Friday, May 8, 2020

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Friday, May 8

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THURSDAY--The municipality of Isla Mujeres remains at a total of 6 confirmed cases with one recovered, 5 active. Q Roo reports 994 positives with 167 deaths, 464 recuperated, 182 under study, 193 hospitalized, and 170 in social isolation. Benito Juarez (Cancun) reports 752 positives, 129 deaths and 357 recuperated.

DC Explorer Whale Sharks Tours Direct Providers donated ~80 pantries to vulnerable folks that included eggs, rice, coffee, pasta & other staples. When you return to Isla Mujeres, keep these kind-hearted companies in mind who helped their neighbors despite also being temporarily out of business!

Here are some donation opportunities...
Diana is a student with the Isla Scholarship program who's assisting 60+ families, delivering food & necessities-
Local restaurateur Ruben is preparing meals & providing dispensas-
Feed Isla- Providing dispensas in coordination w local agencies & organizations-
Brenda L Nash Lamonica- Buying, assembling & distributing dispensas- PayPal
Sergio Ventura and team-Feeding families & providing necessities PayPal
LYSH is providing meals-
Isla Diabetes Clinic is providing PPE's for Isla's medical workers- PayPal

"We are at the highest point of the epidemic & must strengthen measures" : Gov. Carlos Joaquin
The Governor discussed the reopening of the state when he answered questions from the citizenry on Tuesday evening. He said it is hard to set an exact date for the removal of the quarantine at this time, while the epidemic is still peaking and the curve has not yet begun decreasing. He explained that the reopening will be gradual and is planned for the first half of June.
He said it is important for people to understand that going out will never, or for some time, be done in the same manner as it was before coronavirus. The reopening will be gradual with continued preventive measures such as covering your mouth, nose & eyes, being careful, maintaining healthy distance and avoiding places where people congregate.
The gradual reopening will be carefully planned in coordination with experts in the areas of epidemiology, urban planning, business, tourism, and others who are very familiar with the issues, to come to an agreement about how to reactivate the various groups and reactivate the economy, little by little.
He said it would be very difficult if one hundred percent of the population left (quarantine) at the same time as the airports are open enough to receive tourism. The return must occur slowly, little by little, and rapid testing can be used to determine who has it and who does not. Public transportation will function at one-half or one-third capacity. In places where previously there were 1000 people, only 300 will be permitted. Measures will be taken to prevent a rebounding of illnesses. He spoke about planning projects to reactivate the economy, emphasizing the importance of starting out slowly and the hope/expectation of a vaccine and treatments. He reiterated that the gradual reopening is expected to begin in the first part of June, to start reactivating the economy.
He also spoke about the importance of not breaking quarantine for Mother's Day on Sunday, about measures regarding utilities and food assistance, and he responded to concerns about people in Cancun who aren't staying at home.
He said the number of active cases in Cancun is only in the 300's, although the number of positives is in the 900's, because that includes those who have recuperated, and those who have, unfortunately, passed away. He said this is a very manageable number of active cases, of whom only about half are in the hospitals. Of those, only 20-30%, sometimes 50% require intensive care. And of those requiring intensive care, only about 1% need a ventilator.
He said the hospital infrastructure is sufficient and that Q Roo is among the leading states in this regard, but like the rest of the country, there is a need for more personnel. He gave reassurances that generally, everything is sufficient, and he expressed his gratitude to everyone who is complying with the recommended measures.
He emphasized that if measures were relaxed at this time, the numbers would soar and we would be in the worst-case scenario, needing more than 1000 hospital beds. He reviewed the measures that have been implemented in Cancun which include checkpoints/filters, road closures, prohibiting vehicles with out-of-state plates from circulating, and many others. In addition, signs will be posted identifying the locations with high transmission rates; "points of major contact" where the likelihood of contacting Covid is higher. These include commercial centers, mercados/"flea markets", and public transportation terminals, where people who are out for essential purposes need to be particularly cautious.
He said that crime has decreased and security measures have increased and listed these. He addressed the potential problem of sargasso, listing the plans and measures that are in place, as well as the preparations for the hurricane season. He talked about students returning to classes, which increases mobility in the streets. He mentioned some possibilities and complications, and the likelihood that this will be a process done in stages among the various levels of classes, noting there are no dates available at this time.
In other communications, the Governor explained that second food assistance distribution, which is now taking place house-by-house, is a state program, despite the federal logos on the boxes. He said the state purchased the items from the federal government at discounted prices. He also noted that the contents of the boxes vary, but they are all nutritionally equivalent.
#1 He toured the mobile hospital units constructed outside the Cancun General (Kumate) Hospital, which will supply an additional 238 beds for Covid-19 patients and are nearly completed.
#2 Areas of high transmission rates in Cancun will be marked by signage
#3 Z Gas is offering a 20% discount on residential gas, which the governor said is equal to 'about 4 liters per tank'.
#4 Ten Measures to protect the families of Q Roo
#5 Six Plans of Action that are a priority
Sources: Governor's social media, primarily this video-

