Coronavirus: Americans cross into Mexico to buy toilet paper, household goods as US stores dry up
Mexico has seen only one death from the deadly virus so far unlike the US where over 150 have lost their lives
At a time when authorities in the US are closing down borders to arrest the spread of coronavirus, a reverse trend has become visible.
Several Americans are crossing into Mexico to buy toilet paper and other household stuff as stores in their own country are drying up amid the coronavirus outbreak as people are stocking up on supplies. The US has seen over 150 deaths from the deadly disease so far with over 9,000 affected.
Mexico, on the other hand, has seen only one death while 118 have been affected.
On Tuesday, March 17, WKBN 27 News reported that people from the Golden State were entering Mexico's Northern Baja to buy essential goods.
Workers at a Costco store in Tijuana, the Mexican state's largest city, said that as many as 600 people have been turning up in the mornings over recent days. The number 600 is significant since the store has only 600 shopping carts and all are occupied by 10 am.
People around the world have been stockpiling supplies as the coronavirus scare looms large and puts severe stress on economies around the world. Recently, a picture of a pensioner in the UK wondering where to get the goods he needs at an empty store became viral and people were being called out for being selfish.
For the Americans crossing the international border to buy everyday essentials, it has not been easy either. "It's tough for us to come down here to get things, but we're going to try it," Maria Castro, who works at a Costco store in Fullerton, California, was quoted saying by the news channel.
She traveled some 140 miles from Los Angeles to the store in Tijuana to buy the goods since she was not able to get them at her workplace. She also drove to another supermarket, which is located a mile south of the border, to buy food and water.
The reverse trend is seen at a time when Washington is reportedly planning to make things tighter at its own borders. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration will soon start turning away asylum seekers and migrants who cross into the US outside the designated entry points immediately.
Mexico doesn't want American immigrants on its soil either
Mexican authorities have also resented entry of American immigrants to safeguard their country from the coronavirus outbreak. Mexico's Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said in a press conference last Friday, March 13, that authorities are considering putting up surveillance to control people who are entering the country from the US.
"Mexico wouldn't bring the virus to the United States, rather the United States would bring it here," he said. "The possible flow of coronavirus would come from the north to the south. If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance."