Influenza Influence

Arising from a nap taken while sprawling across three seats on MX976 from Guadalajara to San Francisco, I am reminded of a desire to comment on the so-called swine flu. Of the five flights taken during my trip, none have been at capacity and two have provided me with full rows for myself. The true utilization is in stark contrast with the near full planes that were described when I purchased my tickets; I understand Mexicana was allowing refunds of some sort on account of the flu.

Cancun was, I have been led to understand, empty relative to other years at this time. The resort at which I stayed was likely at no more than 30% occupancy; near full capacity is the norm. Other resorts and hotels were closed due to a lack of guests. This, of course, meant that we largely had the resort to ourselves but, selfishness aside, it also means that the local economy is suffering an absolutely horrible collapse and any locals without sufficient savings may need to seek other work. Compounding with the general global downturn, there will likely be a profoundly negative effect on Cancun and other Mexican resort areas.

The response of the Mexican government is rather interesting as well. The government had health checkpoints set up at airports and state borders. Individuals are required to fill out a questionnaire as to whether or not they are suffering any flu symptoms and then have their temperature checked by thermal camera or infrared probe; neither of which I suspect is particularly accurate. What they would do to one who fails such testing is unclear as they did not seem set up for any sort of quarantine. Furthermore, a few Tylenol, aspirin and lies ought to be enough to get anyone through. The whole exercise reeks of security theater, a topic which I fear raising lest I rant far beyond your patience.