March, 2020

I started writing this on March 22nd. Never in my life has my thinking changed so much so fast. I am going to try to reconstruct my experience as best I can utilizing my emails and browser history. And just now Pat found a bug infestation in our dry pasta which we had to clean up. And now back to writing.

I often look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average so I probably did on most days this month. The year to date chart shows a dramatic decline but better perspective is gained from looking at 1 year, 5 year and 10 year charts. I am grateful that I sold our balanced mutual funds last year and invested in income funds.


Sunday, March 1

A review of my emails informs me that I was dealing with some difficult Condominio matters. I will probably not have time to tell that story. Otherwise, the day appears to be normal.

Monday, March 2

From my browser history, I was already following the coronavirus story. I am not sure when I first noticed something going on, probably sometime in January.

BBC Report: 210 Dead In Iran From Coronavirus. How Many Are Infected?
How Iran Became a New Epicenter of the Coronavirus Outbreak

I had a long dinner with my friend Peter Lawrence in a local restuarant. His United flight to Singapore had been cancelled. More than anyone I have ever known, Peter does not worry about anything outside of his control.

Tuesday, March 3

We had a Condominio meeting. And I was reading stories about coronavirus. And I watched the Super Tuesday primary coverage on CNN.

Coronavirus crisis underlines eight of Trump's failings as a leader

Wednesday, March 4

Pat and I went to visit our friend Glorine Barnhardt who is facing a challenging health issue.

Thursday, March 5

Coronavirus unites a divided China in fear, grief and anger at government
Predicting the coronavirus outbreak: How AI connects the dots to warn about disease threats

Friday, March 6

I sent an email to my friend Dusan advising him that he was mentioned in a recent book report I wrote.

The Moves That Matter - A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life

And my coronavirus readings...

China Alters Civil Society Rules, Allowing More Groups to Respond to Coronavirus
The Coronavirus and Templeton’s Four Dangerous Words

Saturday, March 7

I sent an email to my friend Henk Wilms advising him that I had published my review of his book on my website.

What the Hell?! An Unexpected Journey of Amazing Grace...

Pat and I attended the Lakeside Little Theatre presentation of ALL ABOUT EVE, presented in affiliation with National Theatre Live.  

Global Coronavirus Infections Now Over 100,000

Sunday, March 8

Pat and I attended the Democrats Abroad Film Festival presentation The Panama Papers. Every seat in the theatre was occupied. Life was still normal.

Monday, March 9

Pat, who is not normally an activist, decided to stay home because it was A Day Without Women. I went for a walk and everything seemed normal. Only Diane Pearl Colecciones was closed with a sign indicating support for the day.

Italy’s Coronavirus Response Is a Warning From the Future

With this article I was beginning to understand the seriousness of the situation.

I also contacted a local service provider about some repair and maintenance items which needed attention. I was working from a list of things to do in 2020, some still very important. But these things need to wait until later in the year.

Tuesday, March 10

I had arranged to meet someone expressing an interest in Lakeside Pathfinders. The coffee shop was closed so he invited me to his home. We had a great visit and most of the conversation was between me and his wife, who has a fascinating granddaughter.

Wednesday, March 11

Thursday, March 12

I think that this was the day I began looking at the WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) situation reports.

Pat and I went to Sentido for brunch. She likes to try new restaurants around Lakeside and we were pleased with this one. On the way home we went to view art on exhibit for an auction near the Auditorio later in the day.

What the coronavirus emergency declaration means for Canada

The above article was out of date by the time I read it.

This was the date that the coronavirus story went mainstream in a big way. The NBA suspended its season and the PGA cancelled several upcoming events. I am a fan of both basketball and golf. Tom Hanks announced that he tested positive. I have long admired him.

Friday, March 13

On this day we received the LCS Bulletin -- COVID-19/Coronavirus from the Lake Chapala Society. This is the first strong indication that local behavior was beginning to quickly change. Also on this day I began focusing more on articles about coronavirus. I will not record all the links from my browser history. However, I will link to articles which I found particularly meaningful.

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Compromising on Corona

My friend Henk Wilms first made me aware of George Friedman.

Saturday, March 14

Sunday, March 15

We had planned to attend Democrats Abroad Film Festival presentation but Pat did not want to go. I was curious and wanted to observe firsthand the change in attendance from the previous week. The lobby was very noticeably less busy. I immediately spotted our friends Brian and Pam and we chatted. They were wondering what to do and were considering leaving Lakeside in a couple of days, heading home to Colorado. Larry Pihl spotted me and joined us for a short while. He was dispending hand sanitizer to everyone. He also informed us the Democrats Abroad was cancelling the rest of the season after the showing on this date.

The Coronavirus and Right-Wing Postmodernism

Monday, March 16

On the 16th and 17th we made our garage available to workers and neighbors for the CENSO NACIONAL 2020 // MEXICAN NATIONAL CENSUS 2020.

I forwarded an email to Pat from Lakeside Little Theatre received the previous day. It announced that presentations were being postponed until April 10th. Patrons unable or unwilling to attend performances were asked to donate to LLT rather than ask for refunds.

Tuesday, March 17

We received  LCS Bulletin II - Important from the Lake Chapala Society. Programs and activities were being suspended. The AGM was being postponed.

Our friends Larry and Glorine shared the article below with us and others on their mailing list.

“To The Rest Of The World, You Have No Idea What’s Coming”: Man Lists 6 Stages Italy Has Gone Through

Wednesday, March 18

I sent the (lightly edited) email below to Pat's sister Linda.

Pat and I are fine. But we live in a different world and there is no going back to normal. The streets of Ajijic look normal but I do not think that will last for much longer. I talked to a neighbor this morning and his wife is in a state of panic and wants to go home to Canada NOW! He would like to stay here. In a drugstore lineup we talked to a German lady scheduled to stay here until the end of April but the German government has advised citizens to go home asap before the border closes.

BRAVO! theatre has just cancelled its current production. Pat and I have tickets for tomorrow, but they are facing financial challenges and are asking for donations rather than giving refunds. We heard a rumor that the Governor of the state of Jalisco is about to close all restaurants. We have just stocked up on coffee beans.

We are very grateful that we sold our mutual funds last year. Had we not we would be forced to sell our house sooner than planned. I think the real estate market here will go from boom to bust almost immediately. Who knows when or if it will recover. We have neighbors on our street who recently made a decision to move back to the USA but now they may not be able to sell their house. The man wanted to leave Mexico but his wife wanted to stay here, perhaps no choice now.

My new cell phone is a Samsung A10 and I am very happy with it. I will soon buy the same model for Pat.

Let's stay in touch a bit more often during these very uncertain times.

Thursday, March 19

We received the email below.

Dear Canadian,

You are receiving this email because you are registered with the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) service.   Ensuring the health and safety of Canadians, both at home and abroad, is our top priority.

Please be advised that Westjet is planning additional flights to Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo on Thursday March 19, 2020. These flights will depart Mexico and fly to Calgary following the schedule below:

11:42 – Flight WS4102 leaving from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Calgary (YYC) – Arrival at 16:39   

12:12 – Flight leaving from Puerto Vallarta (PVR) to Calgary (YYC) – Arrival at 17:09   

13:50 – Flight WS4101 leaving from Mazatlán (MZT) to Calgary (YYC) – Arrival at 19:25   

17:35 – Flight WS4104 leaving from Manzanillo (ZLO) to Calgary (YYC) – Arrival at à 22:38   

These flights are organized by WestJet.  Priority will be given to WestJet customers who have had flights delayed or canceled.  In order to ensure your seat on this flight you need to purchase a ticket online at West Jet Airline’s website at: . 

Please note that the Embassy cannot assist you in making your booking.


•             Canadians will need a valid Canadian passport to board this plane.

•             Air carriers are required to health assess passengers prior to departure and not board those who are symptomatic. 

•             Canadians appearing with symptoms of coronavirus will not be allowed to board the plane. 

•             You should make alternate plans for the eventuality that you are not able to board the plane.

•             Upon arrival in Canada, you will be asked to self-isolate for 14-days.

Please share this important information with other Canadian citizens in your area. Encourage them to register with ROCA ( to enable them to receive important safety updates from the Government of Canada.

We will continue to send news about any development to all Canadians registered abroad as well as on our social media pages.

I sent the email below to my sister Nikki.

