Homeless people sleep on the streets of downtown Mérida in the midst of the pandemic

(Photo: yucatan.com.mx)

MÉRIDA, YUCATAN.- When the businesses close and the streets of downtown look empty, among the few people who are still outside, despite the government’s recommendations to stay home to stop the Covid-19 pandemic, several homeless people can be seen.

In Merida, one of the three cities with the highest number of active Covid-19 cases, the government ordered the closure of non-essential businesses at 6 in the afternoon and restrictions on vehicular traffic at 10:30 at night.

But in some parks and other corners of downtown Mérida, homeless people take refuge to sleep wherever they can find a spot, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Every night you can see several people on the street sleeping at the entrances of businesses or on the benches of a park, in some cases on top of cardboard or plastic bags to be more comfortable.

In a dark corner, at the entrance to the García Rejón bazaar, two people are lying on the floor, while in the Lucas de Gálvez market, in front of the City Museum, three more are sleeping on the sidewalk, one of them about thirty or forty.

A man in a wheelchair rested in front of the San Benito market, just a few meters from a Municipal Police vehicle. A few steps from there, a robust middle-aged woman can be seen lying on the doorstep of a business.

People were also seen sleeping on the north side of the Cathedral, on the sidewalk across from the Armando Manzanero theater, and on a bench in the Santiago park, which is still cordoned off with yellow tape.

Most of these homeless people used to be taken to the “Buen Samaritano” (Good Samaritan) shelter on Periférico, and then they are allowed to leave the place during the daytime.

But apparently, due to the severity of the pandemic, this shelter has been temporarily shut down to avoid massive contagion.