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News Article

Mexico Tops North America in Use of Face Masks

By Alfonso Núñez | Tue, 02/22/2022 - 09:20

Mexico has one of the highest rates of face mask compliance worldwide, found a study conducted by the University of Maryland and the University of Carnegie Mellon in collaboration with Facebook.

 

Nine out of 10 of Mexico’s habitants have adopted the constant use of face masks, found the Global COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey, which asked social media users about different pandemic behaviors. The study found that 88.7 percent of Mexicans surveyed have adopted face masks into their daily routines. This is the third highest rate in Latin America. Puerto Rico has the highest with 94.7 percent and Chile the second with 91.7 percent.

 

The study analyzed over 100 countries and territories worldwide, of which Mexico continuously places amongst the top countries for face mask compliance, according to the latest results released on Feb. 15. Mexico’s northern neighbor falls well below, as the US only counts with a 64.5 percent face-mask regular compliance.

 

Mexico was the number one country in the North American region for mask compliance as Canada only reached 83.7 percent. Canada earlier this month declared a state of emergency after numerous truck drivers protested vaccine mandates for crossing the US-Canada border. Inspired by Canada’s protests, truck drivers in France, New Zealand and Australian citizens have followed suit.

 

Several countries in the EU also fall well below Mexico. The UK currently has 53 percent compliance, Germany 77.1 percent and France 80.9 percent. The only country in the EU higher compliance than Mexico is Italy with 89.3 percent, as the country made face-masks mandatory for attending mass gatherings and using public transportation. Spain last week made face-mask use optional and currently has an 86 percent regular use.

 

Some countries in the region no longer enforce the regular use of face masks, considering that the pandemic has already passed. Denmark has only about 10 percent compliance, resulting in a subsequent increase in cases and deaths.

 

Globally, the countries with highest levels of mask usage are found in Asia. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan all have usage rates above 95 percent while South Korea, Singapore and Thailand are above 90 percent.

 

Mexico’s results show the outstanding adherence of the country’s citizens to health protocols. High infection rates might thus be more related to the government’s handling of the pandemic. The latest wave of infections came after Mexico became the only country in the world to eliminate all health travel monitoring during the peak of the Omicron variant and shortly after the country began seeing hotspots of infections in popular travel destinations.

 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador famously does not wear face masks during public appearances and has contracted the coronavirus twice. However, Mexicans across different states have followed face-mask recommendations by health experts, proved by the country’s exemplary results in the global study.

Photo by:   Unsplash, Vera Davidova
Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst