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Pollution Is So Bad In Mexico City The Government Issued Emergency Orders

Mexico City has long suffered from severe air pollution, but the bad air quality has been at a whole other level since forest fires erupted over this past weekend.

Massive wildfires in southern Mexico have sent smoke streaming over Mexico City, turning the sunsets blood red and sending pollution levels skyrocketing. The city’s environmental commission has warned residents to stay indoors, and pollution levels could spike further in the coming days. The U.S. National Weather Service has already detected smoke aloft in the U.S.

The air is so bad the city is urging all residents to stay indoors.

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The government declared an environmental alert, ordering vehicles off the road and postponing the semi-finals of the first-division football league as a blanket of smog enveloped the sprawling capital.

It low key looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.

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One Twitter user captured this perfectly, comparing Mexico City today with a scene from Blade Runner 2049. #OnPoint

It might make for some cool photos but the smoke could lead to serious health issues.

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Particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less, known as PM2.5, reached 158 micrograms per cubic meter of air at one measuring station on Tuesday morning, more than six times the World Health Organization daily mean recommended limit.

PM2.5 particles are thought to be particularly damaging because they are so small, they can penetrate the deepest parts of our lungs.

Others are trying to have a sense of humor about it.

But with such unhealthy levels of particulates, this is no laughing matter. The government is taking the necessary steps to limit the harm caused to citizens dealing with the pollution.

In fact, the pollution is so bad, the government has decided to close public schools.

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Many long term residents are pretty sure this is the first time the city has ever closed schools because of air pollution. That’s saying something in a city that has long suffered from severe air pollution.

They’ve issued less than clear warnings about breathing in the noxious air.

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Translation: Breathing has negative effects on your health. But like I’m pretty sure we all still have to breathe…right?

Or maybe not?

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Nope…I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

Concerned people were quick to point out the possible connections to climate change.

The blazes come after an explosive spring. An AP report said 100,000 acres burned through March alone. And so far in 2019, Mexico City has experienced 73 days with temperatures higher than average.

Many Mexicans are frustrated at the nation’s slow approach to combating the industries and practices that fuel climate change.

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The city sits in a valley more than 2,200 meters above sea level. It’s surrounded by a ring of mountains that often trap smog over the capital, preventing it from dissipating.

Add to that major polluting industry and the more than five million cars on the city’s streets, an active towering volcano, and you have a recipe for bad air quality.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

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Mexico Plans To Reopen Cancun To International Tourists But It’s Not At All Prepared For Visitors

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There are millions of people just itching for a vacation right now, and Cancun wants to welcome visitors with open arms. However, there’s a huge problem with their plan. Most of the country is still in a severe phase of the pandemic – with all 32 states reporting daily increases in confirmed Covid-19 cases.

In cities such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, even locals aren’t allowed to venture far from their homes and restrictions on shopping, dining, and exercising are still in full force.

However, the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), has resumed his cross-country travels and is trying to portray a ‘new normal’ – the problem is little has changed to prevent further outbreaks.

Cancun is aiming to open its doors to tourists from June 10 – but it makes zero sense given the actual situation on the ground.

Quintana Roo, home to the famed beaches of Cancun and Tulum, will resume activities next week – according to the governor, Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez. The state, which depends heavily on tourism, has lost over 83,000 jobs in the last few months due to the pandemic, and with reopening the state could see an economic rebound. However, that entirely depends on the success and implementation of safety measures.

In a press conference, the governor said that tourists could start arriving in the Caribbean destination as soon as June 8th. He added that tourism is an essential activity and that there is no other of greater importance in Quintana Roo “and we are going to fight for it to be considered that way.”

He stressed during the public address that for the opening to happen by June 10th, protocols and hygiene measures must be followed to protect workers and tourists from Covid-19.

And he has good reason to reopen. According to a new survey by Expedia, ‘Cancun flights’ is one of the top 5 searches on the platform. In the same survey, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres (all located in Quintana Roo) were announced as three of the most internationally sought after destinations.

