Vaccine Comes to Oaxaca. Now What?

For snowbirds, the time to be in Oaxaca has come and gone. For those who live there, Mexicans and foreigners alike, the news this week brings a sense of elation and hope and liberation, perhaps mixed with frustration and some skepticism. The roll-out is bringing long lines, no specific appointment times, and a requirement to pre-register on-line to get a number to qualify.

Read Vaccine Arrived and Lines Began from Shannon Sheppard’s Casita Colibri blog. Shannon lives right around the corner from one of the city’s primary vaccination sites.

Friends say they will wait until the lines dissipate. Other friends who live in Teotitlan del Valle tell of rumors that there will be vaccine available there in a few weeks.

As people wait in line, sometimes for more than 24-hours, social distancing measures are inconsistent. It does seem that those waiting are mask-wearing. This helps reduce risk for everyone.

At Lake Chapala, Jalisco, just outside of Guadalajara, other dear friends have been told by their doctor that there should be vaccine available in the next week or two.

All of this is great news for us! It helps make decisions about when to return.

Meanwhile, here in North Carolina, I’m waiting patiently to sell my top-floor, downtown Durham condo so I can move on with my life. My son and his fiancée shared the news this week that he has gotten company approval to move to Albuquerque in late summer or early fall 2021, where he will continue to work remotely. This affirms my decision to live in Taos, NM. We haven’t been living in the same state for 30 years, and I’m excited to be near him/them.

Oaxaca vaccine news also means that I will return this summer for a short time, and then go back again in mid-October in time for our winter 2021-2022 tours. The promise of life returning to a new normal is on the horizon. Now, all we need to know is, How long will this vaccine protect us before we need a booster? Still, many unknowns. I hear that latest research points to hospital workers who had mild infections still have plenty of antibodies six months out.

Today in Oaxaca, friends brought food, a stool, reading material, patience and hopefulness as they camp out on the sidewalk. Friends of a certain age that qualifies them in New Mexico and Philadelphia are still waiting for appointments. It’s spotty, inconsistent everywhere.

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Spaces still open for Oaxaca Day of the Dead 2021 Culture Tour We are hoping to be cleared to travel by then!

Some reading material:

CDC’s new guidance still discourages travel for the vaccinated (Washington Post, March 9, 2021

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