Mexicans and Americans in Cabo Quarantine

BY: FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ

It wasn't until Mid-March Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas that the Coronavirus pandemic became serious business after the New York Times reported of the 70 students from the University of Texas in Austin; 28 tested positive for the virus and sometime thereafter, the lockdown stay-at-home quarantine began.

Students at the University of Tampa, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and other colleges also tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from spring break trips in Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and a few other favorite college break getaways.

“The virus often hides in the healthy and is given to those who are at grave risk of being hospitalized or dying,” said Dr. Mark E. Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for the city of Austin and Travis County.

“While younger people have less risk for complications, they are not immune from severe illness and death from COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus)," said Escott.

“The incident was a very strong reminder (of) the importance of taking seriously the warnings of public health authorities on the risks of COVID-19,” said J.B. Bird, director of media relations at the university.

Cabo real estate and investment assessor/scout, Ronan McMahon, has been quarantined in the area since late March. McMahon usually spends six months of every year on the road, finding and negotiating opportunities to buy low and make a serious profit from capital appreciation, rental income, or a mixture of both.

"For the first time in 20 years, I have nowhere I need to be," he was quoted as saying recently.

"It’s a surreal feeling. But I know it won’t last. That’s why I’m using my free time to ponder and to prepare for what happens next. I don’t want to sound insensitive, but with every crisis comes opportunity.

"Right now, most of the public is either in a state of panic or a state of denial. While I can’t predict exactly what happens next, I’m looking at examples from the past to give me a glimpse into the future. The current crash is not surprising. It’s a normal part of the market cycle. What goes up, must come down," he added. 

Meanwhile, Amazon opened 100,000 new positions to help with increased demand during the pandemic. More and more people are buying their groceries and other essentials online. In the U.S., the Great Depression and World War II created the Greatest Generation, and the era of the “American Dream,” was born. And so, during the pandemic crisis, McMahon, is keeping his eyes open for motivated sellers. 

The very tall and strong power forward and center, Georgy Cota, who has been playing in the Cabo San Lucas adult basketball leagues on several different teams and divisions, which hold their games at Arenal, El Auditorio, Don Koll, and Cerro de Timbre, has now been relegated to playing PS4 - PlayStation sports games and Mortal Kombat from his living room couch. Cota works at the RIU Hotel and Resorts. 

Another tall, hoop loving individual who also plays in the various local adult basketball leagues and is employed with the Los Cabos timeshare sales business; which is the pulse of this tourist travel destination, Ariel Gonzalez Rodriguez, said he's just been drinking beers at home, and chatting with his quarantined friends via social media sites like Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram and Whatsapp. Another timeshare sales rep, Juan Pablo Garcia, jokingly said he spends his days doing the following three things, "Eat, sleep, and repeat." 

Albert Serrano, the lead singer and bass player of the popular local rock and roll band, "Los Rancheros Tristes," has been spending his days and nights quarantined inside, singing songs, playing guitar and jamming on the drums.

Serrano has been video recording himself to evaluate his singing and musician skills in order to stay ready to hit the live performance scene again once the quarantine orders are lifted, or at least modified so people can ease back into the normalcy everyone is accustomed to living. In a shared video on his Facebook profile, he sounded fantastic, singing the Creedence Clearwater classic, "Born On The Bayou'." 

Of course, always practicing is par for the course for almost every musician, and Angie Verti, who sings and performs solo acoustic and electric sets at the popular live music bars and hotels in Los Cabos, has also been spending her time honing her singing and guitar playing skills; sharing her progress and videos via Instagram.

The long-haired guitar rock & roll wizard, Juan Cerecero, has also been jamming on his guitar while spending unforgettable moments with his newborn son, who is four months old.

"He's always very attentive whenever dad plays his guitar," said Juan, "I think we both love music."

Another Cabo San Lucas guitar-playing musician, Miguel Alvarez, added that he spends the majority of his time playing his guitar and drinking. 

Cabo Cantina Assistant Manager and Board Member of The Volunteer Cabo Fire Fighters Association, Mariana Estrada-Tallman, originally from Toluca, Mexico, shared she has been exercising, enjoying her yoga, meditating and eating healthy.

