Tag Archives: coronavirus

Mother’s Day in Mexico in the Time of Coronavirus

mother's day

In Mexico, Mother’s Day is a big ta-doo. There are early morning serenades, flowers, family gatherings, and in the event that a mother has passed on, trips to the cemetery. Moroleon has specifically forbidden these activities this year. 

That doesn’t mean some families didn’t carry on as usual anyway, though it was more clandestine. It’s not like there is any real way the prohibition can be enforced. 

Take for example the fact that the churches have been closed in town. At least one group has moved their services out here to La Yacata. So every Saturday evening we hear some chanting, singing, and even some trumpet blowing from the house at the corner. I think it might be an Episcopalian group. We practice social distancing and reroute our dog walk during services, so I can’t be sure. 

Since parties are a no-go in town, again, family gatherings, including Mother’s Day celebrations,  were moved to La Yacata. The dogs didn’t get their afternoon walk on Sunday because of all the roving children and drunk adults. 

Which brings me to another matter. Moroleon has enacted La Ley Seca (the dry law) which is in force usually only right before an election. All sales of alcohol were prohibited in town beginning May 8 until May 30. Yet, people still found a way to get enough alcohol to get liquored up. 

There is a potential shortage of alcohol looming because the beer manufacturers were declared non-essential and closed in April. The very determined, however, will be able to get pulque which the old women still make in nearby La Barranca. 

no escencial

Moroleon followed the prohibition of alcohol sales and serenades with another one-two punch. All non-essential businesses must close, including the textile factories, on May 11, until the end of the month. Without the textiles, well, Moroleon is in big trouble financially. 

These prohibition and closure dates are based on the premise that the peak contagion for COVID-19 will happen between May 5 and 11. Yet, now, the date has been changed with the latest figures to May 20 although social distancing requirements are supposed to be lifted on May 17 in most of the country and on May 30 for the rest of the states. 

What this means is anyone’s guess. For now, the number of confirmed cases and deaths is still rising in Mexico. Medical personnel is the highest at-risk population. In fact, 42% of the patients in the state of Nayarit are hospital workers, which is worrisome. The actual death toll in the epicenter Mexico City may be much higher than reported. 

And yet, there are still conspiracy theorists even in Mexico. One hospital was stormed by about 300 people in an apparent “rescue” attempt believing the virus to be a government plot to kill people. Medical personnel is still being attacked and murdered as the supposed harbingers of death rather than essential workers. 

With all these shenanigans, Mother’s Day in our home was a quiet affair, no different from any other day. We’ll stay home and ride out the pandemic one day at a time, however long that takes.

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Filed under Cultural Challenges, Health, Mexican Holidays, Safety and Security

Quarantine Thoughts

Moroleon, GTO under quarantine

You’d have thought with our quest for self-reliance in La Yacata that we’d be prepared–or at least more prepared than the general population. Maybe you’re half right. We aren’t worried about the 4% increase in the CFE bill. We understand that toilet paper really does grow on trees (and which leaves to stay away from). We know how to pay for things at the ATM so our internet won’t get cut off, although I have to admit, that process was rather complicated to learn. 

We also aren’t strangers to entertaining ourselves. I have my piano, my son has his guitar and classwork and we have books and movies and puzzles and even video games, along with our animal kingdom to entertain us with their silliness. My son has become quite the helicopter dad when it comes to the Puppers. I swear, at least three times a day he calls me over to the door to tell me what cute thing Fred or George has done (or was frustrating thing Terry has done).

We also have several projects in the works so that my husband isn’t lacking for activities to do either. More on those as we finish them up over the next month or so.

tudors

What I’ve noticed is that my hypervigilance when it comes to pandemic survival technique strikes when I least expect it. For instance, I was watching The Tudors the other day and sandwiched between the gratuitous sex scenes and religious debates, London was hit with a pandemic of the “sweating sickness.” Curious, I tried to do some research on it and it turns out scientists still don’t know what caused that particular, deadly malady. The disease up and vanished after running rampant from 1485 -1551. 

