Things Are Opening Up

This morning I went to Izcuchaca, leaving around 10:00. I was able to get back home shortly after 12:00 with most of my list crossed off. That’s success.

One thing that sped up the process was finding public transportation running again. Though there haven’t been many governmental announcements, business is slowly opening up as we get closer to the projected end of the lockdown at the end of the month.

I believe the president has a staged reopening in mind, similar to what other countries have followed. We’ll hear the official announcement within a few days.

Another thing that sped up the process was finding the mercado open. During its closure, they had sprayed every inch of it down with some anti-bad-stuff spray, and they had retrofitted every stall with a protective, clear-plastic surround. There were small openings for the vendors to hand out their goods.

There are mats soaked in anti-bad-stuff stuff that you must walk across to enter any store. Many stores require you to wash your hands with soap before entering; others don’t allow you to enter at all. Every vendor sprays all the money with alcohol, giving or receiving. Most of them spray your hands, whether you like it or not. Some people will also spray over the rest of your body without asking. Close your eyes quick!

After finding my things, I left town on a combi. The combis all have plastic barriers between the driver and the passengers. It is prohibited for anyone to ride up front with the driver or on the bench behind the driver. Also, each seat has a sign posted on it, indicating only person is allowed per section.

But the one lady driver (Remember her, Jolynn?) with her jalopy of a combi was completely disregarding the prohibitions and was packing people in. All the while, a lady in the back of the combi was hollering that it was illegal, and we must maintain our distance!

Of course, that’s the combi I happened to be on. I ended up wedged between two Quechua ladies, half-buried among their abundant skirts. Yes, things are getting back to normal.

Double masks on the pharmacy clerks
Plastic partitions at the market
Plastic barriers in the vehicles
A barn full of corn stalks for cow feed. I walked past this on the way to town.

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