Sunday, May 10, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Sunday, May 10

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Pardon the slant...on the screen I couldn't see the all just looked 'dark' 
More rain rolling in after a subtle sunrise this morning. We haven't had much rain in 2-3 months & it's especially needed on the mainland to help put out the brush fires.

A little later...
Dark clouds thundering as they rumble southward. You can also see there's been a little sargasso recently.

Covid-19 Health Alert Update for US Citizens in Mexico from their State Department

May 8--The number of confirmed and suspected cases is increasing daily in Mexico.  Hospital occupancy rates are also increasing, particularly in Mexico City, Baja California, Mexico State, and Quintana Roo.  Mexican health authorities have reiterated calls for people to stay home during this time.  The government deployed elements of the Mexican Armed Forces this week to the six states most affected by the virus to protect medical facilities and workers as well as escort shipments of medical supplies.
International commercial flight options currently exist in Mexico.  U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States should make commercial arrangements as soon as possible unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  The U.S. government does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights from Mexico to the United States at this time.
On April 16, the Mexican government extended nationwide restrictions on non-essential economic activities in most municipalities until May 30.  Essential activities include the provision of medical services and supplies, grocery delivery services, operation of grocery stores, restaurant delivery and carryout services, assurance of public safety, maintenance of fundamental economic functions and government social programs, and work in critical infrastructure.  Schools in Mexico are also closed.
States and municipalities may implement additional closings and restrictions on public gatherings, transportation, business operations, and government operations.  Several states and municipalities have imposed curfews and movement restrictions on non-essential activities and have required citizens to wear masks when outside their homes.
In some areas, officials may issue fines and/or arrest and detain individuals found to be in violation of stay at home orders.  Please see additional information on these restrictions and links to state COVID-19 websites in the “Local Resources” section on our website.  This information is not comprehensive and is subject to change without notice. Please confirm directly with local government and other trusted sources for more information on closures and restrictions in different Mexican states and municipalities.
Passengers and aircrew members arriving at and departing from Mexican airports may be subject to health screenings, including temperature checks.  Those exhibiting symptoms may be subject to additional health screenings and/or asked to quarantine voluntarily.  Travelers entering Mexico by land from the United States may be denied admission if the purpose of their visit is considered non-essential.  We recommend that travelers carry evidence of the essential nature of their visit and evidence of their resident status in Mexico, if applicable.  Travelers entering Mexico via land may be subject to temperature checks and additional health screening.  Travelers may experience significant delays and face the possibility of being returned to the United States or asked to quarantine in Mexico.  At some U.S. ports of entry, operating hours have changed; please review CBP’s Port of Entry wait times web page for additional information.
On April 3, Mexican Tourism and Health officials instructed hotels to cancel new and existing reservations and close for non-essential business.  All accommodation services, including hotels, hostels, online platforms, and travel agencies, will cease receiving reservations and will reschedule all reservations.  Guests who require accommodation due to essential business activities are permitted to stay in hotels with a maximum occupancy of 15 percent and may be asked to provide an employer letter certifying the nature of their business.  Other non-resident foreign citizens currently in hotel accommodations have been requested to return home immediately.  Individuals showing respiratory symptoms will be referred to health authorities.  As a reminder, the U.S. government does not pay for lodging or other expenses incurred due to travel disruptions abroad.
The Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19 on March 19.
Read remainder of notice at this LINK   

Message from Governor Carlos Joaquin: In Quintana Roo, we face two tasks: recovering prosperity and preventing the epidemic from recurring   VIDEO  

