MEXICO CITY – Mexico has crossed the 100,000 figure in confirmed COVID-19 deaths, becoming only the fourth country among concerns about physical and psychological stains on survivors.
Mexico’s director of epidemiology Jose Luis Alomia Zegra announced late Thursday that COVID-19 deaths were confirmed to be 100,104 behind the United States, Brazil and India in Mexico.
Mexico’s numbers include only test-confirmed deaths; The true toll is much higher. In late October, a government study of excess mortality found that around 140,000 deaths this year were likely attributable to new coronoviruses, a number that has since risen.
The milestone topped 1 million registered coronavirus infections in Mexico less than a week later, though officials believe the number is probably too high due to low levels of testing.
Coverage of back-to-back milestones has sparked the hack of President Andrés Manuel López Obredor, who on Friday suggested that the country’s epidemic politics were criticized as political attacks and compared critics to “vultures” . His administration has doubted the usefulness of face masks – the president almost never wears them – and has defended his low rate of testing.
“Why change?” He said on Friday about the policies of the epidemics of his administration. “Just because the people who used to steal and rob us don’t like it, or we don’t like to see it in power? “
When asked about the death of 100,000 people in Mexico, Assistant Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatel on Thursday reported the epidemic. Lopez-Gatel has angrily dismissed criticism that the government is reducing COVID-19 deaths or providing contradictory and weak advice on using face masks.
“The epidemic is terrible in itself, you don’t have to add drama to it,” Lupez-Gatl said, with some media outlets focusing on selling newspapers or the number of deaths. “Political Confrontation”.
“Putting the figures on the front page, in my view, doesn’t help much,” he said. “I also find it disrespectful to those who have died, and their families.”
Mexico resembles a divided country, where some people unaffected by the epidemic will not wear masks, while others are so frightened that they descend in terror at the first sign of shortness of breath.
With little testing done – Mexico only tests people with severe symptoms and has performed only about 2.5 million tests in a country of 130 million – and a general fear of hospitals, many people in Mexico have tried home remedies and relatives Have turned to care.
Such is the case in the poverty-stricken Ampliacene Magdalena neighborhood on Mexico City’s Rough East Side, where most people work as daily wage laborers in the city’s vast produce market.
The busy market was home to 21 million people, the scene of one of the first major outbreaks in the metropolitan area, and so quickly the epidemic swept over local corpses with corpses.
Community leader Daniel Alfredo López Gonzalez said the “local funeral home” looked like a bakery, with people lined up. The owner of the funeral home told them that some people waited for the corpse to be found for burial, while others were queuing for the funeral of their relatives.
The lack of hospitals in some areas and the apprehensions of those present with low levels of testing have created a breeding ground for ignorance, doubt and fear.
Lopez Gonzalez himself described the disease. Despite being recovered, the fear was crushing.
“This is a tremendous psychosis. Finally, sometimes the disease itself may not be so severe, but it is for a person’s psyche, ”said López González. “Knowing that you have this type of disease can make it worse as a disease itself.”
Her sister, public health outreach activist Dulce Maria López Gonzalez, raised four of her family members through COVID-19, relying on advice and medicines from a doctor who was treating her own relatives .
His first brush with the psychological effects of the epidemic was his own fear that his job as a health worker might have exposed him to it.
“I can’t breathe,” she remembers thinking. “And I said to myself, ‘No, this is a psychological question.”
He forced himself to calm down, noting: “If I acted thinking that I was sick, that I was going to die, I was going to have a heart attack.”
Her second brush with its effects included her relatives’ decision to ride home the disease. He had to desperately discover how to obtain rare and expensive medical equipment.
“There came a point when I said no, I can’t do that,” Lopez Gonzalez said.
The final straw was when her husband, spared the first round of infection, appeared in a taxi as a panic attack, thinking that he was infected and could not breathe.
“He said he began to enter a state of psychosis, in which he thought he had the disease,” she said.
Nevertheless, they were afraid of government hospitals.
“It’s really like a cycle of terror,” she said. “We were afraid of going to the hospital after hearing everything you said on social media. It was a great psychosis. “
But López González, whose work includes free surgical masks to residents, has also seen the other side of psychologist Melestrom: those who don’t care.
“I saw this person, to whom I was given a mask, and I told him that he should not be out without it,” he said. “He told me that no, nothing was going to happen to him. Two weeks later we came to know that she had died of COVID. “
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