Omar Alejandro Guerrero has been working for the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) for 20 years and has never experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic or the pressure it adds to his job as a food handler.
For days now, he’s delivered letters and messages in Tijuana for those who can’t leave the COVID-19 protection zone at the hospital. Guerrero said the messages consist of encouraging words that help people during the hours of isolation.
He carries the letters taped to his arm with adhesive tape each time he enters the protected zone – a job he never thought he would have.
“I tell them to tape it well, so that it doesn’t unfasten because I need to move as I carry these letters in addition to delivering food,” the IMSS Clinic 20 food handler said.
Acting as a messenger of war in the middle of a pandemic, he delivers hope to those who hope to escape death.
“I felt like they needed to greet their families. They seemed like prisoners,” Guerrero said.
Maria Cetto is one of the women who wait outside the clinic in Tijuana, and she said she’s experiencing the uncertainty of being separated from a relative in the hospital. However, she’s already been able to send a letter to who she called her warrior.
“That we miss him very much, to give it his all and that we’re waiting for him at home,” the Tijuana woman said.
Guerrero said demand is high from those outside who wish to send letters to their hospitalized loved ones and that the response to a Facebook post in which he offered to carry the messages to coronavirus patients was immediate.
“I received about 2,700 messages. In all honesty, I’m writing them down on a sheet and I am going to do it little by little because there are so many,” he said.
To enter the restricted zone, he needs to check the exact number of the bed the message is being delivered to. Guerrero said pressure is increasing because he says his biggest fear is that the message will not arrive on time since that’s happened recently.
“I told one person their recipient was already tubed. They started crying and to be honest, that broke my heart,” he said. “But I had to tell them the truth.”