     I am telling you that we have reached the phase of greatest contagion of the virus. Now we are reaching the crest of the curve of the epidemic, so the number of infections will continue to increase and, therefore, it's a greater danger for everyone. We are at that crucial moment when additional effort must be made to achieve the goal of slowing the spread of Covid 19 and thereby saving lives.
     Once again I call on you step it up during the next few days. Stay home! Save lives! Let's remember that we are the owners of our own destiny; that the challenge we face is not beyond our strength; that the anguishes, fears and uncertainties will not be beyond our capacity, if we have faith in ourselves.
     Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have communicated with all of you continually, in order to inform you of the evolution of the coronavirus. The confirmed cases, the recovered cases and the very unfortunate deaths. Every day we have kept track of everything that is happening, including the life-saving measures that we have been implementing from the first moments, more than three months ago.
     Many of these are not always popular, I admit, but they are necessary to prevent the contagion from spreading in an uncontrollable manner. That is why social isolation, staying at home, washing hands, covering your mouth, reducing mobility to the bare minimum, maintaining social distance, have helped us greatly to move forward, and control and contain the number of sick people.
     Entering the peak of the highest contagion curve requires doubling of efforts; continue with the strictest control of immobility and isolation to avoid more infections. Keep in mind that prevention is better than cure.
     The key is to continue working as a team, obeying the instructions of specialists and authorities, and taking care of ourselves more. To promptly establish where the most affected areas are occurring, we have designed a satellite-mapping system. It allows detection of how the contagion is spreading, starting from locating the people with confirmed cases. It has also allowed us to detect the areas with the highest concentration of people and therefore high risk of transmission of the virus, enabling us to concentrate our efforts to inform and convince people to avoid congregating.
    I want you to have peace of mind that we have prepared, reinforced and increased our hospital infrastructure. We currently have enough capacity to care for our patients, throughout the state, especially where more cases are occurring, such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, without forgetting the other municipalities, of course. We have more than a thousand beds, of which only 21 percent are occupied, and 79 percent remain available. Of the total beds, nearly 300 are for intensive care, and only 18 percent are occupied, with 82 percent available. This is based on meeting mathematical models of the worst-case scenario.
    We are increasing the equipment and solving problems of supplying protective equipment for the health personnel who take care of us. I will personally review and verify equipment inventories and security. I have paid special attention to locating N95 face masks for health personnel, which are in short supply worldwide. Starting today, we should not have shortcomings in this regard. I care a great deal about the health of our medical personnel, whom I recognize and thank for their enormous contribution the the health care of Quintana Roo families.
     Any complaint in this regard must be reported immediately to the hospital authorities and to me personally. We are giving special attention to our vulnerable fellow citizens with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and smoking, as well as our older adults and pregnant women. Together with the personnel who serve and protect us, such as the Quintana Roo Police, the Ministerial, the National Guard, the military, and the sailors.
    We're taking care of the officials of the criminal and labor justice administration, the public servants of the administration of water, electricity and cleaning services; of workers in essential activities such as food, medicine and fuel supply, and the crews who fight fires.
     Under the "Five for the Peace of Mind of Families Staying at Home" (5 por la Tranquilidad Familiar en Casa) Program, the government has distributed more than 500,000 pantries (packages of staples) house-to-house. We are continuing with more, we will continue assisting with water, electricity, gas and health. And we will continue to do so!
     The participation of nearly the entire economic sector has been exemplary and with great commitment and solidarity. As a result, we just signed a pact with employers and workers to continue coordinating and supporting each other in this task and during the revival of activities, which we already see on the horizon.
     The Mayors of the municipalities have been essential to moving forward and they play an essential role on all fronts, mainly in the measures of isolation and social distancing within the cities; I give them recognition. I would also like to express my appreciation to the legislators of the State Congress, who have remained vigilant, continually generating ideas and alternatives for improvement. Now, many of them have joined the Unity Pact for Quintana Roo.
      Like the students around the state, who continue their studies daily with tele-education and distance learning, we are all doing our tasks, and we must not lower our guard. This is not the time to say that we are going out on the street tomorrow as if nothing had happened. We are in the most important part of the fight. It is here and now that our immediate future will be defined. Let's maintain the determination and will to overcome this pandemic.
      If we do it right, we will be ready to start the reactivation in the new social order with all our forces. If we all cooperate and unite our luck; If we strengthen our solidarity, and if we strongly maintain our decision to work together, I assure you that we will enter a happier and brighter era.
       Let's be clear that we face two supreme parallel tasks: One, we must recover the prosperity of Quintana Roo, and two, at the same time we must adopt those collective security measures that prevent the epidemic from recurring. If we are up to these tasks in the coming months, we can once again find the key that opens the doors to a safe and happy future for all. Let's take care of ourselves at home, let's step up, side by side, with courage and hope, because together we will move forward!

Curiosities about Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta)
The first nesting loggerhead laid 106 eggs on Friday.
1. In nesting season, they lay about 110 eggs (at a time).
2. They are distributed in the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.
3. They have a varied diet, which includes crustaceans, jellyfish, fish, and even carrion.
4. Their name varies region-to-region, including tortuga perica, Mestiza, boba, and cabezona.
5. They are the largest hard-shelled sea turtle in the world, reaching a size of up to 110 centimeters long (43 inches) (Note-The largest can weigh more than 1000 lbs--half a ton!)

Stay at home, avoid leaving if it's not for food or an emergency, don't expose yourself to the contagion of covid-19, don't take the virus to your home. Take care of your family

Tax stimulus

Islanders are invited to avoid gatherings on Mother's Day 
  On Sunday, the checkpoints will be intensified to invite the citizenry to stay home, to leave home only if it is an essential activity, and then to use measures of social distancing and hygiene. Police Chief Jaime Ongay Ortiz said that "banqueters" meetings have been strictly banned throughout the contingency with the aim of reducing infections, and he invited the community to avoid leisure activities in private homes. He said, "We are working to reduce mobility in the municipality and thus decrease the number of people on the streets. These measures will continue to harden especially now that we are in phase three, as they are certainly the ideal mechanism to prevent spreading of the coronavirus."

Health questionnaire from the state government

On Mother's Day, the City gives priority to protecting the health of the islanders. With the sole aim of safeguarding the population of Isla Mujeres and contain the spread of Covid-19, especially, right now where the virus is at the highest stage of the curve, the municipal government will keep the municipal cemeteries closed on May 10th, Mother's Day. Despite this being a very special day for Mexicans, the priority is to protect the health of the community. Social isolation and healthy distancing are essential, and the avoiding of gatherings is necessary to prevent spreading the virus.
The City General Secretary said, "We must avoid meetings in public and private places, which includes, so-called banquet meetings (reuniones banqueteras)." She said the Mother's Day is very important to everyone and can be celebrated in a safe manner, taking care of them and avoiding meeting or conglomerations, and not breaking the protocols of health, hygiene and healthy distancing of 1.5 meters, without hugging, kissing or hand shaking.
In addition to closing the cemeteries on Mother's Day, there will be random checkpoints throughout the day in coordination between the municipal police and the Department of Civil Protection and Firefighters inviting everyone to stay in their homes and leave only for essential activities.
Cemetery photos with guards are from La Tertulia. Other two are from the City. 

TVisla Mujeres    

The Isla Mujeres Harbor Master requests assistance locating the stolen boat "Madison Ave", which was stolen around 10:30 pm on May 3rd from the Aqua Tours marina in Cancun. It is a white boat flying a US flag, that is 46 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 6 feet tall.  LINK  

The president of the small hotels association, Asociación de Pequeños Hoteles Fascinantes de Isla Mujeres, Leonel Povedano Castillo, will hold an online meeting regarding loans that are available from the stateLINK   

IMSS launched application for calculating risks of Covid-19 complications  LINK  

Quintana Roo will be the spearhead for the recovery of tourism in Mexico LINK   
      The head of the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR), Miguel Torruco Marqués, gave assurances that Quintana Roo will be key to recovery of the tourism industry in the short, medium and long term. He said that tourism is going to recover due to the strength of the country's tourism industry.during a conversation about the current situation with federal legislator Luis Alegre Salazar via telephone on the Citizen Complaint Program of Radio Turquesa.
      Mr. Turruco Marques said Mexico is preparing its return to competition in what will be known as the Post Covid-19 era, with a promotional campaign that includes 80 videos of the benefits offered by various tourist destinations in Mexico. He said the campaigns have the backing of the private initiative, which he described as very strong.
      He reiterated that the support of his office to the productive sector will be reflected through the large promotional events they will be launching, and through the website where there will be access to publish their own promotions.
       He said he has been working in close communication with the Ministry of Health and Undersecretary Hugo López Gatell, and they have established guidelines in tourism and health matters. When necessary, they have intervened so that people who were stranded in destinations could have accommodations.
       The Pueblos Magicos International project was launched and he said that new nominations could be made in the future, since they have discovered that with a single designation, hotel occupancy automatically increased between 6 and 7 percent in the destination in question.
        In January 2021 they will be launching the call for the location of the Tourist Tianguis (National Tourism Fair) of Mexico for 2023 and 2025, since Acapulco will host the event in 2022 and 2024. He said, "We must give thought to changing of the country's tourism model, particularly in regard to the huge dependence on five or six large tourist centers in the US and Canada. Therefore we will launch the first virtual Tourist Tianguis, which will include all the hotels from all corners, who would never be able to participate in the "street" market."
       He confirmed that the 45th edition of the Tourist Tianguis in Merida will take place March 21-24, 2021, and will be preceded by with the first Digital Tourist Tianguis, in September 2020.

      Starting Monday, May 11, all stores, except 24-hour pharmacies, may only be open between 7am and 9pm, according to the municipal Director of Civil Protection, Helman Ulises Berman Graniel. He explained that measures are being strengthened at this time when the virus is at the highest stage of the curve. The City made this decision to prevent contagious of coronavirus in the municipality, and recommends continuing with the Healthy Distance and hygiene recommendations.

