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Everything posted by barrbower

  1. Actually the rule as of January 1st. is that non resident visitors entering at any land crossing are now also required to show proof of vaccination. I just saw a Spanish language news story about the potential slowdowns this is causing. Some folks have been sent back even though vaccinated because they didn't bring proof. Alan
  2. Even in Mexico the QR code will only take you the the website where you go to check your vaccination status if you have signed up. That website is often not available at the moment and you have to enter your CURP number if it is working and then sometime in the future (5 minutes or all day...) they email you back with a link to get the info. All this is not something anybody anywhere is able to do in a timely manner. The Mexican system is not designed to function well except with a paper copy in hand and within Mexico. If you travel anyplace else I'd suggest you do a little research first before actually traveling. I was recently told that currently in France you can pay about 50.00 USD at a pharmacy and they will provide you with a France approved vax pass on your phone that will let you travel and enter places freely if the pharmacy sees all of your paper documents and all seems to be in order. Alan
  3. There doesn't seem to be any of the recent booster information on the website yet. So nothing with the QR code is available. I'm not sure that calling a phone number is going to get it done any faster. Part of the problem with the vaccination proof provided by Mexico is that the scan code only takes you to the website (as most QR codes do) where you would enter your CURP and get the email later to see your vaccine history which has the QR code. Try to imagine a customs official anywhere in the world trying to scan that and then make a timely determination as to one's eligibility for entry. The fact that the sheets don't have a birth date on them seems silly when the code itself tells them nothing. Additionally some countries will accept only some types of vaccines. It's going to get uglier before something is done that makes sense for everybody around the world. And for the non-vaxed...forget it. Plan on just staying home for the near future. Alan
  4. That's great! Thanks. Many here locally never got the official doc so this will make things easier for many. I hope that the WHO and all countries soon realize that a single standard for documentation of vaccination is going to be impossible to provide and enforce. We have some friends here who never got any paperwork from at least one of the vaccine applications and are still trying to get that cleared up. Multiply that by the thousands and the same kinds of problems exist throughout the world. Everybody is trying their best and some flexibility and common sense will be needed. Alan
  5. Natural immunity is great...perhaps the only good thing that comes from getting Covid. But the fact remains that many folks have already gotten Covid more than once. Nothing is a guarantee just like the vaccines that don't promise immunity but, since the start, have only promised reduction in transmission and symptoms including death. I still don't understand how this has become so political. It never was for most other vaccination/inoculation programs that have been in place for several generations. It seems like a reflection on the times we live in more than a reasoned response to a serious problem. Alan
  6. I'm betting that as the world creeps closer to requiring a vaccination "passport" that more and more European countries will require something that Mexico does not seem able to provide. It is now Jalisco policy that you have to show (supposedly) proof of vaccinations to get into place like sporting events, concerts, theaters, shopping malls, etc. Also it seems that the only docs approved are those from the government website which have the QR codes and not the ones filled out by the vaccine administrators. For many folks locally there has been a problem getting those official documents from the website. We got ours for the first two shots of Pfizer in Tlajomulco but nothing yet from the booster of Astra Zeneca in Jocotepec. We have plans to see Europe later this year but if we can't provide an officially approved document we might not be able to go. I know the reason for this latest government move is twofold. Everybody is trying to avoid the disaster of lockdowns and at the same time further encourage everybody to get vaccinated to slow the spread and mutation of Covid in the general population. I predicted a year ago that the unvaccinated portion of the population could prolong the pandemic and cause the eventual demand for vaccination passports. Hold on to your hats folks...it's going to get ugly. Alan
  7. There is an old saying that goes something like this: "when the USA sneezes, Mexico catches a cold." Think about the recent push by the US to bring as much money back into the country as possible. Swiss banks being sued, FACTA, tax forgiveness for corporations, etc. There is literally billions of dollars leaving the US every year for the million, or so, retired expats living in Mexico. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that pressure is being applied from NOB to send some folks back to the states. One day it could become impossible to get SSI payments outside the country. It could also be part of a response from the Mexican government to get back at the US for sending so many Mexicans back to this country who were there illegally. The whole issue is so complicated because huge amounts of money, national pride, cartel criminal activity, banking regulations, money laundering, illegal immigration, and corruption are all in play. I'm guessing anything new that is being tried is some kind of compromise by both countries who are both unprepared to really solve the problem. Like a big wall which would have no effect on drugs coming to the US or money and guns coming to Mexico or people overstaying visas in either country. Nobody knows the answer or has a real solution. Alan
