Coronavirus: Mexico’s Response (Angel Martinez)

The spread of COVID-19 these past months have been alarming and highly concerning. Our health and wellbeing have been put at risk, and our daily routines have changed for many of us. However, the way in which we experience and are affected by the corona virus varies for everyone. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), Mexico’s current president, has taken a very relaxed approach to the virus and fails to see this reality. AMLO failed to acknowledge the danger that the virus could present for his people, and hurt thousands in the process. According to a Brookings article, he instead encouraged his people to continue to attend social gatherings, eat at restaurants, and go shopping. 

His late-March response to the virus heavily affected low-income citizens. People of lower-income already lack sufficient resources to live their usual lives, but it can become much more difficult in dangerous times such as these. Source of income, rent, and food become top priorities for these families. How is AMLO and the Mexican government affording this population with the resources and assistance they need? Most importantly, how will they address the differences in educational resources among upper/lower class school systems that are sure to be highlighted during a pandemic? The Mexican government ordered for all schools to close until the end of April, but have yet to comment on how instruction will continue or not outside of the classroom. The reality for low-income families is that while everyone else’s days would seem to have stopped, theirs would continue as time would then be concentrated on producing income. It is important for AMLO to recognize this, and provide means of continuing out-of-class instruction or find alternative methods.

 

Works Cited

Felbab-Brown, Vanda. “AMLO’s Feeble Response to COVID-19 in Mexico.” Brookings, Brookings, 30 Mar. 2020, www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/03/30/amlos-feeble-response-to-covid-19-in-mexico/.

“Mexico: López Obrador Misinforms Public on the Health Risks of the Pandemic.” Human Rights Watch, 26 Mar. 2020, www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/26/mexico-mexicans-need-accurate-covid-19-information#.

  1 comment for “Coronavirus: Mexico’s Response (Angel Martinez)

  1. mwd5aa
    April 17, 2020 at 11:02 am

    This post reminds me a lot of the Brazilian response to the Virus. The President there had a similar apathetic response to the global panic and frequently compared it to the Seasonal Flu, seeing it as just another virus that the population would just have to weather. Due to that kind of shrugging off of the importance, Brazil has some of the highest rate of infection in the world and hundreds are dying. Your point about low-income families being especially affected is a very true one and the class inequality is certainly being exacerbated. I wonder though, what would the correct move have been? While taking no action against the virus leads to deaths, it kept schools open; but by closing schools, the wealthy institutions are favored. In such strange times, it’s really hard to know what to prioritize, and things change so quickly, one day’s news can be radically different than the next.

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