Month seventeen of lockdown done, and month No. eighteen is right around the corner.

Once again, it was a stagnant month for this battered country and its ever so tiresome and entropic status quo — for the most part that is. If last month’s big event was the literal urban warfare between the revolution’s armed forces and gangs once in good terms with the revolution then this one was marked by intense storms that beget tragedy.

Intense floods took the life of 20 citizens and over 1,200 buildings destroyed. As it stands, more than 88 municipalities were affected across the capital city of Caracas and the states of Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Falcón, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo, Vargas (which the regime recently renamed to La Guaira), Yaracuy, and my birthplace, Zulia.

Out of all those states, Merida was the one hit the worst. A state whose public infrastructure was already at the brink of complete collapse, with constant blackouts — now hit by the destruction wrought upon by these floods, all amidst an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a collapsed public and private health system.

Locally, the storms that occurred in Caracas were less severe, but intense enough, to the point that rainwater leaked through the roof of my house — nothing that three buckets couldn’t solve. Even the highways of Caracas were severely flooded one night, which prompted an act of solidarity between a delivery guy and a woman stranded on her vehicle that went viral.

These storms are perhaps the reason why my internet connectivity has worsened and been constantly disconnecting, as I suspect the cabling to have suffered water damage (as a matter of fact, I can hear the distant sound of thunder as I write these lines), the consistent raining is probably damaging them further. But a flooded highway and a water damage obsolete ADSL and phone is nothing compared to the loss of life suffered, and to the hell experienced by those affected, especially in the state of Merida.

My condolences go to each and every one of them.

Since even tragedies such as these are ripe for the obtaining of political points, the blame game between Merida’s ‘opposition’ authorities and that of the regime went on as usual, including Maduro’s promises of housing for those affected. At the end of the day, I sincerely hope proper help and solutions are what those affected receive instead of just empty promises and hollow words.

Now, on the actual subject of lockdowns, they continue as-is. We’re still going through a bi-weekly cycle of ‘radical’ and ‘flexible’ lockdowns that have long since become part of our new normal — so normal that life has simply adapted around them, and for the most part, nobody cares anymore, as people carry on as usual, trying their best to just get by and survive through each and every day as best as possible.

Reports of vaccine shortages are often abundant. I personally haven’t tried to get one of them again, not after I wasted twelve hours of my life for naught back in June, and my health issues during July.

Whether you choose to get one or not based on what’s available in your respective countries is entirely up to you as an adult to do. I personally am concerned not on the vaccine, but on the ever so impending implementation of Vaccine passports, which will simply force me towards getting a Sinopharm set of shots (that’s what the venezuelan regime is administering to everyone younger than 60 years old).

I have eleven months left on my passport, a ticking time bomb that I constantly wake up to. That means that I have eleven months to figure all this out and hopefully get the responses I need soon so that I can proceed with my visa application. Two races against time: one with regards to my passport’s last breath of life, and the other involving vaccine passports.

I know the latter is coming, you know it’s gonna be mandatory, it’s just a matter of when.

I’m extremely exhausted by year upon year of obstacles in my long quest to get out of this country with my brother. It’s been three years of a constant uphill battle, between passports, trying to get visas, trying to get my brother with me, and all that, I don’t want this whole vaccine passport thing to be yet another obstacle so I better act fast and hope it all picks up the pace.

Now, on a more personal subject, August was the month where I started to get my groove back, now fully recovered from whatever it was that hit my stomach so hard during July. I also got my computer working back in full force thanks to an absolute King, who sent me a spare used graphics card to replace mine, which died after nine long years. Getting it shipped through a private company was surprisingly smooth and effortless. Sure, it took a few days, but it’s here, and it’s working like a charm.

I must confess that I’ve once gone through some low points with regards to depression during this past month, but this has always been a rollercoaster for me, and I continue to manage and overcome the down periods to the best of my ability — as, at the end of the day, I have pseudo parental responsibilities with my brother, and I must keep fighting to materialize a better future for the two of us.

With a properly working computer (but a ever worsening internet connection), and renewed efforts, I’ve continued to detach myself from all of the country’s bs affairs, especially with regards to the impending implementation of a new ‘digital’ currency scale and another round of collaborationist negotiation between the regime and the opposition — instead opting to focus on myself, my health, and my stuff. I’ve also started to take serious steps towards getting healthier and in shape.

As regional elections approach, the regime is once again doing one of the things they’ve usually done in election seasons — coerce commercial establishments to keep prices regulated and all that, lest they risk getting sanctioned and/or closed. The overall panorama is very much different to that of 2013-2018, so I hope this doesn’t lead into shortages of stuff, we already have enough as it is with gasoline shortages.

Inflation continues as usual, and food prices are slowly but surely increasing with each passing month. I’ve done adjustments to our monthly food expenses and reduced costs in certain beef and chicken products so as to offset these price hikes while getting the same amount of kilograms and without spending more money per month so that I can still save the same amount I’ve been continuously saving — money that will be spent towards our escape when the time finally comes.

The rest, my friends, goes on as usual here. I am thankful to God every single day, because despite everything, and despite me being at odds with myself and the constant feelings of my life being ‘stuck’ because I’m still stuck here in Venezuela, I’m healthy and so is my brother, we got food on the table, and we’ll keep on keeping on.

I hope I finally get the positive answers I’ve been yearning for during September so that I can finally proceed with my visa application and at last, start a new life.

In the meantime, I’ll continue working on my projects and content creation, more so now that I once again can use my desktop computer, as well as more lore updates for Sword and structuring Sins’ plot — I’m almost got that ready to start writing up!

Stay safe, take it easy, and stay tuned for more soon.

Until the next one,