This all changed in recently, when the number of coronavirus cases rose dramatically. Now Health Minister Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell, who two weeks ago called social distancing an extreme tactic is telling citizens to stay at home.
Sputnik has spoken with Orlando Oliveros, a 34-year-old radio producer, about his daily routine and what he does in his free time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sputnik: Countries are imposing restrictive quarantine measures inside cities and are ordering the closure of malls, cinemas, restaurants, bars, and other establishments. How has it changed your daily routine?
Orlando Oliveros: My daily routine went through small changes. I am one of the few people who's still allowed to go out to work. On the other hand, the city has gradually become empty, most public places are still open but they have few customers. Here in Mexico the cinemas are closed, so the consumption of entertainment via stream has increased exponentially, all video platforms and podcasts are the new kings of the neighbourhood.
Sputnik: Do you go out and if so - how often and for what?
Orlando Oliveros: Yes, I am a radio producer so I have to go to the station to "run" my programmes. I go to work from Monday to Friday and stay there from 2-10 p.m.
Sputnik: Are there any legal fines for breaking the quarantine rules?
Orlando Oliveros: So far, there are no fines for breaking the quarantine. In fact, the restrictions are still very loose at the moment - public meetings, concerts were cancelled, while cinema theatres were closed. However, the president continues to call press conferences with more than 100 people and hold massive events in various cities across the country.
Sputnik: A lot of people have found themselves with a lot of extra free time. What are you doing while social-distancing at home?
Orlando Oliveros: Well, I dedicate the little time I have to doing independent projects.
In addition to that, I try to clear my head by playing video games, reading comics, watching Netflix, or sleeping.
Sputnik: Before the quarantine, we used to spend a lot of time online and with gadgets. Now we’re stuck at home and people have come to realise that wasting so much time online is devastating, so they are turning to new things to entertain or educate themselves. What about you? Have you started doing any new or unusual things?
Orlando Oliveros: I keep my mind busy reading. A few years ago, I bought a ukulele and these days I have started to learn some songs on it. I think I'm picking up that habit of playing music, which I had given up because work took up so much of my time
Sputnik: While staying at home, we tend to eat a lot and not move a lot. How are you trying to keep in shape? Do you exercise?
Orlando Oliveros: A few days before the health contingency began here in Mexico, my girlfriend bought an elliptical trainer. We have been doing workouts on it. Besides that, my means of transportation in the city is a bicycle, that counts as doing exercise, right?
Sputnik: How hard is it to go without real-life communication with your friends, family, and colleagues?
Orlando Oliveros: WhatsApp groups have been very useful to keep in touch with family and friends, in my case even with students, whom I teach using videoconferences on Skype. Even with all these options, face-to-face interaction is definitely missing.
Sputnik: Are you living alone or with your family and friends? How are you coping with staying with someone 24/7?
Orlando Oliveros: I live with my girlfriend. Spending more time together has helped us communicate better at certain points, however, there are times when we prefer to spend time alone in different rooms, doing our own things.