UPDATED January 16th!
People write to me daily, "How is everything in Sayulita", so this week I thought I'd give a little more in-depth response to everyone wondering what's going on!
On January 14th we received an update from the Nayarit government with new restrictions.
All of the businesses and restaurants currently remain open in Sayulita, but everything must close at 8pm. After 8 pm only pharmacies and street food stalls can remain open, for takeout only. While most of the people on the streets aren't wearing masks, and most restaurant workers and boutique staff are wearing masks, the police have begun to enforce masks in all public spaces.
Before January 15th, walking on the streets of Sayulita you could almost create an illusion that Covid doesn't exist and life continues as usual. During the Christmas holiday there were throngs of national Mexican tourists on every corner enjoying their beach holiday while their home Mexican state was locked down. We recently passed through downtown Sayulita in our car after midnight, and we were literally shocked at the scene. Bands playing, drunk tourists pouring out onto the streets, groups stumbling together arm in arm. It isn't clear what the after-effects are going to be, as all of these revelers have since returned home.
Covid has been spreading steadily through the local community here, the first wave started back in July with many locals coming down with symptoms, and those with the resources, getting a PCR test. Since then it has continued to meander through society, and there have been several hospitalizations and a few Covid related deaths in our community. Currently I have several close friends with family members who are being hospitalized for Covid.
In the Sayulita Sol store I absolutely require my staff to wear a mask at all times, although I have caught them without one here and there during their shift. We regularly disinfect the store, and do our best to maintain a safe working environment for our staff and our customers. None of the staff has been sick (knock on wood), and though it hasn't been easy for anyone, we are all dedicated to minimizing the risk of spreading Covid.
As for my personal experience, I was sick with Covid-19 in July. My 20-year-old son Obsidian brought it home, and while I tried to remain separate from him while he recovered, I suffered the same symptoms. Both of our cases were mild. He received a positive PCR test, I did not take the test since my symptoms were identical to his. I did require an antibody test to return to the equestrian center where I have my horse and to safely return to work, and after my 2-week quarantine I received a negative IgM antibody test. Since then I have been mostly staying home working in my jewelry studio, visiting with friends one on one, and riding my horse daily for exercise and fresh air. It is rare to catch a glimpse of me in the store, but I can be found via email!
My best advice for people who ask me "is Sayulita safe" is this: you have to take care of yourself. You have to make your own decisions about where to eat, shop and explore. If you are concerned about getting sick you need to pay attention to which parts of town are lower risk and which stores are taking stricter precautions. I wouldn't recommend going out bar-hopping. On the other hand watching the sunset in your own space on the beach with a cold beer or a margarita is a relatively safe activity.
I do feel that we have the benefit of living mostly in the open-air, most interactions are outdoors, restaurants are open-air, and the beach is amazing for distancing if you stay away from the throngs. This may be what has kept our spread relatively low when you take into account the disregard for protocols by the majority of the public here.
The governor of Nayarit has been talking about new restrictions. Cases are going up after the free-for-all that was the Christmas break. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds, and I will be sure to post updates if there are new restrictions.