  8. I feel like some assumptions about costs of living here are based on lack of info on where you used to live. There is not a place in the US that we would consider living in that is even remotely affordable for us. The house we sold 10 years ago in a rural area of western Colorado recently sold for more than double what we sold it for. Add in the need for two cars, property taxes, HOA fees (if applicable,) insurance costs, utilities, entertainment, food, medical care (even if you have parts B&C) and crazy real estate and rental prices and there you go...retire to lakeside. We could maybe have afforded to live someplace like a small town in west Texas or Louisiana. But why? Since 1972 I've been hearing about how much cheaper it is on the other side of the lake...and it is for some things. Gas is the same, food is the same, clothes are the same, doctor visit the same, car prices the same, insurance the same, etc. Maybe rentals and home sale prices are lower but that is if you could find some. Laborers will work cheaper if you can find them. And then what do you do? Do you speak fairly fluent Spanish? Do you like restaurant choices? Is there any entertainment? Shopping? Would you mind driving over here to do all of those things? It really comes down to supply and demand and demand here is still growing, like MC said, somewhat driven by Tapatios who are priced out of their home city. Restaurants and housing are more costly there than here if you want to live anyplace nice. If you work at the airport or anyplace south of there, the commute to lakeside is probably faster than if you lived in most parts of Guadalajara. I've lived in Jocotepec, Patzcuaro, San Miguel de Allende, and in Cajamarca and Arequipa Peru. None are cheaper or better than here. If you feel like it's costing too much here, maybe consider the places you dine out or shop in or travel to or the house where you live. There are always corners to round off a little without ruining your life here at lakeside. Alan
  9. The last time I looked at the Mexican Embassy website you could use monthly income or savings on deposit for the previous year or a combination of the two. That is where it can become a gray area and much will depend on the individual doing the interview. Numbers for a married couple vary as well. But I would think that most folks considering moving to ANY other country should have savings and some retirement income to meet the criteria. If not then you couldn't afford to retire in the US either. Better just keep working. We sold our house and came down on tourist visas several times long before SSI was available to us. After a little over a year, the proceeds from the house sale more than made us eligible and we got Permanente visas on our last trip up as returning tourists. Once we started getting SSI, we stopped living off savings, bought a house, and live quite comfortably on less than our social security. We could never have done that anywhere in the states that we would have liked living in as retirees. Alan
  10. That's sort of what I figured. I guess he thought if he made a show of taking my discount card I would leave happier. Actually the only place I have personally gotten to use that card is at museums. We got in for free at quite a few in places Mexico City. They say it works for bus travel as well but I never tried it. It doesn't do any good for medicines since they all have a suggested price on the box which is always higher that what they will charge you anyway so no discount there either. Thanks, Alan
  11. I went this morning and paid with cash. I asked if my senior discount card (INAPAM) would provide an additional discount and he took the card and entered the number. In the end, I did get a 15% discount but not sure how much of that was the early pay credit and what (if any) was the senior discount. I'm not a citizen but I am permanent resident. It was not too crowded and pretty organized so I spent about twenty minutes in the building. Plenty of spaced seating, everybody was masked, hand sanitizer as you entered, and chairs were being sanitized between customers. Counters were wiped several times as well. Oh, and my annual tax bill was just over 1,500 pesos...just about 6 USD per month. I'd gladly pay a lot more if there was any hope that services would improve as taxes went up. Sadly, not the country we live in. Still wouldn't go back to the US though. Alan
  12. We went last time the booster was available in Joco. They wanted to see the resident card, proof of last vaccination (at least 6 months ago) CURP page, and a copy of your online registration form. Bring copies of all because they will keep one of each for their files. We had a friend who only brought the original proof of vaccinations and they kept it. Luckily you can get online and get another copy, I think. I don't know where the Municipal Auditorium is located but you can Google it.
