Mexico – Mother’s Day, a sacred date that Mexicans celebrate on May 10, hinders the fight against the COVID-19 by the authorities in Mexico, which in turn has led them to order closures of flower shops, patisseries and even cemeteries to avoid festivities and crowds.
The actions of the authorities surprised Adrián Luna, who went to the Mercado de Jamaica, the most iconic flower selling site in the country’s capital, where hundreds of citizens were making panic purchases before the Government of Mexico City closed it on Thursday May 7.
“I do not agree, why would you think? It is a very important date for all Mexicans, for many people in many countries, because it is tradition, this is how our parents taught us, this is how we follow it, we have to continue with this,” said Luna.
Mexico reaches its most critical week of the coronavirus, with 26,025 cases accumulated and 2,507 deaths from COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health has estimated the maximum point of infection on May 8, which coincides with the weekend of shopping and celebrations for Mother’s Day.
Given the risk of crowds, mayors in Mexico City, and municipalities of other entities, such as the State of Mexico and Nuevo León, have ordered the closure of cemeteries, patisseries, and flower shops.
Even the head of government of the capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, announced this Wednesday that she would postpone Mother’s Day until July 10, so this May 10 there will only be a virtual festival with mariachis, concerts, and movies on the Internet.
“This May 10 we celebrate at a healthy distance, of course as a family, but at a healthy distance: phone calls, video calls to mothers, grandmothers, and by July 10 we can already get together as a family to celebrate better,” Sheinbaum declared.
PUNCH TO THE POCKET
Due to the health contingency, the commercial and services sector will stop receiving 36,000 pesos (nearly 1.5 million dollars) this Mother’s Day, 80% of sales the previous year, predicted by the Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (CNCCST).
Another sector affected by the lack of celebration is that of restaurants, with 90% of these establishments closed nationwide and an accumulated drop of 86% in sales, reported the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (CANIRAC).
This is reflected in microentrepreneurs such as Martha Patricia Pérez, who highlights the unprecedented closure, for the first time in its more than 60 years of existence, of the emblematic Mercado de Jamaica, which is now considered “a highly contagious area” by the capital authorities.
“When everything about the disease started, sales started to drop quite a bit and right now they did grind us (they hurt us) because they will close us until May 18 and it is said that maybe they won’t open us until 30,” she added.
TRADITIONS IN DANGER
In Mexico, Mother’s Day has been celebrated on May 10 since 1922 by institutionalization of the then Secretary of Public Education, José Vasconcelos.
Since then, Mexicans celebrate this date almost religiously in a country with 32.7 million mothers, calculates the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI).
For this reason, florists like Iván Huerta find the decision to close traditional markets “wrong”, considering that customers will buy these products in at any cost in the large chains without retaliation from the authority.
For small stores like his, the dilemma is between getting sick or losing their main source of income.
“It’s both things, and the main thing, as we say, if we don’t die from the disease, we starve. Because in reality the money disappears, and if we don’t have a job, where are we (my wife and daughters) going to get enough to eat?”