This will happen again and just like today, many people will die and we'll go on and it will become part of our past.  Sad though that in the 21st century we are losing so many lives to ignorance.  On the American continent from Canada to Patagonia, 725,000 human beings have died from the virus.  I do know that in Mexico six national ex-secretaries of health have agreed that the actual number is 285,000 in Mexico.

The sad news today is that our long time friend, Irma, is now on a ventilator and in critical condition.  She is not expected to live.  How did she get the virus?  Her brother came from Texas to visit her.  He crossed the border into Mexico with no COVID testing, temperature check, nothing.  Funny isn't it?  The Mexican government has agreed with the U.S. and Canada to keep the border closed until December 21st but the Mexican border has never been closed.  Americans and Mexicans who are U.S. residents are traveling back and forth freely.  Turns out, Irma's brother was positive.  He's back home and recovered but he has left his sister to die here in Mexico.   We have the government to blame for not doing its job.   As I have said, we are averaging one friend or colleague every two weeks dying from the virus.  One is too many.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos of nomad rvers who rake in the money producing rving videos.  They have what they call tribes and even though the members come and go and meet up again, they use no protection.  This is a statement from the online Arizona tourism webpage.  "As of November 2020, there are no restrictions or Covid-19 testing requirements for individuals visiting Arizona".   You know what, it's selfish, ignorant, and pure bullshit.  Apart from politicians, business owners should be fined and some even jailed but the real burden lies on the general public.  As I have always said, on this blog no one is banned, deleted, or chastised for their views or comments.

We spent Thursday fixing dinner.  With just the two of us, we opted to stuff a chicken.  I guess I make a pretty good stuffing.  Last year at Barbara's in SMA, we left dressing at her house and said we'll be back for leftovers.  We waited too long!  She didn't have any left.  We've been picking on ours since Thursday.  Yum!  Juan made his delicious green bean casserole with new potatoes, bacon, and mushrooms.   Of course, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.

I also made some yeast rolls for dinner.  Here they are popped in the oven.  The yeast was bad so they didn't rise as much as I had expected but they sure turned out good.  We're not complaining.

We also rented White Christmas which I haven't seen since I was a kid.  We loved every minute of it.  Good music, dancing, storyline, and cast.  I really enjoy classic movies.  I rented this one off of Amazon.  Easy to do, you order and in seconds you can start watching it.  I connected the laptop to the flat screen.

We also Zoomed with my oldest brother who is over 80.  He and his girlfriend had dinner with his son and their family who live a block away.  All four of my nephew's family work and study from home and have rarely left the house.   They tested before Thursday as to not take any chances.   His other kids he said can't be trusted.  Some say Trump has told the truth and masks are not required.  I pray they don't get sick.

Be safe out there.  As the experts say, camping is a good Covid activity, gatherings are not.  Be safe, and lets get this over with.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

For Rvers And Ex-Pats Who Are In Mexico Now Or Are Coming Soon

Please post your comments.

1)  What provisions have you made in case you become infected with Covid while in Mexico?

2)  Should the vaccine become available while you are in Mexico, how will you obtain it?

I ask these questions because the cost of COVID care in a private Mexican hospital is between 980,000 and 1,350,000 pesos (49,000 and 65,000 USD).  ´

The IMSS universal care may take you but will charge you similar rates as a private hospital.  The death rate for intubated patients in IMSS is 78% and in a private Mexican hospital is 17%.

Should you want to return to the U.S. or Canada while infected will they allow you to travel via land or air?  I really don't think so.  Medivac maybe?

The Mexican border is officially closed until December 21, 2020, although the Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has also stated they will not close it to tourism.  A pretty stupid statement.  

Be safe out there, wear your mask.  Dr, Fauci says restaurants are your worst enemy.  You can't eat with a mask on, everyone is talking, laughing, coughing and spitting food particles all around.  Not a good thing.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

We Just Cannot Let It Go - November 20th

This photo taken during the week is a giant picture frame sculpture.  It is located along the river that runs through Monterrey and if you pass it just right, you can capture this view of our famous Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Back Mountain).  For me, this represents the somberness we are now living with 5300 deaths here in Monterrey and now 102,000 deaths nationally bringing the Covid death rate to 9.8 per 100,000.  

With all due respect, I wrote this in the morning after listening to our illustrious president go on for two hours recounting the great Mexican Revolution.  Here is what it says:

A Brief History of the Mexican Revolution

Obregon and Calles killed Pancho Villa.
Venustiano Carranza killed Emiliano Zapata.
General Herrera (under Obregon and Calles) killed Venustiano Carranza.
Jose de Leon Toral, a Catholic leader of the Cristeros war (Catholics against the government), killed Alvero Obregon.
Then, Calles was exiled to the U.S. by Lazaro Cardenas.
And after 110 years, Mexico continues to live in poverty.