From  Por Esto :

The Naveganto ferry company has reduced its round trip crossings from five to four on Monday thru Saturday, and suspended service on Sunday, as part of the measures in response to Phase 3 of Covid-19. Por Esto notes that Ultramar has ignored official recommendations and has maintained six round trips daily since April 15th.  
   On Monday thru Saturday, the Naveganto ferry departure Puerto Juárez at 8:30a, 10:30a, 2:30p and 4:30p; and it leaves Isla Mujeres at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  The vehicle/cargo ferry to Punta Sam provides one daily trip Monday thru Saturday, with no service on Sundays. It is noted they offered two trips on Friday, due to demand.  
   Those crossing on the ferry include local people who seek supplies or essential services, which may or may not also be available on the island, people who need specialized health services and/or control of chronic diseases, employees, and executives from hotels and restaurants who supervise internal maintenance or activities associated with reopening, according to witnesses.  LINK  

Water Service Guaranteed  
Aguakan published a statement in response to accusations about alleged overcharges caused by faulty meters. They noted the company is not suspending service to any households who are unable to make payments due to the current economic circumstances caused by Covid-19. They said in recent weeks they have done more than 1000 reconnections to clients in vulnerable situations with debts prior to the contingency. They noted that last month more than 2000 payment agreements with flexible terms adequate to clients needs were granted, in addition to freezing any additional administrative fees that may be generated.
   Regarding the meters they said: “The changing of meters, which have an average life of seven years, is carried out when they are damaged or malfunction; in such case, clients can request it or Aguakán can carry out inspections of these when deemed necessary, as stated in article 96 of the Drinking Water and Sewerage Law of Quintana Roo ”. They “have a meter verification laboratory with an ISO 9001: 2008 certificate, which reviews the proper functioning of drinking water meters, in turn attending to the claims of customers who have doubts regarding these ”.
   The company spokesperson, Celina Moran, said on April 17th, they donated face masks and antibacterial gel kits to Dr Xhanat Tze Gonzalez Mora, municipal Covid-19 liaison for operational personnel including municipal police officers, medical personnel, firefighters, and volunteers with are in direct contact with the municipal inhabitants.  LINK 


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A large slider opens from each of the 3 rooms onto the patio where each has a table & chairs, hammock & clotheslines. The BBQ is behind the pole, and the outdoor shower is out of the pic at left.

"Reverse Sunset" (looking east from MVC)
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then return to the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres and  sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 
 Just after Sunset--May 7  7:46 (sun sets 7:15p)
    May 8      8:51  
May 9      9:55
May 10   10:55
May 11    11:50

 Sunset  7:12-7:25pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:16--6:05am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC
Turtles begin mating and nesting in May. They can be observed mating offshore from Punta Sur during this month, and they nest along the eastern beaches. Tortugranja staff and volunteers gather the eggs and incubate them in the sand in a pen outside the facility. The Protection season officially begins May 15, but Tortugranja staff usually begin checking for nests at the beginning of the month. Three species nest annually in Isla Mujeres, Greens, Loggerheads, and Hawksbills, and very rarely, a Leatherback will attempt to nest, but generally the sand isn't sufficiently deep.

The season for swimming with the whale sharks normally begins on May 15th, which ends annually in mid-September. They congregate and feed on a 'buffet' of plankton and fish eggs from a type of tuna. Rays are also attracted to the feeding areas.  Photos by Tony Garcia

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks before dawn on May 5th, but can be seen during the early hours (starting ~3a nightly) from mid-April thru mid-May. The longest "windows" to see them as they near peaking are the wee hours Friday & Saturday nights, May 1st & 2nd (which are the mornings of Sat & Sun). They peak as the moon is approaching fullness. On May 5th it sets at 4:55a, so will be low on the western horizon, while the radiant point is in the east. You don't need to focus on the radiant, because you may miss the meteors that create the longest bright streaks flying across the sky. This shower is caused by debris from Halley's comet. 

During May, the climate changes 
 Although May is the hottest month in the neighboring state of Yucatan, here on the coast, the hottest months begin in June. In May the "Perceived Temperature" (thin line above the others) begins to rise, as the humidity increases and the rainy season begins as the month progresses. We've been in dry season since November-December, and late April & early May are when firefighters are busy across the Peninsula fighting brush fires. There are ~13+ hours of daylight in May & humidity increases from 92% to 99% as the month progresses. Water temperatures are 81-82 degrees. 

Source: Weather Spark
Source: Weather Spark

Source: Climates to Travel
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation. In Cancún, the chance of a wet day over the course of May is very rapidly increasing, starting the month at 14% and ending it at 36%.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 52% on September 27, and its lowest chance is 12% on March 22.   Source: Weather Spark
Source: Weather Spark
Source: Weather Spark

Friday, May 1  Labor Day  Official Holiday with offices closed. 

May 3 Dia de la Cruz, a holiday celebrated by construction workers in Mexico, and is associated with St Helena (Elena in Spanish). Normally, crosses are placed atop construction projects, and crews take a break to pray and eat together, with food & drink supplied by the owner.

May 5  "Cinco de Mayo" Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla against the French in 1862.
May 10 Mother's Day

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres

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