In case it’s not clear from the posts I’ve been making this week I firmly believe in the efficacy of prayer. As an Orpheotelest I’m also down with protective charms, the healing properties of plants and stones as well as a host of customs which are not inaccurately classed as superstitions.
But I’m not a stupid man – these things work best in conjunction with pragmatic and proactive measures. “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,” as it says in the Bible.
Which is why I am frankly baffled by the response of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to our present pandemic, as reported by Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times:
“Pandemics won’t do anything to us,” he said on Monday while accusing the media and his political opponents of exaggerating the threat of the virus.
He has declined to close his borders or ban travel from particularly afflicted countries and has brazenly ignored recommendations from his own deputy health minister that Mexicans refrain from greeting each other with a customary hug and kiss.
At a large rally over the weekend, Lopez Obrador waded proudly into the crowd, kissing children and embracing supporters. He has made a show of waving off offerings of antibacterial gel. And on Wednesday, before appearing at another large event, he showcased a collection of good-luck charms that he carries with him, including Catholic scapulars and a $2 bill.
“They are my bodyguards,” he said, smiling.
This laissez-faire approach has led to increased tensions with El Salvador and other Latin American countries, with some even speculating that we could soon see armed conflict in the region.
In what is certainly unrelated news, CNN reported that a 5.7-magnitude earthquake ravaged Utah on Wednesday, dislodging the trumpet of the Angel Moroni from the iconic Latter-Day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City.
Strange behavior has also been witnessed among the world’s sea creatures.