By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
In most countries around the globe, the general public is doing everything in its power to express its support and appreciation of the dedicated doctors, nurses and other medical personnel that are putting themselves at risk each day to help save lives in the global fight against the growing Covid-19 pandemic.
But not in Mexico.
Instead of concerts of appreciation and free meals delivered to their hospitals, Mexican health workers are now the target of physical attacks and other agressions.
According to Mexico’s National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (Conapred), in the last month, there have been at least 140 acts of violence or agression as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 35 of which were directed against health workers.
Between Thursday, March 19, and Thursday, April 16, the Conapred said that the unprecedented rise in agression against doctors, nurses, medical students and other medical personal has included insults, threats and physical attacks by individuals and neighborhood gangs who fear that their victims are transporters of the virus.
Health workers in Mexico have also received death threats, been beaten, been doused in chlorine bleach and been refused access to public transportation.
Recovering Covid patients have likewise reported abuse in the form of denial of basic services and medical care, as have household employees of medical personnel and Mexicans with special needs.
The states with the high incidence of anti-Covid agressions are Mexico City (47 cases), the State of Mexico (19 cases), Nuevo León (5 cases), Puebla (5 cases), Guanajuato (5 cases) and Veracruz (4 cases), although there were also reports of attacks in Coahuila, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Querétaro and Quintana Roo.
The shameful abuse of these noble medical workers is not only a national disgrace that should offend and enrage every person in the country, but also an act of stupidity.
After all, if these overworked, underpaid, under-protected and underappreciated Mexican heroes finally get fed up and decide to stop showing up to work as the champions of the nation’s most daunting challenge, who is going to take care of the rest of us if and when we get the virus?
…April 20, 2020