“Magical realism,” the literary style of fiction that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements, was born in Latin America. And that is fitting, as the region is often the stage for events that just seem too odd to be true. Presumably, Latin American authors growing up in this peculiar milieu naturally brought it to their fiction. Even amid the Covid-19 crisis—which is only beginning to hit the Americas with force—we have seen plenty of bizarre and odd events that could have come straight out of Borges, Asturias, or Garcia Márquez.
Perhaps with the exception of Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, leaders in Latin America have stepped up to the plate to offer a swift response to the crisis, putting their political differences aside and closing borders, placing citizens under lockdown, and trying to contain the spread of the disease.
However, the fight against the novel coronavirus has thrown up plenty of bizarre—and even comical—goings-on around Latin America. Here are some of the most peculiar.