Meanwhile, AMLO has launched a cross-country tour touting the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions.

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President AMLO also held his daily press conference from the state of Quintana Roo to mark the beginning of Mexico’s economic reopening and resume his tours across the country.

But this too makes zero sense. Yes, the government has mandated that states can begin lifting restrictions – if they’re no longer declared ‘red zones.’ However, every state in the country is still in the red, with many seeing peak infection numbers.

It’s just the most recent example of confusing messaging from the president.

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While AMLO is eager to get the country reopened and put Mexicans back to work, Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country. Mexico has now recorded the seventh-highest number of Covid-19 deaths in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker, with nearly 10,000 virus-related fatalities and almost 100,000 confirmed cases. Testing in the country is low and health officials acknowledge that the numbers are likely much higher.

The federal government unveiled a red-light/green-light system to implement reopening procedures state by state. But currently every state is still in ‘red-light’ phase – meaning stay-at-home orders are still in full effect – making AMLO’s messaging extremely confusing.

Time and time again, the president has downplayed the virus outbreak and has criticized stay-at-home orders for harming the economy.

Keep in mind, however, that non-essential travel between the U.S. and Mexico is still largely banned.

Since March, all non-essential travel has been banned between the U.S. and Mexico. However, that ban is currently set to expire on June 22. It’s possible both sides could extend the travel ban, but given AMLO’s rhetoric it isn’t likely he’ll keep the country closed to tourists for much longer.

However, it’s important to point that out even if you technically can travel – right now you really shouldn’t. In much of Mexico, confirmed Covid-19 cases are on the rise with many cities across the country just now entering it’s worst phase.

Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

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Covid-19 Cases Surge In Meat-Processing Plants As COVID-19 Spreads In Rural America

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Meat processing plants have been at the center of the COVID-19 response conversation. The plants, many located in the Midwest, are crucial to the food supply chain to feed the country but outbreaks at these facilities have threatened that supply chain. Some closed to save the health of their employees but an executive order, with limited power, allowed for these plants to stay open.

The meat-processing industry is surprisingly small with 4 plants providing 80 percent of the meat in the U.S.

Workers at meat-processing plants have been testing positive for COVID-19 in April. The spread was quick and some plants began to shut down in late April and early May to avoid massive outbreaks in their plants. In early May, several plants closed to handle the outbreaks, including Tyson Foods, one of the largest pork-processing companies in the U.S.

New data shows that coronavirus cases are increasing in the U.S. meat processing plants. The numbers have tripled to 15,000 with 63 meat plant workers dying from the virus. Within a month, Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat processing company, saw its number of coronavirus cases jump from 1,600 to 7,000.

The number of cases has spiked within meat-processing plants that have reopened.

In late April, President Trump signed an executive order that some people misinterpreted as ordering meatpacking and processing plants to remain open. What President Trump did was to order that meat and poultry plants are essential according to the Defense Protection Act of 1950. The DPA is used to compel manufactures to create “scarce and critical material essential to the national defense.”

The second thing the order did was to give the authority to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Perdue is responsible for keeping the meat processing and packing plants running during the pandemic. He has to adhere to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As with some states, there are discrepancies showing in the data being released by the meat plants.

In North Carolina, the Smithfield meat-packing plant in Tar Heel is being elusive with their number of positive coronavirus cases. They are being assisted in the lack of transparency by state and local officials, according to The New York Times.

“There has been a stigma associated with the virus,” Teresa Duncan, the director of the health department in Bladen County, where the Smithfield plant is located, told The New York Times. “So we’re trying to protect privacy.”

A poultry plant in Arkansas was the cause of an outbreak in a Latino community.

In Arkansas, a community saw a spike in cases within the Latino community. The cases were coming from employees, their families, and their social circles. The one poultry plant resulted in 151 new cases in the Latino community of Dardanelle, Arkansas.

READ: Another Man Has Died Of Covid-19 In ICE Custody And The Agency Still Lacks Any Plan To Prevent More Deaths