Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Wednesday, May 27

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On Monday, the "Traffic Light" system begins in Mexico, governing a gradual reopening. The new state-by-state color designations will be announced this weekend. For Quintana Roo, an upgrade to orange is required before tourism can resume, in a restricted manner (on June 8 at the earliest, according to the Governor).
Two weeks ago, Q Roo was designated as "Red" (Essential Businesses Only), with cases Decreasing (*Tues, 5/12).

#1 & 2 are Q Roo's New Cases & Deaths daily in May.
#3 & 4 are Cancun's News Cases & Deaths daily in May.
#5-The municipality of Isla Mujeres continues to report a total of 14 positives and one death, and now 9 are recovered, leaving 4 active cases.
Quintana Roo reports 1683 positives with 304 deaths, 174 under study, 866 recovered, 171 hospitalized and 343 in social isolation. Benito Juarez (Cancun) reports 1234 positives, 234 deaths and 662 recuperated. The State Secretary of Health explained that there is one less case for the municipality of Solidaridad (PDC) since yesterday because that patient was determined to be a resident of the municipality of Benito Juarez.

Sunday's sunset, from MVC B&B

Monday's sunset, from MVC B&B

Dawn this morning--

Saturday, May 23--
The municipality of Isla Mujeres remains at 14 reported cases of Covid-19 with 1 death and 7 recovered.
Graphic #1 shows Quintana Roo's New Cases Day by Day for the past two weeks. On May 12th, Quintana Roo was classified at "RED" (essential businesses only) with cases trending downward-at that time. The updated map will be published May 30-31.
Graphic #2 shows Isla Mujeres Total Cases in May.
Today, Quintana Roo reports 1579 positives, 289 deaths, 153 under study, 833 recuperated, 150 hospitalized, and 307 in social isolation. Benito Juarez (Cancun) reports 1168 positives, 223 deaths, and 655 recovered.

Message from Governor Carlos Joaquin about reopening--
   Stages are coming, with different stages for everyone in Quintana Roo, a period that has been complex in other countries of the world, where great uncertainty has also been generated, such as that which is occurring in Quintana Roo, with a large number of doubts and questions .We are all asking ourselves about the way in which we must act in order to reactivate the economy, be able to go out to work and, at the same time, avoid being infected or infecting someone else and causing health problems that could lead to fatal outcomes.
    The coronavirus is going to be present in the environment, it is not going to go away. There will be different conditions, because the epidemic itself has generated different conditions, but obviously we must live with it.
    That is why it is very important to continue with preventive measures, hygiene measures, social distancing measures, washing your hands frequently, not touching your face, and not greeting each other,  which will be essential to be able to stay isolated from the possibility of getting Covid. .
     And at the same time, listen and attend to the different instructions that we are providing and that we have been giving in search of the ability to participate when it is possible to do so, according to the different conditions of this plan, and which these plans provide for each of the different sectors of society.
    It has not been a simple job to be able to take and achieve control of each of these various sectors, to generate protocols, to generate different minimum prevention and security measures that we must have in order to move forward, for the concerns and occupations (preocupaciones & ocupaciones) that currently exist.
    Take public transport, for example, in which we must respect their capabilities, where we must keep our distance because the consequences of not doing so can be terrible; it can be fatal, as has occurred in other parts of Mexico and in other countries.  In other parts of the world, this has caused a rebound, which if it occurs can require us to return to isolation, stop productive activities, go back to where we started and then wait to get back on track so that we can restart with those activities. 
     I am sure that in Quintana Roo we will have the maturity, we will have the discipline, and the commitment to take care of ourselves, to take care of our families, to take care of our people, the most vulnerable groups in society. Take care of them, protect them and prevent them from falling into a situation that can lead them to their deaths.
    Therefore, we must all work together, we must have that discipline, we must have that commitment, we must increase hygiene measures, we must respect the different measures that exist. If only 30% of the workforce will go out on one day, another 30% the next day, and then the other 30%, surely then we will be respecting each one of the diverse measures that each one of the productive sectors of the state will be generating, to reach these levels.
   I am encouraging everyone to take care of themselves, that those who have to stay at home, stay at home, that those who have to go to work do so with all the preventive measures that we must have for the good of themselves and their families, and then Quintana Roo can move ahead, reactivating our economy and at the same time taking care to prevent coronavirus or Covid.
    I am sure that in Quintana Roo, if we all do it this way, if we all take on this commitment to be disciplined, this commitment to employ good hygiene, this commitment that we have been seeing for various days and that now has led us to the possibility of an economic reopening, then I am sure that Together We Will Move Forward. Thank you

