Nov. 8, 2020
At the entrance of every subway terminal, a government health official stands attentively with a gallon jug of gel ready to sanitize your hands before boarding the train. Under your feet you will find large rubber mats filled with disinfectant to clean the soles of your shoes. A group of transit peace officers roam up and down the boarding platform to ensure that everyone is following face mask guidelines and social distancing protocols. With a steady rise of new cases day by day, the government is now as active as ever in their efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Regardless of the country’s top health official warnings, all social distancing practices are soon forgotten once everyone boards the train. People begin to cram into the passenger cars –  shoulder to shoulder – during peak rush hour. A general mix of the demographic is ever present as business professionals on their phones hurry to their next stop, mothers accompanied by their children return from the market, and the occasional tourist makes their way to the city center. With nothing more than common courtesy separating each passenger, it is clear that social distancing practices are far from ideal, and almost impossible to observe given the limited space of each car.
Once out on the streets above, the sidewalks are nearly saturated with locals, including some who are unconcerned about the threat of the virus. Although a large majority of people can be seen wearing face masks and shields, there are a few chilangos (Mexico City locals) who are casually strolling around the Zócalo completely unbothered by the global health crisis. This clash in perspectives on the COVID-19 threat presents a stark contrast between those who are at a higher risk and the younger generations.
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