Life is largely a mix of surreal and very harsh reality right now. The world is changing fast. Now more than ever we need to be mentally conscious in so many ways.
As of yesterday evening, the news hit that in addition to the 2 cases on Ambergris Caye, there was a positive one in Belize City making our current total 3 cases of Covid-19 in Belize.
For hundreds of us on Ambergris Caye, the shit has hit the fan, and our income has ground to a halt instantly. I am one of them, it is pretty hard to get any bookings or flight code use with Philip Goldson International and San Pedro Airports stopping passenger flights indefinitely. Now more than ever we need to help each other remain stable and strong.
Who to Trust
While it is important to follow and share official advice, advice please keep in mind that it is not always correct. I know our gov on all levels is trying to do the best they can, however, I do not feel confident in all their decisions.
It was pointed out to me that the Government “Ask The Experts” series is advising a poor example of social distancing. Twice in the first 2.5 minutes of the video, they are directing people to visit their doctor if they are feeling sick instead of calling the required emergency services to be treated in the emergency protocol fashion.
On Ambergris Caye, if you show symptoms of COVID-19: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, call or text 605-2433 for assistance. Those on Mainland, Belize call the Ministry of Health’s hotline at 0-800-MOH-CARE or 0-800-664-2273
It was also brought to my attention by a Canadian friend on our island news press conference extending the state of emergency to 30 days, the Mayor and Minister were not social distancing. Another friend verified he saw a couple holding hands publically that same day. In a time of much needed personal space, these kinds of behavior send the wrong message out.
Many of us (beyond our island too) feel that a small shopping window for everyone is not wise as it creates a lot of movement at once and people are more prone to closer contact.
I am also displeased to see some uncalled for negativity on social media right now. This is not a time for that. It is time to pull together and help each other make smart decisions that benefit everyone and keep us all moving in better directions for a stable healthy world.
Nemo Belize Rural South Facebook Page is a great source for reliable and safe information and procedures. I pulled the following from them:
To keep our community and all of our loved ones safe and to prevent the spread of the virus. We can prevent and stop the spread with these actions:
- Learn to social distance. The World Health Organization recommends allowing 6 feet (2 meters) of space between each other.
- Follow the six Best Hygiene rules: Wash Your Hands Often and Properly, Clean and Disinfect Frequently Touched Items and Surfaces, Cover Your Cough, Stay Home When Sick, Avoid Close Contact With People Who are Sick, Avoid Touching Your Face.
- Avoid Crowded Places.
- Do NOT travel to places where there is an Outbreak.
- Do NOT spread rumors or false information about cures or misinformation like the one going around about ibuprofen.
- Help us prepare by making sure your friends and family know what to do and take this disease and precautions seriously.
- Businesses are directed by the Ministry of Health to disinfect high touch surfaces every hour and shared items after each use.
San Pedro and Mainland Belize news articles
- Ambergris Caye’s Quarantine extended to 30 days; With Second Positive COVID-19 Case
- Belize Electricity Limited temporarily Suspends All Disconnections On Ambergris Caye with 30 day Covid-19 state of emergency on Ambergris Caye.
- COVID-19 Update – The 7 latest samples tested today for COVID-19 in Belize have turned out to be negative. This brings the total number of tests to 89. Samples were from Corozal, San Pedro and the Southern Health Region.
- Travellers Liquors introduces a new Belize manufactured hand sanitizer called Sani-Bel.
- Social distancing measures not being properly enforced and adhered to in Belize, buses still carrying standees.
- Belize confirms the third case of Covid-19.
Four Initiatives I would Like to see in San Pedro
1. Better Planned Movement Reduction
It came to light on a tacogirl Facebook page thread that if we have to allow in-store or storefront shopping, we could do better splitting the island to three sections north central and south. Each area could have one day. Stores would have a day in-between to safely sanitize and restock.
In this manner, there would be less movement a key factor in containing the Covid-19 virus in San Pedro.
