Coronavirus in Isla Mujeres near Cancun, Mexico
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Apr 14, 2020 Update
We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. He replied...
My wife and I live on Isla Mujeres, a small island just east of Cancun, Mexico. It's usually bustling with tourists, but now it is hushed. All hotels, resorts, and bars have been closed as well as the restaurants. Some restaurants are allowed to do carry-out and delivery, but no eating in at their place. Most small businesses have been declared non-essential. Schools and churches are also closed. Just a few days ago, they instituted new rules for vehicles. We can go to work, the grocery store, and the pharmacy. During parts of the day, you must be able to show documentation for your reason to be out. If you are out after 8 PM, you'd better be on your way to the hospital. If you are spotted on the beach, or just out for a walk, you will be sent home, possibly ticketed. Next week they plan to distribute face masks door-to-door, and anyone outdoors or at work will always be required to wear one.
So far, the police have been very polite and helpful, but I wouldn’t want to irritate them in any way.
The islanders are quickly going broke. The primary source of income is the tourist business, so unemployment is widespread. The government has started passing out food baskets to every household. The central grocery store has begun home delivery for those who have access to their website.
As of this posting, the island has only one case of Covid-19. There is a hospital here, but they have no equipment to treat this disease. The hospital is more like an urgent care center back in the States. If you come in with a severe problem, they will do their best to stabilize you and transfer you by ferry to a larger hospital in Cancun.
There are several instances of real generosity. One group of ex-pats collected money and distributed about 250 grocery store gift cards. A local restaurant served a fish dinner to over 200 people at no charge. Finally, a local restaurateur has been distributing food baskets. He even volunteered to prepare meals in his home kitchen for those who could not cook and will also deliver them. Ruben has been known for years for his huge heart for the children and disadvantaged folks of the island.
How People are Coping
We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? He replied...
Fairly well, although it is difficult for these folks to be socially distant. It goes against their nature.
We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. He replied...
The government of our State, Quintana Roo, takes it very seriously
Supplies and Shortages
We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? He replied...
Preparing for the Future
We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? He replied...
We are very self-isolated. Groceries are delivered to our door, other than that, we have practically no contact with the outside world. We plan to ride out the pandemic right where we are.
Lockdown & Passing the Time
We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time?
Puzzles, games, reading and some TV.
Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals
We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? He replied...
We are not eligible to enroll. Locally equipment and supplies are in short supply.
Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals
We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. He replied...
We have Medicare and emergency evacuation coverage.
We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. He replied...
We are not considering a return to the USA unless it becomes very bad here. Any return would be temporary.
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