I was a little bored from not doing anything for the last few days, so I decided to get out of the house and drive around today to see what was going on in Mexico City.
Here’s what I saw.
Paseo de La Reforma is one of the two main roads in Mexico City. Usually, it is bustling with traffic and people. It’s pretty much never this empty, but due to H1N1 (swine flu), today it was fairly empty.
This child street performer dressed up as a lion was also wearing a blue mask today. There were many street vendors still out today, despite the government’s advice to stay home.
The green taxis are an icon of the city. Today, the drivers were wearing masks and rubber gloves. This was the best picture I could get of a gloved taxista.
This week we went on an already planned trip to Huatulco, Mexico. We flew from Mexico City to Huatulco on Sunday and from Huatulco to Mexico City on Wednesday. With the Swine Flu pandemic all over the world having been suspected to originate in Mexico, we expected the airport to be crazy.
There was a military presence there, handing out masks to passengers. We expected to see that because we knew that they were handing out masks to people as they entered the subway. But handing out masks was pretty much the only sign of swine flu pandemic that we saw.
There was also the “screening” that we went through for them to let us on the plane. It consisted of a single sheet of paper (see the photo – click to enlarge) with a few questions on it.
It asked our name, age, gender, and then some very simple symptom questions. Do you have the following symptoms: Fever over 39 degrees Celsius, cough, headache, limb pain, joint pain, eye redness, and nasal flux. Then, it said, “If you have all of these symptoms, we recommend that you postpone your trip and see a doctor.”
That was it. I expected a little more. We got the same form on the way home from the beach.
I read today that they will be doing more screening now at the airports. I wonder what that will be like. I have heard that they will actually take your temperature at the airport. We’ll see what happens.
I’m not sure how Swine Flu jumped from pigs to humans, but here’s one theory:
Just so you know, I don’t think Swine Flu is a laughing matter. I am praying that the outbreak is controlled and that nobody else has to suffer from it, and I am praying for the families of those who have lost loved ones as a result of it.
I just thought the picture was cute.
See my other posts about Swine Flu:
While the experts debate the effectiveness of masks to help prevent the spread of swine flu, there is no doubt that people all over Mexico are wearing them.
Here are some humorous photos I’ve found that help relieve a little of the tension during the pandemic.
Benito Juarez thinks a mask will help him (via: Pura vida)
The owner of this car isn’t taking chances (via: Ana Maria Salazar)
While you’re at it, you can learn how to make your own anti-swine flu mask.
Here’s an example of how not to wear a mask (Check the photo).
Oh, and I took this at out Walmart pharmacy last night. It says, “Dear Customer, for the moment we do not have masks. They are sold out. Thank you.”
Everywhere you look around here, people are using masks. Yesterday in Walmart, I saw a mom strongly “reminding” her teenage son to keep his mask on. We wore them on the airplane to and from vacation this week, too.
So, the question everyone is asking is, “Does wearing a mask work to help me avoid swine flu?” It depends on who you ask. According to this AP article, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is not a lot of evidence that masks do much good, and have pointedly not recommended their use by the general public. Swine flu is thought to be transmitted in much the same way as seasonal flu, by touching something with the virus and then passing it to the nose or mouth or through coughing or sneezing.
If nothing else, it helps us avoid putting our hands to our face and in our mouth, which we KNOW helps fight the spread of swine flu.
I’m not sure if wearing it in your car while you drive (especially alone) is going to do anything. Nevertheless, in Mexico, it’s common now to see tons of people wearing the masks. In fact, there aren’t any at our local Walmart. They have sold out. Everyone is using them. It’s the newest fashion statement here in Mexico City.
(Via: Pura Vida)