Delivery only was also favored by many although I understand smaller businesses may find that challenging. Maybe a combination of more delivery options and assigning set shopping days for 3 main areas of Ambergris Caye. (Delivery options listed below.)
As is we are just not behaving safely enough as you can see in the picture below some are not allowing enough personal space when there could be. This was taken the second morning of our 72h quarantine when a 3 h shopping window was allowed.
2. False Information Reduction
Government agencies should try to amend crucial information in text and videos for the current safe emergency protocol. Information should be brief, clear, well-dated and accurate.
Should you as a member of the public notice inconsistency in something you see regarding our health and well being, please speak up.
The images below are not ok, crowd clusters in downtown San Pedro that happened the day of on the left and the day after Ambergris Caye went on a 72 h state of Emergency while waiting for our first Covid-19 tests in Belize. (We now have 3 positive cases, two on Ambergris Caye and one in Belize City)
For your health and safety please follow the standard 6 feet apart whenever possible.
Below shows a lack of social distancing in San Pedro right before we went into a state of emergency with a mother and daughter testing positively.
3. Increased Social Awareness
Practice increased social awareness. Please watch the people in close proximity to you and listen to what others are observing about our community. There are many people in danger of slipping through the cracks right now and we need to help catch their fall.
I have read that due to our instant economic crash, some are faced with holding a sign standing near the grocery line hoping for assistance – unconfirmed but believable. If you absolutely have to go out, please bring a pen and paper with the number below on it in case you need to put someone in contact and possibly help them make the call.
If you know of anyone on Ambergris Caye who requires assistance for food and water here is the contact # 670-7030.
If you are able to please donate to Hope Haven Shelter Paypal Account, they will better be able to serve the high demand right now due to hundreds of instant job losses on Ambergris Caye Belize. Thank you to all who have, and all who will donate from posts on Facebook or this article – very grateful.
While getting our water supply refilled, a boy keeping his sister safe by wrangling her back into the house.
4. Moringa Initiative
It is known that being under stress causes vitamin depletion. Many of our islanders right now are not getting proper nutrition to replace what is being burned up. We have an easy and free solution to help keep people’s nutrition higher, Moringa Trees.
Moringa is a well-known plant that is high in nutrition and antioxidants. Both the seeds and the flowers also carry high nutrition.
Moringa Oleifera is highly nutritious containing the following: 2 grams protein, vitamin B6: 19% of the RDA, Vitamin C: 12% of the RDA, Iron: 11% of the RDA, Riboflavin (B2): 11% of the RDA, Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 9% of the RDA, Magnesium: 8% of the RDA. It is also rich in antioxidants. To learn more please read – Moringa Oil Uses and Benefits.
If you do not have a tree in your neighbourhood, Harriette (622-98080 has lots of already processed moringa for sale.
I would also like to see us modernize our official procedures, we need to learn from this and revise our dated quarantine act as Government Enacts Corona Virus Quarantine Order for the entire country of Belize.
Corona Virus Loneliness and Isolation
According to the New York Times, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, social isolation has been linked to a 50 percent increased risk of dementia, a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke.
Another area of importance is a solid online and safe distance Counseling plan in place for adults and children who are facing anxiety during this challenging time. Since we currently do not have one in place, there are many great resources out there to share.
If you or someone to know is feeling lonely and feeling isolated or vulnerable reach out to someone and talk. Here are some videos to help reduce anxiety and stay centered. Expat.com also put out a useful article on how to take care of your mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Useful Corona Virus Tips And Links
In addition to a good supply of drinking water ( I have four 5 gallons), get a bit more prepared. Further stock up with some shower and flush water just in case. I keep a variety of spare water in both my bathrooms.
For cleaning, make rubbing alcohol and bleach spray bottles. * Do not mix the two or mix bleach with any other substance as the chemical reaction is not safe. I also did a great essential oil mix of Plant Therapy germ fighter and immune boost essential oil spray.
Good Covid-19 Information Links
- Stay up to date with the Belize Government Covid-19 plan of action.
- See official press releases (and coronavirus cases in Belize counter) on the official government Covid-19 website.
