We’ve all seen how relaxed Mexico has been taking the Coronavirus whilst all the surrounding countries were closing their borders immediately preventing anyone leaving or coming in.
In fact, when I first arrived in Mexico, they were so proud of being ‘Coronavirus free’ that they had a sign in the airport to state this.
Well, many things have changed since then and fast forward to the middle of the month, they decide to keep their borders open so travellers in Guatemala and Honduras were being told to cross the border and try to make their way home from there since there wasn’t lockdown.
But then things starting to change around 18th March when they thought they should really advise the citizens that they would start lockdown from Monday 23rd March where only supermarkets and pharmacies will be open – they recommended that all other businesses should close.
During that week, large hotel resorts on the hotelzone fired almost EVERYONE – I mean ONE hotel has 900 housekeepers and not including the Food & Beverage, Marketing, Sales Teams etc.. so the figure of closing multiples of resorts means there are thousands of people being left unemployed with no financial help.
It was a very confusing time as it seemed like no one was really taking it seriously and still going on with day to day life with buses still running and shops selling crafts/souvenirs. I managed to still go to the shops (that were open), go to the hotelzone beaches and catch the public transport whereas in other parts in Latin America – they have police on the beach guarding it and stopping people going outside for a run.
It seems they have a light approach but as this invisible killer is spreading, it will mean that Mexico will catch up with other parts of the world have to prepare for lockdown and deploying their police or army officers to enforce lockdown.
(Update: 30th March 2020 – Mexico has declared a national health emergency and has enforced lockdown for 4 weeks. My prediction skills are on point!).
Meanwhile, there seemed to be a significant reduced number of flights leaving from Mexico and there seems to be Embassy flights taking place from Mexico since it’s the only airport in Latin America open.
There was a debate with a few people of whether to wait it out in Mexico or go home. I met a Spanish girl who had a job and she would still have a place to stay as well as get paid if she was in Mexico and considering everything that was happening in her home country Spain, she was better off staying in Mexico as she would still be working even through lockdown and living in a nice place.
Whereas, as a unpaid traveller – there were a lot of thoughts running through my head which gave me more reason to come home:
- My parents old so if the worst were to happen, I wouldn’t be there or be able to get a flight back
- Medical care – if I was to get ill and need to go to the hospital – will there be enough ventilators or do I want to be put in a position where there is a child or elderly person that needs in more and the doctors have to choose between me and them?
- On top of this, I don’t think I would be able to experience Mexico at it’s fullest because they are afraid of foreigners as they seem to be the ones spreading.
During this debate, local cities were closing the roads (including Yucatan and Quintana Roo) where you couldn’t even enter them on the bus or car – the restrictions were happening and it’s only going to get stricter from here.
So at this stage, I thought it may be best if I try to make it back to the UK.
As you can imagine, staying in a hostel, there was a lot of people around me that was PANICKING about getting home to their countries and the high number of cancelled flights being made EVERYWHERE. My flights got cancelled three times in 72 hours so it was quite stressful but I found a route home whereas there were others camping out at the airport finding routes where they can transfer through without having problems.
This pandemic is real and maybe one day we will be old and laugh at the situation… That time in the world where everything stopped; no new Netflix shows, no films, no more travelling, no social contact, no social gatherings… it’s pretty extreme.
We’ve all adapted to our ‘House Party’ and ‘Zoom’ apps to socialise and drink with one another. Dating has certainly changed with people video calling one another – I mean perhaps this is a good social experiment as it’s like the ‘Love is Blind’ Netflix experiment.
I am a single person myself and I do love a good social experiment but my issue is I am a people person so I like to feel one’s aura and what energy they transmit as it shows me the type of person they are. I find it very hard to express myself during video calls and messages. Technology has built a new form of communication for sure but how long will this last? Will there be a high number of people falling in love with their screens? We shall see…
NOTE: If you are trapped in a country, PLEASE PLEASE notify your embassy within that country and your embassy at home (like the Foreign Office or Overseas Travel Office). Although it seems like they aren’t doing anything, your embassy needs to know how many citizens are stuck and they have to use that information to negotiate with the countries to allow planes to have access, permission for airspace traffic routes and let’s be honest, every government is going to want something in return to allow you to get home. Most embassies want to try get you home and they will be giving away MASSIVE favours to get you home.
P.S. I was ill when I returned back to the UK – it appeared to be flu like symptoms and I do not know if I had COVID 19 BUT I can say that I have fully recovered 😊.