I got tired of putting my life on hold and took a trip to see family in Mexico.
Here are my Covid related observations.
1) In order to fly I had to take a COVID-19 test both before leaving the United States and before returning. No one in Newark Airport (New Jersey) or in the Atlanta Airport (either coming or going) did any tracking to see if I had taken the test. However, both airports in Mexico check to make sure I had taken the test. There was no temperature testing either the Newark or the Atlanta airports. There was such testing conducted in both of the Mexico airports. In addition in Mexico, you had to fill out a form to indicate whether or not you had any symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who had symptoms. There was nothing like that in the United States.
2) In entering most restaurants or larger stores, you were given hand sanitizers at the door. Some of the larger chains checked you temperature with a device that took your temperature off your wrist.
3) Most of the larger stores (and some peoples homes) had anti-microbial match with you stepped into. These were mats filled with an an antimicrobial fluid. You stepped onto the mats and then onto a foam pad (to dry your shoes so that you did not slip).
4) Considerably more than half the people on the streets in the larger towns wear face masks. In the smaller towns it was much less. The indigenous population doesn’t seem to care about Covid 19 at all.
5) You could buy ivermectin in pharmacies over the counter. I did that myself, however, after ordering they could only give me so much, since they had run out. I had to go to another branch of the same pharmacy in order to pick up the rest of the order. The price was not as much as in the United States but my family told me it used to be much less and had recently been hiked. People told me that ivermectin was regularly prescribed by doctors and in the few anecdotes that I had, I was told that it worked very well. I used it prophylactically but I left what I did not use in Mexico for my family, I was afraid of trying to bring it back into the United States.
6) A few of my relatives had been vaccinated. In Mexico the vaccinations are free, but you do not get a choice of which vaccination to get. One of my relatives got the Pfizer vaccine, one of them got the Chinese vaccine (Sinovac), one of them got the Astrazeneca vaccine. None of them had any major problems. Vaccines were only supposed to be available only to Mexican citizens, but by the time I left I was told that they were giving them to anyone who wanted them.
7) I was in the Mexican state of Chiapas (Southern Mexico). Chiapas was the state which pioneered the use of ivermectin. There were very relatively few cases in Chiapas.
8) I did some touring with my family. At one point we were actually stopped at a police checkpoint and our temperatures were taken (by the wrist monitor.) This was at the entrance to a popular tourist (archeological) destination. The police were very courteous and friendly and I found this to be true no matter where I went in Mexico.
9) I know some Spanish but not enough to read the Mexican media. I was told by one of my relatives that they report on COVID-19 but not with the same hysterics as in the United States.
Thanks for this update Mike. I’m traveling to Baja this fall with my family for a fishing trip I’ve been planning a good portion of my life. I’m so hopeful things hold together till then.
Two things really impressed me about the trip.
One, I was impressed at how happy everyone seemed. I had been to Mexico a few times before and I remembered it as being a good place but I didn’t remember it as being so starkly different than the United States. Maybe things have changed so much in the USA that the difference appeared to be so striking. People everywhere seemed so happy.
Two, I felt like I was in a “free country.” There was not the sense of oppressiveness that you grow to live with in the United States. For instance, consider this.
You often have to pass people on two lane roads when traveling. Often time drivers got right up behind the cars that they were going to pass before they accelerated to pass them. Now, the following event is what got me. One of my relatives was driving and he would get up right behind police cars (even tailgating them) before passing the police cars. I remember saying, “you would never, ever get that close to a police car in the United States. You just wouldn’t do that. You would be pulled over for sure and who knows what would happen.” But in Mexico it was not a big deal.
I also saw many things that were obvious violations of minor commercial regulatory laws that were not being enforced by the police. It was “live and let live.” The overall effect of this was that you had such a tremendous sense of freedom. Things might be different in Baja but that is how it was in southern Mexico.
Thanks Mike for the info!!
Are they pushing vaccines where you were in Mexico like they are in the USA?
Just your Opinion Overall?
I don’t think they are really pushing the vaccines as they are in the United States. My feeling was that they were making vaccines available and nothing more. I don’t think that the Mexican authorities would try to “press” the people too much out of fear of backlash. The government simply does not have the resources to effectively counter significant resistance. And, thus, they don’t push that issue. In other words, no “vaccine passports.”
On the other hand, in Mexico there is still a lot of respect for the technical competence of the United States. Thus, if the US authorities say that the vaccine is “good,” then a fair number of people will take that as “gospel” and get the vaccine based upon faith in their trust in American competence.
And, in yet another vein, many ordinary citizens look at the disease as simply one of the many hard facts of life that one has to accept. Lining up for a “vaccine” would be seen as an affectation of the wealthy and privileged.