COVID across the border
Over the weekend, I met with a couple of Mexican friends passing through Dallas. They were on their way to visit their daughter in Houston.
To say the least, they painted a dire picture of COVID in Mexico, from access to the vaccine to hospital beds.
It confirmed something that I read at Mexico Pulse News last week:
Mexico's National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) reported on Wednesday, Jan. 27, that 44.9 percent more people died of covid-related issues from January through August of 2020 than initially reported by the Mexican government, adding another layer of discord to the nation's dismal handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The government previously reported that deaths during the first seven months of the pandemic reached a total of 75,017, while Inegi now says the real figure for that time period was 108,658 deaths.
Inegi's report also disclosed that Mexico's mortality rate had increased by 37.9 percent since coronavirus found its way into the country at the start of last year.
Edgar Vielma Orozco, the general director of socio-demographic statistics at Inegi, said that more than 58 percent of covid-related deaths occurred outside of hospitals, hence the mismatch in numbers between the Inegi and the federal government.
In short, it's a mess in many ways south of the border.
After reading the aforementioned article and chatting with friends down there, I was left with some serious questions:
1. What's happening in Central America, or the place where many of these caravans are originating? What happens when these people step on Mexican soil? Who is checking them for COVID? It appears that many will come because the Biden administration is canceling the Trump agreements.
2. Who is going to get the vaccine in Mexico? I hear from several friends that there is an acute shortage. What levels of corruption will be ignited by these shortages?
3. What about the Mexican economy? What's happened to their social safety net? How many more people are depending on "remesas" or remittances?
4. In the middle of all of this, are we really going to allow people in the U.S. and hold them in Texas?
Time will answer my questions. At the same time, I don't think that the answers will make anyone happy, especially U.S. voters who were not told any of this during the campaign.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).