By Michelle Moreno Lira
Mexico continues to see a massive surge of COVID-19 cases after residents continue to ignore the virus’s toppling death rates and severity. As of Dec. 2, cases rose to 1.1+ million, while deaths [are] over 107,565 and are increasing rapidly day by day.
Health care officials in Mexico are doing as much as possible to encourage residents to protect themselves and refrain from going out unless necessary. As if those numbers aren’t alarming enough as is, many reports arose indicating that Mexico had been failing to report the real number of cases and deaths. According to the New York Times, many officials got a hold of confidential documents and realized their numbers in May were more than they originally reported.
Currently, Mexico is entering the top four countries hit the hardest by COVID-19. Despite the country entering alarming numbers, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has left health care workers on the virus’s front lines without proper equipment needed to treat sick patients. Healthcare workers must meet the dangerous expectations to treat patients without knowing if they’re carriers for the virus.
It’s extremely concerning that healthcare workers are fighting the virus by themselves; they’re sacrificing their lives to help their people and continue showing up to work despite their fears. Mexico currently has more than 2,000 healthcare workers that have died after contracting the virus, yet the government has done nothing to give them proper resources to protect themselves.
As someone who has family members in Mexico City working in hospitals, I can confirm that hospitals see big waves of COVID-19 patients and still expect their employees to continue working without face shields or worries of cross-contamination. Although this is happening in Mexico, it’s important to note that many people travel from Mexico to the U.S. and are often exposing many Americans to the virus unknowingly.
We have healthcare workers dedicating overtime with limited COVID-19 tests meant to last a long time.
Their work is admirable during these times.
That is why the government must do all it can to protect them. Similar to the U.S., the government’s efforts are insufficient and have only allowed their front line workers to fend for themselves.
While the COVID-19 vaccine is in the works, President López Obrador managed to get the vaccine ready for the Mexican military’s December distribution. The president thanked President Donald Trump for allegedly helping him get the vaccine, but there was no mention of who will receive the first rounds of the vaccine.
Mexico’s president needs to track the virus closely and create a plan of action. Currently, Mexico has only closed down some school centers yet has maintained all other operations open with specific guidelines.
Mexico must create a stricter plan to lower their infection rates and prevent more deaths, especially among frontline workers. It would be effective if they closed non-essential businesses, closed outdoor eating, and found other ways to support their people.
Suppose they provided their residents with resources such as food, unemployment benefits or adequate learning essentials for students with no computers or stable internet connections. These actions would prevent people from unnecessary exposure and would reduce the number of cases.
The Mexican government is tracking the number of cases reported but isn’t acting quickly enough to attack the virus before it continues to spread. We have seen that one country’s infection rates can cause a domino effect within other countries. They must create an effective plan to prevent a ripple effect.
Some countries in Europe have already announced a second lockdown to help control the spread of the virus. Mexico must lockdown if they want to prevent their people from having a greater risk of contracting the virus and not getting the healthcare they deserve.
Healthcare workers relentlessly work hard and assist as many patients as they can. Mexico must do their part to help hospitals give the best service they can.