The third month of Venezuela’s lockdown has just started, the quarantine has been extended until June 12 and boy, it has felt like an eternity so far. What better way to celebrate this continued reality of ours with a bang—a literal explosion that has knocked down water distribution to Caracas right as at the start of this third month of quarantine.
If that’s not enough entertainment for you, then may I suggest a party at one of the endless gasoline lines because lo and behold, the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world has run out of gasoline. I am genuinely curious if someone is going to dare make the case that the gasoline and water shortages are actually good because we’re helping heal the environment or something.
Over the past weeks, life has slowly returned to Caracas’ streets with certain specific restrictions, usually only food and health-related commercial establishments are allowed to be open, while those deemed less essential continue to remain closed down—which I assume is not an amusing matter for small businesses that can’t simply stay closed for such long periods of time amidst the collapsed Venezuelan economy, hyperinflation, and all that stuff.
Because necessity is the mother of all inventions, certain commercial establishments have employed what World of Warcraft developers once described as ‘clever use of game mechanics’, pivoting from clothing to selling food in a in your face blatantly obvious (but needed) workaround to circumvent the quarantine restrictions.
If you can’t work then how can you have money to put food on the table, pay your employees, and pay your bills, such as our brand new water bills that are now 19,000% more expensive.
Mobility is still a large issue, moreso with the severe gasoline shortages that have befallen upon us, I continue to only be able to move around the area where I live and for sure, things are partially open. Banks continue to be closed around this area, and so is pretty much everything that doesn’t involve the sale of food, toiletries, or medicine.
Some places are allowed to open until noon, others until 02:00 p.m., and others up to 05:00 p.m. There doesn’t seem to be a general guideline with schedules and its all arbitrarily determined by the police officials in turn on a day to day basis.
Things are rather calm and quiet around here, in contrast, other areas of the city, such as Catia or Petare, are closer to being as crowded as usual.
Coronavirus continues to be cause of great concern for everyone, myself included, it’s not like we count with a health system capable of handling something of this magnitude should one get sick. While there’s an official tally that shows that everything is under relative control, trying to contest the Socialist Party’s official narrative is a risky endeavor that will end in threats, or worse.
The thing is that the ongoing headaches for Venezuelans (food, hyperinflation, electricity, water, failing communications, etc) have always been the priority, and they rightfully continue to be.
Things continue to get more expensive almost on a weekly basis, toilet paper availability is spotty, and other things have simply vanished from the shelves—the same old Venezuelan tale, except we’re now wearing masks and staying within 1.5 meters from each other on supermarket lines.
Personally, my main concern is water right now, as of the time of writing this I’ve gone through a week without running water, and counting. I once again see myself micromanaging our stock, which is sufficient for cooking and doing dishes for a few more days at least. Time to rock that water shortage neckbeard cause I ain’t shaving to save some extra water.
Thankfully, my brother and I are safe, and not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for having food on the table, because things are pretty rough down here, rougher than usual.
On an even more personal level, the continuation of the country-wide lockdown constitutes a large obstacle in my personal plans and goals. I can’t do anything about it but hope that things go smooth and that the lockdown isn’t perpetuated as an authoritarian measure, because that would seriously throw a wrench on my timetable.
To say that my life has slowed down is an understatement, I have a lot of things to do and documents that I need to arrange, but it’s not like the corresponding places and offices are open right now.
As with two first months of quarantine, I’ve focused on spending my time creating, working on my projects, and learning new things, even if it means having to detach myself from all that’s unfolding in the country as of late. With the usual water shortages and flimsy power (which, truth be told, isn’t as bad in Caracas as is in the rest of the country) being the largest obstacles throughout the day.
With Sword of the Nation’s third draft now finalized, I’ve spent the last week charting a path towards its inexorable publication, exploring my options, and weighing them against my resources and reality. Once the path is clear I’ll be updating everyone on the next stages, don’t forget that I’m still new at all of this, and that I have to juggle my time between my escape from Venezuela and this dream project, so bear with me.
In the meantime, I’ll be posting more lore previews and updating the ones that I’ve already posted. I know I said I would last week, but this new water issue is messing up with my daily schedule.
There’s other stuff down the road that’s unrelated to Sword, but I’m afraid that you’ll have to wait a bit more before I announce them.
For now, I pray and hope that you all continue to be safe out there, take it easy.
Until next time,