Things That Matter

Here’s The Amazing Way This Mexican Doctor Is Helping Children Fight Cancer

Meet Dr. Sergio Gallegos Castorena, a pediatric oncologist at the Civil Hospital of Guadalajara in Mexico.

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CREDIT: SERGIO GALLEGOS CASTORENA / YOUTUBE

Dr. Gallegos isn’t your typical pediatric oncologist.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Every day, Gallegos treats children suffering from leukemia, and he does this dressed as his patient’s favorite character.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“It’s something very surprising, the reaction of each child,” Gallegos told EFE. “They give me kisses, hugs, smiles.”

By wearing a wide variety of costumes, Dr. Gallegos is able to be more than just a doctor to these kids.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“A doctor can save a child’s life, but if he is dressed up as Batman, in the eyes of a child, he has superpowers,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.

Leukemia treatment can take several years, so it’s important for Gallegos to develop a strong relationship with the children that will spend countless hours under his care.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“The idea is that their doctor’s visit will become a special event,” Gallegos told Informador. “An event where they feel loved and feel special.”

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Adding this level of care brings joy to the suffering children, as well as to the parents who are suffering just as much.

“The method that I practice allows the whole family to get distracted from the real tragedy,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain. “Parents see that their kid is happy and that means a lot.”

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Sergio understands what these children are facing. When he was 17 years old, Gallegos was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

At the time, Gallegos needed treatment that was not available in Mexico. His family went to the U.S. in search of a cure, which involved heavy amounts of chemotherapy.

During this uncertain time in his life, Gallegos said his favorite memories were of the clowns that visited him the hospital.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“Clowns came to visit me in the hospital,” Gallegos told Informador. “They brought joy and good humor. They helped me to forget my sufferings from chemotherapy’s strong side effects.”

This experience forever changed Gallegos’ path in life.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“I got a second chance. I decided to be happy every day and bring joy to people around me. So I went into medicine to treat children ill with cancer,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain.

Since joining the hospital, Gallegos has helped more than double leukemia’s survival rate.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“Since my first day in 2007,” Gallegos told Sputnik Spain, “I cured 34 percent of patients from lymphocytic leukemia. Today, the number has increased to 85 percent. In fact, it’s not just costumes that do the job. Behind all the fun, there is a lot of hard work.”

“It is worth the effort for the joy, the smiles I see in them. It’s like we’re on the same team. They feel that I am with them in this struggle,” Sergio told EFE.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

Dr. Gallegos takes so much pride in his work that it’s nearly impossible to find any photos of him in a regular doctor’s outfit.

With or without a costume, Dr. Sergio Gallegos is a real life hero.

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CREDIT: DR. SERGIO GALLEGOS / FACEBOOK

“My motives for doing what I do can be summed up with one word: love,” Gallegos told Informador, “I love my patients.”


READ: After A Routine Surgery, This Latina Woke Up With A British Accent

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Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

Culture

Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

VV Nincic / Flickr

Covid-19 has ended a lot of stuff for a lot of people. The most obvious change has been to international travel, especially for Americans. As the virus has spread widely across the U.S. countries have put a halt to allowing American tourist within their border, but not Mexico.

Covid-19 has severly depreciated the American passport.

Once capable of unlocking so many countries, the U.S. passport is no longer helping Americans travel abroad. Instead, the American passport has now become a hindrance for global travelers. Most countries have placed restrictions on American tourists making the U.S. passport one of the weakest.

The countries banning the U.S. are doing so because of the state of the virus in the country.

There have been more than 7 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 200,000 deaths from the virus. The U.S. remains the worst hit country and the global epicenter of the deadly virus. Many blame the lack of a national strategy to properly close down, test citizens, and contact trace those who have been exposed as the reason the virus has been so devastating in the U.S.

The various travel bans have kept families apart.

Other nations went into mush stricter lockdowns that the U.S. and got a handle of the virus. European countries have gotten the virus under control after months and the U.S. continues to see a large number of new cases daily.

One of the countries allowing Americans to visit is Mexico.

Mexico is heavily reliant on the money made from the tourism industry. According to official statistics, the tourism industry is the third-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Major tourist destinations like Cabo and Cancún saw dramatic dips in tourism leading to national and local figures to sound the alarm. According to The Washington Post, the questions was posed about when to allow the tourists from the U.S. back, not should they.

Los Cabos is one of the hardest-hit tourist destinations.

The tourist destination saw a severe decline in tourists during one of the busiest times of the year. According to The Washington Post, the resort city has lost 80 percent of its revenue because of Covid-19. The virus has brought financial devastation to people across the world and the cities they live in aren’t immune to failing themselves.

