COVID-19 a threat to all.
At home we all know the drill for dealing with COVID. We should wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, wash our hands frequently, avoid crowds, and limit unnecessary excursions away from home. When we have been exposed to someone who has recently tested positive or turns out to have the virus infection or are returning from an environment that has increased our exposure, we should enter quarantine for up to 14 days.
These defensive activities are all we had till now. But as we await our vaccination, we continue to use them against the relentless threat of COVID. Moreover, how rapidly and completely we can abandon these practices after we have received the vaccine is yet to be determined.
We understand this in our own country and are told the threat is worldwide. We read and see on television that these precautions are being carried out elsewhere. What are the practices in other societies?
A recent trip to Mexico has answered some questions for me. The local population is scrupulous about wearing masks in public. When entering many business establishments; for example, Costco and Walmart the people inside practice this. Before entry into the stores a screening temperature is obtained. This is also done when reentering a gated community where I was staying. As in the United States separation is difficult to do with moving targets, but in general the population seems mindful of this precaution.
The weather in January in Mexico, at the 25th degree parallel, about in line with South Florida, is warm. The sun shines most of the time and the outside is beckoning. Living in a place that is not crowded makes it possible to spend a great deal of time outdoors in the fresh air and away from crowds. Restaurants are open with most dining outdoors. In the evening gas heaters are used.
There is a suggestion that wearing a mask in public has been mandated by the government. While visiting a large Marina I saw several police officers wearing masks and they seemed to be monitoring compliance, but only for locals. This Marina was in a vacation area that attracted many tourists who were less likely to be wearing a mask and overtly social distancing. Many clusters appeared to be family units.
Around the city and the community where I was staying there are many signs dealing with compliance describing measures to control the spread of the virus. From my observations the response to COVID-19 in this country is not significantly different from what I have observed in the United States. This makes me believe that reports that I see in the media about other countries are likely to be true that this indeed is a worldwide phenomenon. In my lifetime I cannot recall a time when a specific event or condition has invoked such a uniform and widespread response. COVID-19 is a threat to all. It recognizes neither boundaries in geography nor race.
Has COVID-19 demonstrated the common exogenous denominator for humankind?
By Gene Helveston
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