 In an interview, Governor Carlos Joaquin spoke about relaxation of measures that have occurred in some municipalities noting that during the second week in May, there was a 40% increase in cases in the municipality of Benito Juarez (Cancun) and an increase of over 120 percent in OPB (Chetumal).  He said there is no reason why students or teachers should be seen in the streets. He said although some activities and sectors may soon be able to return to work, in general people should stay at home.  He said care must be taken, because if there is a rebound of Covid-29 from not abiding by the measures, this will cause mistrust on a national level. He said that unfortunately, we will have to live with the virus, and therefore we must all use preventative measures and learn to return to a new normality.

Stricter checkpoints on Isla Mujeres, because the high phase of coronavirus infections continues
Saturday, May 23-- In order to safeguard island families, the City continues to implement checkpoints at various points in the municipality and has intensified safety and security protocols. The municipal Chief of Police, Jaime Ongay Ortiz, emphasized that this is not yet the time to leave social isolation. They are seeking to contain the spread of COvid-19 among island families, with checkpoints to inhibit unnecessary outings and to contribute to prevention of the spreading of the virus. He said, "We are reinforcing checkpoints and inviting everyone to stay in their homes, because we are still in the high stage of infections and we must follow social distancing."

Since construction was designated as an essential activity starting on June 1st, construction sites are expected to gradually reactivate, with strict health protocols. The Mayor of Isla Mujeres, Juan Carrillo Soberanis, is working with the state government in planning protocols to adopt health safety guidelines in the work environment. The municipal Director of Urban Development and the Environment said that construction works will be reopened gradually and must comply with the security protocols determined by the state and federal governments, in order to open and operate. HE said it will be the large scale works that will restart, as long as they comply with the guidelines for the implementation of strategies to protect the health of the workers and everyone in general. These days prior to June 1st are important for planning and preparation. (Second & third photos are from the mainland part of the municipality.)

The Tortugranja has protected 26 nests so far this season with a total of 3118 eggs as follows--5 Hawksbill nests with 663 eggs, 11 Loggerhead nests with 1369 eggs and 10 Green nests with 1086 eggs. Monitoring of the nesting beaches began on April 15th, and the night surveillance by the Tortugranja staff is assisted by the municipal Police, Civil Protection, volunteers and the National Guard.
This photo is from last season
VIDEO of green turtles (Isla's most common) mating offshore, with caption explaining that then the female will lay her eggs on the beach in about two weeks, and multiple times during the season (which concludes in October). There is a reminder not to touch them, don't use flash, and don't consume turtle eggs, meat, or products made from them.

From the DIF, social service agency--With the commitment to helping island families, we will be providing support with medicines that are currently in the dispensary, to people who need them in these moments of contingency.

The second distribution of governmental food assistance house-by-house was concluded in Isla Mujeres & involved the collaboration of about 100 state and municipal workers.

20% discount on property fees with no surcharges for missed payments in April, May or June.

Commercial fishing activity will be gradually reactivated June 19, because it will be considered an essential activity after the conclusion of the National Program of Healthy Distancing, which was put in place to combat Covid-19. Boats may not carry more than four fishermen.
    It is noted that the municipal government has been supporting the fishing community by purchasing 60 kilos of seafood twice a week, since the Harbor Master has allowed the continuation of coastal fishing by the commercial fishermen. (The seafood feeds police officers who are quartered on the island, and normally reside in Cancun.)
   The Director of Fishing Promotion, Policarpo Pastrana Protillo said, "Until today the fishing sector has remained free of Covid-19, fishermen have followed hygiene measures such as the use of antibacterial gel, wearing face masks and frequent cleaning of the boats themselves, as well as reducing the number of people in the boats." He added, "Fishermen have been acting responsibly, they know they handle food products; everyone must continue taking hygiene measures, and it is important to abide by and redouble measures to prevent contagion of coronavirus."

