MEXICO CITY – Between working at home, exercising with her roommate, and eating everything on Netflix, life in lockdown was fine.
But when the coronovirus epidemic wore off endlessly, Rob George began to find the unbearable in his West Hollywood home.
Was 31 weeks old, where I wouldn’t leave my house, just worked all day – my mental health was definitely suffering, “said Mr. George, 31, who manages business operations for a technology start-up Does.
So when a Mexican friend said that he was traveling to Mexico City in November, Mr. George decided to tag along. Now, he is calling the Mexican capital home – a part of a growing number of foreigners, mainly Americans, heading to Mexico for a short trip or staying longer to avoid a home ban.
They are partially attracted to the possibility of bringing a slightly normalcy into their lives, where the coronovirus ban has been more relaxed than at home, even Kovid-19 record breaking case. Some of them are staying, at least for a while, and six-month tourist visas are granted upon arrival to Americans.
“I’m not interested in going back,” Mr. George said.
But it can be a relief for many foreigners while coming to this country, especially for those who run in cold weather, some Mexicans take irresponsible steps due to an epidemic, especially as the virus Mexico City And overwhelms his hospitals. Others say the problem lies with Mexican authorities, who waited too long to implement strict lockdown measures, which entice outsiders to places like Mexico City.
“It would have been less attractive if fewer people had come,” said Javier Tello, Mexico City’s health policy analyst. “But what we’re building is a vicious cycle, where we’re getting more people, who are potentially contagious or infected elsewhere, and they keep mixing with people who are possibly contagious in Mexico City Or are infected. “
In November, more than half a million Americans arrived in Mexico – out of them, about 50,000 arrived at Mexico City’s airport, according to official figures, less than half the number of American visitors who arrived in November last year, but Tal. A boom from 4,000 which came in April, when most of Mexico closed. Since then, the numbers have steadily increased: between June and August, American visitors have more than doubled.
All other American visitors to Mexico flew to beach resorts such as Los Cabos and Cancun.
It is unclear how many tourists are there and how many are relocating, at least temporarily. Some may be Mexicans who also have American passports, and are visiting family. But walking the streets of Mexico City’s trendier neighborhood these days, it can sometimes seem that English has become the official language.
“A lot of people are either coming down and touring to test it, or have just relocated completely,” Cara Araneta, a former New York resident who has lived in and out of Mexico City for two years Said, and came back. To the capital in June.
However, an important phase of the epidemic enters Mexico City; Hospitals are so spread that many sick people are living at home as their relatives are struggling to buy them oxygen. American Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises Americans Avoid all travel To Mexico.
The capital’s health care system is “basically overwhelmed,” Mr Tello said via WhatsApp message. “the worst is yet to come.”
In mid-December, officials raised Mexico City’s warning system to the highest level – red – requiring immediate closure of all but essential businesses. But lockout Numbers became important week after week, Even from the government’s own figures, except shops with Christmas shops and restaurants full of diners.
With its leafy streets and quaint cafes, Roma and Condesa’s upscale Mexico City neighborhoods have attracted migrants fleeing sky-high fares to New York or Los Angeles over the years. But with the increasing number of youth now working from home, the so-called Cool axis Has become even more attractive, even as Mexico City residents face a public health crisis.
In most parts of the world, the most affluent are often the least affected. In Roma Norte, the contrast is vivid: In a corner recently, working-class Mexicans lined up to buy oxygen tanks for their relatives, while just-away young people queued for croissants did.
Mexico City is hardly the only Mexican destination to see an increase in foreign visitors, especially Americans, who – with the epidemic in the United States – Banned travel to many countries. While some Latin American countries have closed their borders completely several times, Mexico has imposed some restrictions: Mexico was The third most visited country in 2020According to the Mexican government, from the seventh last year, citing preliminary data from the World Tourism Organization.
Much of this trip has been concentrated in the country’s popular beach resorts where coronovirus restrictions can be even more relaxed. Los Cabos About 100,000 Americans arrived in November, while Cancun had 236,000 American visitors, down only 18 percent in 2019. Tullum, a nearby resort town Made headlines In November to host an art and music festival that saw hundreds of caves performing maskless dances inside underground caves.
Mexico City officials have urged residents to refrain from parties and celebrations, and even before the most recent lockdown, the government had limited the capacity of the restaurant and banned the sale of restaurant liquor after 7pm , Yet these measures were far away from American cities like Los Angeles, in late November, Angeles, Outdoor food banned All public ceremonies completely and prohibited.
“Even with restrictions, just being able to be outside, and working from socially distant cafes and realizing that I’ve been super supportive not at a standstill,” Mr. George, former Angelo he said.
Like most foreigners visiting Mexico, Mr. George said he was aware of the risks of traveling during an epidemic, and took precautions such as wearing masks. But being able to have some freedom, combined with the excitement of living in a new country, causes risks to their health for many.
“I know people who have spent the last year living in the shadow of fear, who have not left their homes, who have lost their jobs,” said Alexander Vignogna, 33 years old. His partner, in January. “But instead of something adventurous and calming like me and my girlfriend, they just stayed home, depressed.”
Such laissez-faire attitudes of outsiders have angered many residents, Mexican and foreign alike.
“Tourists (mainly from the US, it seems) in Mexico flood to avoid the restrictions imposed by their home states,” said Lauren Cocking, 26, a British Blogger Who, in an email, has been in Mexico for about five years.
They “consider Mexico as some kind of chaotic adventure land, where they can avoid the need to wear masks or stay indoors.”
Others say that crowds of foreigners welcome the struggling Mexico City economy.
“Mexico needs the most people so that the economy can improve,” said 25-year-old William Velázek Yáñez, who was working as a valet parking attendant at a new parking lot in Roma Norte, from the latest lockdown first.
He lost his job at the onset of the epidemic, and was eventually recalled, yet his pay was cut and his health insurance expired. With more people eating out, his owner can start paying him more, Mr. Velczak said.
But enjoying a packed dining room or other activities when considered a normal meal.
Nicole Joudon moved to Mexico City from Canada after a job here in July. Part of her motivation was that after closing the borders of Canada, she had herself cut off from her Scottish lover. Mexico’s open borders and long tourist visas for Europeans gave them a chance to live together.
Both he and his partner Kovid-19 then became ill. They were wary, Ms. Joudoin said, but dined several times and took Ubers before becoming ill. The pair have isolated themselves and have been fine since, but Ms. Jodoin’s symptoms have persisted.
Still, most foreigners say that life in Mexico City is better than home. Former New York resident Ms. Araneta went to visit her family in San Diego in November, but was a challenge in the United States.
“It felt more isolated,” he said. “Too many people too much on their own.”