What is the sensible thing to do: suspend activities because there is a risk of contagion or not suspend activities because we are not contagious yet. The health authorities of the federal government and some local governments have said that it is not necessary to restrict commercial activities and celebrations due to the presence of Ómicron, as this variant of the virus is not yet a problem in Mexico. Any sensible epidemiologist under the logic that who does not move does not infect or infect suggests that they suspend or reduce activities to avoid a wave like it is happening in Europe and the United States. But good sense is lacking.
The underlying dilemma remains the same: we protect health or the economy. It is clearly not an all or nothing bet but a complex mix that carries risks and requires adjustments every day; what is valid today may not be valid tomorrow. The relationship between both variables is not inversely proportional, but almost. That is, policies that benefit public health, such as mobility restrictions and capacity limitations, strongly affect the economy, and on the contrary, everything that is massive -tianguis, squares, street commerce- increases irrigation. of infections and therefore of deaths.
The World Health Organization cries out to suspend the Christmas festivities, but in a world desperate for the economic crisis derived from the pandemic, the request falls like water in desert sands. Today the world is more concerned about the economy and Mexico is no exception. In political terms, the López Obrador government has already discounted the excess mortality: they have already criticized him, they already beat him, they already paid for it at the polls. On the contrary, the economic problem and particularly of the informal economy whose value lost just over 200 billion pesos (1.2 percent of GDP) in the first year of the pandemic continues to collect political bills. Cumulative GDP growth so far this six-year term is minus 2 percent, but measured in GDP per capita it is minus 7.2 percent.
Understanding how difficult and delicate the situation is and how complex the contradiction is, it is paradoxical that those who minimize the problem that Ómicron represents are the health authorities; they are quicker to deny risk than the most recalcitrant anti-vaccine plotters. It seems that their lines were twisted, that they forgot that their job, for what they are there, is to protect the health of Mexicans, not the economy or presidential popularity. Or if?