John called me the other day to see if I’m alive, since the last time I posted it was about contracting COVID. It was a mild case for me and my wife (both vaccinated and boosted), and after our quarantine, we continued our trip.
We entered Mexico with great timing — one day after the State Department put Mexico into the “Level 4 Do Not Travel” sin bin, because of COVID. We’re in Baja wine country right now, after a couple of days in Tijuana.
Here’s what I saw on the ground in Tijuana and the wine country:
- Masking indoors is essentially 100%. On the streets of Tijuana, over half of the citizens wear masks outdoors.
- KN95 masks are widely used – at least half of the masks we saw were higher quality than surgical or cloth masks (at least in TJ). This includes service workers, especially waiters.
- Entry into many restaurants is preceded by mandatory temperature checks and use of hand sanitizer. Masking is enforced (no entry without one).
- Entry into the cathedral in Tijuana is preceded by a mandatory temperature check, and masks are required. Even though the Virgin of Guadalupe has great power, the Catholics here aren’t leaving it up to her alone.
According to the health ministry, the Omicron wave in Mexico has peaked and is receding. Hospitals are nowhere near capacity, and 80% of the adult population is vaccinated, with the over-40 population being offered boosters.
Mexico’s response to COVID isn’t going to win any contests, but I feel far safer here than in West Texas, where we contracted COVID.
I’ve been to Baja on two week-long trips during the past two years — caught nothing and felt much safer there than here.
Hopefully if I don’t get selected for jury duty in the next 30 days, I’ll be off to Dubai. My aunt went there before omicron. Apparently everyone there is also masked and distancing. So that convinced me to go. I’d rather be in the desert than in a courthouse with Americans.
Good to hear about the masking etc., though I think both temperature checks and hand sanitizers have been (eventually) shown to be kind of irrelevant. Hard to break the habits from the beginning of the pandemic, I guess.
My brother and the Sighthound Hall mob are going to Brazil (also on the “Level 4 sin bin” list) in the next month or two (his husband is Brazilian)—spring break, maybe?—and at this point, after their Christmas trip to London (sans kids), I’m just trying to adopt a stoic perspective. The BIL is from Fortaleza, on the northeastern coast, so that’s where they will be spending most of their time. But I’ve heard reports of many relatives having had COVID down there. I have no idea what the vaccination situation is. Thoughts and prayers, I guess.
I just got back from Tulum Monday. It was absolutely flooded with Americans. I hadn’t been in twelve years and it’s changed from a quiet yoga retreat and relaxation spot to a spring break party town. We went to one of the busiest streets and were treated to the sight of national guardsmen patrolling in a military jeep with a mounted machine gun, part of the new “tourist protection battalion.” I couldn’t help but wonder how stray bullets flying would really help tourists.
We were able to stay away from most of the craziness and enjoy the natural beauty of Tulum. Looks like quite a few US twenty- and thirty- somethings are working remotely from Mexico. Most of the Mexicans we encountered were masked, even outdoors, but the tourists, not so much. Got to see Chichen-Itza and spent time kayaking in the Caribbean sea, which was fun because I’d never tried that before. Got COVID tested before we left and it was negative. Tested again today back at home in the US, still negative. Triple Moderna shots (vaxx + boost). I think Mexico should be more worried about tourists bringing COVID-19 in than the other way around.
Do Not Travel!!!!
OK!, I won’t! You don’t have to yell!
Your experience in Baja reflects exactly my experience in November/ December when I traveled to Peru. Nearly 100% masking, required double masks on public transportation including airlines, and required face shields on trains. No inflight snacks, just keep your mask on, no other options. And everyone was vaccinated from the high Andes to the Amazon jungle.
good to hear from you.
So your post title is sarcastic? ?
Nice to hear from you
All these countries masking. Don’t they know masks don’t work? A buncha sheep.
Just testing to see if I’m allowed to post here.
Well, if so and this is an open thread, I’ve been addicted to Outlander. It is a good read and excellent series on starz.
Donut travel is bad!! You put a donut down and the next thing you know it’s gone off with a dog or a woodchuck or something.
@Winston: I was hoping one of the major generals would opt for a thread about the series of novels.
Do not travel?!! We just started our Third Annual COVID/National Park Challenge Road Trip. Seems like staying in a trailer in a campground has been safe enough the last two years so we’re doing it again.
Hardly any masks in South Carolina, same as South PA at home. We’ll be heading further south then west in a day or so. If we can survive Florida I think we’ll make it.
@Winston: Such as how the revolutionary war applies to today. For instance how those who were Loyalist to the Crown then, were the slave owners then, which became the Confederates and now are the Magats today. Isn’t about time we get rid of them? Or must we endure them forever?
Possibly a little more complex than that.
@danielx: Maybe. But I think it boils down to we the people for the people vs we the people, for the king. As it was in 1775.
48-years ago today Dolly Parton released her thirteenth solo studio album, “Jolene” (1974)
Masks and temperature checks everywhere? I may move there.
I was in New York for a couple of days in mid-January. It wasn’t quite the peak of omicron, but it was still at a pretty high level. Masks everywhere, required in most indoor spaces, vaccination checks to get into restaurants and theatres. Even with the covid levels, I felt so much more relaxed than at home, where masking is also pretty good but no one’s enforcing it, no vaccine checks (so I’m not going to restaurants), etc.
I wish we could force into the brains of maga types that we’re not “cowering in fear” when we have these pubic health measures, rather, it lets us not worry about it (much).
It is difficult to get sheep to learn anything other than to all follow in a herd. Oh and to shit everywhere. But then they are animals.
You were talking about maga types. I may be giving them too much credit…..
@Steeplejack: since vax programs were handled at the state level and not the dysfunctional fed level, vax rates are not terrible – slightly higher than the US at the two shot number. Not sure how much variation at the individual state level.
Thanks for the information.
a crapload of Loyalists weren’t slavers, and a bunch of both moved up to the Canadian colonies during and after the war. Many of the ones who had slaves, as much as possible, either freed them before leaving, or brought them north, then freed them. In 1799, a US slaver tried to enforce his “ownership” in New Brunswick and the Court ruled that one cannot own a “person”, therefore his “proof of property” was null and void.
Britain of course, was one of the first major nations to not only ban slavery, but use her military power to suppress the slave trade.
Everything you wanted in a beer. And less.
Also, Olympic curling in full swing.
@Jay: We are told, that the subjection of Americans may tend to the diminution of our own liberties; an event, which none but very perspicacious politicians are able to foresee. If slavery be thus fatally contagious, how is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes? (Samuel Johnson, 1775)
and many of the most committed neo-confederates in the US, if they trace their roots, will find that their ancestors wern’t Planters, but instead, indentured “servants”.
@Wag: How interesting! I have been putting off going to Peru for two years now because I did not have any information beyond their absolutely horrifying death rate. So I should go next Spring, I am not getting any younger and the hikes I have planned are pretty punishing. Thanks!
@TKH: It is true that they have been punished by COVID’s early waves, but the Peruvian people embraced the he restrictions as a lifeline to normal.
Our guide in the Amazon lost all four of his grandparents in three weeks last summer, when COVID slammed the city of Iquitos. Iquitos, a city of 500k people, has 12 ICU beds, and the health care system was rapidly overwhelmed. After living through the horrors of the initial waves of the pandemic, the people worked together to put the worst of the pandemic behind them through a combination of vaccines and mitigation.
We were initially planning our trip for May 2020, but the early waves of the pandemic crushed this dreams. After waiting a year and a half, we felt very safe throughout our travels. We left just as Omicron began its initial rise across the globe. I’m not sure how badly Peru has been affected.
@Jay: The Loyalists/Royalists in my family were farmers in the Hudson Valley. Stillwater, to be precise, where the Battle of Saratoga was fought. John Freeman was my greatX4 grandfather. That battle used to be called the Battle of John Freeman’s Farm. I was somewhat shocked when I found out that I had a bunch of Royalists in the family.
Great-great-great-great Grandpa Freeman took his wife and kids north to Montreal after Johnny Burgoyne surrendered (and Benedict Arnold performed so brilliantly for Our Side, and got his leg shot for his trouble). They got to Montreal just in time for an outbreak of smallpox or diphtheria or something, and only three survived: two of his daughters and his 13 year-old son, my great X 3 grandfather whose name escapes me at the moment.
That part of the family chose poorly when they went to war, because the son* was captured in the War of 1812 and was a prisoner for a while.
*Thomas. I just remembered. Thomas’s daughter married my Irish great great grandpa around 1830, maybe earlier.
@HumboldtBlue: How old is that beer ad? I recognize a lot of faces among the players, but can’t remember their names.
OT: arizona republican leader effectively kills RWNJ changes to election law.
@2liberal: Thank goodness, one with a conscience, even if it might be 10 sizes too small.
That’s mid to late 1970s. Billy Martin, Boog Powell, Dick Butkus, Rodney Dangerfield, Red Auerbach, Bubba Smith, Bob Ueker, Larry Csonka, Frank Robinson, Blonde Big Boob Lady,
@Jay: Read “Albion’s Seed” for a thorough discussion of this point.
Since this is an open thread, the number of Facebook users has decreased for the first time ever:
Break out the tiny violins!
@HumboldtBlue: Youtube says 1983 and the woman is Lee Meredith.
@opiejeanne: John Freeman’s farm in Stillwater is a really pretty place.
J R in WV
Dolly Parton is a great role model for everyone. Works hard, does a great job, contributes to her communiities. What a great woman!!
Also, I once worked with a woman named Jolene, she was also a great person. Dunno if her name was related to that song. After thinking about it for a few seconds, couldn’t be, she was around my age, so named long before the song came out. Also not possible for her to be a villain, was a wonderful person to work with.
Thanking Dolly Parton for everything!!!!
According to maps I’ve seen Baja California is the worst state in MX for COVID now.
@KSinMA: It’s beautiful. I stood there and wondered at my ancestor’s decision to volunteer to guide Burgoyne to his home, and for his trouble Burgoyne’s men burned down his house.
On a micropaleo field trip years ago, we stopped at a former Spanish Mission in northern Baja situated by a spring with date palms. And a vineyard. My professor thought their red wine, from the old vineyard, was the best of Baja. Wish I remembered more about its name & location…