Thursday, April 30th, we had an extended Belize Electricity COVID-19 Power Out – 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Before it happened I had made up my mind I was going to put on a cute and inconspicuous swim dress and take a chance to at least walk in the water if not fully submerge at Ramon’s Dock. I planned to decide at the time, depending on what I saw when I got to the beach.
Then I listened to a summary of what was to come, rule wise and I remembered that swimming was off the table right now. (The picture above was taken April 21st) I know they say it is off the table because it is an activity that promotes social gathering. However, as you will see in my other pictures below, there is plenty of public normalcy happening daily. Why should swimming be stopped when people are continuing to stand close together, hold hands, or publically hug? Yes, I actually saw two people hug (they looked like friends) outside the Front St. Atlantic bank machine on Monday. Swimming is therapeutic for both body and mind.
Trying To Follow The Rules
I decided I was going to avoid the beach and leaving home altogether if I could. I had kind of wanted to take pics, but I listened to a good friend, John Robo, after reading it lots times on his funny @ss, quirky, often visually tasty NYC blog stay the &*$@& home. Dean Barrow, Our Prime Minister, said the same only much politer.
So I decided since I had nowhere to go unless my apartment became downright unbearably hot, I was going to stay home and enjoy the 7h power out. Which I totally did. I have a fantastic place to self-quarantine.
Indoor Power Outage Fun
As soon as I finished Reef TV news live on FB and hot spotting my laptop online that morning so I could get my last write up about Hungry Grouper, and a great story sent in and sponsored by Ron Weisguth about the owner, Chef Argyle, I clocked out and stepped away from my desk.
Which meant it was time for some serious backgammon app time followed by a long leisurely nap. But first I decided to enjoy some art time and take a few mandala pictures. My Camera Mx app has a kaleidoscope app, and I find it very relaxing to play with sometimes. The first picture is a plumeria on my coffee table from Kunahmul Organics. I took lots that day and got many good ones, but that was the best one for this purpose.
The next two came the day after as I was ordering $10 chicken fingers and fries from Juvenie’s Ceviche on the corner. While waiting for my food, I walked back home and snapped palm trees in the middle and a group of plants on the left.
As for my long nap, thanks to a great friend Courtney who was willing to bring down a USB rechargeable fan on her last visit, I slept deep and comfortable. On medium, speed, my Harta 8-inch desk fan with rechargeable lithium battery outlasted my sleep, which was almost three hours. (Picture courtesy of Harta listing on Amazon.)
COVID-19 Belize Update
Post shuteye, I listened to a summary of what was to come to rule wise (I recently wrote about rules happening in threes around here.) One of the leading hot button issues is the $5000 BZD or two years in jail fine for not wearing a mask.
Do I think this heavy-handed rule is crazy insane at this stage of the game? You bet I do. Will I wear a mask outside? Absofrigenlutely.
Did I already forget it once? Unfortunately, yes, and the look of shock on another customer’s face clued me into my error. When I went back to get my $10 take out, I had a mask on. I still believe it should be a choice.
Was I wearing one up till now? Very little. On Business Insider from the beginning of April, I read, WHO said there is no need for healthy people to wear masks.
Insider WHO quotes: “There is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.” WHO also said community masking could lead to a “false sense of security” and cause people to ignore other evidence-based measures like handwashing and self-isolation.
As I struggled with my ill-fitting mask, I felt weird not having the choice when it has been proven that masks are not always good. Especially here, when people do not wash them enough, touch them too often or, in one case, reported on FB share them to get into a place. While that last one is technically an urban legend, I do not doubt it could happen here as people are simply not good at social distancing and are very used to sharing.
*Please note the following pictures were all taken right before it was set in place for us to be fined for not wearing masks. As I went for an essential errand to pick up my Mobile Market Fresh Food Delivery order Wednesday night, Coconut Drive was looking rather busy for a few minutes. The left side image was taken on Tuesday while doing a hardware and grocery store run in the area. Newish dividers on the beach road, and a cart full of people looking rather ordinary all things considered.
I heard water taxis, and soon Tropic Air will be running with limited passenger service making essential travel a hot button issue as well. Especially with resorts and hotels being allowed to open for in-country use since our borders are still closed until at least June unless something significant changes.
Finishing the Power Out
Something else I did that day was, play with water. If you did not catch my last taco tip on FB or Instagram here, it is…..
taco Tip # 27 Cooling preparation for extended power outages.
Use empty vitamin bottles to make ice and keep condiment shelves cool in the fridge. Tall thin vinegar ones work well too. Having extra ice packs for the refrigerator is also handy. If you don’t have extras, yogurt containers work well.
Were you wondering about the doubloons on ice? They are my DIY barometers. A sunken quarter means I had a thaw. Due to the length of the outage, I made some bigger ones to help double duty. They helped cool my fridge and gauge my degree of a thaw in my freezer that day.
So my extra ice pack barometers worked, and they lasted a long time. I did not need it, but the extra jars in the photo below were tap water in case I felt like I wanted a cool-down rinse during the outage. The smaller recycled container was also great as chunky-sized ice kept my afternoon iced coffee cooler a lot longer. As for the barometer, at the end of the day, my quarters were still floating. I moved that one to the fridge for the picture below.
The pic below was taken at 7:30 pm, almost 12 hours after the large size yogurt had been put in the freezer to help keep my meat frozen. That is a pretty big solid chunk left.
I will leave you with a final thought and a couple of more pictures.
If our daily outside world in Belize keeps looking so visibly normal, why are they consistently making us step backward with their confusing or outdated rules? Keep opening things up safely and logically and help financial movement get flowing within the country. Instead, they keep making unclear and crazy rules with lots of gray areas. Like allowing salons, mani-pedi, and barbershops but not spas. They also seemingly want to stop people who can, from spending money ( except on masks 😀 ) on some things that could be generating income.
The two images below were taken Wednesday evening before the mask rule, and hefty fines ($5000 Belize dollars or two years in jail) went into effect. I took the pictures to show closeness. People are used to it, and every day it happens. If it is going to look normal on the street, please allow the safe opening of all businesses for country use and enable the owners to decide how they can make it work best. In case you are wondering, it has been 19 days since our last COVID-19 case. That feels like light-years on a small island.