Border travel restrictions in Detroit and El Paso show the uneven impacts of COVID-19

By René Kladzyk / El Paso Matters

Nathaly Gonzalez crosses from El Paso to Ciudad Juárez a couple times a week. She brings groceries to her grandparents — they prefer the bulk foods sold on the U.S. side. She visits her brother and takes her dog to the vet. Gonzalez and her mother are dual U.S.-Mexican citizens and live in El Paso; her brother and grandparents are Mexican citizens and live in Ciudad Juárez. Things have changed significantly for Gonzalez and her family since the COVID-19 travel restrictions went into effect on March 21, 2020, but she still crosses with ease, regardless of whether her reasons for crossing could be defined as “essential.”

“I’ve rarely had any issues with (Customs and Border Protection),” Gonzalez said.  “And then crossing from El Paso to Juárez nobody really asks you anything.

A timeline of the pandemic in the Borderland

In the year since the pandemic’s arrival, thousands of people in both Ciudad Juárez and El Paso have died of COVID-19. Schools have shuttered. Businesses have struggled.

This timeline, produced as part of the Puente Media Collaborative, looks back at crucial moments in the past year.