1. Only essential activities: health services, civil protection & police, suppliers, banks, communications, and public services of water, electricity, trash, propane, gasoline and transport.
2. Reduction of vehicle movement with checkpoints in the main streets.
3.Suspension of public meetings. Stay at Home!
4. Mandatory use of face masks.
5. Mandatory healthy distancing of a meter and a half in pubic spaces including terminals, gas stations, and propane stations.
6. Shopping for supplies should be done at the store nearest to your home.
7. Answer the Covid-19 questionnaire once a week at the given website.
8. Centers for supplies (groceries) must employ extreme sanitary measures.
9. Only essential businesses may be open, with sanctions for those who don't comply.
10. Alcohol is only sold 10a-5p, with closure and license cancellation for those who don't comply. (Isla Mujeres has been under a municipal dry law since late March.)
1. Protect those who continue providing services including providing supplies, medical personnel, police, etc.
2. Safeguard the most vulnerable including seniors and those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.
3. Increase capacity for medical attention including more hospitals, staff, and medications.
4. Reinforce medical attention with more personal and capacity for Covid-19 cases.
5. Reorganize mobility in the cities and continue with Healthy Distance to slow down the spread.
6. Reactivate our economy by protecting the businesses and local jobs.

Yesterday (Thursday)'s sunrise from MVC B&B

WEDNESDAY--The report for Isla Mujere is unchanged with a total of 6 reported cases, of which one has recovered.
On May 6, Quintana Roo reports 979 positives with 157 deaths, 144 under study, 464 recuperated, 166 in social isolation and 192 hospitalized. Cancun (Benito Juarez) reports 740 positives, 119 deaths and 357 recuperated.

From the Director of the Isla Mujeres Community Hospital:
May 2020: The worst stage of this pandemic awaits us, my viewpoint is that we are not nearly over it; we are entering the maximum peak of the virus that causes Covid-19. Take extreme precautions, Isleños, don't go out without face masks, don't touch your face, wash your hands frequently with soap & water, disinfect all of your purchases with a wet cloth of diluted bleach & water, please don't visit your family because you love them, don't break the rules nor because it's Mother's Day so you don't regret it later. Let's stop contagions together; let's not let our guard down Isleños, we still cannot.
The graphic says-Mom & Grandma: Because I love you, this year I won't visit you on May 10th. I don't want to make you sick. I want you to live much longer to enjoy your company. Kisses, Hugs, and Lots of Health

The Governor says 40 warning signs will be posted in the 6 areas of Cancun where the highest potential dispersion points for COVID-19 have been identified by a geo-reference system used by the state government, so that those who must leave home for an essential activity are aware

Isla parades & cabalgatas won't be the same without this huge handsome Friesian dancing down the streets. RIP Triton.

Thank-you to everyone who donated & coordinated this effort to help protect Isla's medical personnel!!

 "The Isla Diabetes Clinic Club Pro-Paciente Diabetico Isla Mujeres A.C. is so honored to continue to be a part of the successful collaboration between the municipality of Isla Mujeres, medical professionals and non profit groups on the island. Thank you to all the people that created and assisted with this initiative: presidente Juan Carrillo, the COVID - 19 prevention liaison Dra Xhanat Tze Mora, Island Time Music Fest, Katie Cain, Dr. Todd G Pierce and the director of our A.C. Geovanny Avalos. Gracias to all the generous community who donated with open hearts and love to keep the medical staff at the Community Hospital of Isla Mujeres and ISSSTE protected with PPE's, transport capsules and other safety equipment. Please send donations to PayPal:  "

On May 5, Quintana Roo reports 956 positive cases of Covid-19 with 144 deaths, 128 cases under study, and 457 recuperated. There are 160 in social isolation and 195 are hospitalized. Benito Juarez (Cancun) reports 723 cases with 106 deaths and 357 recuperated. In the municipality of Isla Mujeres, the reported cases remain at 6 positives, with 1 recuperated and zero deaths.
#2 Today, Cancun reported the highest number of daily deaths so far (22). The second highest was six days ago at 18.
#3 Cases in Cancun doubled in the past 11-12 days. The state's cases also doubled in 11-12 days.
#4 & 5 This morning Dr. Gatell said the national rate of reported cases is doubling every six days, which indicates the country's curve is flattening and the epidemic is slowing down, and is attributed to the mitigation efforts. He emphasized the need to continue these measures, estimating they have reduced the number of cases by about 70 percent.

