covering COVID-19 in Mexico

Flor Castañeda is a freelance photojournalist based in Zacatecas, Mexico. She has been covering COVID-19 through her lens but describes her experience as strange but challenging, above all. The situation around the global pandemic has made Flor rethink her way of working, the way she approaches people and portrays, and look for new stories that reflect the present conditions without falling into repetition.

A majority of Flor’s COVID-19 coverage features the public spaces in Zacatecas, she has been documenting the pandemic since March. The Mexican government will enter the second phase of strategizing to fight against the virus. However, Flor thinks it may change this week onwards, when the contagion is expected to reach its peak. She informs us that there is concern that the health system might collapse, if that happens.

Since Flor’s job requires her to step outside and photograph, we asked her how she keeps herself safe and healthy following the threat of coronavirus.

Flor.jpg

“I have gone out to document the situation everyday. Preferably, I do it on foot and avoid using public transport. I use the telephoto lens in crowded places,” she said and added that she does not have much to protect herself while she works amidst public spaces.

“The media I work for have only given me a couple of handkerchiefs, a bottle of antibacterial gel and two cloth face masks, which I do not use since they are not effective. However, I got a small bottle to carry the antibacterial gel with me, a natural bristle brush, isopropyl alcohol to disinfect my equipment and a glass cleaning liquid, all by myself,” she said.

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by The Coalition for Women in Journalism

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