- Great article on Covid-109 tips to stay healthy and Corona Virus myths to avoid.
- Dictionary.com’a glossary for the Corona Virus Pandemic Words.
- Team Tinder sent out a credible Covid-19 Advice Dor The Public World Health Organization (WHO) link and asked the most popular online dating app community to check it often.
- Singles, spread more positive energy worldwide, reach out and make someone in another part of the world and help each other feel better about things. According to The Verge, Tinder is letting everyone swipe around the world for free to find Covid-19, Corona Virus quarantine buddies. *Passport is a feature that comes with paid versions of Tinder Gold or Tinder Plus, however, the company is making it free till April 30th so everyone can enjoy virtual travel dates during the, not so novel Corona Virus.
- World’s biggest condom producer warns of a Global COVID-19 Related Condom Shortage. Realistically our heard is being thinned however this article could support many people’s jokes about a Covid-19 / Corona Virus baby boom.
- Worldwide Countries that have grounded flights due to Covid-19. So far, I have heard both June and September for Belize depending on the airline and country.
- Italian engineers create a new design to help coronavirus patients breathe, using 3D printer and harnessing snorkel masks for CPAP machines.
Yesterday my Italian friend was busy using his 3D printer to follow the Italian designers lead and make a ventilator prototype. He did a great job for a first try on a complicated project and we are in the process of securing a full face snorkel mast to try it on. He has also shared his effort with friends in Playa Del Carmen Mexico and is going to help them proceed when they can secure a printer.
As far as being able to use the adaptors, currently, Ambergris Caye has no ventilators that we know of. (There was a nebulizer at Clinica Los Pinos but anyone’s guess what happened to their equipment when they closed) The Mainland has 3 that we know of and 6 to 8 more are on the way. (Pictures below courtesy of Davide Sala)
Current Emergency Services Schedule
Friday’s 2.5 h official meeting, little was decided upon. Due to an inside report from a trusted source on just how much of a cluster $#&@* the Ambergris Caye State of Emergency is right now, I am deleting the store and businesses schedule and will repost when a safer alternative is reached. For now, the crucial message is to stay home unless absolutely necessary and stop the movement on Ambergris Caye.
Should you be running low, Mermaid Supermarket is one that is offering home delivery 226-3110. With orders of $30 or more, Super Buy has a text and WhatsApp option so they can get your order ready for curbside pick up 632-6856. Caribeña Fuels Gas Station: 226-4496 is another number you might need at this time to check gas station hours.
For those who like to shop and want something satisfying to occupy your time, head on over to Google Play and find some free mental relief.
- Tiny Bubbles – Pop patterns of colored soap bubble clusters in this zen puzzle game. Tiny Bubbles on Itunes.
- Noughts and Noughts – A colorful modern twist on tic tac toe in earthy colors and white. Neon Noughts and Noughts on iTunes. or
- Trapball – Build colorful fast-moving walls to trap the balls and level up. A different version of .
A slice of life in downtown San Pedro
Thursday a 5 min walk to Super by for 7:00 am opening time announced on tv, which was really 8:00 am as dictated by the store owner, and Louis’s store. By the time my friend and I were going back to quarantine 2 hours later, it was surreal the amount of traffic and people we started to see. The streets were looking like a normal day WTF?
Needless to say, it is very odd walking this line of false normalcy. Where at times things are appearing to be ok that shouldn’t.
*Please keep in mind all pictures in this post are farther than they appear, my pics are all zoomed for obvious reasons.
People are stocking up as best they can, for many like my friend and I, it means hauling the heavier things like 5-gallon water with his bike.
All varieties of masks are being used, it is still under questions as to what effect they have. At the very least they help people from touching their faces.
30-day extension grocery lines.
Agua Dulce Water is located on the southwest corner of the lagoonside road that leads to The Office Restaurant. They sell 5-gallon jugs call 226-2929
This last one I put in to get everyone daydreaming of a trip back to the fun colorful quirky Belize we all know and love. Stay safe everyone.