In Mexico a medical surgery has been set up in a tent. It takes care of the poorest, sick because of indifferenceCovid-19 SolidarityFood for everyone
an article in "Avvenire", 4 November 2020
"I live on the street. I have been unemployed since February because of the pandemic and I was left homeless". Jegels Gómez 45 years old, worked as a waiter in an Italian restaurant before the Covid-19 outbreak. Thanks to the tent-surgery, he will get two teeth treated that have been hurting for a month. Many have been fired like him because of the pandemic and cannot afford doctor's visits or treatment. In Mexico, unless you have health insurance or are employed by a company offering medical services, you have to pay for everything, visits and medicines.
Jesús has been left homeless like many others as he had no way to pay rent. Thanks to parish groups and associations such as the Community of Sant'Egidio, aid can reach the poor of the megalopolis. Sant'Egidio assistance activities have multiplied in recent months: the number of dinners distributed to the poor two days a week has doubled, a school support has been implemented with distance courses for children and a tent for medical care is open once a week. Between 80 and 100 people who can not pay for a doctor, are visited every week. César Cérdenas, responsible the Community of Sant'Egidio in Mexico, arranges plastic chairs for patients at safe distance outside while a long line is forming on the pavement.
"Mexico, according to official data, has more than 52 million poor people, representing 41.9% of its population. More than half of its inhabitants has no social protection," he explains. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 933,000 confirmed cases and more than 92,000 deaths, the National Council for Social Development (Coneval) has predicted poverty will increase: 10 million more Mexicans will fall into poverty. In a tent at the Glorieta de los Insurgentes, one of the largest and most emblematic squares in the capital, patients are staggered by a secretary and visited by 3 doctors. "The most common disorders? Venous insufficiency, heart disease and diabetes. Indeed, there is another problem besides Covid: indifference", explains Dr Mariana Monroy.
In Mexico City, volunteers distributed one thousand meals on the street before the pandemic. Now 500 meals are prepared in historic district La Roma' alone. They deliver 6,000 meals a month, distribute 15,000 masks in different areas of the capital and offer 1,200 medical consultation while according to politics everything is "under control", as President Andrés Manuel López Obrador keeps saying.