Yesterday the State of Jalisco closed street markets, no Wednesday market yesterday. Rumors, which I hope are true, are that restaurants will soon be closed. AMLO does not yet appear to realize how serious this is and the federal government seems to be doing very little.

Pat and I have made a decision to shelter in place effective tomorrow. Today we make a trip to the bank and to Walmart. After that we will use home delivery sources and be extremely careful, wash, wash, wash hands after all contact.

I went to my bank, HSBC, to get cash. When I arrived I first thought that the branch was closed. There was a long line of people at the ATM machines and the partition to the bank itself was down. I soon learned that they were open but restricting the number of customers allowed in. Soon the partition was raised and I did my business.

We receive an email from Larry and Glorine with the link below. I soon learned that the creator of this website is someone that I know, the webmaster who supports the Ajijic Book Club website and my personal website. Lakeside is a small community with two degrees of separation, as I often characterize it.

A CoronaVirus (COVID-19) resource for the Lake Chapala area

I sent an email to Ajijic Book Club members cancelling meetings for the foreseeable future.

And from my own readings...

Why Coronavirus Is Humanity’s Wake-Up Call

Friday, March 20

Pat and I discontinued our regular morning walk through the plaza and along the malecon. We began walking around the neighborhood instead. We are now minimizing our contact with other people.

I received the following email from the Lake Chapala society.

The belief is that the coronavirus is about to show increased impact on Mexico over the coming weeks. Mexico is a place so many of us Expats have found and now call home. Mexico welcomes us with open arms and provides us with wonderful restaurants, vacation destinations to explore, a culture that is vibrant and people that have been here for us. From restaurant workers, housekeepers, gardeners, taxi drivers, and new friends to the wonderful people that work the grounds and programs of the Lake Chapala Society.

These grounds cost money to maintain. The handful of grounds staff have worked hard over recent months to really bring the campus back to life and reclaim our legacy. They are all currently working extra hard to sanitize all surfaces, repeatedly. With the oncoming virus, we are doing everything we can to keep these employees so they can bring home paychecks to support their families. At the same time, our income is slipping as classes, bus trips, and events are being postponed. These are the very dollars that keep the campus open. Without them, our campus would have continued to deteriorate. We are trying the best we can to keep some elements of the organization in place. Our classes, events, trips and programs will resume as soon as it is safe. But we need your support now more than ever.

We are confronting a generation-defying moment, and there is something you can do right now. Will you consider going online now and making a gift to the LCS annual giving campaign, or if you are out and around town, dropping off a donation at our office? These donations will allow us to retain our staff and maintain the campus for your enjoyment going forward. Donate Now

If you have paid in advance for tickets for a bus trip or to the Blues Fest, or registered for a class, please consider turning the price you paid into a donation. This can make a big difference.  If that doesn’t work for you, please consider accepting our offer of a credit that you can use anyway you wish going forward. It can be applied for future classes, events, bus trips or even toward adding time to your membership. No matter what you paid for, it can be applied to any of our activities. The nature of a nonprofit is that we do not have profits available that we can use to pay our bills and keep things going when income declines.

This coronavirus will have a big impact on our community as it is worldwide. Now more than ever we need the understanding, patience and generosity of our constituents. If the LCS and this community have benefited your life, now is a good time to return the favor. Please think about what you can do to help right now. It matters.

The article below hit me hard emotionally and brought tears to my eyes. Pat was nearby and I explained what I was reacting to. I also advised her not to read the article and she didn't.

Coronavirus: Italy's hardest-hit city wants you to see how COVID-19 is affecting its hospitals


I sent an email to Linda.

I will share some thoughts with you that I have shared with very few people, mostly just with Pat.

Last year I discovered the Dark Mountain. This was a group of young people who, about ten years ago, came to the conclusion that we have built a civilization that is unsustainable and will collapse. The basic idea is very easy to grasp. The whole economic system is built on the need for growth. That growth increases carbon emissions, causes global warming and will eventually wreck the environment. To save the environment we must wreck the economy. To save the economy we must wreck the environment. Either way, civilization collapses, no way to escape.

I began looking deeper into this line of thinking. I found more and more people coming to the same conclusion. And they were not part of the lunatic fringe. They see crisis everywhere. An environmental crisis, an economic crisis, a political crisis, a technological crisis, a mental health crisis, a meaning crisis. And they seemed to me to be making more sense than most other people.

By the end of last year I became convinced that most of us are living in denial and only a very few can think clearly. At the same time, I  was hopeful that collapse would not come in our lifetime. Unless global warming somehow spiraled out of control, a possibility, we would experience a slow but steady worsening of our global situation. Civilization would probably die with a whimper, not a bang. Or so I thought.

Then came the coronavirus. By the way, I read a report this morning from a hospital in Italy that brought me to tears. It is so bad there, not an article I want Pat to read.

Every weakness in the civilization we have built will now be exposed. It is all very fragile. Yes, we are probably witnessing the end of the world as we know it. But we could be wrong. It is possible that somehow civilization will live, only to die some other time.

I just watched a financial expert on CNN advocate for a 5 trillion dollar aid package. It may work as it did in 2008 but I am not optimistic. There is a forecast that unemployment will reach 24% in the next three months.

I think deep down all of us have realized for some time that something is very, very wrong with the world.

What needs to change? EVERYTHING. Where is change needed? EVERYWHERE. Who needs to change? EVERYBODY. When will it change? I DO NOT KNOW. No one has the answers and those who think they do are kidding themselves. There are some who are hopeful that out of chaos something new and better will EMERGE. That is the best we can do.

I am not blaming anyone. I am part of the problem. As a young man I just wanted to make progress, to get ahead. Almost everyone alive wanted the same thing. Almost no one saw the big picture and where this would lead.

Remarkably, I am not depressed as I write this. I am not anxious. Mostly I am sad. But I am also grateful. All things considered, I have had a good life.

I sent an email to Lakeside Pathfinders members cancelling meetings for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, March 21

A good friend sent me a link to a wonderful video which I in turn posted on the Lakeside Pathfinders facebook group page.

Imagined letter from COVID-19 to humans

I also watched the video below.

Sensemaking the Coronavirus, Rebel Wisdom

The video lead me to the article below.

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

Sunday, March 22

 I watched the video below and shared the link with my brother Peter. This video is very convincing. Rebel Wisdom was a source of knowledge that I discovered last year.

Covid 19 Situational Assessment, Risk Landscape & Possible Solutions, Daniel Schmachtenberger.

And I read a second article by Tomas Pueyo, who has suddenly emerged as an influencer.

Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance

I posted the above article on the Ajijic Book Club and Lakeside Pathfinders facebook group pages.

I have watched several White House coronavirus task force briefings on CNN and I am struck by the contrast in tone compared to the articles I am reading and the videos I am watching.

The Lake Chapala Society sent out a notice that they are launching a Reaching Out program for people living alone. I volunteered. From my experience in the mental health field, I am quite aware of impact isolation can have, especially in stressful times.

Monday, March 23

Pat and I now are developing new routines. Our walks around the neighborhood only lasted for two days. We decided to stay home and we now both utilize our treadmill on the back terrace.

My priority this morning was to pay my Telmex bill online rather than making the short walk to their office. I needed assistance from Google Translate and navigation on the site was slow. But I was successful on my first attempt.

Pat and I have now decided to have coffee together on the terrace after she has her late breakfast.

I worked on this diary and Pat worked on setting up for online ordering from Walmart.

In the evening I received a message from Nikki asking me to phone Mom. Of course I said I would but I fretted about what we would talk about. Nikki said Mom would be pleased just to hear my voice.

Tuesday, March 24

I am now current with this project and my intention is to add to it daily. Each day I will describe the previous day. So I am writing on Wednesday about Tuesday.

My priority was to phone my mother. Our Skype connection was poor, which caused me some anxiety, and we did not talk long. I called her again using my cell phone which was much better. Mom said she was fine and she sounded fine. She misses visitors, my brother Bill who visited weekly in normal times and my sister Nikki who tried to visit as much as possible. Her days are long. She continues to put together jigsaw puzzles and she continues to watch the news. But she did not seem to know much about coronavirus outside of Canada. All I told her is that it is everywhere and it is bad.

After Pat was finished with our treadmill I used it. We have a late breakfast followed by coffee together on the terrace. This is now our new morning routine.

