covid 'round the world
August 10, 2020

The U.S., by a wide margin, leads the globe in COVID-19 cases. But its neighbor to the south has its own alarming spike, making it the third worst outbreak in the world.

Mexico has had 52,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, The New York Times reported Monday. A widespread distrust of hospitals has made the pandemic even deadlier, as Mexicans are reportedly frequently refusing to seek treatment until their COVID-19 symptoms have worsened past the point of possible recovery, or not at all. Additionally, the tendency to avoid hospitals has made it difficult to confirm the true number of coronavirus deaths — those who die at home often aren't tested, so their deaths aren't counted as part of the official death toll. Mexico's government says there were 71,000 excess deaths this spring, deaths that aren't officially COVID-19-related but likely point to an even deadlier outbreak.

Last month, nearly 70 percent of Mexicans said they would feel unsafe taking their loved ones to a hospital for coronavirus treatment, writes the Times. The fear, of course, isn't unfounded. Almost 40 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 end up dying, data shows, compared to less than 25 percent in New York City at the peak of the outbreak. Deaths in hospitals also happen quicker in Mexico, though doctors say that's partly because patients wait so long before arriving for treatment.

The vicious cycle has many fearing that medical workers are even deliberately infecting patients or allowing them to die, though no evidence suggests that's the case. Read more at The New York Times. Summer Meza

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