I've tried to stay away from news and current affairs during my travels, in fact since the year before my travels. It's better for my balance of mind! But there's no ignoring the C19 pandemic. Here in Chiapas right now you wouldn't know anything is amiss. That won't last of course, very likely it is already here, just not recognised.
I've already been holed up here writing for five weeks. My plan was to leave San Cristobal two days ago. But instead I've spent the last couple of days catching up on the current world health situation, and considering what to do. I've changed my mind at least five times in the last 48 hours, from making a dash for the border with Guatemala, or the border with Belize, or even Cuba. And then the penny finally dropped: C19 is coming no matter where I am. So I'd better be ready to hole up and wait it out same as everyone else.
Yesterday I decided that continuing to travel right now, even through I could and even though I'm itching to get going, would be irresponsible. I accepted I would have to stay put, who knows how long. This morning Guatemala closed its border to everyone and has closed down public places, confirming that I made the right choice.
I consider myself lucky: San Cristóbal is up at 2100m with a very pleasant climate, cool and sunny, surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains. I have a room in a camping-RV park 2km from the city centre. For Mexico, it's a quiet and healthy place. In the evenings I sit reading by the fire while the dog snoozes beside me. It's kinda solitary now the overland van travellers are thinning out. But if I had to pick a safe bolt hole to weather the storm, this ticks all the boxes.
I'm reading about the various national responses to the pandemic and my heart goes out to those in the worst affected countries. My own country, UK, looks set to be in for a very rough ride in the next months. The UK government is outdoing itself for sheer callousness and fuckwittery. Mexico's response has been less than encouraging so far. The main holiday period - a month of celebrations - is about to begin. As far as I'm aware no official sanctions have been placed on circulation and gatherings yet. But at least they're not pretending they have magical resistance to the virus.
Wherever you are, please take care of each other and do the right thing - the government will not do it for you.