National Ministry of Health says "Mexico is flattening the curve & the epidemic is slowing down"
     At this morning's national press conference, Undersecretary of Health, Dr Lopez-Gatell said...
According to an Oxford university data site, "The epidemic is slowing down in Mexico; the doubling rate of confirmed cases is every six days, comparable to the trajectory of Switzerland and Sweden. We are flattening the curve, which means that if we had not made the massive interventions of the National Program of Healthy Distance, we would have had many more cases in a very rapid manner. We have reduced contagions between 60 and 75%."
     "Let no one be confused, this does not mean that it is exactly flat, what it means is that we would have had many more cases if the mitigation measures had not been implemented" .
     “Initially, Mexico had a doubling of cases every two days. By day 40, we had a change and now there is doubling every 6 days, which means that the epidemic is slowing down. We have flattened the curve, but no one should get confused; this doesn't mean that it is exactly flat, because that would mean that we don't have an epidemic; what it means is that we would have had many more cases if mitigation measures hadn't been implemented.”
     In regard to available beds for Covid-19 patients, he said that nationally, 31% of the beds are occupied, while in Mexico City 69% are occupied, and explained their plans to expand capacity there.
     Regarding deaths, he said that since the start of the pandemic there has been a notable predominance of men over women, noting, "The male sex has a greater probability of complications and death, and the impact of chronic diseases is striking."
       Regarding mortality in association with different categories of patients, he said that among the 14,907 outpatients, 223 deaths have occurred, which is 1.5 percent. Of the 3244 that were hospitalized and considered stable, 441 died ,which is 14 percent. Of the 5722 hospitalized in serious condition, 1073 died, which is 19 percent. Of the 1032 patients who were intubated, 534 did not survive which is 52 percent. He explained that many of the intubated patients died within a short time after admission, who were in very grave condition.
      President Obrador said, "If we do not relax the discipline we will have good results."

In coordination between the state police and the municipal government, municipal police officers are providing face masks to the general public, principally at the supermarkets, checkpoints, and  other places where there is a primary need, while this contingency lasts. The municipal chief of police spoke about not letting our guard down, and the importance of staying at home, which is the best way to prevent Covid-19.

To support the fishermen, the municipal government will purchase 60 kilos of fish twice a week during the month of May, from the five local cooperatives. The fishermen are allowed to carry out 'coastal fishing' within four miles of the island, with a maximum of 3-4 fishermen per boat. The fish will be used at the dining room for the police who are lodged on the island to provide security during the coronavirus health contingency. (That's 264 pounds of fish per week, an average of 88 pounds three times a week.)
       The municipal Director of Fishing Promotion, Policarpo Pastrana Portillo, said that each time they go out to sea, the fishermen sanitize the ice chests, fishing equipment, and boats. He noted that they have taken courses on responsible, sustainable management of fishing resources, taught by CONAPESCA (National Commission of Aguaculture and Fishing)

Soon we will return to enjoying Isla Mujeres, for now, Stay At Home
If you need to go out, don't forget to respect healthy distance, 1.5 meters. The caption says if you need to leave home, wear face masks and maintain distance between people which helps minimize the possible contagion of Covid-19.
 Slide show of recommendations--If you must leave home, wear face masks, maintain distance between people, no greeting with handshakes or kisses, avoid touching surfaces, cover your sneezes or coughs, Let's take care of our health.

Follow the measures of prevention to avoid the contagion of Covid-19

Video of the state Secretary of Health speaking about methods of prevention when a person in your household has Covid-19, which include sleeping in separate beds, maintaining social distance, disinfecting common surfaces frequently, not sharing dishes and utensils, frequent laundering of clothing and sheets, venitilating the home, calling the given numbers for a fever of higher than 38C or difficulty breathing. putting medical and hazardous trash like used face masks and tissues in separate bags and labeling them, clean bathroom fixtures with bleach and water between uses. Then she gives general recommendations like frequent hand washing and only going out when necessary.

Free psychological help is available 24 hours at these phone numbers-
VIDEO of the Mayor explaining that Phase 3 of Covid-19 involves spreading within communities, therefore it is extremely important to follow the recommendation to stay at home. He explains how important this is right now when rapid spreading is likely. He answers questions:
     He says the fishermen can fish, with care, but diving isn't recommended at this time, which can causes more problems like decompression, and these are exceptional times for the health system. He mentions another round of food assistance is coming from the state, and it is important that you stay at home (he says that a number of times throughout the video, with emphasis), which is necessary to get through this more rapidly. "Together we'll move forward"

An effective method for combating the virus is frequently cleaning and disinfecting areas that are used in common.