So, watching the series, I took particular note of what survivors did. Guess what–quarantine seemed to be the name of the survival game. People left London in droves, heading to remote country estates if wealthy or suffered in crowded, unsanitary conditions and died if they weren’t. 

walking dead

Then I went through a period of binge-watching The Walking Dead. I have to say that as stressful as this pandemic is, I am so thankful that it hasn’t spawned zombies. Anyway, the survival techniques that previously I chuckled at, are now analyzed for ideas that I can implement in La Yacata. The communities that were created, like The Kingdom, the prison cell block, The Hilltop and that factory thing that Neegan set up, well, they all had their pros and cons. My back garden (which will be described in agonizing detail in an upcoming post) was inspired by Rick’s prison compound. 

gentleman

Then there is the idea of isolation that has been on my mind. A few months back, my book club read the book A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles about a Russian aristocrat sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across from the Kremlin. How he not only endured but thrived in his new life is well worth a read. 

I am mourning some of the activities I had been looking forward to. My son turns 18 next month and I had been planning on getting his IFE, both his US and Mexican passports, and helping him open his first bank account. I even hoped for a trip to Tennessee in October. All of these are on hold now. I nearly despaired when I read that things might not get back to normal for two years. But then, I have to remember, that we can only live in the present. What may or may not happen in the future is still so uncertain. 

So today, well, today is enough. I’ll talk to people struggling with their own issues around the world in my English classes and I’ll write an article or two for money. Then I’ll water my plants and marvel at the miracle of nature or read a book or work on a puzzle or play the piano or call my mom. I’ll make something from our small stockpile of pasta for lunch and decide how long I can put off going to town for more food. This evening I’ll watch a movie and look at it through a survivalist lens again and bug my husband about that next project. And it will be ok. 

Copy of Everything will be all right in the end.

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Filed under Health, Safety and Security

Rural Mexico Prepper’s Pantry

Although Mexico hasn’t initiated a lock down to combat the spread of COVID-19, several states have been vocal about voluntary quarantine. The state of Jalisco, for example is encouraging #5diasencasa (5 days at home) from March 20 to March 25, the period when analysts have predicted is the peak contagion window in Mexico. 

I’ve seen several posts recently on what to stock up on in the event of quarantine. Although I’m sure they meant well, none of them has taken the limited selection available in rural Mexican stores into account. I don’t mean fruit and vegetables, but non-perishable goods. If you’ve gone into a corner store lately to do your own stocking up, you’ll have seen what I mean.

So what can you do in rural Mexico to have a store of provisions that will keep for the foreseeable future, especially if you don’t have a fridge or freezer? It may call for thinking outside the box, but you can get a pantry full of goods that will last you for a while. 

You can get boxed milk that lasts several weeks. Eggs are also stored at room temperature, so there’s no problem with those. However, some fruit and vegetables won’t last long at all. So steer clear of cucumbers, tomatoes, guavas, and strawberries. Instead focus on onions, garlic, potatoes as root vegetables last longer without refrigeration. Oranges, limes, squash, and melons are also good long-term choices.

Your staples should include rice, corn, oatmeal, beans, and pasta. Beans come in all sorts of colors for variety. Pasta comes in a whole slew of different shapes to change things up. If you know how to make your own tortillas, make sure you have some cal (lime) to complete the nixtamal process. Otherwise, tostadas are a good alternative.

If you have an oven and like to bake, be sure to get enough flour and yeast for bread. Salt and sugar are other things to have in surplus. Cooking oil will eventually go rancid, so try to get some solid shortening as well. Honey, jam and cajeta make good toppings for pancakes, which are a great snack. Other snacks include peanuts, chips, popcorn, and crackers. 

Soda does last forever, but isn’t perhaps the healthiest option. Make sure to have enough garafones of water on hand for at least two weeks, based on your regular consumption. Tamarindo and jamaica are nice to make flavored water. Containers of juice, coffee and tea are other beverages to consider. 

As I mentioned, the canned goods selection at the local supermarket is really quite limited. However, I was able to pick up canned beans, mushrooms, corn, peas, soup, tuna and sardines. 

Since we are in the midst of a global pandemic, hygiene is of paramount importance. Therefore, make sure to have enough bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer. For regular cleansing, have an extra container of dish soap and laundry detergent. Consider picking up a pack of baby wipes and some disinfectant spray as well. As for toilet paper, one roll per family member per week should be fine if you ration it like they do at the public bathrooms in Mexico. Ladies, don’t forget to stock up on your monthly supplies too!

As for the quantity of each, well it really depends on your family’s needs and food preferences. The pandemic period won’t last for decades, but it could last several weeks. 

What would you add to a Prepper’s Pantry for rural Mexico?

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