  13. Maybe MC and others would have been happier if the Covid vaccine had just been called a Covid flu shot. Flu shots, which also don't promise immunity from the seasonal flu virus, are never questioned as to their effectiveness. Some virus types are just easier to isolate and immunize against...some are harder (common cold.) But facts remain that even though the Covid strains are still infecting people, the ones who have gotten shots are much, much less likely to get really ill, require hospital care, infect others, or die. That alone should end the arguments but I know it won't. I expect to see another crazy cartoon soon lampooning the world's best effort to curtail the spread and making fun of those who get the shots and don't want to be around those who choose not to. Alan
  14. I agree with MC about lockdowns and the adverse effects on everybody but especially on kids. But imagine what a child feels when a parent dies from Covid or a grandparent has lingering symptoms and the child watches them suffer. Or a favorite teacher quits teaching because of school board/parent fights over mask rules. There are many aspects of this pandemic that cause issues. Those issues are not limited to only the attempts to control the pandemic but many are the result of folks choosing not to participate in the battle. In a perfect world a new vaccine would completely eliminate one's risk of getting sick but "don't deny the good for lack of perfect." Over 800,000 in the US have died and millions will have lingering effects of long Covid. Many of those deaths and complications could have been avoided if everybody got vaccinated. No pharma, government, or scientist has promised that these vaccines are a guaranteed preventative. I wish they were and maybe one day there will be one. The seasonal flu has killed millions over the last fifty years and docs still recommend getting an annual flu vaccine to help prevent serious illness and slow the spread especially to those in high risk categories. Just because they aren't perfect is not a reason to ignore their value. Due to may years of mandatory vaccinations for school age kids there are many diseases which are mostly gone now. Small pox, rubella, diphtheria, polio, mumps, etc. are nothing to worry about in most countries but anti vax sentiment might make those mandatory vaccinations a thing of the past and we might have to deal with those illnesses again. Maybe one day we will have a perfect vaccine that wipes out the common cold, flu, and the SARS type virus. I'm sure they are working on it. But until then, we should do what we can to keep kids safe, schools open, businesses operating normally, traveling safe, gatherings fun, and politics out of medical science. IMO, that means getting vaccinated and following common sense protocols and let's avoid lockdowns and mandates. Alan
  15. Whatever side you are on, aren't we lucky to live in a place where we spend most of our time outdoors or in open air environments. Most of the Covid cases here locally stemmed from close family contact and large gatherings. I'm sure in Europe, for example, where weather dictates more indoor activities, the Omicron took off based in part on that close indoor gathering tendency. I also think common sense should dictate a level of precaution. Before the discovery of the link between bacteria and virus infections and general precautions like masks and gloves in operating rooms, not everybody who was operated on got an infection...but some did. And so those precautions became normal, recommended, and eventually had to be required by law because some doctors still believed that lack of precaution was not causal. Common sense had to be mandated to cover the stubborn and poorly informed. Do what you you can and should do so mandates are not required and lockdowns can be avoided. The results of those two options are horrible for the mental, financial, educational, and political future of democracies around the world. Luckily, the Omicron variant seems to have a low rate of hospitalization and almost zero death rate in part because many who are catching it now have been vaccinated (which we were told could happen since the start of vaccination programs.) But if you, or a friend or family member, have a health issue that would make it dangerous to get Covid, please just use common sense. Get the vaccine, wear a mask when applicable, and avoid indoor crowds when possible. It really isn't that complicated. I had Rubella (German measles) as a child and again as an adult, which they said was unlikely to occur, and then got a vaccination as an adult because I seemed to be open to that particular viral infection. I also had Polio as a child and it was assumed that I probably then had an immunity. But my parents made sure I took the vaccine as soon as it was available. Never bet against a virus. Alan
