I, as well as the thousands of other expats living in Puerto Vallarta, truly believe that we have the good fortune to be living in paradise. But life has changed dramatically for us these past few months. We now live in paradise in the age of lockdown.
We are not alone. Whether you live in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or another country, your life has changed and the future seems to be filled with fear and anxiety. But there is also hope that new treatments and a Covid-19 vaccine can be found, hopefully soon.
As of this week, Mexico’s reported cases of Covid-19 have climbed to over 35,000, according to Mexico’s Health Ministry, and deaths have increased to 3,465. Hardest hit is Mexico City with nearly 12,000 cases and 796 deaths. The states of Mexico, Tabasco, Baja California, Morelos, Veracruz and Yucatán have also been hit hard by the virus. Tijuana has the highest number of fatalities from the virus, followed by Mexico City and Cancún.
If you are an expat living in Mexico on a tourist visa that needs to be renewed every six months, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City last Friday issued a health alert and suggested that U.S. citizens wishing to return to the United States do it now unless they wish to remain in Mexico for an “indefinite period.”
If you are traveling, the U.S. Embassy says airline passengers arriving or departing from Mexico will be screened for symptoms and asked to quarantine. If you are traveling across the border by vehicle, Mexico may deny entry. There also may be significant delays for health screening and requests for quarantine.
At this writing, the Mexican government says the lockdown will continue until May 30. Requirements vary by state, but in Puerto Vallarta and the rest of the state of Jalisco, those over 60 are not allowed to leave home under penalty of a fine or citation. The stay-at-home requirement applies to all, but work goes on here in construction and many other businesses, although major hotels and restaurants are mostly shuttered.
We miss the beach, Vallarta’s wonderful restaurants and, of course, seeing friends. But we are proud of Jalisco’s governor and Puerto Vallarta’s mayor for implementing strict guidelines to combat Covid-19 and sticking to them. And it’s paying off. The state of Jalisco ranks 14th in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country with just 593, a major accomplishment considering Jalisco incudes the second largest city in the country, Guadalajara.
Our hair is getting longer each day, our wifi runs a bit slow at times and I’ve had to sacrifice my daily three-mile walks, but paradise is still paradise and we are very happy to live here and be alive in this age of lockdown.