To return to normality, it is important to continue following the hygiene recommendations.

May 25--Isla Mujeres municipality continues to report 14 cases with 1 death and 7 recuperated.

May 24 Sunday...The municipality of Isla Mujeres continues to report 14 positives with 1 death and 7 recuperated. The state of Quintana Roo reports 1609 positives, 291 deaths, 150 under study, 842 recuperated, 160 hospitalized and 316 in social isolation. Benito Juarez (Cancun) reports 1186 positives, 223 deaths and 655 recuperated.
The graphic shows Q Roo's new cases each day this month. On May 12th, the federal government designated our state as "RED" with descending cases in the Traffic Light System, which goes into effect June 1st. The states will received a new designation next weekend and weekly thereafter. Only essential businesses may operate in the Red category, and the state needs to be upgraded before tourism-related businesses open, in a reduced manner.

TVisla Mujeres    

Islanders are concerned about the New Normality given the increased cases in Cancun LINK  
Tuesday--In the last update, it was reported that there were 40 new cases in 24 hours (in the state of Quintana Roo--of which 29 were in Cancun.) Inhabitants of Isla Mujeres expressed their concern at the announcement of the return to the "New Normality" because although many depend on the revival of tourism, the high number of cases registered in Cancun has put all the affected municipalities on alert.
Now the issue not only concerns those who live directly from tourism, but also those who in one way or another could be affected by the arrival of people with the disease.
The return to the new normality, is a slogan that began last week, when several hotels and theme parks announced tentative dates to begin operations.
However, the relaxation of safety and hygiene measures in Cancun and the high number of infections could cause a change in plans."
To save lives, we have to keep part of the population in isolation: Carlos Joaquín  LINK  
May 26.- The Governor said that in upcoming days, when we begin the gradual return to productive activities, everyone must understand clearly that things will be done differently, with hygiene and social distancing measures, to protect people's health and save lives, " said Governor Carlos Joaquín.

Hotels could start receiving guests until June 8; Xcaret until June 15  LINK  
   May 26-   The Governor of Quintana Roo explained that, at this time, only primary activities such as agriculture, livestock, beekeeping, fishing, aquaculture and construction are approved. He said that these can be put into operation as long as the preventive measures for each of the activities are complied with to the letter and 100 percent.

  He said, "We are going to be very disciplined in this scheme. We will be doing review, monitoring and supervising work when these activities begin. There is still no authorization for any others."
       In the tourism sector there is talk of the possibility of starting the opening of some hotels with 30 percent of their employees for internal activities, but not to receive tourists. The Governor said Carlos  that the expectations to receive visitors are reflected in the possibilities of reservations above 40 and 50 points, and that, on the Expedia travel portal, it is reported that the first three most searched for destinations are Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres as sun and beach vacations, while in terms of searching for flights, Cancun is the fifth place above London. However, the Governor recommended being very careful.
  He explained that, this week, he will present a plan, together with the businessmen, because obviously the health emergency is not over.
   "What we have done is flatten the curve and we will have to keep part of the population in isolation. They will not be able to go out to the streets every day, as was done previously,” warned the governor.

   Noti Isla Mujeres     

Passenger traffic has picked up at the ferry terminal. VIDEO  

   La Tertulia  

Sunday, May 24--VIDEO  More than 2000 "pantries" are systematically being delivered, house-by-house, in a coordinated effort by volunteer groups including Ruben, Feed Isla, Brenda's Isla Angels, Keys4 Life, Diana Martinez, and others. This is possible thanks to generous donations from all over the world to help the islanders while the lack of tourism has left most families without income for the past two months.
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the volunteers & donators!!


  This blog is brought to you by....

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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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