Inside México wants to know how the swine flu is affecting YOUR life

As the talking heads talk, we want to get closer to the ground.

Community journalism can give us a different picture of what is happening with the swine flu. You can help us.

What is happening in your neighborhood? Building? City? Are you changing plans? Leaving Mexico? Canceling a trip to Mexico? Do you think the whole thing is overblown? Do you know anyone who has the disease?

Tell us how swine flu is affecting you by scrolling down to the comment box located below.

About Shauna Leff

I'm a Multimedia Producer, Editor, Creative Thinker, Innovator, People Connector, Global Citizen and a Digital Storytelling Advocate & Facilitator. My life motto is to be involved with all things fun & meaningful with a positive and spiritual outlook on life.
 

I am interested to see if anyone can clear up some doubts I have regarding the origin of this flu. Over the weekend, some friends were saying that it was officially called the "Brisbane" flu or something of that nature. Does anyone know if there is any tie here to Brisbane, Australia, etc?

Secondly, all the locals I talk to are saying that the origin of the disease was in the USA, whereas CNN seems to maintain that it originated _here_.

Mixed media, anyone?

I'm a teacher in Mexico City at a North American school. We have cancelled classes until May 6th, even though none of our students, teachers, or staff have any evidence of flu. This will be a loss of 7 days of school, which we can't make up in any other way. 7 days is a significant loss of school, and we may lose more. This would make sense, if we had even one student who showed signs of the flu. But keeping 60 healthy kids at home for 2 weeks may not help anyone.
The Mexicans are dying in higher amounts from this flu strain than anywhere else on earth. This is likely due to their high rates of self-medicating. Many Mexicans cannot afford doctors' visits. By making doctor visits and flu medications free, the government will get higher reporting rates and better treatment of sick persons.

I do not currently live in Mexico but I travel there about 10 times per year, work for the Mexico Tourism Board and individual destinations and hotels, and hope to retire in Mexico part time soon. Naturally, this is devastating to the Tourism Industry, we have four tradeshows scheduled in West Coast US cities next week and I will have to postpone them. Several of my Mexican exhibitors prefer not to travel right now, and travel agents are receiving trip cancellations by the hour. It's easy to say "Oh it's all media hype" and there has been so much hype, but you can see how quickly a virus can spread in today's world. As someone who has spent the last 35 years of my life promoting travel to and retirement in Mexico it breaks my heart that this is happening. But we can't be blinded by our love of Mexico at the expense of being realistic. Viruses can mutate and change, and there is no vaccine at this time. Also even when you love Mexico don't you agree that there are two Mexico's at least? The Mexico for affluent Mexicans and a majority of Americans is not the same Mexico as the one 70% or so of the poorest Mexicans live in. When I read that Mexicans have said they were turned away at clinics, or the ambulance drivers didn't want to transport them because they were afraid to catch the virus, I believe these stories. I see Mexico as a developed country with world class medical care for some, and a developing country without the infrastructure in place to adequatly handle this type of challenge, for many.

I say we'd better err on the side of caution, until we know more about what we're dealing with.

bigmutt's picture

I've lived here for over 8 years and I have yet to meet a local mexican who cannot afford doctors' visits. The cost is that of a Coke & a pkg. of donitas. (20 pesos)
Flu medications are free through ISSSTE and IMSS.
My colonia is poor-to-lower class.

Your speculation as to why initial death rates are not higher in other countries is premature.
Deaths have now started occuring in the U.S. and are likely merely behind the timeline curve.

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