IWSG April 1: Your World?

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

The awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG are Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

QUESTION: How are things in your world?

MY ANSWER: “Attention the fleet, attention the fleet,” a male voice commands from the VHF radio. The vast majority of folks living on boats leave their VHF radio on 24-hours a day. This how we exchange information and call for help.

My world is a floating sailboat docked in a Mexican marina about 3 to 4 days drive south of the US/Mexico border. The aroma of fresh coffee fills the cabin and squawk of squabbling sea gulls fad into the back ground as I stare at CNN in an attempt to learn the latest about the CoronaVirus.

The announcer on our VHF grabbed my attention. The speaker goes on to say, “All ports in Mexico are closed.” Apparently, the local government finally realizes visitors spread the virus.

Good friends returned to their home country and rarely heard from. Even with social networking, I guess out of sight, out of mind. They’re busy with their own life, so easy to forget those they left behind. This is an annual ritual. This year was especially painful because I lowered my guard and formed a close friendship.

My cheerful spirit dived under the covers seeking to escape uncertainty. I pop back up and read stories about medical teams exposed to COVID-19 and their pleas for protective gear fall on deaf ears. Government so slow to react, both in Mexico and USA.

I’m less focused. I want my life back. I want to walk in the outside in sunshine. A local doctor advised: no walking outdoors. The US doctors advise time in the fresh air. Although, they caution social distancing is still required.

I screwed up my courage and decided to write about my world and fears. Maybe, exposure will stop them from twisting my dreams into nightmares.

I was trained to face facts and mentally focus on the desired result. This time, I struggle to retain my internal balance. A wise person said, “Focus on the how.” I’m trying.

Local news reports are in Spanish. The English translation says: tests must be ordered by a doctor and reserved for folks with active symptoms. Just because someone was exposed, they won’t get tested. I’m convinced without more testing the number infected is under reported. Similar to certain areas in the USA.

Rick and I are in the high-risk group. Rick lives with underlying medical conditions. Without exercise his body stiffens and less oxygen in his lungs results in less stamina and reduced immune system.

I recently posted blogs about clogged arteries in my heart and neck. As i recover, I need to build my endurance. Now days, I tend to sit on the couch and either tap the keys or click to read text messages.

Mexico’s slow to recommend social distancing and need for frequent hand washing. It’s hard to do as most live with extended families live under one roof.

Food handlers rarely wear masks. If they have one, it’s usually around their mouth or chin. I wonder if other food prep folks around the world are equally lax?

Water is a precious resource on most vessels. To conserve water, I shower at the marina. Yesterday, I realized putting my shower stuff on the bench was contaminating everything. I view every door handle and all touch points as potential virus cesspools.

I wash my hands constantly. Rubbing hand sanitizer is a regular ritual. Downside? My chronic eczema thanked my efforts by flaring up.

Refrigerators on a sailboat are notoriously small. I stocked up on pears and apples leaving no room for bagels. The last two developed enough mold to cure the CoronaVirus. If I only knew how to transform fuzzy green and gray stuff into a life-saving serum.

We decided to strap on our three-year old N95 masks and walk outside. We will practice social distance. Now I read these masks can expire? I’m told wearing my mask will help prevent the spread of the virus, but not protect me?

I’m back…I just peaked at the online news. Grim. Tearful pleas for help. States bidding against each other for masks, ventilators, etc. Why in heavens name, don’t they join together and make a collective bid? Then distribute the stuff among them? Why hasn’t FEMA taken over the supply chain and kept a lid on the prices?

Thousands of folks flock our sandy beaches during Semana santa (Easter holy week). Similar to Florida Spring Break, although this time it’s Puerto Vallarta, MX. Most with little regard to social distancing and washing hands.

Mexico is waking up. Local governors are ordering self-quarantine through the end of April; possibly continue into May or beyond. As of today, charter boats filled with tourist are prohibited from going whale watching in the bay.

No paychecks for hard working folks. I’m listening for a local group to announce a food drive. If nothing presents itself, I’ll send a few inquiries.

In a week or two, we will be forced to go to the grocery store. I’m doing my best to be prepared and smart. I’m focused on the how.

I’ve spilled my guts and feel better for it. I’m curious what changes we’ll write about in our April IWSG blog hop.

Before I close I must tell you what I’m grateful:

  • My husband and I enjoy each other’s company.
  • My daughter tested negative for the CoronaVirus.
  • A good friend and mentor share Joy through in regular contact.
  • The La Cruz Writer’s Group and monthly Zoom Web Conferences.
  • Insecure Writers Support Group for giving me the opportunity to share my insecurities with fellow writers.
  • I just learned how to clean my phone.
  • I can still taste and smell…so I’m free of Covid-19, right?
  • An English online news paper: Puerto Vallarta Daily News.
  • Excellent local medical information posted by Pam Thompson-Webb.
  • A fellow on the docks said to call if we needed anything.
  • A simple text exchange restored a close friendship.
  • My gratitude list is alive and growing.

Request: I’m seeking positive podcasts and calming medications. Any suggestions?