I landed in Mexico on Thursday, the 12th of March. It was a last-minute decision to get on that flight, but the idea of coming to Mexico had been on my mind for some time since I wanted to do something work-related and supporting my friend in carrying out his wellness activities.
Although it was just a five-hour flight from Bogota, Colombia) to Mexico City, I must admit the experience was quite stressful. I have been a traveler for 32the past 10 years, used to getting on one plane and the other and I’ve been to all continents besides Antarctica.
Still, it was a bit shocking for me to experience this situation. I felt so much pressure because of the uncertainty at the airport: Are they going to keep me isolated? Am I going to make it? I feel alright, but am I really okay?
Cancellation of Non-Essential Activities
Luckily, by then in Latin America, there were few COVID-19 cases or measures in place, even though on the 11th of March the WHO (World Health Organization) announced this viral disease was considered a pandemic.
Mexico City at a first glance was quite active—busy highways and roads, little restaurants here and there serving super delicious food.
The yoga classes were discontinued after a week, as the government officially announced that from the 23rd onward and for a month, all non-essential activities had to be canceled.
Life in Cuernavaca
Given the circumstances, we came to Cuernavaca, a smaller city (1 million population est.), just an hour away from the Capital. Although there is no mandatory lockdown in Mexico, I have remained indoors and have been out only to do grocery shopping.
On the 31st of March, I went to the local market and then to the supermarket. From the videos and pictures, you can see that some shops have closed. Though the fruits and vegetables and tortillas shops (which are used in several traditional dishes) have remained operating as usual. I asked both owners if their sales had dropped, but they said that they are even better than before the pandemic and the takeaway services have increased considerably.
At the entrance of the supermarket, the security person was standing in front of the door saying that only one person per family was allowed inside, and there was a lady disinfecting all carts.
In terms of the products available, that supermarket, in particular, was mostly stocked beside the pasta aisle. But I had previously gone to another that ran out of sugar and rice.
According to government sources, as of today, April 1st, there have been 1,378 cases, 37 deaths, and 35 people recovered.
The Mexican federal and state governors have gathered to coordinate common actions to be taken in order to guarantee the protection of companies and employees, stocking and distribution of basic goods; social support, and of course, medical assistance to be provided to those affected by the virus.
I wish everyone safety, health, and patience during these uncertain times. Let’s make the best out of the situation, keep ourselves busy and motivated, and protect each other.
Let us know how you are doing either at home or abroad. How has your government been dealing with COVID-19?
by: Tatiana Moreno