A girl bubble to stop the coronavirus, the absurd campaign of the Mexican government
In Mexico, people joke about everything, but Lopez Obrador's Wonder Woman has not amused the more than 52 million poor people in the country.
It seems that the Mexican government puts distance between itself and its people rather than imposing distance measures to avoid contagion. In a country where more than half of the population lives in poverty (52.4 million) and many of them do not have running water or electricity in their homes, the solutions to stop the proliferation of the coronavirus come late. And sometimes, they are even absurd.
For example, the heroine of the health campaign that was presented last week: Susana Distancia - A Wonder Woman locked in a bubble to make people aware that they should not get too close to each other in the crowded subways of Mexico City, while they look at each other, envying the few who have been able to get a mask.
Yesterday's confirmed cases numbered 367 nationwide, 18 more than on March 22, according to the Health Department. And despite the terror that the pandemic produces, the closing of businesses and the confinement scares Mexicans as much, if not more, than the virus. Especially those who do not appear in the media, in the images of the capital's wealthy neighborhoods where families rush to fill their cars with products from the supermarket for months.
"If the virus doesn't kill us, the government will," a woman living in Ecatepec, a suburb, tells El País. In the city, water arrives once a week for a couple of hours.
According to Coneval, she is one of the nearly 25 million inhabitants who have neither electricity nor water.
In Ecatepec, as in the most impoverished areas of the country, the Mexican government's recommendations seem to come from another planet:
Wash your hands, buy for several months. Don't panic, but buy! In the poor neighborhoods, washing your hands is a luxury when you have to ration your water.
"I have never bought food for more than a week. Neither have my neighbors. If it ends up here, it will be because of the looting. No one in this neighborhood can afford more than a day's food," the woman, Patricia Juarez, told the reporter. Nor does she have a cell phone or private health insurance, but if she gets sick she goes to hospitals for the poor, where patients have to buy even syringes.
Not far away - even though it seems like another world - Internet users flood the networks with comments congratulating themselves on their new heroine and making jokes about her bubble. Up to 8,000 retweets on the same day it was presented, a whole trending topic.
"We Mexicans are used to joking at any time," said Rubén Darío Vázquez, a professor at the UNAM. "[This campaign] is a good opportunity to connect with the youngest members of the population."
But they, people like Patricia Juárez, who live in desperation and don't even know how to get over the confinement, have a better joke. Her son taught it to her.
"Chinese pinches, what was it like to boil the bat," she says.
Laughs. Yeah, joking is a serious thing.