COVID and Culture in Argentina: Impacts of and on Yerba Mate Use

Authors: Adam S. Dohrenwend*, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Andrew Sluyter, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University
Topics: Latin America, Medical and Health Geography, Food Systems
Keywords: COVID-19, yerba mate, consumption
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 22
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan, China in November 2019 had by February 2020 diffused to Latin America. The epidemiology of the disease has varied greatly throughout the region, however, dependent on numerous environmental, social, and cultural factors. As infections and deaths mounted through March, we became increasingly concerned about how one such factor in Argentina—namely, the sharing of yerba mate—might increase the risk to our friends and family there. We report our broader observations on how the cultural practices around mate relate to the COVID-19 pandemic and have changed, perhaps permanently.

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