In Mexico Metropolis, the federal authorities has by no means issued a masks mandate. Even so, masks appear to have turn into a behavior.



A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

In Mexico, the federal authorities by no means issued a masks mandate. In actual fact, the president has hardly ever worn a masks. However in Mexico Metropolis, masks are nonetheless in all places. Many residents put on them indoors and outside. NPR’s Eyder Peralta experiences on why.

EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: On a crisp morning at a flower market in Mexico Metropolis, I discover about half of the individuals listed below are sporting masks. It is not crowded. It is largely open air. However Reina Lopez (ph), who’s 74, is sporting a KN-95.

REINA LOPEZ: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: “They inform us that the hazard is over,” she says, “but it surely’s not true.” Throughout the pandemic, she noticed neighbors and relations die. She says this pandemic will not be over. And who is aware of? Possibly there’s even another virus lurking.

LOPEZ: (Via interpreter) And now we’re protected. And on prime of that, we’re used to sporting masks.

PERALTA: Throughout the market, we hear variations of the identical factor. The federal government says drop the masks, however the worry lingers. Alejandra Miguel Perez (ph) says she wears a masks as a result of she retains listening to various things – that you simply’re OK with the vaccine, that now there’s a new variant that’s harmful.

ALEJANDRA MIGUEL PEREZ: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: She’s heard a lot, she says, she does not know what to imagine. Additionally, because the pandemic wore on, she seen that the masks additionally protected her from Mexico Metropolis’s air pollution.

PEREZ: (Via interpreter) Possibly we’re caught with masks as a result of if we do not get sick with COVID, we may nonetheless get sick from the air pollution.

PERALTA: Mexico suffered so much throughout this pandemic. Formally, greater than 300,000 individuals have died of COVID. To epidemiologist Alejandro Macias, that trauma explains why, in Mexico Metropolis, masks are nonetheless worn even outdoors.

ALEJANDRO MACIAS: Plainly individuals have suffered such a excessive diploma of these items that I feel they’re attempting to do one thing.

PERALTA: The Mexican authorities took a notably hands-off strategy to COVID. They communicated finest practices. However they did not impose curfews or perhaps a nationwide masks mandate. And on the very prime, the temper has all the time been relaxed.

MACIAS: The president, being highly regarded as he’s, he by no means used the face masks. However individuals use the face masks.

PERALTA: Macias says a deep change has occurred in Mexico Metropolis. Possibly, he says, it has turn into like Seoul, the place residents flip to masks when there are respiratory ailments or when there’s air pollution. And he does not see it altering any time quickly. On the flower market, I discover Marcos Reyes (ph) in a nook, respiratory simple with out his masks.

MARCOS REYES: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: “The masks is uncomfortable,” he says, particularly as a result of he works pushing lots of of kilos of flowers on a handcart.

REYES: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: “You want air,” he says, “and this masks makes it tougher.”

REYES: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: He is from the countryside. Nobody wears masks there, he says. And few individuals acquired sick. Reyes says he hates sporting a masks. He is not even satisfied it stops COVID from spreading.

REYES: (Non-English language spoken).

PERALTA: However on the finish of the day, he says, we’ve got to respect others. So out of courtesy, he is sporting one anyway.

Eyder Peralta, NPR Information, Mexico Metropolis.

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