Guatemala City Observations, 22 May

I used to live in Zona 1 but have been in Zona 2 for six months. Today was a "shop Zona 1" day.

I have become a believer in hydroxichloroquine (let's call it HCQ or, in Spanish, Hidroxichloroquina Sulfato) since drug companines were badmouthing it and saying there would be a coronavirus vaccination soon (costing tens or hundreds the price). I heard it is dangerous, not proven, ... What wasn't being said was it has been on the market for 80 years or so, is a very common anti-malarial drug as well as useful for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and more.

My plan was to just keep it in mind in case I get coronavirus but another guy my age started taking it. His visibility is a lot higher than mine (after all, he is the President of the U.S.) so I figured I should get some before everyone in Guatemala decides to start taking it. So, I added that to my list of Zona 1 shopping items. (Yesterday I had asked at a few places in Zona 2 and it was all no go.)

First stop, Farma Value. They had it. Trademark Plaquinol from Sanofi in Colombia. Thirty 400mg (basically two doses each) for Q140. I kept asking. The only other place that had it was Batres. Same brand. I bought their last box for Q168. Galeno said their warehouse was out. San Benito said no. The other places I checked were small and I didn't expect to find it.

Next stop, Supremo, a spice store. As usual, they had pretty much everything I was looking for. They had gallons of molasses -- something that tends to be hard to find. I didn't buy it as walking with a gallon and all the other stuff I was looking for was not going to be fun.

The most important stop was Rey Sol where I picked up a couple of pounds of tofu. La Sexta was pretty quiet except for a line longer than a block at EEGSA. As you can pay your electric bill in tiendas, on-line and everywhere else it was curious.

Most of my grocery shopping has been at La Torre and Econo Super (owned by the same company) very close to my house. I bought some groceries at about 0740. No waiting to get in but when I was coming back both stores had huge lines. So, the word for Friday grocery shopping is "do it early". My guess is that Monday it will be "do it late".