My cousin Izzy posted a very sad picture of the Italian Prime Minister crying but a day later that appears to be fake news. Likewise, on our excellent local coronavirus information website is a report of the first local case. A day later the report is denied. Such is the environment in which we live.

Linda sent me a link to an article in The Los Angeles Times which she received from a friend. I read the article and it provides an interesting alternative picture which seems credible. It prompted me to do further research and I found a similar article on CTech, a source I am not familiar with.

Why this Nobel laureate predicts a quicker coronavirus recovery: ‘We’re going to be fine’
Experts Could Be Wrong About the Coronavirus

I watched the daily White House briefing. Trump would like the USA to get back to normal soon. He hopes that in most areas the churches will be full on Easter Sunday.

Coronavirus does not resolve the tension between competing objectives driven by competing values. Should the health of some be sacrificed for the wealth of others? Should wealth be sacrificed for the health of others? Polarization does not disappear in a crisis. Trump and others seemed motivated primarily by economic considerations.

For some reason I felt motivated to give some of my hard cover books away rather than have them just sit on my bookselves. I offered eight books to ABC members and two were picked up within hours. I have become quite comfortable with ebooks.

Wednesday, March 25

My priority this morning was to pay my Telcel bill online. It was not easy but I got it done. This type of challenge often triggers irritation and anxiety in me.  But with the coronavirus crisis I am more on guard against mood swings than before. I feel a heightened sense of a need to carefully manage my mental health. So far so good.

Early in the afternoon, I did my online banking, paying our credit card balances. I normally do this on the 15th of each month but was distracted this time. We hope to use our credit cards for online purchases in the near future.

 I will focus more on my readings today with some commentary on the articles capturing my current thoughts.

An Antidote to Helplessness and Disorientation: The Great Humanistic Philosopher and Psychologist Erich Fromm on Our Human Fragility as the Key to Our Survival and Our Sanity

I am an admirer of Maria Popova and I really like her blog content and writing Style. I am interested in what she has to say in a time of crisis. She lives in New York City which is being hit hard by coronavirus. This article is about hope and fragility, both important topics. "What makes us human is not the fact of that elemental vulnerability, which we share with all other living creatures, but the awareness of that fact — the way existential uncertainty worms the consciousness capable of grasping it."

Why Coronavirus Relief Needs to be Permanent

"It’s time to push our leaders to replace their short-term view of maintaining until things can go back to normal (as in, the conditions that make pandemics possible) with the bigger vision of a sustainable society that always cares for what its members need."  A resolution of a big struggle is looming. On one side are those wanting a return to normal and the status quo as much as possible. On the other side are those wanting radical change and soon.

Giorgio Agamben’s Coronavirus Cluelessness

"The question — "What should I do?"— is, after all, a variant of the first philosophical question, namely, how should I live?" All of us will be forced to confront anew the matter of how we should live. Partly because I had a major existential crisis at midlife which resulted in big changes to my worldview, I feel ready for more change.

800 Medical Specialists Caution Against Draconian Measures

I want to remain open to other points of view and I read this article published on Tuesday by AIER. It looks credible. It looks impressive. But the article, in my opinion, is so misleading that I think it is very irresponsible. I clicked on the link to the letter written by the specialists. Again, it appears to be credible and impressive. But the open letter was dated March 2nd and the article was written March 24th. The three week gap between the two is very significant. In a crisis full of unknowns, an opinion based on three week old data of very limited value is highly suspect. This article is driven by pure libertarian ideology.

Modeling the US Reaction to the Coronavirus

This is an article with much insight.

Optimism in a Dark Time

John Horgan is someone I respect a lot. I share some of his hopes for the future. But he seems to desire substantial change within current systems while I believe that radical systemic change is necessary and possible.

The Pandemic’s Silver Linings Playbook

Greg Henriques is a thinker who I have been following for several years. " 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us "something's wrong"—but simultaneously has created a remarkable sense of clarity in our vision. Why not use our newfound knowledge and wisdom to proactively and collectively solve some of our most stubborn problems?"

"Finally, for a poetic expression of these sentiments, see here." And I followed the link.

And the People Stayed Home: A Poem about Hope in Coronavirus Times

Thursday, March 26

I was up at 4:30 this morning, about an hour earlier than usual. And I had a moment of clarity. I see a way to think about the coronavirus pandemic. 

