Stay home rather than go south

Over my 30-something years in Texas, I've learned this:

1. There are lots of tamales consumed in our area between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2. Many Mexicans use "Navidad" to cross the border both ways. It's almost a guarantee that your Mexican friend will ride down to see family this time of the year.  I've met people who travel from Illinois and Indiana all the way down to the interior of Mexico.

Well, 2020 may spoil those plans.  According to the CDC, we need to keep away from Mexico, especially those who are more vulnerable.  It got more specific on the Texarkana Gazette:

The warning came Saturday, only days before Thanksgiving, when thousands of travelers typically flock to Mexico's tourist destinations. In the advisory, the CDC said people may increase their chance of getting and spreading COVID-19 by traveling there.

The warning also noted that if people become infected with COVID-19 while traveling abroad, they may be denied re-entry.

"If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 during travel, you might be quarantined and not permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last known exposure," according to the advisory.

Mexico's Ministry of Health reported 1,049,358 confirmed coronavirus cases and 101,926 COVID-19 deaths in the country as of Monday.

The top three global destinations for U.S. travelers this year are in Mexico: Cancun, San Jose del Cabo and Puerto Vallarta.

"Mexico has been a leader in tourism recovery since COVID-19 began," according to the Allianz insurance company. "The country's accessibility and safety protocols, such as the restricted capacity at resorts to allow for adequate social distancing, may be helping to drive demand, coupled with the promise of a warm-climate escape."

But in all three of those tourist destinations, there has been a high rate of COVID-19.

What an economic shock to Mexico.  By the way, the 101,926 dead figure is interesting, considering that Mexico has a third of our population.  Furthermore, I am not sure that such figure is reliable anyway.  Everyone I talk to in Mexico believes that the death figure is higher than the official numbers.

The impact will go beyond tourist locations.  The aforementioned people who drive to Mexico bring cash and spend money in their hometowns.  They are a source of cash and support for people, although I have never been able to find a dollar figure.

So projected president Biden wants to open the border?  Call Dr. Fauci at the CDC!

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Image: Joachim Pietsch.