“It’s life or death for us,” Rodrigo Esponda, the head of the Los Cabos tourism board, told The Washington Post. “There’s nothing else here. No industrial production. No farming or commercial fishing. It’s tourism or nothing.”

Yet, Los Cabos should be a warning sign to the rest of Mexico.

Cases in Baja California, the state where Los Cabos is located, saw new Covid case numbers triple from 50 a day to 150. The increase in infections is to be expected as the state rolled out the welcome mat for Americans coming to visit the resort town.

“There are some residents who say, ‘Why put my family’s life in danger by inviting more visitors, restarting more flights?’” Luis Humberto Araiza López, tourism minister of Baja California Sur, told The Washington Post. “It’s a delicate line between trying to support public health and economic growth.”

Despite this, there are some countries that Americans can travel to.

The countries Americans can travel to without Covid restrictions are Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Zambia. As the world continues to open up, Americans who travel abroad are waiting for the U.S. government to get the virus under control. Until then, the U.S. passport is not the same it used to be.

READ: The U.S. Passport Was Once The World’s Strongest, It’s Fallen To 25th Place Thanks To Failed Leadership Amid Coronavirus

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You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Culture

You Can Order A ‘Taco Vacuna’ And ‘La Cura’ At This Covid 19-Themed Taqueria

Tacovid: SaborViral / Facebook

Pandemia. Brote. Vacuna. La Peste. Although you may find these terms in a glossary about the Covid-19 outbreak, that’s not what these words actually refer to. Instead, they’re options on the menu at a Mexican taqueria called “Tacovid: Sabor Viral”, a perhaps surprisingly very successful Coronavirus-themed restaurant.

Although to many having a Covid-themed taqueria may seem morbid or disrespectful or perhaps gross – I mean who wants to order a plague taco? – the taqueria is making light of a very serious situation with humor. Something that several other businesses have done since the pandemic began.

”Tacovid: Sabor Viral” is the Mexican taqueria going viral – pun intended – for its Covid-themed menu.

Ok…virus-themed tacos don’t exactly sound appetizing. Especially, as we’re still in the midst of a very real pandemic. But one 23-year-old man in the Mexican city of León, who was forced to close down his dance studio because of Coronavirus, is counting on a Covid-themed restaurant – and so far he’s been surprised by its success.

Brandon Velázquez converted his dance academy into a taquería at the end of July, and given that Mexico and the rest of the world was – and is – in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic decided to call it Tacovid Sabor Viral.

“I had to close my dance academy during the pandemic [but] then an opportunity arose to return to the same place, however, people still did not go out for fear of getting infected.” he told the newspaper El Universal.

“I had always wanted to open a taqueria and, at the end of July, the opportunity to do so occurred. It was how I took advantage of the moment to create this business with a coronavirus theme,” he added.

Items on the menu are named after – you guessed it – the Coronavirus and don’t sound like anything you’d willfully choose to order.

The young entrepreneur detailed the name of each dish, taking full advantage of the Coronavirus theme.

“We have around 12 different dishes, among them are the ‘Tacovid’; we have ‘Forty’, ‘Quesanitizing’, ‘Pandemic’, ‘Outbreak’, and many others. The price varies depending on the dish you order,” he told El Universal.

In addition to themed dishes, the servers also fit the Coronavirus-theme.

When the pandemic hit Mexico, the government urged Mexicans to observe “su sana distancia” and the now common mascot – Susana Distancia – was born.

“In the restaurant, a waitress dressed as a nurse with the name of ‘Susana’ takes orders and works the tables, referring to the healthy distance campaign that was implemented as a precautionary measure,” he says.

To his surprise – and honestly mine as well – the taqueria has been very successful.

Brandon told El Universal that he’s been pleasantly surprised by the support he has received from customers. “I’m surprised because we have had really good sales, despite the circumstances, we have had a lot of support by the community and we’ve already expanded to have two locations.”

“Customers are funny about the theme we are using in the business, and they are delighted with the dishes we are offering. They enjoy it and have a good time,” added Brandon.

Things are looking so good for Brandon and his Covid-themed taqueria, that he’s looking to expand the food business and add new dishes to the menu. “There is always the idea of new names for other dishes that we want to include in the menu.”

Brandon also said that he’s looking to build out a business model so the restaurant could expand to other parts of the country as a franchise.

Apparently, people are really into Covid-themed foods, as this isn’t the first place that a shop as cashed in on the pandemic. Back in April, a panadería was selling out of Covid-themed baked goods so quickly, they couldn’t keep the shelves stocked.

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