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Pandemic Diary XII

Day 116

There was an announcement yesterday from the governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro Ramírez. Here is how it was reported in Mexico News Daily:

The governor said he will be forced to act if people fail to understand the risk of “breaking lockdown” and if Covid-19 case numbers and hospital admissions continue to trend upwards as has occurred in recent days. 

If people flood the streets of Jalisco, the lives of hundreds of residents will be placed at risk and there will be a “necessity to immediately stop all activities in the state by means of the emergency button,” Alfaro said. 

He explained that activation of the button depends on two factors: hospital occupancy levels and the weekly per capita incidence of new coronavirus infections. 

“If the first indicator reaches 50% or the second reaches 400 per million inhabitants, we will have to stop [economic activities] again. It’s as clear as that. Today the first indicator is at 26% and the second is at 290,” Alfaro said. 

He said that the economic shutdown would be stricter than that imposed while the entire country faced uniform social distancing restrictions in April and May. 

“It would mean closing all industry, commerce and services. Only health and security services, and those related to the supply of food, would be maintained,” Alfaro said. 

“In this period of total lockdown, restaurants wouldn’t be able to operate, not even for home delivery. There wouldn’t be public transit except for … health and security personnel. Street markets, banks, churches, the government, plazas and shopping streets wouldn’t be able to operate,” he said. 

“Only markets and supermarkets would be able to open during the week, exclusively for the sale of food.”
My fear is that people will fail to realize that they need to double down on efforts to slow the spread of the virus. It's scary how many people don't seem to be taking it seriously. When I take Taco for walks, I see so many people in groups without masks. We've seen what is happening in the US since states have reopened and people have not taken the need for social distancing seriously. I think this new period of lockdown may be inevitable. 

In other news, Taco got spayed yesterday. I brought her to the vet in the morning and picked her up at 3pm. She was clearly in a lot of pain or discomfort and wouldn't eat or drink the rest of the day and most of today. Then suddenly at around 5:30 this afternoon, it was as if someone flipped a switch, and she's been full of energy all evening.

This afternoon, for the second time I'm aware of, a truck came through my street spraying for mosquitoes. There have been quite a few cases of Dengue. I just wish I knew when they were coming so I could shut the windows in the front of my house.

For some reason my reading habit has left me since I moved to Mexico. I think I've only read one or two books since I came here. I love reading, so it's a mystery to me why I seem to be unable to sustain reading over any long period of time. I was reading Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior in advance of my trip in January to see the monarch butterflies in Michoacán, and I didn't not like the book, but every time I start reading, my mind starts to wander, and every time I put it down, I struggle to motivate myself to pick it up again. So I thought I would put it aside for now and switch to a different book. I started reading Dustin Lance Black's memoir, Mama's Boy. But I find myself, once again, failing to sustain my reading, though I admire Black and find the story of his upbringing fascinating. I would have thought that with so much free time while I'm mostly hanging out at home, my reading activity would pick up, but it's just not happening.

I am, however, watching a lot of TV, bingeing on Netflix. Even watching TV, though, I find I'm frequently distracted mentally, and I often have to rewind to catch stuff I missed. Here's my latest activity:
  • Merli (season 1, Netflix): In Barcelona, an unconventional philosophy teacher gets a job teaching at a school his son attends, at the same time his son comes to live with him when his ex-wife moves with her lover to Italy. Some of the circumstances were hard to fathom, but the story has a lot in common with some of the great, classic teacher-student movies and TV shows. Think To Sir With Love meets Stand and Deliver meets Dead Poets' Society.
  • Magic for Humans (seasons 1-3, Netflix): I kind of like magic. Justin Willman is either a brilliant magician or he is a master deceiver of the worst kind. He says there is no camera editing involved, and I'm gullible enough to believe him, so I am very entertained and impressed. Even if you're a real skeptic, I think the guy is entertaining enough to make it fun to watch. Check out the videos on his web site, and if you enjoy them, try watching the show.
  • The House of Flowers (seasons 1-3, Netflix): A Mexican series that is supposedly a satire of telenovelas, this show is about a family that owns a flower shop and a cabaret, both named La Casa de las Flores. I struggle to understand why so many people love this show even as I couldn't stop watching it. One of the characters, Paulina, is celebrated for her speaking voice and has YouTube videos dedicated to her best lines. I did admire how effectively the show included a diversity of characters on the LGBTQIA spectrum. But watch that video and see what you think Paulina's speaking voice. 
  • Control Z (season 1, Netflix): Another Mexican series, this takes place in a high school and involves a mystery around a hacker who exposes students' secrets and the efforts of a few of the students to figure out who it is. I enjoyed it. There will be a season 2 at some point.
  • The Politician (season 2, Netflix): Season 1 was released just last November, and season 2 followed last month. It's got a great cast, including Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bette Midler, and Judith Light. Where season 1 focused on a campaign for student body president at a high school in Santa Barbara, California, season 2 takes place a few years later in New York and is centered on a race for a seat in the state senate. It's campy and fun and also a darkly satirical look at American politics. 
  • Dark (seasons 1-3, Netflix): This German series is one of the trippiest things I've ever seen. It deals with time travel and attempts to undo events that lead to an apocalypse, and the action jumps between the present day and various times in the past and future. We meet younger and older versions of the same characters, and there are so many characters, keeping track of who was who and how they were all related was futile. I believe there is a fan wiki out there somewhere that attempts to unravel it all, but it was such a labyrinth of twists and turns. If this sound appealing, go for it, but be warned: it will frustrate you and bend your mind.
  • The Umbrella Academy (seasons 1-2, Netflix): I'm still making my way through season 1, and season 2 won't be released for another 3 weeks. Based on the comic book series of the same name, it's about a dysfunctional family of adopted superhero siblings. It's not a genre I would normally be attracted to, but it has been entertaining so far.
  • The Practice (Ovation): I watched this show on occasion when it originally aired between 1997 and 2004, and I forgot how good it was. Most lawyer shows on TV depict noble, dedicated people fighting for justice, to properly punish the guilty and exonerate the innocent. But this show is all about the sleazy defense attorneys who will stop at nothing to secure acquittals for their sleazier clients. The show has aged remarkably well; each episode covers two or three separate cases, and many cases span multiple episodes.
  • Hamilton (Disney+): I was lucky enough to see the original cast of Hamilton in New York on December 1, 2015. I got myself a Disney+ subscription so I could see them again. While the electricity of being there live in the theatre couldn't be replicated, the production was presented brilliantly. The use of close-ups made it deeply impactful, and the camera pulled back to show the big picture when appropriate. Seeing it again confirmed that it is the best Broadway show I've ever seen.


  1. Hi, Lane. As always, I am grateful for your blog and your posts, my silly landscaping jokes aside. I am finding my ability to read hampered, as well, with one exception. Thankfully, my desire for sci-fi or fantasy or dystopic books continues unabated. Perhaps this is just me having an incredibly strong desire to escape a tRumpian world. Anything to get me away from a world that includes him. And one of these days, I fear I am going to say the right thing to the wrong person about masks, and she or he will pull out a gun and...bye bye, Kevin! Stay safe and healthy, my friend!

  2. Thanks for Netflix list, having trouble finding shows I like. Give Taco a belly rub for me! I'm back to walking Gouda daily and having Kumaji (Wendy's Chihuahua) once a week.


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