My article, “COVID 19 – Causes, Cures and Consequences” was published today in Yucatan Expat Life. I wrote the piece because I think we should be looking more closely at why we are in the midst of this pandemic. Corona viruses were first discovered in the 1960s, and in 1965 the first that effect humans were identified. If the scientific community and their governments have known since 1965 that Corona viruses can infect humans with mortal illnesses; why haven’t we been paying closer attention? Were economic resources and political interests more focused on the neoliberals’ push to favour profit-driven businesses over human security and well-being?
You can read the full article on Yucatan Expat Life’s website:
The following slideshow shows the residents of a very poor community that Merida’s Episcopal Church is supporting to the best of their ability. “The families who come to the Good Shepherd Refuge need care and relief from desperate poverty,” says Father José V. Aruda, the pastor at St. Luke’s, the church that supports the facility. His congregation collects food, clothing, and household articles for this extremely marginalized group, but he feels the families’ pain and desire for a real home. “Most of the adults are street vendors who live day by day,” he says, “they have so little and now they face a pandemic and hunger they are not at all equipped to handle.”
The most necessary items right now are non-perishable food and money to buy medication. Cooked food is also greatly appreciated.
For me, one of the most difficult aspects of this crisis is feeling unable to do anything that actually helps the situation in a tangible way. Jorge and I are quarantined in our house – we are comfortable and we have all we need – the authorities assure us this is the best contribution we can make.
But when we learned that hot meals were needed, we realised that this was a way we could participate without any additional risk to our health. I am the “designated shopper”, and on Fridays, I buy our household provisions from a small market six blocks from our house. It is not any extra work to also get the ingredients for a big hearty stew. I put on my mask and gloves and drive to the market; and then, as quickly as I can, I gather everything up and go right back home. Jorge is waiting in our side garden with two plastic tubs full of water with bleach or vinegar. I empty all the fresh produce in there and place the non-perishables on the garden table – in the strong Yucatecan sun – apparently the virus does not thrive as well in heat. After half an hour soaking, I dry and store the fruits and vegetables; and three hours later, I wipe down everything that’s been in the sun, and put it all away. Today is Saturday and we’ll cook Sunday’s stew. We feel grateful for this opportunity to do SOMETHING that we know is of help. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to meet the people who are receiving the food.
Next week one of my friends will be helping too; she’s going to bake cookies for everyone. If any readers would like to know how they can help, please contact Father Jose – he speaks English, French and Spanish – and he’ll give you all the information. His number is: 999-247-1519
Another excellent way to help is through Yucatan Giving Outreach. This organization is working with several more communities. You can contact them at their website: https://ygo.mx/
And finally, helping out the local restaurants is yet another way to give a bit of relief to the small business community. This week we bought a meal from Hennessey’s; Sean himself delivered the food, hot and delicious, to our door. You can place your order (in English or Spanish) at : 999-509-7089. We also ordered French pastries from L’Escargot this morning; these freshly baked delights were also delivered to us by the owner, charismatic Antonio Serrain: 999-407-7852 or 999-331-5135. All businesses are hurting, so your patronage is important to all.
As I learn of other initiatives, I will post the details on my blog. I am quite sure this isolation will continue for quite a while, and of course the needs in our city will grow. From personal experience, I know that receiving help when I really needed it, meant everything to me. And also when I am on the giving end, the personal satisfaction of knowing I made a difference helps me to feel more optimistic.
Be well everybody!