  16. The family of Black Widow spiders can have quite a variety of colors and patterns here in Mexico. Some have the hourglass and some have a red or orange spot on the back. Some even have spots or stripes all over the back and some have a more yellowish orange color combo instead of red. All have the same body type and basic blackish base color. The web is easy to identify by it's dense, messy, and very strong silk. I have touched the webs many times by reaching under the edge of a patio chair to scoot forward or by grabbing the edge of a patio table to move it. The spiders always move away unless you are unfortunate enough to put your hand right on it. The webs are strong enough to hold a tossed pebble in place. Once you touch one, you'll always recognize it later by it's feel and look. There are Brown Recluse spiders here also. Harder to recognize since they don't look quite as sinister. Also Hobo spiders which I think might be related to the Brown Recluse and also harder to identify. I just last night killed a very large scorpion right by our front door. They seem to be active this time of year perhaps looking for moisture and warmth. Be careful picking up or moving stuff left outdoors. I'm generally a live and let live person but anything that bites or stings will meet an untimely death. Sorry. Alan
  17. We tip throughout the year in our little coto. We gave them all 500 pesos for the Christmas bonus. The job they do is not one anybody would aspire to do...just one they end up having to do. MC is correct...excuses are invalid. Everybody gives what they can and if you can but choose not to then you are the definition of cheap. Yes, we all pay taxes. Our property taxes are about six dollars (US) per month. And they have gone up a little over the years. Imagine what that should pay for in public services. I'm not advocating a big increase in property taxes or fees because, unfortunately, if taxes went up 500% the only thing that would probably change is that more people would run for local political office since the trough would be bigger...if you get my drift. Alan
  18. Actually, I think the picture MC posted looks more like a typical denier who is suffering from the latest strain because he refused the vaccine and other recommended scientific protocols. I bet he wishes he'd listened to his mother! Alan
  19. All the bills in the US are basically the same color as well as the same size. You just need to pay attention here and get used to the new designs. I like the variety with different colors, some vertical and some horizontal, different lengths for different denominations, etc. The big problem with the 1,000 peso bill is that they are putting them in the ATM's and since fewer folks can currently change even a 500, I guess we will all be lined up to get change at banks. Alan
  20. You have the right to get drunk in your own house and stumble around. You no longer have the right to get drunk and drive. That's because somebody made you stop doing it. It used to just be an individual decision but yeras ago as cars got more common and faster it became a societal decision and it became a legal mandate because a drunk driver is now endangering others with his careless behavior. I'm glad you got vaccinated but you need to understand the need to encourage everybody to get it and that might one day require a legal mandate...just like kids who go to school. If everybody just did the right thing you wouldn't need to discuss a mandate or mask rules or lockdowns. It is not like Nazi Germany or communist China. It is exactly like a responsible democracy...something the US used to be. Ignorance is not bliss...it's just ignorant Alan
  21. Problem is...it's not just your health. Maybe Mommy needs to explain it better and then give you a lollipop after your shot. Grow up. Alan
  22. There are many mandates for the good of society at large based on current science. Think about smoking. You can't smoke anyplace where it might potentially harm another person. You have the right to ignore science in your own home but not in places where the concerns of others exist. Vaccines are a proven way to avoid many medical maladies. Kids get vaccines to go to public school. Soldiers get vaccines to protect the group as well as themselves. When is the last time you heard of somebody among your acquaintances dying of diphtheria, polio, rubella, or typhoid? It's hard to admit you're wrong and it's hard to admit that being wrong might already have hurt another person. There are some places in the world that would