Thursday, April 23, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Thursday, April 23

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This morning's sunrise from the eastern edge of Mexico (and the backyard of MVC B&B)

4/22 -- Wednesday...There are another 44 cases in Cancun since yesterday (Tuesday) & the number of deaths increased 80% from 19 to 34. Statewide, with 55 deaths among 426 positives, that's a rate of 1 in 8.  (7.75).
On April 22, Quintana Roo reports 426 positive cases with 55 deaths and 119 recuperated, 63 are under study, 105 are hospitalized and 147 in social isolation. Isla Mujeres had one case, who recuperated.

4/23--Thursday--Statewide, five more deaths since yesterday (Wednesday), with four in Cancun (Benito Juarez) and one in Chetumal (OPB).
On April 23, Quintana Roo reports 461 positive cases with 60 deaths, 55 under study and 148 recuperated. There are 89 hospitalized and 164 in social isolation. Benito Juarez (Cancun) has had 343 positives, 38 deaths and 100 recuperated. Isla Mujeres had one case, who recuperated.

     Now that Mexico has entered Phase 3, face masks are mandatory by state law. The island is under curfew & residents in public at any time should be on an essential errand. Vehicles may only carry a passenger during certain hours, and they should sit in the back seat. These measures are enforced by checkpoints and patrols.
      Federal Undersecretary of Health, Dr Gatell, explained that Phase 3 involves the extensive spread of the virus; it is the period of maximum contagion of thousands of cases, making it more difficult to interrupt transmission. The main risk is overwhelming the health system.
      He said that if most people don't go outside during these next four weeks, "instead of an immense epidemic curve that exceeds the capacity of medical treatment, we will have an epidemic curve that is smaller in size, allowing for care of sick people, especially the critically ill.” He emphasized that the proposed date of June 1 for the reactivation of school, work and social activities will be met IF, and only if, there is compliance with the Stay At Home measures, which was echoed by the President.
      Reopening is planned in regional stages, based on transmission and incidence rates. In areas with no or low transmission rates, who are not bordered by areas with high rates, reopening could begin on May 17th, depending on how they are doing in mid-May. Our area is among those slated for June 1st.
      In late March, Pres. Obrador announced that Mexico only has about 5000 ventilators, while warning of the likelihood that this epidemic could overwhelm the country's medical system. Attempts to purchase more from China have stalled, and his hopes of buying 10,000 from the US were met with a commitment for 1000. Three planes have recently brought tons of medical equipment purchased from China, mostly PPE's (Personal Protective Equipment).
      This week, Dr Gatell explained that mortality among intubated Covid patients is as high as 80%, and a significant number of lives will be lost if the National Health System is overwhelmed. He said compliance with the "Quedate en Casa" program is essential to prevent this.
Some hospitals in the country are becoming dedicated Covid-19 facilities, while private hospitals have begun caring for beneficiaries of governmental insurance with non-coronavirus issues, (who are normally limited to specific public facilities such as the ISSSTE.)
       In Cancun, three tent-facilities are being constructed outside the Cancun General Hospital ("Jesus Kumate Rodriguez") for coronavirus patients. The first tent should be ready to begin operations on Saturday, and the other two should be finished in 15-20 more days. They will have a total capacity of 250 beds.
      There is no ICU unit at the Isla Mujeres Community Hospital, where an office has been converted into an isolation area for anyone presenting with possible Covid-19 symptoms, who are asked to call 998 135 8093 for instructions before coming to the hospital. It has about 13 beds and historically, patients with serious injuries or illnesses are treated in Cancun. A Naval boat transported the most recent critically injured patient.
      Cancun is one of Mexico's "hot spots", where the number of cases more than doubled between April 10th & 20th. Yesterday, the number of deaths increased by 80%, from 19 to 34. Cancun's first case was less than six weeks ago, and now its total exceeds 300. Dr. Gatell has estimated there are about eight cases for every one reported, according to the Sentinel model used by the Ministry of Health, which he attributed to lack of testing, particularly in those with mild symptoms. (Mexico recently purchased half a million tests, which are being distributed to the states in two stages.)
      In Quintana Roo, there have been 55 deaths among 426 confirmed cases, which is a rate of one in eight. Isla Mujeres has had one confirmed case of Covid-19 without complications in a 25 year-old male, who recovered at home.
     Stricter measures were implemented earlier in Isla Mujeres compared to most other areas of the state, including closure of parks, beaches & nonessential businesses, as well as the prohibition of alcohol sales for the past month, until further notice. (Cancun now has limited hours.) This week a "SaniTunel" was installed, which disinfects surfaces on ferry passengers and their possessions before they enter the Maritime Terminal, and they are no longer allowed to carry in alcohol purchases.
     Last week, Dr Gatell estimated that the maximum peak of infections, nationwide, could arrive May 8-10 and the first cycle of the epidemic could be completed around June 25th, if there is compliance with the Stay At Home campaign.
     Written by Ronda Winn Roberts for Isla Mujeres News & Events, sponsored by Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach...summarized from a variety of national, state, and local videos, tweets, articles, press releases, etc from the past week by the Ministry of Health, Mayor, Governor, State Police Chief, President, etc.
      The Isla Diabetes Clinic is working in coordination with the Isla Mujeres liaison for Covid-19, Dr. Xhanat Mora, collecting donations to purchase supplies for 100 kits of PPE's for medical workers. Our Paypal address is

 As of April 22, 2020, in Mexico there were 10,544 confirmed cases and 7,706 suspected cases of Covid-19 with 970 deaths. (That is 1 death per 11 cases). There are 3618 active cases (whose symptoms began in the past 14 days).

