First the drug war fears is keeping people away from Mexico. We were hard hit during Spring Break and tourism is way down, to say the least.
And now this Swine Flu. People are starting to go crazy because of it. As I write this, the USA has basically told people to stay away unless absolutely necessary. Many other countries are following suit. Things are going to get tough around here and in all of Mexico if the tourist market drops off. That scares me more than the flu. No tourists in Mexico = no money = increase in crime.
It looks like the epicenter of this current outbreak did not occur in Mexico City. The first reported case here was to a 13 year old lad in the state of Veracruz, just across the border from Mexico City. By the end of today (Tuesday) the number of suspected cases here in Mexico should top the 2000 mark.
Almost every kind of public business or event in Mexico City has been closed down. Restaurants are serving only "to go" food. The footage coming out of there looks like a ghost town. Schools nationwide have been ordered closed until at least May 6. That includes la isla. (despite what many people think, we are not an extension of Disneyland but part of Mexico!)
Downtown today we noticed a lot of people wearing surgical masks. We have also noticed people have stopped shaking hands and there are only air kisses being thrown. No cheek to cheek kissing which is the norm here. We have had our first suspected case reported here, so this thing is spreading. I expected it to happen here. After all, we just came off Easter week when thousands of national tourists flock to our beaches...most from Mexico City!
Am I worried? No. Am I concerned and cautious? Yes. We've decided to practice "social distancing" for awhile. Keeping people at least 6 feet (2 meters) away when possible, avoiding the grocery store and using up our stores of food* and limiting our trips to town and interaction with people. We'll just see where this thing is going....hopefully away. But I doubt that.
* our friend, Lisa in Cancun, reports that people are making runs on the grocery stores there. Acting like WWIII is about to break out or that a major hurricane is on its' way. I guess I don't see the necessity for that kind of panic.