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Columnist mocks Yucatan’s tactics in coronavirus fight

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Yucatan’s efforts to curb coronavirus were roundly mocked by journalist and explorer Sergio Grosjean.

The orange traffic cones and tape that divert traffic in the Centro must have “anti-coronavirus” properties to be such a priority, joked Grosjean, in a Reporteros Hoy column. The strategy was possibly taken from a science fiction saga, he said.

“Many people wonder if blocking arteries with these implements contributes to fighting the coronavirus; as if this terrifying entity had a celestial intelligence, and upon realizing the blockade, it would determine not to spread in that place and move to the next corner, and thus, duck down and then mercilessly attack the naive victims who have chosen that option,” Grosjean wrote, in Spanish.

“I think the only thing that is being achieved with this measure is that people consume more fuel,” he continued, complaining that drivers have to turn around at the newly established dead ends (“anti-coronavirus alley”) and snake through more roads to reach their destinations.

“We know that they do it with the best intention in the world and we appreciate it because we live in a unique time and many times you have to experiment and innovate, but if it is concluded that it does not work, it is not a sin to have tried it, quite the contrary, we applaud it, but you have to backtrack and implement other measures as soon as possible.”

A golden opportunity was lost 60 days ago when the state unevenly enforced business closures. Some employers sent their workers home with pay, while others continued “as if nothing was happening.”

He congratulated the Yucatan government for shutting down schools in a timely manner, but employees were often forced to work without protection while the virus spread. In the last three days alone, 159 new cases were detected in the state. Medical experts calculate the real number of infections is much higher.

Grosjean also condemned the government for the “dry law” that he said only created a demand for deadly adulterated beverages and “products containing alcohol that are not suitable for ingestion.” Banning alcohol was meant to bring harmony to private homes, but has only “put more stress on the population in this confinement, and in the process affected the family economy, as people continue to buy spirits clandestinely at extremely high prices.”

The dry law ends June 1, but even then, the government wants to phase in alcohol sales by confining them at first to home-delivery service.

“We will see what happens with this new experiment,” said Grosjean, expressing doubt that shoppers in a supermarket would cause any problems adding wine, beer or liquor to their carts.

He suggested instead that authorities teach “an express course” to shop owners on how to sell safely in a busy store.

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