I'm not sure why we are still celebrating an event that has only driven Mexico even further into extreme poverty.  The whole thing was one giant power struggle.  The names listed above were the "heroes" of the revolution.  You know Pancho Villa and Zapata, the others were regional or national presidents in a very short period of time.  They all killed each other.  Zapata in the south and Pancho Villa in the north were actually rivals in the fight over supposed liberty.  

In our continued fight for our fair share of tax pesos in the north, the alliance that has been created between 10 states continues.  I always try to present facts such as those above and these below.  Sorry for the bad photo but I took it from the news this week.   This is the percent of the informal economy that exists in Mexico.  The north with the least amount and the south with the most.  Yet the south receives the majority of the redistribution of taxes.  I have found some very good statistics which I will be posting show the amount of taxes paid, types of taxes collected, and the amounts of redistribution to the states.  This chart though pretty much sums it up.  How will we ever overcome poverty?  I ask you.

With all of this free time and the cool weather that has been coming our way, I decided to fire up the oven to make a cake, some muffins, and this weekend more bread.  Here is a delicious homemade pound cake covered in the best chocolate icing I have ever made.  There are two ingredients in the frosting that aren't exactly secret but they are specific.  One was the brand of butter and the other the chocolate. 

Incredibly good and I doubt it will last very long.  What the heck.  It's winter, we are in lockdown and a few pounds will come off even though I continue to exercise.  Fauci has said that camping is good, not rving in an rv park.  So we may still get a chance at the end of this month to take off for a couple of weeks and do some "camping", hopefully boondocking.  I spent most of this morning getting the rv ready.  After we had the metal work done on the new battery and gas LP trays, I had some issues with the holes that were made to secure the LP trap to the hitch.  The holes were worn out and too big.  Today I used something similar to JB Weld.  Worked great.  

I cleaned the Mr. Heater and fired it up so we are good to go for cold nights.  We still remember waking up on that return trip from Mazatlan high up in the mountains of Durango.  No LP, no heat, and the temperature was -9C.  Worst of all, no way to make coffee.  That will never happen again!

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Things People Say

A couple of Canadians have shipped their rvs to the U.S. and then flown over to pick them up so they can continue south.  Here is the stupidest comment anyone could have made regarding people who will do anything to get around the rules.  

"This is funny.  Y'all getting riled up over people being resourceful and not breaking any rules."

True that no rules were broken except for those that show any sense of scruples or common sense not to mention morals and values.

Wisconsin is on fire with the virus and people there are heading down to Mexico.  Heck yes, come on down and spread a little more of the good stuff around.  We only have 98,000 official deaths and as many as 183,000 including unreported Covid deaths. 

The state of Chihuahua is on fire and even though Mexico City shows orange, it's more like reddish-orange and they are closing businesses again as cases are rising.  People can't follow the rules.   Fauci says, "stay home, if you have to eat out "one more time" before the big wave, eat in an outdoor restaurant and at least 10 feet from other diners",  Good luck with that.  

Fauci also says to take vitamin D and at least 1000 mg of Vitamin C.  Here's what I take on a daily basis.

Our good friend Irma who has been in the hospital for two weeks was intubated last night.  She may not make it.  

Landscapers start next week.  They will be burning patches of a weed invasion that has started to take over.  Then they will turn the soil, add new topsoil to those areas, fertilize and then put down new sod.  That will be the first step and I think we will hold off on the rest of the decorative work until January.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Autumn Leaves Must Fall (No Politics Here)

"Autumn leaves must fall".  Here we are in November and the trees aren't turning color but the leaves are dry and falling.  We had a good hurricane season which brought rain and well-needed moisture to the ground.  Now, however, we have been in a dry spell for four weeks, not a drop of rain in sight.  The air is crisp in the early mornings and warms up to the mid 20Cs during the day.   Open windows, fresh air, and light breezes throughout the day.  This picture is the everyday view of my power walks.  They get longer the cooler the weather gets but I prefer daylight savings time.  Darkness brings fewer people out and about and for me, that's what mornings are all about.

Covid update:  Our friend Irma is in ICU with the virus.  She is recovering.  Another good friend, Rolando, lost his mother this week to Covid.  She was 84 and lived alone.  Someone went to visit her and gave her the virus.  Today Mexico has had 94,000 deaths and continues to rise.  

I am two months behind on my cardio check up so I went ahead and pulled out my file and ordered some blood tests.  I went in early morning after a fast for blood work.  I did just about everything and my cholesterol is low, glucose I need to retest it was borderline, PSA extremely low, but one thing puzzles me.  I had urine tests and my calcium is low although we take a daily calcium tablet.  I just don't feel comfortable right now going to my doctor whose office is in a hospital.  Although he is the medical director of the hospital and says everything would be fine, in my head it's best to steer clear for a bit longer.

What to do during a two-week high alert lockdown?  Bake and cook!  I tried my hand at no sugar, low-fat whole wheat blueberry muffins.  They turned out great but they aren't sweet enough.  Warmed with a touch of honey makes them super delicious.

I'm not sure what happened Sunday morning.  You would think by the looks of it that we had family over for breakfast.   We just got "batter" happy I guess and made enough pancakes to last a couple of weekends.  Wrapped them up and put them in the freezer for future enjoyment.

Town square during lockdown when I went for my blood tests.  Restaurants are open and people were there enjoying the great weather but the plaza was roped off and business is way down.  Everyone was masked but they aren't locals.  Locals are convinced the have a "special" DNA that protects them.

I've mentioned before that people make assumptions based on a limited personal experience and I run across them on a daily basis reading Mexico forums, Facebook, blogs, and YouTube videos.  A YouTube couple claimed they couldn't find Dr. Pepper anywhere in Mexico.  Not that I give a rat's behind about Dr. Pepper as we don't drink sodas, but their experience was limited to a couple of small towns where they have lived over the last year.  Dr. Pepper is available in Mexico and Super 7 or Seven-Eleven has it on the shelves and also in supermarkets.

Another was the lack of building codes in Mexico and water shut off valves.  Mexico does have building codes but when someone decides to build their own house they have the opportunity to avoid those codes by being cheap and having a contractor who doesn't care.   As you know, we are always looking at homes for sale both new and pre-owned, and have never seen a house that didn't have water shutoffs under sinks, toilets, showers, etc.  Our house was built 25 years ago and all the water connects have shut off valves.  Opinions based on limited experiences are what can spread rumors about life in Mexico or other countries.

It reminded me of Tioga and George and his famous statement that ATMs were not available in Mexico.  Well, at the time in San Quentin, Baja Sur, there wasn't one when he needed it, hence the statement.  BTW, I checked his blog yesterday and it is still up and running.  I read what happened in the first week of November for several years.  The guy had a good life as a boondocker.   

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Black Sheep And The Ostrich (My Last COVID Post)

It's obvious that people aren't happy with my take on the Coronavirus.  However, on Facebook and YouTube where people make their living traveling day after day showing van life, tour operators in Mexico, and the tourism sector in general, think we shouldn't talk about the virus and that their income is more important than saving lives.  

These pictures are one of the reasons why the virus took off in the U.S. versus all other countries and is still in the number one slot followed by Brazil and Mexico.  This was air traffic in the U.S. on April 4, 2020.  Below that is European air traffic on the same day.  No wonder people are dying at a faster rate along with the pigheadedness of the general population not to follow the rules. 

Many rvers intent on coming to Mexico justify their travel by saying they will have no contact with anyone.  Here is an example of traveling "safely" in Mexico and stopping at a Pemex to fill up.  You can't pump your own gas.  You shake hands with the dispatcher.  Then when he finishes he takes your money or credit card and gives you change or returns your card that his greasy, grubby fingers have manhandled.  Where have his hands been?  He has probably been picking his nose, wiping the sweat from his brow, using the toilet without washing his hands (we know that most men don't wash their hands), and a myriad of other activities.  And then the rver wants to say, "all I'm doing is buying gasoline to get to my destination where I will hunker down in an rv park with other people who are safe".  Stupidity and sheer ignorance.  You cannot avoid touching things, having contact with people without masks, and who are not social distancing.

Baja has become a peninsula of controversy as well.  They want you to come so badly that tour promoters, hotels, rv parks, restaurants, and more are saying the Mexican government has declared rv travel into Mexico is "essential".  Boy, people will eat that S--- up and they are.  Heading to the border like bats out of hell to be able to cross before anything else might happen.  Are people that desperate to go somewhere? 

 I'm not sure what Canadians think of their PM, but he hit the nail on the head yesterday in a public address.

In an interview Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country is committed to keeping the border closed until the United States gets control of COVID-19.

"The U.S. is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders," he told the hosts of "Smart Start," which airs on Canada's Global Television Network. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place." 

OTOH, I think it's pretty silly to make such a profound statement and then turn around and allow people to fly in and out of the country, the same as in the U.S. and Mexico. A Mexican friend just returned from a week trip to Houston via air. He is not a U.S. resident but has a U.S. visa. He went right through immigration and they checked his papers, took his temperature, and off he went. It was that easy.  Ludicrous.

Just got word last night that one of my great-nephews went to a party.  He was sick days later from COVID and passed it on to his parents and sister.  Sick for three weeks one with oxygen and a close call with being in ICU.   His 80 something grandmother lives with them but was isolated in time.

So that pretty much wraps up my posts on the pandemic of 2020.  Now they're just numbers and no one really seems to care much anyway.  I dropped out of Facebook also, only posting on a group a couple of times in the last six weeks.  It's all silly stuff as if people are looking for an escape.  I always thought Facebook would make a great social media center where important information could be disseminated.  If you get a chance, watch the Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma".