By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) If you’re one of those American ‘deniers’ who think the response to the coronavirus outbreak is being massively over-hyped, you’re not alone.
There are tens of millions of Mexicans who share your belief or, at a minimum, don’t seem to be nearly as concerned.
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As reported by The Associated Press, while American governors and mayors order bars and restaurants closed, the Constitution be damned, Mexico City — with its nearly 25 million inhabitants — is going ahead with Vive Latino, the biggest annual music festival in the country.
Some acts backed out, but tens of thousands of music fans flocked on Saturday to the first day of the festival, which still expected Guns Nâ€™ Roses, Carlos Vives and Zoe to be among its headliners. Organizers said more than 70,000 tickets had been sold for each of the festivalâ€™s two days.
Concerns about the new COVID-19 illness were evident, though. At the entrance, the usual security checks for such events had a new filter: Each person entering was checked for fever and a strong smell of antibacterial gel permeated in the air.
But once past that, the dynamics of the festival were not much changed. People walked excitedly toward the various stages and crowded together for the performances.
Alan Miranda, who was making his first visit to Vive Latino and especially wanted to see The Warning, said he felt many people are overreacting to the potential danger of contagion at large gatherings.
â€œBecause I consider it is more a collective hysteria than any other thing. In Mexico we have a culture of a little bit more of hygiene that helps us to limit this kind of transmissions,â€ he said.
Santiago Ayala attended the event with his wife and his 9-year-old daughter, Regina, who wore a Guns Nâ€™ Roses T-shirt to her first Vive Latino.
â€œIn the end we thought that at any moment we could catch it here, in the pharmacy, in the tortilla line. We decided to take the risk and come,â€ Ayala said, noting further that they did bring some antibacterial gel and tissues and wouldn’t wade through crowds.
The AP noted that a few attendees wore masks, but many did so for underlying conditions, such as Daniel Ramirez, who suffers from asthma.
He went because — get this — he said he trusted Mexican officials who were saying that the end of the world isÂ not around the corner.
â€œWe have to be informed and before panicking you have to read some texts and know that it is serious but we are still in a passable stage,â€ Ramirez said of the outbreak.
There are 41 cases of the virus in Mexico, and those patients are isolated. Also, Mexicans have taken to mocking President Trump’s border wall, saying it is now keeping the virusÂ out. Good one.
Meanwhile, in Rome, Pope Francis walked through nearly deserted streets to give Mass at two churches outside papal walls, the AP noted in a separate story:
Francis who recently had a cold, headed first to a Rome basilica, St. Mary Major, where he often stops to give thanks after returning from trips abroad. There he prayed before an icon of the Virgin Mary dedicated to the â€œsalvation of the Roman people.â€
The pope is 83.
Back in the United States of Panic, however, Americans are fighting over rolls of toilet paper, sanitizer wipes, and tissues. Governors are hell-bent on closing down restaurants and bars of small business owners, many of whom are barely making it. Mayors like Bill de Blasio in New York City are calling for Communist-style “nationalization” of industries. Chief immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing President Trump for a “two-week national shutdown.” And Wall Street is tanking again.
Over about 5,000 cases of virus and 70 deaths.
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If you don’t think our enemies are watching this panic and taking notes, you’re mistaken. They’re filing it under, “How to Shut Down America and Crash the Global Economy in One Easy Step” — and it has nothing to do with electromagnetic pulse bombs, hacking our power grid, or invading our shores.
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