This week died the first person in Guatemala due to Coronavirus (covid-19). At least the initial measures the country has taken were good, to mention a few:
- Banning foreigners, from countries with severe infections, to enter the country.
- Sports and entertainment events are cancelled.
- Schools are suspended.
- Holy Week events are also suspended, also religious congregations (in person) aren’t allowed.
- Public transportation was suspended in the whole country.
- Most of the government activities are suspended. Private sector also should suspend activities, unless its food or cleaning related.
- Other business could continue if they comply with the new health code related to this pandemic and they provide transportation aid to their employees.
- In social media people are also urging others to stay at home, do remote working, and avoid contact whenever possible.
- Also should be noted that the government has been doing a great job transmitting the measures taken. Not everything have been received well, but this is way better than the previous president. Its even calling out people to not fall for disinformation via social media.
But would that be enough? Will the people stay home or avoid contact as much as possible?
- Guatemala is a poor country, most of the labor force doesn’t have any savings, so they are forced to “live by the day”, that’s it to earn nay money to buy food for the same day. Its unrealistic that these people will stay at home.
- In the country, business owners are know to not comply with many of the labor laws; as the government is very slow with the labor inspections. So asking their employees to come to work (or be fired if they don’t) in the middle of pandemic crisis and while the public transportation is suspended, is not even surprising:
- Those of us who can stay at home, we’re very privileged. The rest of the labor force will continue to risk being exposed to the virus, as long as there is not a clear ban to non-essential activities.
- Whats worried some is that after 48 hours without new cases, the government is starting to downplay the severity of this disease. I believe we are way early to say such things.
- Read about the Patient #31 in South Korea to understand why social distancing is so important, that particular person is linked to over one thousand infections!
- Flattening the Curve is another great resource to understand why social distance helps avoid overwhelming hospitals and social services in general during a pandemic.
We can only hope that it gets contained somehow, and for the world powers to develop cheap treatments or vaccines.
No doubt this is going to be a hard year, very likely the recession is upon us. This pandemic will be remembered by many.
Vox published a few videos that are very informative about the COVID-19 disease:
- Why new diseases keep appearing in China:
- Why fighting the coronavirus depends on you:
- How soap kills the coronavirus: