We know about the new shutdown here at home. What’s happening just across our borders?
Well, it’s not so good in Mexico. And not as good as it was just a few weeks ago in Canada.
One Detroit’s Bill Kubota talks to a Canadian and a Mexican to find out more.
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Miguel Angel Vega My wife is pregnant, we’re expecting a baby and we’re basically locked down here in Mexico. I haven’t got a haircut, because I’m trying to stay away from people.
The situation in Mexico City is, it’s bad, but people are still going out, just people many people, out there, there has never been a lockdown in Mexico City.
If you want to have a test then you have to pay but it’s more expensive for Mexican families. It’s almost 200 dollars to test. And of course, most people don’t have that money not to mention that there are so many layoffs. Many families have lost their jobs, so they have no money, so the situation is not good.
But the truth is numbers doesn’t really show the reality. More people die, at least I dare to say maybe four times the number they are saying and I can tell you this because I’ve been working in Mexico City with different media outlets from all over and we conducted many different investigations and we spoke to with people from funeral homes and hospitals and doctors, nurses, paramedics and they are saying you know that the numbers the Mexican government is giving, that doesn’t really match what we are seeing. The hospitals are almost full, people are dying, and not to mention, health care workers also are dying.
Michael Poirier Two weeks ago in Windsor we had zero cases per day. Now we’re up to 51 per day.
Bill Kubota Do you feel comfortable going out these days?
Michael Poirier Yeah, because I do feel comfortable because when I go out I would say 99 percent of everybody I see is following the rules and if they’re not they’re usually not allowed in the businesses here, right? So at the beginning of the pandemic when it wasn’t a law to wear the mask you would we see people who’d go into stores and just refuse to where a mask and there was nothing you could do but now it’s enforced by law.
I know our numbers are not great but they’re certainly better than the United States and I think that’s the reason because Canadians are not as obsessed with freedom and rights, we’re more obsessed with responsibility I think. I don’t want to say that we’re better, but I just think that’s the difference in our national character.
Bill Kubota Well in the news very recently there was talk about running out of death certificates in Mexico. That was a news headline here.
Miguel Angel Vega Yeah and also like when we were doing this investigation like it was in April, May and June we heard cases which families because they want to have a funeral, they used to bribe the doctors, so the death certificate says something else but not coronavirus. If the death certificate shows that the person died of because of coronavirus there’s not a funeral. They just take the body and cremate the body and that was it. So that is the last thing most families wanted. People still didn’t believe coronavirus was real back then.
Bill Kubota Do they call it COVID-19 in Mexico? How do they refer to coronavirus there?
Miguel Angel Vega In Mexico everyone calls it coronavirus, very few people call it COVID, and most people call it coronavirus.
Sometimes they can make mockeries about the virus…
Because in Mexico we have this traditional piniatas and use the piniatas and call it COVID…
Bill Kubota But you don’t call it the China Virus or Chinese Virus there do you?
Miguel Angel Vega No we don’t, we don’t call it China Virus no…
Bill Kubota President Trump was referring to COVID-19 as the China Virus or the…
Kung Flu. Is that something you hear from politicians in Canada?
Michael Poirier You know what, I don’t for sure if I’ve heard any Canadian politicians use it but I’ve certainly heard people use it.
Bill Kubota Well I guess maybe the politicians aren’t so brazen in Canada.
Michael Poirier I couldn’t even imagine a Canadian politician saying that. And maybe I’m just being naïve, maybe I’m being ignorant, maybe they do say it.
Bill Kubota Well earlier this month when the election passed, what’s the feeling there amongst Canadians in general, does it break out the same way, a large percentage are disappointed and a large percentage are happy?
Michael Poirier I would say there was a tremendous sense of relief. Also, I think it’s a relief because we’re hoping our relationship with the US can improve a little bit, get back to normal. I know there’s been a drastic difference even just crossing the border, there’s been a drastic difference in the way that we’re treated coming into the country, I think we’re treated with a lot more suspicion since Trump has come into office and so, we have Trump supporters here and we have anti-maskers here, maybe not as much but definitely here and there, I think the only difference is we don’t have as easy access to guns.
They tend to filter their way out of my life so I don’t see or hear those people as much as I used to but I know that they’re out there. They have to be. So…