Mérida During Coronavirus (from an Ex-Pat point of view)


It’s early August  2020 and Mérida still isn’t doing well on the whole Coronavirus front, which is pretty depressing since we have been locked down and have had stricter rules here than pretty much anywhere else in Mexico since this all began for us in March. You can read about the preceding months of lockdown and Mérida during coronavirus in my previous ‘diary articles‘ if you’re interested.

Day-to-day Life In Mérida During Coronavirus

It kinda feels normal now, which obviously is both good and bad. Our world has shrunk. Everyone’s world has shrunk to some degree but I definitely feel that those of us in Mérida have drunk more of Alice’s drink than people in other parts of the world.

As of a couple of weeks ago, Ley Seca was reintroduced. We began hearing rumours about three hours before it was made official. I immediately sent my husband out to buy beer. When he arrived the store was normal but by the time he was leaving the rumour had spread further and wider and the store was busy with people buying booze. Isn’t that a superb effort by the government? I wish they’d think about the unintended consequences of their plans (wow, look, I publically criticized, unusual for me).

boxes of beer on the  floor. Corona, Indio and Victoria

The city is full of signs reminding us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones because the pandemic is not yet over. Some signs are really pretty direct, asking us “if the party was really worth it” or if we “still want to go to the beach”. I hope they’re working. I  guess they’re kinda going for the filthy lungs on cigarette packet kinda shock tactics.

I have heard reports of cars being confiscated if there are more than two people in the car. I certainly haven’t seen this for myself. I think it refers mainly to Ubers and taxis. There are definitely more roadblocks and police checks again.  For a while, these pretty much disappeared but they’re back now. I  think they’re also trying to make driving harder by randomly choking roads here and there for a few days at a time.

Officially we are still in orange on the traffic light system. There was talk of us moving back to red as our numbers of cases and deaths really aren’t improving but it didn’t happen this week. Non-essential businesses remain open, for now. I went to get ice-cream last weekend though and was told that they were only open for delivery as they were banned from weekend opening again. Not sure what that was about.

sign reminding us the pandemic isnt over - in Spanish

Kids and School In Mérida During Coronavirus Quarantine

Obviously, it’s the summer holidays right now. Normally, kids are in summer day camps in Mérida so parents can work during vacation time. This year there are plenty of enterprising camps that have set themselves up as on-line camps. We chose not to put our kids in any as I don’t think either of them really has the right temperament for that. We felt that they’d require us to be with them to keep them focused, thus negating any point to the camp given that we still need to work.

Instead, we hired a tutor/nanny. She comes to our house three times a week to give the kids a break from us and to ease our guilt about working. She’s someone we know extremely well and we trust her absolutely when she tells us she is not seeing anyone except her family who are all taking quarantine seriously. I absolutely accept that I risk receiving criticism for sharing this piece of personal family information but I also made a promise to myself that my blog would always be honest and tell it like it really is.

And this is how it is. People need to live, not just survive. My kids, like all kids, are suffering greatly right now and it isn’t ok. I will make sure my kids come through this as unscathed as possible. Their mental health is as important as their physical health and while I can’t get them outside adventuring like we normally would, I can do this for them.

We heard this week that schools are going back for distance learning in Mexico until further notice. We were hearing rumours that school was going to be cancelled altogether until January so online is better than nothing for now. I think private schools will be online and public schools will be via TV.

pile of old clothes cut up for napkins red with ironman image, pink watermelon and butterfly pattern)

Of course, for any kid who will be starting a new school online, this sucks. My daughter is due to start primaría and she’s devastated by the news that she won’t be actually at the school she’s been excited about for two years. It sucks for everyone but it sucks even harder for the children who had to graduate online and now for those who will be starting new schools online. I feel such deep sadness for the children right now. Not my children, all children.

We bought both kids their own desks so they have a space for their work and aren’t trying to be ‘at school’ in the dining room. Their desks have been set up in my office. I don’t yet know how this will work for any of us but I’m well aware that we are lucky to have enough computers and space that we can make this work even if it makes our lives slightly harder.

We have been talking zero-waste and sustainability in the house again. We cut up old clothes that are too gross to be passed on to use as napkins and counter-top cleaners. We made salt-scrub for the shower and we have finally found an online delivery of ethical and organic products that we think will drastically reduce our supermarket shopping.

Completely at the other end of the spectrum was the day when I bought ALL the candies and made everyone in my house try them all so I could write articles about Mexican candies.  Thus far I’ve only written about chile candy but it was a lot of fun to taste everything.

collection of Mexican candies

Click HERE to read the rest of the article on Mexico Cassie

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