Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Time To Rant

A time to live, a time to die, a time to rant, a time to sigh.

Things are pretty difficult right now in México. The entire country has been closed off from the world for an undetermined amount of time, at an undetermined level of security. The Yucatán insists there have been NO CONFIRMED cases of the AH1N1, or Human Flu. Yet we remain sequestered. The Mexican people are being punished.

The only event I can compare how this flu is affecting us in México is 9/11, in so far as it feels like we are under a terrorist attack. Life is practically at a standstill…very little traffic – pedestrian or vehicular, few flights, no ships, no tourists, no sports, and mandated closures. Schools have been closed for a week and won’t reopen until next Monday, the 11th of May. All sporting events will go another week with no spectators allowed. Officials are worried about gearing up to normal life again because it may be too soon to tell how widespread this influenza is. Mexico is reporting no new deaths in the past five days, but many other countries are reporting increases in flu cases.

I was shocked to see the US has nearly 380 confirmed cases in 36 states, yet México has only 840 cases confirmed in 4 states (out of 32). How could that possibly be? The influenza was first discovered in México. If it has been here longer, how could it possibly spread faster in the US than here? As the days quietly pass, the less sense it all makes.
The streets of Progreso were quiet.

Friday we got cabin fever and drove to Progreso for fresh fish. We were the only patrons in the restaurant. Pablo swallowed an habanero chile seed which made him cough. The waiters all flinched and started watching us closely to make sure we weren’t sick. Paranoia is rampant.

The Chinese sent México an airplane full of cotton balls, alcohol and hygiene supplies, as if to say…….Cleanse yourself, people! Although it was a nice gesture, it went over like a lead balloon. Now China is simply sending all the Mexicans home!

Excerpt from Yahoo News 2pm, 5 May 2009: China, Argentina and Cuba are among the nations banning regular flights to and from Mexico, marooning passengers at both ends. Mexico and China both sent chartered flights to each other's countries to collect their citizens, with the chartered Mexican plane hopscotching China Tuesday to retrieve stranded residents. Argentina also chartered a flight to bring Argentines home.

My friend in Isla Mujeres said there are approximately 50 tourists on the entire island. I’m not surprised after last week’s closures of large hotels, restaurants and bars in Cancún and along the Mayan Riviera that sent tourists scurrying home. Those who stayed behind were advised they would be quarantined IN MEXICO if they got sick here. That was enough to send some people running. (What some people don’t know is that we actually have GOOD medical care available.)

Another friend was planning to cruise to the Yucatán on Carnival Cruise Lines. She called to get information before booking and was advised that all cruises to Mexico were cancelled UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Tourism is down 70%. It was low before we got the flu because of the world’s economic crises.

I have no confidence in the tests or the statistics. If it takes two weeks to get a blood test back, then too many patients have been dismissed prematurely. I don’t want to see this become a level 6 pandemic. I want it to go away. I want time to stop and back up and AH1N1 just disappear. I want a lot of things…..like beachfront property for free and a pot of gold!

Is there a worldwide movement to send all ‘nationals’ back to their ‘nations’? A pharmaceutical company takeover? A political act to shift focus from the world’s financial crisis? Biological warfare? A media event? Or just a pesky pandemic?

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