Psychotherapy-Pedagogy-Philosopia: Coping with the Pandemic w/ Gregg Henriques- Voices with Vervaeke

I listened to this dialogue between John Vervaeke and Greg Henriques early this morning. This is two wise men talking. This display of thinking is on a whole different level than what is coming out of Washington DC.

The coronavirus is World War III. It is truly world wide and it is truly a war. Coronavirus is the biggest event since WWII and we need to think about it on that scale. The suffering and death will be startling and hard to bear with Italy already at that point. As in the early days of WWII, we do not know who will win this war. But we know we have a fighting chance. And we need leaders of the stature of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to emerge. Donald Trump is not that leader, although he uses some wartime language. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are not those leaders. No American may be that leader. No such leader may emerge, time will tell. 

This is a fork in the road - breakthrough or breakdown, which? During WWII a new world order was conceived and soon after the war it was implemented. That world order sustained progress for seventy years, my lifetime. But it is now crumbling. I thought that global warming would slowly test this world order and that this story would unfold over decades. Coronavirus has accelerated everything. This is the most decisive point in history since WWII.

I chatted with a neighbor this morning who is headed home to Ontario mainly because his wife is in a panic. He is very thoughtful and has contingency plans if his travel goes awry. We will hear in due course.

After our morning routine, Pat finished her Walmart order. I helped with the credit card part which we used to reduce trips to the bank to get cash. We will see tomorrow how this goes.

Pat went to work on an online order from Costco.

And I continued to read and learn about the current crisis.

The Race Between Economics and COVID-19 by Mohamed A. El-Erian

A few years ago when I was more interested in economic matters I read El-Erian from time to time. I agree is his assessment of the economic profession. "For years, the economics profession has suffered from a stubborn reluctance to adopt a more multidisciplinary approach. But now that the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming economic life the world over, the profession has no choice but to leave its comfort zone."

A lot of Americans like Trump's handling of crisis by Scott Jennings

I often see Jennings, a Republican, on CNN where he is given lots of time to present an alternative point of view. 

Why Germany's Coronavirus Death Rate Is Far Lower Than In Other Countries

It seems important to understand the different ways that the coronavirus is impacting different countries.

Why Different People Think Differently About COVID-19

Greg Henriques always makes good sense to me.

Friday, March 27

Chores still need to be done even during a crisis so this morning I sweep the front terrace which gets very dusty at this time of year. And Pat and I are keeping up our routine of walking on the treadmill. And I made contact with some facebook friends and relatives on Messenger.

Our experience with Walmart was disappointing. They did phone Pat as they were preparing to put our order together. Lots of items were unavailable and substitutions were not always available. They seemed to indicate that our order would soon be delivered as expected in the 1 pm to 2 pm time slot. But the driver did not arrive until 3:30. And he could not find our address. He phoned Pat but he spoke no English which made communication almost impossible but that is not his fault. I walked to the front gate and there he was sitting in his car. He did not seem to know how to use the call box. Pat checked the order carefully and about $300 pesos worth of items were missing. She wants to try another order as she expects the second try will be a bit easier for her.

How coronavirus is remaking democratic politics

I read the above Financial Times article via the Real Clear website but it is now behind a pay wall.

Saturday, March 28

I started my day focusing on news for Lakeside and Jalisco on Lago de Chapala A CoronaVirus (COVID-19) resource for the Lake Chapala area. AMLO is now taking coronavirus much more seriously. I think the virus is coming our way and there will be little that federal and state governments can do to stop it.

Our Condominio Administrator came by to pick up a couple of cheques. I took the opportunity to discuss the local situation with her. She seemed personally knowledgeable and realizes how serious this situation is. She said younger people are like her but older people are very skeptical. She said that the expats in other Condominios all take this very seriously.

I briefly researched namaste. I think I would like to use this greeting and I may never shake hands again. Even Trump said the same thing recently. According to wikipedia, In Hinduism, it means "I bow to the divine in you". The word divine does not resonate with me but I like the overal idea.

I checked my credit card charges online. The Walmart charge was $147 Canadian dollars which is too much for what we got. We will not use this service again unless we have no alternatives.

I listened to the now famous Bill GatesTED talk given in 2015, The next outbreak? We're not ready, which now has over 22,000,000 views. Why did almost no one listen? Cutting USA military expenditures by 50% no longer seems like a stupid idea which, of course, it never was.

I had a conversation with my friend Jodi Cohen who lives in Campbell River, BC. She only goes out of her house now for her much needed medications. She said that London Drugs has dots on the floor spaced six feet apart. We agreed that it would be quite a while before either of us felt comfortable getting in an airplane. I am grateful that she has visited me here twice.

I also spoke with my nephew Rene Greener who lives in Calgary, Alberta. Both he and his wife regularly worked from home but now are joined by an eight year whose school is closed. We agreed to connect more often.


Cuomo and Trump clash over talk of New York 'quarantine'   "Donald Trump appeared to back away from talk of a quarantine on New York and other states after Andrew Cuomo, the New York governor, warned that sealing off the state would lead to “chaos and mayhem” and amount to a “federal declaration of war”.

Foreseeable Unforeseeables      "Contrary to what US President Donald Trump would like to believe, a pandemic like COVID-19 was predicted as recently as last year. After being caught off guard by yet another catastrophe, one wonders when political leaders, markets, and average citizens will start to take risk seriously."

Jolted by Her Own Illness, Pandemics Scholar Gains Insight into Botched COVID-19 Response    "I started to panic about our response after my ER trip on March 9. At that point, I knew we were botching this response. The most important thing is testing."

Oops, Apocalypse 

I am not familiar with this blog but this particular article made good sense to me.

For dinner we ordered from Manix, a local restaurant which I used for Ajijic Book Club and Lakeside Pathfinders meetings. The delivery was on time but the driver did not have change and neither did I. He identified himself as Jose, the cook at Manix. This is typical here, one person filling multiple roles. I gave him $500 pesos for a $300 pesos tab and said that we would settle up next time. Pat and I both thought the meals were very good.

Afterwards we watched Richard Jewel on Google Play.

Sunday, March 29

Pat and I have a different routine on Sunday mornings. We have coffee on the terrace at dawn. Today we enjoyed chocolate cake which came with our meals from Manix yesterday.

I scanned the local situation which is taking on a more serious tone.

I worked in the garden for a while, an activity I enjoy.

I watched today's episode of Fareed Zakaria GPS as I often do. I was impressed with the comments made by the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. This seems to me to be sound leadership, in contrast to Trump and his Administration.

Sometime during the morning Pat picked up something ominous from one of the local facebook groups. Appartently traffic was being prevented from coming into Ajijic, being turned back at Chapala Haciendas on the Libramiento. If true, I find this action encouraging as we are concerned with the possibility of the coronavirus spreading from Guadalajara to Lakeside.

We decided to put effort into finding a food delivery service. We contacted someone who makes shopping trips to Costco, someone a neighbor has had a good experience with. We got a response and Pat put together a list. His next trip was planned for Tuesday. We wondered if travel would be permitted.

We also contacted Pancho's Deli Market. They took our order and delivered today and I was impressed. The delivery driver was wearing protective gloves, a good sign. But we also realize that every human contact is a risk. We follow the recommendation to wash, wash, wash our hands properly.

I have been thinking of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. While there are some valid criticisms of this framework, it does yield some insights. Without doubt, our needs have rapidly shifted to the lower levels of the pyramid.

I tend to be overly serious but I am appreciating the dark coronavirus humour that others are bringing to my attention.

Pat and I watched the The iHeartRadio Living Room Concert for America presented by FOX and hosted by Sir Elton John. Although I think the idea was great, I was disappointed. It was oriented to fundraising and was less inspiring than what I hoped for.

Monday, March 30

Yesterday the Mexican government issued a one month mandated quarantine. This is the right move but I am skeptical how it will play out. I put our garbage out for pickup and observed that the construction of two houses on our street was continuing.

In an effort to comply with the quarantine I decided to cut my coffee consumption in half. We bought more coffee beans than ususal on our last trip to Cafe Grano. Now I hope that we do not run out. For me coffee in the morning is almost essential. Caffeine is my drug of choice.


The world before this coronavirus and after cannot be the same
Burying a Robin

Pat noticed a post on facebook by our neighbor Sara which captures our sentiments very well.

