“Face coverings are mandatory. Even children have to wear them,” Díaz said. “I cannot even recall seeing one person without a mask.”
Only one person can enter a place like a supermarket at a time and children are not allowed at all. Customers first must clean their feet on a sanitizing mat, use hand sanitizer, and take their temperature.
“Then, and only then, you can go in, so it’s a huge difference,” Díaz said.
The Mexican government also invested in marketing campaigns — including audio recordings at stoplights and giant billboards encouraging people to stay home.
Díaz said the difference in mentality, between the U.S. and Mexico, is partially due to social programs.
“There is no safety net in Mexico, so nobody is getting unemployment checks. Nobody is getting a $1,000 government-issued check,” Díaz said. “What that created was this community mentality, you know like truly, we have to pull together otherwise everybody sinks.”
Though Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is not pushing social distancing, Díaz said the pressure to do so comes from the ground up.