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A storm is coming, but Mexican beaches and festivals are packed and life continues

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Reportage. As always, the most vulnerable will pay with their lives to uphold a society that, in the name of savage economic growth, has forgotten about people (as well as nature). Here, those who leave home risk getting infected, but they don’t really have any choice in the matter.

written by Cloe Mirenda

Topic Latin America


March 26, 2020

In Mexico, we are hearing the signs of the wave of contagion coming in the distance, and it’s like watching the same movie twice.

Last week, a friend from Italy warned me about the seriousness of the situation and the importance of starting to take preventive measures here. Two weeks earlier, she had heard a very similar message coming from China. It had seemed exaggerated to her at the time, just as this seemed exaggerated to me too at first.

“Are you planning to stay in Mexico? Do you feel safe staying there during the pandemic?”

These questions were a rude awakening back to reality, something that was in short supply until a week ago among my colleagues and acquaintances in Mexico City. “The coronavirus will be here soon.”

Within hours, I found myself in a painful phase of disorientation. The social media groups of Italians in Mexico are full of news about the hundreds of daily deaths in our country, but also of memes depicting the new virus as a problem that is the exclusive concern of the rich Europeans or the Mexican upper classes who can afford trips to Europe.

On some Facebook pages, there are comments that resonate powerfully with the masses, full of social resentment towards the Old World, the historical origin of looters, murderers and spreaders of deadly diseases time and time again.

“Now that Europe is weak, it’s time to go there and take back all the gold they stole from us.”

“The virus does not attack the prietos [a derogatory term for dark-skinned people, usually indigenous]. This time I’m........

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