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Experiencing the Coronavirus Pandemic in Mexico

Published August 9, 2020 in Health & Safety , Mexico - 0 Comments

Note: This article deals with my experience living under the coronavirus situation in Mexico from around February to August 9, 2020.

Around February of 2020 if I remember right…

There was news I was seeing about this “coronavirus” stuff…

Now, back then, I didn’t take it seriously whatsoever and honestly didn’t care about it.

I always skipped the articles about it because I thought it would be another Zika or something…

Something that is problematic for sure…

And will probably kill some people here and there….

But the world will go on normally and it won’t interrupt the daily life of most people for the most part.

Boy, was I wrong…

Well, things continued to escalate…

I think at one point Joe Biden said he would use the military to combat it about a month later more or less….

And things were seeming to shut down and whatever…

And all of a sudden politicians were talking about giving me a $1,200 USD check…

Which is kinda cool to be honest…

All of a sudden I was liking this whole coronavirus thing – 1,200 USD checks though my life hasn’t really been impacted?

Shit, keep them coming!

Can the economy get any worse please?

I’d really appreciate some more 1,200 checks.

No longer was I getting the cheap liquor…

Now I was getting fancy – buying Jack Daniels and Grey Goose.

No more cheap ass Oso Negro for me….

If they had kept these 1,200 USD checks up…

Shit, maybe I can afford my own private helicopter…

Joking aside, I still wasn’t taking the whole coronavirus thing too seriously..

As, for those who live down here in Latin America would know, we tend to run on mañana time.

Where things that happen in the US take their sweet ass time getting down to Latin America.

Can also be applied to when you have a meeting or a date scheduled and the local folks down here take their sweet ass time showing up.

Meeting at 9?

Fuck you, meeting starts at 10.

Either way, that’s a topic for another day….

But, to my surprise, not every country was following good ol’ mañana time as expected…

Some countries, if I remember right, like El Salvador, Colombia and Argentina were taking it quite seriously…

Just to name a few….

But what about Mexico?

Where I live as of this writing and where I have been since this whole coronavirus thing has gotten worse?

Well, from what I understand, it largely depends on which part of Mexico you are in as apparently other areas of Mexico have taken it more seriously…

But I will tell you here my experience with the coronavirus in Pachuca de Soto, Mexico and also Mexico City.

So going back a bit…

Living in Pachuca de Soto, Hidalgo

Pachuca de Soto, Mexico

Pachuca de Soto is the capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo.

It’s a nice little city with its own charm and plenty of friendly people.

And really kick ass burger joint that was next to my apartment back when I lived there…

Some cute girls too…

And a bar across the street from where I lived that had a bunch of interesting folks…

Either way, I was in Pachuca de Soto when all of this coronavirus stuff started to happen.

I left Pachuca de Soto by April 2nd of 2020 if I remember right.

And had been living there since July 2019.

Either way, I was there in the very early stages of Mexico taking this whole coronavirus thing more seriously.

So keep that in mind – Pachuca might have changed after I left.

But back in my final days before I left…

I didn’t really see anybody wear a mask outside.

There were tons of people walking outside and it seemed pretty chill.

In my final day there, I do remember a clothing store closing up for the time being due to the coronavirus.

I remember that because I was looking to buy some pants and this fucking place closed up!

They had great deals from what I remember – oh well.

But that was the only measure I saw of the locals taking the coronavirus seriously in Pachuca de Soto back when I was living there up until around April 2nd, 2020.

Arrival to Mexico City

Mexico City

I arrived to Mexico City at around April 2nd more or less from what I remember.

I was staying at some hotel very close to Metro Insurgentes.

An area of Mexico City I know very well and like quite a bit due to my memories of all the fun I had around there in my first year in Mexico City.

As you can read about here..

Now when I showed up to Mexico City…

I arrived to the bus station in the northern part of the city closest to Metro Autobuses del Norte.

When I showed up, some guy had to scan my forehead to make sure I wasn’t too hot.

And, surprisingly, I got past that guy without any problem.

Despite carrying with me 3 suitcases, some gym weights, two backpacks, a box and some other bags of stuff with me.

Some of my stuff....

As a lady at the bus station in Pachuca told me, I was carrying “the whole house” with me.

Yeah, I was.

And it was a fucking pain in the ass bringing all of that back to Mexico City.

Somehow, I did it.

And despite sweating greatly from carrying it all with me, the guy who scanned my heat didn’t have a problem.

Thankfully.

Either way, we get past him and I noticed right away that the bus station in the northern part of Mexico City was a fucking ghost town.

Every time I would pass by this area, there were always tons of people.

Not this day.

Regardless, I get a taxi and head to my hotel near Metro Insurgentes for the night.

Where I would spend the next day doing some visits to a few possible apartment options in the city.

