2020 is officially behind us, but unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it seems like its effects have only been getting worse as time goes on, especially in the case of the United States, the country with the highest number of confirmed cases of the disease.
This rather disheartening trend appears to be mutual among many different countries, such as Mexico, for example. Although it hasn’t suffered such an immense toll as the U.S. has as a result of the pandemic, the number of cases and deaths continues to rise in the country of over 127 million people, and they show no signs of declining anytime soon.
On the bright side, some states of Mexico seemingly haven’t had as much trouble dealing with the pandemic compared to others. Guerrero, home to over 3 million people, is one of those states. There have only been a reported 28,547 confirmed COVID-19 cases within this state.
This relatively low number of cases seems really odd when you actually visit the state in question, as I have. Upon arriving at such places like Iguala and Huitzuco de los Figueroa, you start to notice how little everybody seems to be affected by the virus.
Marketplaces are generally just as lively as ever, the streets are bustling, and overall, the atmosphere in these places is fairly positive. To be fair, many people wear their masks and almost every business you go to is equipped with hand sanitizer for their customers to use, but in the face of the other details, it’s quite shocking how this state has such few cases.
Naturally, life isn’t exactly the same as it used to be before the pandemic. Schools here are all closed; just like in many other countries, distance learning has become the new norm. Although we were in the midst of the holiday season only a couple of weeks ago, to my knowledge, few public celebrations ended up getting observed; likely for the better.
Coronavirus testing is indeed happening here. Back in June of last year, for instance, six testing centers were set up in Guerrero’s capital of Chilpancingo for free COVID-19 tests. However, information about testing centers in other areas of Guerrero is scarce. In addition, Guerrero is getting ready to distribute the vaccine to its residents. The first round of vaccines arrived last week in the city of Acapulco, with the governor of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo Flores, stating that they would be reserved “for the people who attend to those suffering from COVID-19”, such as nurses, doctors, frontline health workers, and stretcher-bearers.
To say that this part of Mexico is completely unmoved by the pandemic, though, would be a lie. Guerrero may only have 28,547 confirmed coronavirus cases, but this fails to show the bigger picture. The amount of confirmed cases is at the highest it’s ever been, and it’s been steadily rising. Between Jan. 6 and Jan. 19 alone, the state saw an increase of 2,194 in confirmed cases. It’s not a huge increase, but it’s an increase nonetheless.
It’s been a very interesting experience witnessing this situation firsthand, especially because I’ve been here twice over the past two years. Being able to have a point of reference to compare against makes what I’ve seen pretty unbelievable. To finish this off, I hope that you found these gatherings as interesting as I have.