Sara Kelly Keenan I have this sense the world is changing for ever. I am pre-mourning for that world, watching travel videos and feeling those places now and forever out of reach. I am pre-grieving for what remains of my family, all in NY and NJ, especially those at high risk, and my best friend nearby them, while I live so far away in Mexico. When I watch old movies or Netflix and see older actors who have been entertaining me for 30 years I wonder where they are now and are the safe? I grieve in advance for my dogs should I die. Spoiled fur-babies without me would have horrible ends to their lives in Mexico. I see most Mexicans around me going about their daily business unchanged, because they have to work today to eat tonight. Staying home seems a luxury to them they cannot afford, 40 construction workers building two houses next to me. How many of them will go home one night and never come back? It is difficult for me to stay in the moment. I look at Italy and Spain and project that horror into my immediate world. I have a comfortable space behind comfortable walls but I feel the walls closing in on me as the world constricts with illness.

I received an email from a friend that for some unknown reason triggered an emotional reaction and I had a little cry.

I am almost out of Amitriptyline which I have been taking since 2001, 25mg before I go to bed. I planned to go to Dr. Leon's office today for a new perscription but decided not to because of the quarantine. Tonight I will not use a pill and see what happens.

I sent emails to members of the Ajijic Book Club and Lakeside Pathfinders to gauge interest in virtual meetings via zoom. There was a quick, positive response from both groups to justify proceeding. I began to look into this platform that I am hearing lots about these days.

And a good friend sent me some coronavirus black humor.     Are My Testicles Black? 

Our Costco order arrived at around 6 pm. Pat said that about half of our order was unfilled and our service provider informed us that no disinfecting products were on the shelves. We were grateful for what we received and, unlike our Walmart order, what we paid for matched what we received. Pat said that the delivery yesterday and today reduced her anxiety. We now have a supply chain that works.

Tuesday, March 31

I did not sleep well so it seems that I continue to need Amitriptyline. I was awake at 4 am and got up at 5. I started my day as I usually do, a cup of coffee and reading.


As human societies find themselves gripped in the claws of a pandemic, we encounter a cultural crisis which Dark Mountain has been documenting for over a decade. In this long form essay, Charlotte Du Cann explores a myth of regeneration that might make sense of our predicament.

A quick visual guide to the COVID-19 pandemic - Updated March 21st

Exponential doesn’t mean “very fast” it means “imperceptibly gradual at first, and then it is suddenly overwhelming”.

Situational Assessment: Right Now - Mar 15

Jordan Hall is a thinker I discovered last year and was soon very impressed with.

I decided to put an Ajijic Book Club Newsletter together. But when I was finished I made a big mistake, hit a wrong key, and lost all my work. I started to redo the newsletter and saving my work often. About half way through the save feature stopped working. I switched to my other computer but got the same result. This is very frustrating which leads to irritation which sometimes leads to hyper-irritation. But I am on guard and making an effort to protect my mental health.

For safety and quarantine reasons I am reluctant to go to Dr. Leon's office. Pat wisely suggested that I phone. I did and was advised that they would phone a perscription to a nearby parmacy. Great. I am going out and curious as to what I will see.

The first thing I noticed was that construction on our street continues and I wonder what choice the workers have. Traffic on the carretera was lighter than usual. Often we have to wait for an opportunity to cross the street but not today. At Scallion, a restaurant, there was only one couple on the terrace which is usually busy. I noticed one waiter wearing a face mask. El Torito, a grocery store, was not busy. One of the staff was wearing a face mask but the cashier wasn't. Yoly's, a hair salon that is usually buzzing, had only one customer. Not an essential service, I thought to myself. There were no customers at the small pharmacy when I arrived. There were four staff, two wearing face masks, two not. A couple of customers arrived, both expats, one wearing a face mask and one not.

I was pleased to get an email from my good friend David Bryen. Last I heard he was cutting his visit to his family in South Africa short and heading for home. He is now home and in quarantine.

My intention is to continue writing about our situation but probably on a weekly basis rather than daily. I will not record my readings unless I think something is extremely significant. On March 1st I could not have predicted what this month would bring to the world and to us here in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Likewise, I cannot predict what April will bring other than that conditions will get worse almost everywhere.