It’s been only a year since our last two-week sojourn at the beach, except for 2020 having warped our lives, and everything around us, including our sense of time. It feels as if we’d been locked up at the ranch for eons.
The drive from San Miguel to Barra de Potosi was the usual seven-hour, 350 miles, but as we neared the Pacific beach resort of Zihuatanejo we noticed that most of the tumbled-down vendors and restaurants that flank the road were shut.
Even Zihuatanejo itself, which should have been bustling at this, the height of the winter tourist season, was dolled-up—even the yellow paint on the curbs had been touched up—but the town seemed deserted and gloomy, as if it had gotten ready for a quinceañera that was cancelled.
|All alone, unexpectedly.
The small resort where we usually stay was fussily maintained as always, but the only units occupied were the two beachfront bungalows, the other by a couple from Halifax and their mellow beige-colored poodle, Teddy.
Blanca, the chatty owner of the resort, said that around November, cancellations poured in, from customers too afraid to travel because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the political uncertainty in the U.S.
The final blow was the recently imposed requirement that everyone flying into the U.S. show proof of being virus-free. Covid tests in Mexico can cost up to $400 dollars per person.
We left San Miguel on the 19th, the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration, preoccupied that some right-wing wackos might attempt a reprise of the raid and looting of the U.S. Capitol a little more than a week before, but nothing happened.
Instead we now have a sane person in the White House, and won’t have to fear waking up each morning to news of another demented presidential Tweet or bizarre conspiracy theory, or Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye dripping down his face.
When we return to San Miguel, we’ll have to deal with a rising number of Covid infections and deaths, including among some friends and acquaintances. We had been reassuring friends in the U.S., rather smugly, that our quaint little town had been spared the worst of the pandemic. Now it turns out that even in Sosnavar, the small town where Félix lives about a mile from our ranch, has reported two Covid deaths.
|I don’t want to go like Leika.
Friends in Houston report getting the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, and that has us noodling where to get vaccinated. Mexico has announced some sort of mass inoculation plan that uses that promised Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines and also a Russian version called Sputnik V.
I’m not going near any Russian vaccine called Sputnik V. It reminds me of Sputnik II, a Russian contraption that blew up in space in 1957 carrying a hapless mutt named named Laika.
Meanwhile, things are so pleasant at our beachfront hideaway, it seems tempting o extend our stay here for a week or two longer. Given the state of her business, I’m sure Blanca wouldn’t mind.