Ask what will happen to disposable mouth coverings that go to ordinary garbage depots, raise economic scenarios for some states in the face of a reduction of up to 20% in sending REMittances from the United States, or analyzing the impact on education by the health crisis are some of the issues that keep UNAM researchers busy.
Since 30 January, UNAM has established the Coronavirus Emergency Care Commission to monitor scientific and academic information generated on the new disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
It is an initiative that has generated an online platform with short interviews with its researchers that briefly and easily explain the implications of the pandemic in different sectors.
The site that updates daily the number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico and the rest of the world, has a gallery with recommendations on the disease and generates weekly information on conjunctural topics related to pandemic and social confinement.
For example, an interview is presented with waste management specialist Nancy Jiménez Martínez to understand the effects of temporary unemployment of recycling and separation activities.
The researcher explains that the health emergency created a conflict between the management of hazardous waste (such as biological-infectious waste) and urban solid waste, as there are no special deposits for contagion-risk wastes that occur at home.
Photo: ROGELIO MORALES /CUARTOSCURO
“This (the pandemic) is going to have a negative impact on the fight that had already been undertaken against single-use plastics,” warns the researcher who is part of the “Zero Garbage” project, as there has been an increase in the use of bottled water, coverings mouths, masks, gloves and disposable disinfectant wipes.
Regarding the looming economic recession, UNAM specialists estimate a 20% drop in remittances to Mexico. Marcos Valdivia López, researcher at the Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research (CRIM), says that the $36 billion that connationals send to their families each year is 1.3 times higher than the federal government currently spends on social programs and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Valdivia López is one of the authors of the report “CoVID-19 impact on the sending of remittances to Mexico and their effects” and explains that although the amount of remittances decreases it will remain an important source of support for the economy.
In fact, the analysis of other researchers also published on this portal refers to how the health emergency has made social inequality more evident in the country, especially among 71% of the indigenous population living in poverty and who do not have social security.
The UNAM-endorsed site also includes content to value health workers, as it has been shown that first-member staff with COVID-19 patients have an increased risk of deteriorating mental health.
It also contains downloadable charts to know what to do in case of COVID-19 symptoms, recommendations for shopping and how to receive home orders, as well as tips to avoid stress during social confinement. It even introduces a Top Ten of technologies for distance education and basic rules to make virtual teaching more efficient.
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