love to have the "first world luxury" of even debating modern medical science. Just get vaccinated, wear a mask to keep your spittle from hitting others in the face, wash your hands, and stay away from large indoor crowds when possible. You greatly reduce your chances of getting ill and, more importantly perhaps, not endangering some one else. In the process of doing these little things, major societal issues like lock downs, supply chain shortages, and event restrictions can go away sooner. Remember this...Trump got vaccinated and was instrumental in speeding up the development of the effective vaccines. If you don't want to get one then somebody might make you do it anyway...for the societal good. Just like me when I was five years old at the doctor's office...I didn't want the shot and I didn't care what disease it might prevent! My mommy made me do it anyway because it was wise and it was the law. I outgrew those misunderstandings. You should too. Alan
  23. I might add this one thought. "Where Covid is soaring even in populations that are mostly vaccinated" it is almost entirely because almost half of those populations don't believe the vaccine works or is somehow more dangerous than the disease. From the start, the medical professionals have been saying that the vaccine will not prevent one entirely from getting Covid. But once vaccinated the chances of serious problems (like 5 million dead) is greatly reduced as is the chance of even contracting and then spreading the disease. If the population was indeed mostly vaccinated...say 95% then we would probably not have to keep having these discussions. Lockdowns are horrible. Social, mental, financial, and even long term health effects are measurable and hurtful. Way back when Trump was bragging about getting the vaccines rolled out in record time and his supporters were backing those efforts, we had a chance to avoid many problems that are still present. Even the ex got vaccinated after at least one Covid infection. But folks are slow to learn. They still went to a concert, rally, party, etc. and bragged about their freedom (I suppose to get sick and infect others.) Common sense seems to have flown the coop. Education (science based,) vaccination, and careful decision making will keep us out of lockdowns. And that means 95% of us not 55%. Q, Fox talking heads, your neighbor's brother-in-law, etc are not good sources of accurate information. Everybody has an opinion but not all opinions are equally valid. At least check out the website called All Sides News and click on the "News" link at the top of the page. They present a left, right, and center viewpoint on many topics. Force yourself to read all those views. You might learn something new and you might learn more about a friend or family member who holds different opinions. Get out of your bubble. MC's post was well written and researched but misleading on a few points. But at least he is trying to express his concerns in an intelligent manner and I respect that. Alan
  24. When discussing the Mexican peso values, one should remember that back in 1994 (while we were living in San Miguel de Allende) Mexico created the "New Peso" which is now just the" peso." When I was living here in 1972 the exchange rate was 12 pesos to the dollar. It had gone up to 3,000 pesos the dollar in 1994. So the government decided to just drop off the three zeros and it became 3 pesos to the dollar. So basically since 1972 until now it would have dropped from 12 to one to 21,000 to one. Now that is a big drop in fifty years. Keep that in mind if you keep a lot of money in pesos accounts. Of course, think what you could buy in the US fifty years ago...like a house for 25,000 dollars, inflation has greatly eaten away at the dollar's real value as well. At our "official" inflation rate of about 3%, that 25,000 should be 111,000 but that house would now cost you 400,000 probably. Same would apply to healthcare, college tuition, fuel costs, property taxes, food, etc. Remember when a Motel 6 meant you could get a room for 6 bucks? All governments tell you what they want you to hear so you don't panic...just stay a little on edge and keep shopping. Mostly true in all of Latin America. In Peru (where I lived in 1974) there was the "sol" which became so devalued they created the "Inti" which became so devalued they created the "nuevo sol" which is now just the sol. Bad government and bad economic policy there as well. Alan
  25. I have a Mexican neighbor who is searching for a used Honda Fit for her daughter. Mexican plated and not more that 150,000 pesos. Message me and I will put you in direct contact with her. Alan
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