And in my time around Roma area, I noticed that it was a little bit like a ghost town also in that area.

Not where there was nobody outside necessarily…

But that there was a lot less people anyway than what I was used to…

On top of that, I know about one guy who lives closer to El Centro area that has said that there has been a lot less people there also.

But that makes sense, I suppose – not too many tourists I’d imagine.

Suffice to say, this part of Mexico City was definitely taking the coronavirus more seriously…

Much more so than Pachuca de Soto.

It was like a night and day difference between the two areas.

I remember so many restaurants and bars closed…

With only some allowing take out.

Either way, it was time to go apartment hunting this day….

Apartment Hunting

Mexico City

I remember after taking a shower in my hotel…

And looking out of my apartment window…

Feeling very happy to be back in Mexico City again…

It was like being a kid in a candy shop…

So many bars to visit….

So many chicas lindas en minifalda to mess around with….

Not to say they don’t have those things in Pachuca…

But it doesn’t compare to Mexico City.

Mexico City has so much more entertainment for the single man.

And for someone young like me, it can be a great place to have many memories.

On top of that, I can finally reconnect with so many of my old friends in the city.

Well, I’ve been kinda wrong on that…

But we will get to that later…

So off apartment hunting!

I mostly looked around Roma area and also some areas in the south of the city close to Metro Copilco, UNAM, etc…

Once I got south of the city…

I noticed a huge ass difference between that area and Roma.

As I left one of the metros down south in the city…

I noticed this huge ass market that went on forever in this particular street….

So many vendors and people outside..

Businesses open.

Restaurants open as well…

Etc, etc…

It was night and day difference from Roma.

Though it hasn’t been like this forever now…

Reflection Since April to August

Mexico City

Though my first impression in this part of the city was that nobody was taking the coronavirus seriously…

That seemed to change over time down here in the 4 months down here…

To give some examples…

My landlord used to run a small side hustle of selling hamburgers, fries and wings to people in the neighborhood for cheap prices.

And I’ll give him credit – they were tasty.

However, he stopped doing that very suddenly…

Right around the time his dad, who lived in the apartment building upstairs, died from the coronavirus.

All of a sudden, the whole family was taking the coronavirus more seriously – wearing masks all the time, no more selling hamburgers, etc…

I felt sorry for them – the wife of the husband who died was obviously impacted by the loss quite a bit.

And she’s a nice lady too – all around sad to see something like that happen to her.

Furthermore, the open air market that I mentioned that is basically outside my apartment as of now…

Well, not as popular anymore…

On my first day down here apartment hunting, I saw a ton of people going through it.

As of recently, it looks relatively dead.

You see some folks walking through it but not anywhere near as much…

When it comes to restaurants?

Well, any restaurant that allowed people to sit down stopped that in about a month or two months…

Like around May to June ish…

But now that we are in mid August, you see more and more restaurants, cafes and bars allowing people to sit down.

I went to this burger joint down the street just the other day and was surprised when the waitress asked if I was going to be sitting down or do take out.

So things are starting to reverse in that direction…

You also have Soriana – the nearby supermarket – that has gotten more strict on entrance policies.

And hasn’t reversed that in anyway.

It used to be you could walk in with no real restrictions from what I remember in my earliest days here.

Then it turned into “you got to wear a mask” pretty quick.

I showed up at around 8 AM and any nearby place that sold masks was closed at the moment..

So the guy at the entrance gave me a spare mask he had…

As you can see below here…

It wasn’t the best mask – it has like a very slight tear in it, very thin and I’m not entirely sure it would actually protect me.

But apparently it’s good enough for Soriana!

Though I did eventually get a better mask as you can see here – new and improved version!

Only 10 pesos worth (like 50 cents).

At the same time, Soriana was scanning people’s heads for heat but now they let the broader shopping mall it is located in to do that.

Hand sanitizer required also.

And, as of recently in like the last week or two, they now have restrictions on the amount of people who can enter the Soriana at any given time.

When it comes to normal businesses though that are not as big as Soriana?

Well, I’m not a business owner obviously so I don’t have any personal experience…

But I have seen a handful of businesses down here go under and close up shop – not reopening.

There’s a nice lady down the street from me who does haircuts at 40 pesos (about 2 bucks).

Very nice lady.

We got talking the other day as she was giving me a haircut…

And she was mentioning about her business suffering greatly…

“Just yesterday, I only had 2 clients and had to close up early because it doesn’t make sense to stay open!”

Which is probably true as I had issues getting her to give me a haircut as she was always closed much more than normal.

And, based on what I suspect, I feel she might be going under also – 2 clients a day I don’t think is going to support her business.

Either way, I gave her a 20 peso (about a dollar) tip for the haircut.

Which is a little bit more than the usual 10% that sometimes folks down here offer.

Not much in the grand scheme of things but all I had left in my pocket that afternoon.

And she isn’t the only one…

I got a friend down here who also had to get a haircut…

His usual barber, who wasn’t able to cut hair for two months or so, was offered to come by and give him a haircut personally at his apartment.

The usual haircut he would pay for would normally cost 350 pesos.

The barber ended up demanding a bit more than that though.

Kinda rubbed the guy I know the wrong way but you know…

Plus, the landlord he has is also struggling from what I heard.

Lots of people obviously who are feeling the financial pinch down here.

And to the point also that they are now beginning to reopen things a bit more…

More and more businesses have reopened as I mentioned with some standards on how to reopen….

Around Centro area, they tried reopening but had to reclose for a few days when the area got swamped by people trying to shop.

Before reopening again.

As you can read here..

So, as of this writing, I guess you could say…

You know, plenty of people feeling a strong financial pinch from what I have seen…

Many businesses going under or have gone under…

But now things seem to be reopening a bit as of this writing on August 9, 2020.

What About Myself?

Mexico City

Thankfully, I haven’t really experienced any financial pain from this crisis.

My income hasn’t been impacted in any meaningful way..

And I got a random $1,200 USD some months ago…

Apparently I might get another one of those in a month or two maybe…

We will see on that…

Would be nice anyway if they did offer me another one since I can use that to buy myself some new gym weights for my birthday next month….

Because I kinda need it at this point – the gym weights I got now are not really that big and I should move up now…

And also I can use it to have a great time for my birthday.

Health wise?

Well, there was one point where I felt some of the sympyoms of Coronavirus…

A fever…

Plenty of coughing…

Slight irritability with breathing (or however you would put that)…

But nothing major.

The symptoms were very mild.

And to this day, I’m not sure if that was the Coronavirus or not…

Maybe…

Maybe not…

But that all happened in the month before I traveled to Mexico City if I remember right.

Thankfully, I haven’t died!

And, statistically speaking, I probably won’t.

I did this Coronavirus Survival test as you can see here..

Where my chance of dying was estimated at 0.05% but my chance of catching it was 62%.

Soooo…..a mixed bag with that one, I suppose.

And when it comes to social life and all…

Well, as I said before, I was excited coming back to Mexico City to hang out with old friends…

And maybe meet some chicks I have known down here also for a date or two.

In my time down here, I’ve met a few but haven’t really tried going out on dates too much…

Just haven't put that much time into it just yet.

And this other guy who recently spent some time in Mexico City told me that it is hard to get chicks to show up apparently.

Not surprising, I suppose.

Though, from what I have seen only so briefly myself, it seems like the upper class chicks down here are more concerned about meeting than chicks who come from more normal backgrounds.

At least from what I have seen and what a friend of mine has seen also.

And some of the friends I had in Mexico City also moved out for the time being..

Because they lost their jobs and had to move back in with their parents outside of Mexico City in nearby places…

Like Toluca…

But some of them are coming back later this month and in September…

So, similar to the whole businesses closing down here and reopening…

It feels like social life is going to pick up a tiny bit slowly and slowly down here…

Probably not too quick but we will see…

But, either way, it hasn’t been too much of an issue for me.

I’ve been using this time anyway to focus on myself…

Improve my online income a little bit more…

Read some books…

Meet the occasional chick here and there for a date....

And also meet some of the friends left in this city that haven’t moved out due to financial issues..

Like a friend of mine named Angie who we met up again for the first time some months ago…

Who lives closer to Metro La Viga as of this writing…

She had a good laugh at the face mask I was wearing initially…

And outside of all of that, just do some minor home work outs and all…

After all of this…

I am feeling a bit anxious to go out and meet more people…

It’s been good doing a lot of self-reflection and focusing all of this extra time on self-improvement…

But now I am feeling the need to go out and meet new people again.

Just recently, I joined an “Expats in Mexico City” group on Whatsapp…

Which is unusual for me given that 99% of the people I have met and hanged out with in Mexico have been other Mexicans and not foreigners..

Or Latinos from other countries..

Not because I avoid other foreigners but that has been how the cards fell…

Though, because of that, I’ve felt a need to go out and meet other foreigners just to see what other people like me living down here are like…

Maybe break out of my “Mexican bubble” I guess you can call it or whatever…

Especially as my time in Mexico City is limited and I plan on leaving Mexico City for a while by, most likely, December 2021.

Before heading off to live in other countries in Latin America.

Something I would have done by next January quite possibly if it wasn’t for the coronavirus.

But that’s fine – Mexico City is a cool place to chill at – so not too many complaints.

Anyway, that’s everything that I can think of regarding my experience living in Mexico City during this whole coronavirus situation.

If you got any experiences dealing with it in Mexico or other areas of the world…

Let me know below in the comment section.

Would look forward to any comments from others.

And follow my Twitter here.

Thanks!

Best regards,

Matt

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