Travel

LIfe During Wartime

28 Apr 2009

Yeah, I know.  It's been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog.  Call it laziness, contentment, or just lack of interest.  Maybe the Mexico maniana attitude has me.

Of course, now things are a little different.  With all the latest news about the swine flu pandemic in Mexico, it's probably worth telling folks what is happening with us.

We went out today, and I kept thinking about the Talking Heads song "Life During Wartime".  In case you are unfamiliar with the lyrics, here they are. Do I think we are in wartime?  No.  Is it weird here right now?  You bet.  We went to a local shopping mall - on every door was a warning sign about flu and what to do to prevent  exposure.  We had lunch in a small restaurant - all the workers were wearing masks.

On to Costco.  As we entered, the masked greeter offered us a sanitary wipe to use on our hands and the shopping cart.  The store seemed emptier than in the past.  All employees were wearing masks, and many had boxes of sanitary wipes.  Some customers were also wearing masks. I found myself thinking about what I was touching, where my hands were going then - my eyes?  mouth?

What's the real risk?  Very little.  There hasn't been a single recorded case of swine flu in either Nayarit or Jalisco states.  Mexico City is almost closer to Texas than it is to us.  We live in an uncrowded area, on the sea.  As the world population increases, cities the size of Mexico City are truly at risk of disease outbreak due to sheer density of people.  Not so much places like Puerto Vallarta, with it's low population density and low crowding.

Still, we get almost daily email messages from friends here who have news.  The American Embassy sends out regular Warden Messages discussing the official position of the US with regards to the emergency.  Reports from Mexico City seem to indicate that the drastic measures they have taken are starting to have an impact - the number of new recorded cases is reducing.  We hear that some group events here have been postponed.  We wait.

Our expat friends are making the best of it all.  This morning one of them emailed a picture of small child kissing a pig on the lips, with the caption, "The CDC Recommends Not Doing This!"  If it actually gets bad, we'll stay at home or hang out on the beach.  It'll be terrible.

I worry most about how this latest event will impact Mexico.  With such a heavy reliance on tourism, the scare about the drug lords had a huge impact on peoples' willingness to come to this country.  Now this.  Mexican's must be wondering what they did to deserve it.

The bottom line is that we are fine.  The sun is shining,  there's plenty of beer in the fridge and the sea water is cool.  We'll survive.