Being in Phase 3 does NOT mean:
>That the virus is more lethal
>That the country will be militarized
>That there will be a shortage of food

From  Por Esto :

As part of the preparation for the relaunch of all the destinations in Quintana Roo, including Isla Mujeres,  attractive discounts are being offered, starting at the beginning of June, if the cases of Covid-19 decrease in the expected time frame. 
     Discounts of up to 50 percent on hotel room reservations are being offered once the health contingency for Covid-19 is lifted and Isla Mujeres is reopened, according to  municipal Director of Tourism Gustavo Rodríguez Orozco. He said hotels that have resumed promotions and are offering special prices "for when they are allowed to operate" include Mía, Beló and Izla.
   Institutional promotions for Isla Mujeres on social networks have featured the slogan, "The beauty of Isla Mujeres will not change, come back when you can because we will be waiting for you; for now, stay home." 
   The large hotel chains in the municipality, with agreements with various airlines and travel agencies, are offering two-for-one deals that feature a free flight with a purchased flight, and two nights lodging free with the purchase of two nights.  
  The State Tourism Department (SEDETUR) is promoting the municipalities of Q Roo with a list of  free and discounted attractions including water sports, shopping centers, parks and restaurants. 
   The hotel associations of Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Isla Mujeres launched a joint promotion to resume tourist activated. This is because Isla Mujeres has become a preferred location to visit on recreational (day) trips to experience the richness of marine life, then to shop and eat on the island. 
  Mr. Rodriguez Orozco said Isla Mujeres plans to attend the Pueblo Magico Fair II in San Luis Potosi on November 26-29 to encourage more national tourists to visit. 
   In regard to the plan for certification of businesses participating in the promotion, the head of the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR), Miguel Torruco said in an online statement--We are working together with the Ministry of Health, since the beginning of the contingency with the issuance of the guide for actions for the tourism sector titled: "Strategy of Preparation and Containment in the Covid-19 Health Crisis" which has been distributed to more than 600 companies through the training sector of the Ministry of Health, since March, as announced by SEDETUR, regarding the "Plan of We Will Move Foreward ”, as part of the state's economic recovery, once the health crisis is over. LINK  

The customers of HSBC who had their ATM cards hacked during late March and April who have not had resolution are concerned, saying it is difficult to communicate via phones and online, which is attributed to the Covid-19 contingency. Por Esto estimates there were at least 200 people affected, including municipal employees and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry, and that about 50 have not had resolution yet.
 There is also a complaint from a fisherman regarding a transaction at the Azteca bank and an additional charge after he paid off his debt on a motorcycle. He says he was told to take his complaint to Cancun, but he declines because he is elderly and this would put him at risk of Covid-19 contagion. He is planning to contact a CONDUSEF agent to complain about the bank. LINK

   The Pro-Diabetic Club of Isla Mujeres and other associations working in coordination with the City, delivered 25 complete PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) kits to the hospital. Each kit contained a surgeon's uniform, gown, tyvak suit, N95 mask, glasses, gloves, boots and hat, according to Geovanny de la O Ávalos, president of the diabetic organization.
   He explained that with the health contingency, now more than ever, they are concerned about the association's patients, since diabetes is a risk factor for those who suffer from the illness, so we cannot take our eyes off the ball. He said, "We support diabetic patients by providing them with equipment and strips to measure their blood sugars, as well as making sure that the Community Hospital has the necessary supplies to check them."
      He said because diabetics are people at risk, they shouldn't leave their homes, which is why, on the Diabetic Pro-Patient Club's Facebook page (Isla Diabetes Clinic) they try to offer them the necessary instructions for self-care.
         "We are already preparing to schedule our next Diabetes Clinic, which could be at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, depending on how the situation is, but we were not impassive in the face of this contingency," he said.
    He explained that together with Ms. Karen Rosenberg, one of the main promoters of the Club, they are doing what is necessary, as much as possible within the limitations of this situation, to try to reduce the risks that the diabetic patients experience.
       He recalled that in recent days, with coordination between the City of Isla Mujeres through the municipal liaison Dr. Xhanat Tse González Mora, the Pro-Patient Diabetic Club and a citizen initiative were able to provide a donation of three transport modules to the Community Hospital and one to the Naval Hospital.
    "This collaboration between private organizations and the municipal government is in response to the need to increase prevention measures and protocols during Phase 3, when a greater number of asymptomatic cases and cases with mild symptoms are expected, as well as severe cases," he concluded.  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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