Times Talk shines light on COVID-19 in Latin America

BY ANTHONY GUERRERO

FHSU Assistant Professor of History Marco Macias and Mathew Rome from the American Democracy Project stopped by the Forsyth Library on Tuesday to speak about COVID-19 and its impact on Latin America.

Countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba were examined to understand their responses and results to the disease. Factors in these compared countries included their form of leadership, healthcare, and governance. 

Latin America is significantly important to Macias because that’s where he comes from while Rome took an interest in the as-mentioned countries and their political influence. Together, they correlated their expertise to unveil the Latin experience during the pandemic. 

Mexico, for example, had a weak performance during the epidemic under the leadership of President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador. On the other hand, the success of Cuba was highlighted throughout the presentation thanks to its well-established healthcare system and organized interventions by the government. 

When asked if the United States should have followed in the footsteps of Cuba, Rome said it would have been challenging.

“I think it would have been impossible for us to replicate Cuba,” Rome said, making note of Cuba’s communist status. 

“We could completely revamp our healthcare system to something better, like publicly funded,” Rome suggested to improve the US’s healthcare to that of Cuba.

The pair were asked about the state of the pandemic and what further precautions can be taken. 

“I think the pandemic is still here,” Macias said. “But with the vaccines, it seems that the deaths are under control.”

The precaution emphasized by the speakers as the most effective protection against the virus was to be fully vaccinated. However, one attendee didn’t seem phased by the impact COVID-19 had on the Latin world. 

“It’s not a big deal compared to other diseases,” an FHSU student in attendance said, following up with his decision to live with it and not take any precautions against the virus. 

The on-campus event provided Jimmy John sandwiches for attendees to enjoy while learning about foreign countries and their fight against COVID-19. 

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