Daily life in Playa del Carmen during COVID-19
Yesterday I wrote on my Dutch Website that life continues as normal here in Playa del Carmen. But then by the end of the day, the Mexican Government rolled out the rules, regulations, and information about COVID-19 phase 1 en phase 2.
I was amazed to see how the Mexican Government rolled out its plan of approach department by department yesterday. It gave the impression of a well-thought-through plan and a huge well-planned media campaign. It was a strategic move. Since the world and especially the Americas feel Mexicos reluctance to close the borders is a huge mistake.
I would say: with all other countries on lock-down, there are not many people coming in nor going out, for there is nothing to travel to. So in a weird way, Mexico’sborders are closed, only not by announcing this, but because of third-party decisions.
Phase one implies more or less
- informing the public about what, where, and how
- setting up screening and testing locations
- social distancing
- cancellation of group meetings
- granting schools not a 2 week easter holiday but a 4 week holiday
- Presenting the graphs and stats of the phase
- setting up emergency hospitals
- giving the number of beds, respiratory devices, test kits
- calling back all medical staff
- inform the public about physical and mental health in times of stress and possible isolation.
In phase 1, everything is explained by every department, from the rules in penitentiary institutions, and visiting hours there, up to the birthday of your aunt. How to behave, what to do and not to do, and what to expect from the government.
There are phone numbers, SMS numbers, an online course, there are publications and photo illustrations of how material and buildings are sanitized and how people will be monitored.
Some states have closed down casinos, party venues, and public places like amusement parks, other states focus more on cordon sanitaire for entry ports and rules passenger.
Social distancing starts immediately but at least next Monday giving supermarkets and public places time to prepare for this.
Phase two was more like: We have calculated X-amount of seriously ill due to the measurements taken in Phase 1 and this is how we respond to those predicted numbers.
The same hashtags are used over and over again to make campaigns and information recognizable
Hashtags used are highly motivational, like: together against COVID-19
Social Media, radio and TV broadcast commercials and infotainment are of high quality and attractive to look at and listen to.
5th Avenue is very quiet, I hope for the business there the Semana Santa will bring some revenue
Meanwhile, 5th Avenue the main shopping street for tourists is very empty when I walk there. Salespeople are extremely pushy and all over me. There are not many tourists. Most restaurants seem empty and I do hope for the local economy this is just a slow day in the week. But with half the world on lock-down and airlines not flying holiday passengers anymore I fear the worse for the businesses in Playa del Carmen.
My landlady told me about rentees fleeing back home and numerous cancellations.
Fewer vendors in the streets around my house as well, no pastelles from door to door, or bread, and even the man with the water barrels has vanished.
Only the Soni Gas car drives around. And it seems a lot quieter all over. Last night in the food court of Plaza Americas there weren’t that many people and the first face masks appeared.
Facemasks, hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, and vitamin C have become a rare item to find
Am I scared? No, I am not. I am worried a little, well, yesterday I was worried a lot, but seeing the professional way the government is handling this really calmed my mind. I cannot control it, neither can they but they sure as hell give it a good try!
JC from Holland
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher, and iPhone photographer. Always horizon bound preferably on a motorcycle. Currently, she she is on a road trip through Mexico She is an emigration coach and works online.