Rich Mexicans went to Vail to ski, they brought home coronavirus

Each winter, some of Mexico’s wealthiest residents flock to the snowy slopes of Colorado to ski, shop and socialize.

This year, at least 14 — and probably many more — came home infected with the coronavirus.

In a country that has not yet been hard hit by the pandemic, the travelers have become a focal point of efforts to prevent the virus from spreading widely.

Several of Mexico’s most prominent business leaders — including a banking executive, the chairman of Mexico’s stock exchange and the chief executive of the company that makes Jose Cuervo tequila — tested positive for the virus after traveling to Vail, a ski resort west of Denver.

Skiers prepare for their day at the base of Vail in the Mountain Plaza area. Resorts in Colorado are now closed due to the coronavirus. <span class="copyright">(Andy Cross / Denver Post)</span>
Skiers prepare for their day at the base of Vail in the Mountain Plaza area. Resorts in Colorado are now closed due to the coronavirus. (Andy Cross / Denver Post)

Public health authorities are now scrambling to find others who recently returned from the resort, including an estimated 400 people who flew on two charter planes from Colorado to the state of Jalisco.

“We need these people to understand that they have a very high probability of having acquired the virus and are a potential risk,” Jalisco Gov. Enrique Alfaro said in a video on Facebook in which he implored those who made the trip to contact health authorities.

“We don’t want this to be the start of a major coronavirus spread,” added Fernando Petersen, Jalisco’s top health official.

The state’s health department said that it has already contacted 73 passengers on those flights and that roughly 40% of them report coronavirus-like symptoms but have not yet been tested.

Of Jalisco’s 27 confirmed coronavirus patients, 11 had been in Vail in recent weeks, the department said.

The frantic effort to find the ski trip participants has highlighted an uncomfortable fact: It is people wealthy enough to travel outside the country who have brought the coronavirus back to mostly poor Mexico. Yet if the disease spreads, it is those with the least who will probably suffer the most.

As of Friday, Mexico had confirmed just one coronavirus death, that of a 41-year-old man who had recently traveled to the United States and — to the dismay of health authorities — later attended a rock concert at a stadium in Mexico City.

Source: LA Times

The Mazatlan Post