"I'm Getting Better!"

03 May 2009

Do you remember the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail?  The knights were riding through a town that was rife with plague.  A man was pushing a cart through the town calling "Bring out your dead!  Bring out your dead!".  A man walks of a house carrying an old man, presumably his relative, saying "here's one!", at which time the old man over his shoulder says, "I'm not dead yet!  I'm getting better!"

I guess at times like these, one resorts to dark humor.  The fact is that the evil swine flu plague never materialized, and both Mexican and US governments are being "cautiously optimistic" that what's going on now isn't any worse than the normal flu that kills over 39,000 people in the US every year.  People here in Puerto Vallarta are more than a little ticked off that all their tourist business has vaporized, and they have to deal with the kids being home from school.  To get the kids out of the house, one local tour company, Vallarta Adventures, has offered any of their tours for $500 pesos each (about $36US).  We are swimming with dolphins this week and next week we are enjoying a catamaran tour out to a local beach for kayaking and snorkelling.  These tours are usually around $100US per person, so this is quite a savings!

(Note: I guess my humor is a little too dark - some read the above and immediately assumed I had the flu.  That is not  true.  There have been no cases of H1N1 here!)

So, what's the deal with H1N1?  Here are the facts (from Associated Press):

Total fatalities from H1N1 globally: 20 (19 in Mexico and 1 in the USA)
Total reported cases: 800 (this in no way is an indication of the total number of people who may have gotten H1N1, as many cases have been so mild that people just got the flu and got better)

All Mexican cases have been isolated to two states around Mexico City.  There have been ZERO reports of H1N1 in Jalisco or Nayarit states.  Even so, all our schools are shut down, cruise ships aren't stopping, nightclubs and restaurants are closed.  Puerto Vallarta is empty.

The good news is that the panic on this thing seems to have peaked, and people seem to be turning their anger at the media for scaring the hell out of them.  Of course, it doesn't help that the WHO and CDC have been playing fast and loose with their new "Pandemic Threat Level" indicators, which they have never used before.  Hopefully, when this thing finally blows over there will be a little soul searching on the part of those organizations to understand what they really achieved by using their cool new scale.  

That's about the extent of our situation around here.  We enjoy the warm days and cool evenings.  I just looked out the window and noticed that the hummingbirds are back - they must not have read the memo from the FAA about unnecessary travel to Mexico.  We enjoy a glass of wine occasionally, and head to the beach when it all just gets too stressful.  Liz made a great cherry pie which we had with homemade vanilla bean ice cream - Mexican vanilla is the best!

It's tough, but we will soldier on...