"I have been at home, cleaning around the house, watching movies with the family, feeding our chickens, watering and caring for the vegetable garden, and spending time alone with God, reading my bible," said Daniel Garduño. 

Retired kindergarten and elementary school teacher, Elizabeth Torreblanca, of San Jose, CA with dual citizenship, has been enjoying near solo runs and walks with her dog, Luna, in the hills above Costco where she has seen roadrunners, jackrabbits, foxes, great horned owls, bobcats, black-tailed deer, badgers, skunks, garden snakes, rattlesnakes, cardinals, chipmunks, bluebirds (yes, California bluebirds), mourning doves, sap suckers, woodpeckers, turkey vultures, crested caracaras, banded hawks, red-tailed hawks, frigate birds, lizards, iguanas, geckos, horned toads, and exotic great blue herons, as well snowy and great egrets (they are like long-legged storks). "I love Cabo, I really do, but I don't like not being able to go to the beach during this quarantine," said Elizabeth. 

A few Cabo San Lucas born and raised Choyeros/Choyeras, headed for the hills and have spent time at their isolated ranch and village communities and away from the Coronavirus threat, by dashing off to the isolated ''Ranchos'' of Los Pozos, San Ramon, Candelaria, La Trinidad, La Soledad, San Vicente de La Sierra, San Jacinto, El Saltito de Los Garcias, El Aguaje de Los Guluartes, San Venancio, San Rafael, Los Columpios, El Remudadero, San Pedro la Sieneguita, and Matacitas.

Places most people don't even know existed. Historic family-oriented hideaways where many locals made their escape and return only to buy groceries and then disappear to safety once more. 

Surf and Sports small business owner, Christian Saucedo Gomez, on the other hand, has joined the Los Cabos Foundation in their unified effort with the Esteban Aid Foundation, in helping raise funds and donations towards providing groceries and basic-needs assistance to the poorest neighborhoods in Cabo San Lucas.

On April 29, Saucedo, took an active role in delivering food to several families and has since become more actively involved.

"There are a lot of people in need. Restaurant and hotel employees who have no means to earn a living and provide for their children and loved ones during this pandemic. Like everyone else, I'm barely getting by, but there are so many poor neighbors in our city that have less than I do and have less than everyone else has, that I wanted to help by any means necessary," said Sauceda. 

"On El Dia de Los Nino's (Thursday, April 30) we drove up to the Caribe Bajo (Lower Caribe) neighborhood just to deliver 15 tamales, beans, macaroni salad, and some sodas for this struggling family of two sisters and their three children. And their struggle is real. They live in such poor conditions, it almost breaks your heart, but we're doing the best we can with the limited resources and donations we have received. To help please visit our fundraising account and donate at http://www.gofundme.com support for starving families and pets in Los Cabos or please call (624) 122-1449."

Handyman and solar panel installer extraordinaire, Leo Poplete, originally from Nogales, Sonora, said he has undertaken dog walking duties for Canadian and American residents who left Cabo to be with family.

"That really helped put money in my pocket right now," said Poblete, who has also been handling a few renovation projects in Cabo at two separate locations.

"And about three to four times a week, I have been stopping by a friend's place, where we seriously throw down in a game of chess. My friend, 'Pops' and I have been going at even before the quarantine, and he's only up one game with my win-loss record against him at a close 39 wins and 40 losses with six stalemate ties," noted Leo. 

Born in Guasave, Sinaloa, Clinica del Sol Dentist, Clara Hilda Godines Llanes, has been busier than ever at her dental clinic due to the many patients who never had time for check-ups or dental work until the stay-at-home quarantine. This has given them so much free time they've made their scheduled appointments to have that dental work they previously never had time for.

"The other dentists have been away in Guadalajara with family, so the constant influx of patients has really kept me busy."

Once at home though, the tooth-fairy professional has been having a fun time playing Loteria with her college student sons and junior high aged daughter, Ashanti. For those who don't know, Loteria is considered Mexico's Bingo board game, where they use frijoles (beans) to cover the characters/cards that have been called. Once the player's 16 images have been covered, they call out "Bingo'' in Spanish and are declared the winner. 

And for now, everyone who stays home or ventures out wearing their mask during this pandemic is considered a hero and a winner too. Safe from the Coronavirus harm.