According to a study presented by the President of Mexico, Quintana Roo leads the country in compliance with "Stay at Home" measures, with a rate of 77 percent. The measures to restrict the mobility of people were reinforced on Tuesday when Mexico entered Phase Three. They include the application of five types of support and a call for solidarity in the preservation of jobs. The 77 percent level of compliance reflects the participation of the community, the coordinated work of the Mayors, and the support of the military, National Guard, and state police.
   Governor Carlos Joaquin is working to address Phase Three of this contingency, which is the most critical stage in the advance of the epidemic, when there may be a greater number of community outbreaks, with a risk of saturating and collapsing the medical facilities and services. The Governor has been supervising the conversion of health infrastructure to provide Covid-19 hospitals in all three regions of the state; north, center, and south.
   On Thursday, they were awaiting the delivery of floors, beds, and bathrooms to be installed at the Covid-19 hospital being constructed outside the Jesus Kumate Rodriguez General Hospital in Cancun.
   The Governor's work attracted acknowledgment from the GCF Task Force, a Working Group of Governors on Climate & Forestation, with representatives from Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Spain and United States. Referring to Gov. Joaquin's program to meet needs for food, water,  health, electricity and gas while families are in quarantine, the Task Force statement said, "By ensuring that basic needs are met, the governor hopes to save lives and allow people to stay at home. The State Government has also introduced innovative digital health and employment applications that would make Silicon Valley proud."  
The study quoted by President Obrador was conducted by "Funsalud".   LINK   

A delivery of 306 dispensas of groceries were made house to house by the municipal DIF social service agency, which they assembled from donations made at collection tables in the Chedraui store. The recipients included single parents, seniors, and people with disabilities, whose finances have been affected by the health contingency.
   The DIF Director, Yuseli Lopez Tec, said the program "If you need something, take it, and if you can spare something, donate" is available at the DIF facilities Monday thru Friday 10a to 1p, with products such as bread, yogurt, and produce available for people who need it. 

Infographic for Earth Day

Now more than ever it is important to stay at home. The caption says: With everyone's help we can reduce the impact of covid-19, don't leave home if it's not necessary, let's take care of our families.

TVisla Mujeres    
Yesterday, TVQRoo/TVIM published an article titled "Mandatory Protocols during the quarantine in Phase 3" ("Protocolos obligatorios durante la cuarentena en la Fase 3) which is misinformation. Those restrictions DO NOT APPLY to Isla Mujeres nor Quintana Roo.
The article doesn't include a source, but that list was published in La Nacion on April 14, for Ecuador.


  This blog is brought to you by....

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Four rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the upscale neighborhood of  Bachilleres, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
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 
 At Sunset--April 7  6:54p (sets 7:04p)
April 8     7:59  
April 9     9:04
 April 10   10:08
April 11    11:11

 Sunset  7:02-7:12pm (beginning vs end of month)
Sunrise  6:40--6:17am
Painting by Pamela Haase at MVC

     This year, the nearly new crescent moon won't interfere, and you may see as many as 18 meteors per hour, at the peak. Occasionally, this shower produces 'fireballs' (exceptionally bright meteors) and about a quarter of Lyrid meteors leave persistent trails of ionized gas that glow for a few seconds. 
       The "shooting stars" will be more frequent in the pre-dawn hours, when the radiant point is highest in the sky. Look over the Caribbean, toward the northeastern horizon, but don't worry if you don't identify the radiant point (near the star Vega)--they can be seen in all parts of the night sky. (The radiant point is where they appear to originate.)

    Watch in the pre-dawn hours of April 20, 21 & 22 (Mon-Wed).  They'll peak in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday, April 22. There may be some early on Thursday. You can also see three planets in the pre-dawn sky--Jupiter, Saturn & Mars, in the southeast. 
    There are records of this shower that go back some 2700 years, when the Chinese are said to have observed the Lyrid meteors "falling like rain" in 687 BC. The Lyrids are known for their occasional "outbursts", and observers have seen around 100 per hour in the US (1982), Japan (1945), and Greece (1922), with no predictions for this occurring this year.  
   The meteors are the debris of a comet (Thatcher) that takes 415 years to orbit the sun. They burn up in our atmosphere, about 60 miles up, while the star Vega is just a reference point and unconnected--it's trillions of times farther away. 

 HERE is an interactive sky map showing the position of the radiant (where the meteors appear to originate) in the sky above Isla Mujeres throughout the night & predawn. (Scroll forward to 10p+ when the radiant & Vega begin rising here.) You can change the date & location.

The Events section will resume when there are public events scheduled.

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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