Daniel Tatar has not returned to Canada in almost two years.
The former Vancouver holds a craft mescaloria in the coastal town of Playa Gbolite on the beautiful Pacific coast of Mexico.
The 40-year-old said he hoped to return to northern Alberta this Christmas to see his parents or his family come to see him, but Govt-19 changed all that.
As someone who relies on tourists for a living, Tatar has very mixed feelings about making headlines by doing what politicians think he can not do.
“It’s like a double-edged sword, because I do business outside of tourism, but when you get tourism from people who encourage you to stay at home or take their own advice, it’s sad that it’s crazy,” he said.
“And many are making sacrifices not to go home or see their family. It’s like an epidemic, but they don’t want to admit it.”
Canadians are just a few
Over the past week, a series of politicians across the country have agreed to travel to faraway places during the holidays.
The former finance minister of Ontario resigned after returning from the Caribbean, while the former Minister of Municipal Affairs of Alberta resigned after returning from Hawaii.
On the island of Vancouver, the municipal councilor for the district of Metzos defended the December trip to Capo San Lucas, at which time the province warned against unnecessary travel.
Tatar opened his business, Mescaloria Cotta Corta, a few months before the plague first struck last spring. She had to close for four months, but was able to open at the end of July.
Playa Gipolite, about 1,500 km south of Kabo, has only about 1,000 full-time residents.
According to Tatarin, the beach town is generally popular with Canadians, but he has only seen a handful of tourists returning to the community in recent months.
He says most Canadians who live part of the year in the city do not return.
‘Slight shock at the sound’
The same cannot be said of people in other parts of the world.
“For the past two weeks I’ve been very surprised about people coming in from all over, about the two s —- epidemics, not wearing masks or setting aside time between their flights,” he said.
“It was a little shocking to see this size coming, but I was even more shocked to see that there weren’t too many Canadians.”
Tatar says he wears a mask at all times in his business, constantly disinfecting surfaces, and having limited spaces inside and outside the bar to allow social distance.
But he is amazed at how many of the tourists he sees choose to wear masks.
Most of the viewers he saw were from the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe – all places struggling to control the rapid spread of COVID-19, and the recently discovered virus variant spreads even more easily.
The more people, the greater the risk
Tatar says he was horrified to see Playa Gbolite almost double its population as people from all over the world and other parts of Mexico flocked to the city to celebrate the New Year.
He fears that those tourists have left more than their pesos.
“More and more people are coming and going, not just holiday destinations, but there is a high risk of exposure and spread in any community,” he said.
Tatarin says Canadians are naturally worried about bringing COVID-19 back to Canada. But he says they should also give up a thought for citizens of a country like Mexico, where poverty is high and those who are sick cannot afford testing and treatment when they are sick.
“Like coastal Mexico, we are far from even accessing hospital maintenance and testing,” he said.
“Business-wise people are good at traveling, but at what cost?”