We’ve asked readers to tell us about how they’re living through the pandemic. From her part-time home in Yucatan, Mexico, baby boomer Ria Stone tells us not only how she has been living, but how she has been watching, and coping.
Back in February, I learned here at my home in Mexico’s Yucatan of the Covid-19 virus, just prior to a cruise in early March. Wasn’t sure if I should go or not. I went. From the ship, I tracked the progress of the virus and the attempts to curtail it.
Upon returning home, I self-quarantined for two weeks, then Yucatan’s government issued Covid advisories for residents. Stay at home. Wash your hands, Wear a mask, Keep a safe distance, Do not gather in groups. Businesses were closed except those deemed “essential.”
Just like parts of the U.S.
I followed several epidemiologists on Twitter to get real news. And avoided mainstream media.
Distressed for months, unable to travel, I worried about my family and friends back in Maryland, wondering how they would manage. Stayed in touch via email, text, and video.
Shocked that many of those in power were not handling the situation in a professional manner and were endangering fellow Americans.
Stunned at the effect the pandemic was having on the local and global economies.
Scared knowing underpaid “essential” workers and healthcare providers faced contracting the coronavirus themselves.
Heartsick for all those who lost their jobs.
Grieved by the deaths of thousands. Then thousands more.
Proud that so many were taking the situation seriously and following health guidelines.
Amazed at the innovation that local businesses were showing in a constantly changing environment. Home delivery of menu items, even alcohol, and safety precautions for in-person visits.
I read daily government and media announcements from the United States, tallies of the ill and the dead. Restrictions changed weekly. Doctors held patient consultations via video. Temporary traffic restrictions were imposed in congested areas. Police patrols were out to deter those not abiding the restrictions.
Then, they killed George Floyd.
My addiction to Twitter was cemented as I watched my nation rise up to protest the sanctioned killings of unarmed people of color.
Days and nights were turned upside down. For months I slept poorly and stopped cooking. If I am up at 3am, did I just eat breakfast? If I eat again at 10am is that lunch? Tequila and cupcakes are not a balanced diet.
Except for outings for essential tasks, I became reclusive. Did not leave home for weeks at a time.
Gradually, my worries eased. Family and friends were surviving, adjusting, and taking precautions. My state was handling the pandemic in a professional manner.
Had my first joint outing with a friend. It was like I had dug a tunnel and escaped prison. We danced in a Superrama supermarket, part of a big chain here in Mexico.
By July, I was immersed in YouTube DIY craft videos and spent months trying to make a wide variety of items. It was challenging and enjoyable. Also, doing volunteer work online.
By September, the election was rapidly approaching, time to vote by mail and that’s another story.
But, I am angry. Livid. Too many “adults” in positions of authority have made policies over the last 20+ years that kill people, millions of people. Seeking ways to change our nihilistic culture.
Now, living in a hot zone in Mexico, like hot zones back home, still following Twitter, inside most days with brief glimpses of people trying to find a way to work safely.
Finding ways to exercise and take walks safely. My face mask collection is expanding.
Working online with volunteer groups and Zooming with poets and writers. Back to preparing healthy meals and making mocktails.