By Rodrigo Manterola

“Change is the only constant, and adaptability is the only way forward” 

The world as we knew it has changed overnight, and while we’ve learned a lot about this virus, we still have a long way to go

The legacy in human loss this pandemic will leave behind is still uncertain but it will be overwhelming, no doubt. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by COVID 19

Despite all this, life goes on, people need to work to provide sustenance, but also to maintain the economy; we are the engine that sustains our existence, and without one there isn’t the other.

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All sectors of industry have taken a hit, and yes, it’s clear that some industries are more essential than others, but all industries generate jobs, directly and indirectly, and people depend on those jobs to feed their families.

Traveling, like any other industry, provides not only direct jobs but also helps businesses of all shapes and sizes around the hospitality world. 

Just as grocery stores provide food for people, and employment all along the line up to the source of every product, in the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, and all the businesses related to it are connected in this same way; from farmers to waiters, from bellboys to musicians, from pilots to local fishermen; hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on tourism. 

If you have more questions read our article:

Things to know about traveling to Mexico in 2021

Maybe, we need to restart the economy before things get ugly. The loss of thousands of jobs within weak economies who are unable to lighten the burden of their citizens can bring social unrest and dangerous conditions quickly.

So maybe traveling is relevant after all, and while I think it won’t be for everybody for the time being, some sectors of the population are at very low risk of complications related to the virus. Should they travel?

Maybe, while these travelers may be “ok” and at low risk of catching this virus,  these travelers can spread it; so everybody needs to increase precautions, and even if you are not a high-risk individual, you will interact with someone who is at some point, so you should consider yourself a high-risk individual and act like it in order to protect them.

Traveling during the pandemic should be carefully thought through with every member of the family and very carefully planned, not only during your trip  but also once you’re back home.

Where are you traveling to and from will also be important as well as the means of transportation and lodging

Is it safe to travel to Mexico during COVID 19?

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The answer to this question is more complex than you think, and there may be more than one answer to this question depending on your personal situation, like health, age, destination in Mexico, itinerary, and more. 

To this day the pandemic affected almost every country in the world, but it affected them differently due to individual politics, economies, health systems, and cultures.

Traveling to Mexico is not more dangerous than traveling to any other country in the world, as traveling itself is a high-risk activity, however, if there is any complication during the stay, due to COVID 19 or any other issue, the exposure can increase dramatically in places with poor or saturated medical services.

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If you have pre-existing conditions or belong to any of the high-risk populations , traveling may not be a good idea, period. Stay at home.

There will be a time to go back to traveling and enjoying life, but at this point, we know very little about how the virus affects people individually, and while we are learning fast, we are still in an early stage of understanding it.

But this answer may not apply to everyone, there is a larger number of people that do not belong to any of these high-risk populations, young enough, healthy enough, wealthy enough, and why not, maybe crazier enough to take advantage of traveling around while no tourists do, if you are one of them. Good for you. 

But as I mentioned earlier you still need to take an enormous amount of precautions while traveling, during your stay, and when you get back home, for you and everyone’s safety.

These lower-risk populations have also to consider a contingency plan, in case things go south, but what the plan is will depend on destination, budget, and itinerary, amongst other factors.

If you are a healthy 30-year-old guy who’s looking for a week surfing East Cape, Baja while camping, sure,  go for it by following a few simple rules not different from what you are already doing at home.

  • Social distancing
  • Wash your hands constantly
  • Disinfect everything you are going to touch, surfaces, groceries, phone, keys, money, etc.
  • Avoid crowded places and wear a facemask when in public
  • Wear simple and washable clothes and avoid unnecessary jewelry 
  • Consider a Travel Insurance

Along with all these measures you need to observe local rules for quarantine yourself, not only at your destination but when you get back home to your loved ones.

The same applies to younger travelers who are staying in resorts and planning to visit restaurants and bars, with a few more additions as while this population is at lower risk of suffering complications associated with the virus, it’s at a higher risk of catching it due to the nature of these activities.

While almost all resorts, restaurants, and tour operators are obliged to adhere to the protocol established by the authorities and are as safe as they can be, partying around and mingling with different people post a high risk of infection; quarantine yourself upon arrival back home. For your loved ones. The latest information is at least ten days quarantine. 

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So yes, the world changed overnight, we need to learn to deal with it.

We live in a new world that is worth exploring and, while it looks very similar to the world we knew, it’s not the same. This new world is, in its majority, uncharted territory.

What we know about ourselves also changed; our day to day priorities shifted to a more unclear path, yet, this new path opened questions about what’s important.

We are adapting as societies, and we can see the struggle in the cities and towns across the globe; a new normality that’s far from being normal at all, is the norm.

With a very slim social itinerary, our eyes turned indoors for a while, and that was interesting I think. It allowed us to change some old ways, and carefully analyze how we spend time with our families, how we eat and care for our health. It changed how we work, shop, and live in a post-2020 world.

We have a long way in front of us, and it’s very likely we will need to rethink how we do things and interact with one another at every level of life.

The path is long but promising, and while the learning process will be tough, we will find our way through as we always do; if we stay together and act together.

Traveling is your own decision, but putting everyone at risk is not; if you decide to travel, thank you from all those workers who will be able to keep their jobs. Your business is important to all of them, just make sure you are also aware of the risks this represents to the people around you and their families.

Please exercise extreme precautions while on your trip.

Things to consider while traveling during the 2020 pandemic

Now I know this my sound redundant but no matter what’s the nature of your trip remember always:

  • Keep social distancing at all times, especially in airports, buses, grocery stores, bars, etc.
  • Wear a face mask when interacting in public, always.
  • Wash your hands constantly and thoroughly, carry antibacterial gel with you, and use it.
  • Clean everything you touch
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Wear simple and washable clothes and avoid unnecessary jewelry, the more things you carry the more things you have to worry about. 
  • Get a Travel Insurance 

Learn the conditions and social climate at your destination, not all destinations are facing this equally, the loss of jobs have rendered some places a little more “uncertain” than others.

Is crime on the rise in Mexico due to COVID 19?

No, but the loss of thousands of jobs doesn’t help .

While in the majority of cities in Mexico is relatively safe, some cases have reached the headlines, mainly about criminals targeting ex-pats who live in remote places in Mexico.

In the words of another ex-pat who also lives  in a remote place in Mexico, you need to keep your guard up if you are going to live away from the safety of a city or a town.

In his opinion, these particular cases happen due to the victims lowering their guard, they got too comfortable and they neglected their safety.

While other factors definitely influenced these criminal acts, a common denominator can be pointed out. Robbery.

In all these cases, thieves targeted Americans who lived in the area for a long time, they were well known and appreciated by their neighbors both ex-pats and Mexican.

So what went wrong?

Remote areas in Mexico are permeated with poverty and marginality. While many of these neighbors are decent people, it only takes one who shows some resentment about that ex-pat’s big house, or new boat, or dirt bike, new 4×4 truck, etc.

This is no excuse, nobody should feel ashamed of its own success, but things are what they are, and envious neighbors occur everywhere in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

According to the U.S. State Department, about 1.5 million ex-pats are living in Mexico, making it the top destination for American ex-pats to live and retire, and while the number of cases showed some increase recently, in perspective, the number of cases is by no means representative of the situation.

Increased precautions for safety is paramount, not only due to the pandemic but also due to the very well known situation in Mexico.

99.9% of the people in Mexico are good, honest and hard-working people, but there is that 0.9 percent that is not that nice; you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

As I mentioned in this article written before the pandemic, Mexico is as safe as your common sense makes it to be.

Keep in check the travel advisory on the Department of State website before you plan any further.

Make sure you follow some common-sense guidelines:

  • Be aware of your surroundings while traveling and in crowded areas
  • Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
  • Trust your gut; if you don’t like it, don’t do it.
  • Only drive during the day
  • Keep your phone charged and make sure it works in Mexico; if necessary get a local sim card
  • Don’t flash your expensive gear, keep a low key as much as possible
  • Don’t wave down a taxi, have your hotel or restaurant arrange one for you

Is Mexico safe? Yes, but no matter where you go, your safety is up to you, this applies to Mexico just as the U.S.A. or any other country in the world. 

Exercise common sense, enjoy your trip and stay safe, for you and your loved ones.

Some Important Links

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