No piñata for your birthday this year
Yesterday, I was speaking with a friend in Mexico who complained about how COVID had impacted their way of life. He said schools are closed, the business sector is losing jobs, and piñatas are out.
"Piñatas?" I said. "Tell me more, tell me more," like that line from the musical Grease.
Sad but true. Piñata parties, a fixture of Mexican birthdays, are out for now. Oscar Lopez has more details at The New York Times:
Piñata makers, often close-knit families whose business depends on the social gatherings that have largely halted during the pandemic, have, like much of the country, suffered both financially and personally for the past year.
Mr. Mena said that his sales had plummeted, putting him in a dire economic situation, but that the personal losses had been even worse. Eleven members of his extended family have died of Covid-19, as well as more than two dozen others he knows of in the industry.
Piñatas go back centuries. Every kid loves one for his party. My sons loved them here in Texas. I told them that swinging at a piñata was good for their baseball swing. It probably isn't, but it sounded like a fun explanation.
COVID has hit Mexico very hard — i.e., 300,000 dead in a nation of about 130 million people. It seems as though everyone I talk to in Mexico has had a friend, an acquaintance, a co-worker, or even family members who've died of COVID. Furthermore, no one believes the official figures. To be fair, Mexicans are very skeptical of government figures. In this case, their skepticism may be right.
Yes, piñatas, and the many talented people who make them, are wishing and praying that COVID goes away and the good old days come back.
PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).
Image: Pexels, public domain.
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