First, the good news, the Mexican Government has announced that the all non essential activity request has been rescinded and that government agencies, businesses and the rest of the country can return to normal levels after a 5 day suspension of many basic services and activities.
While in the U.S., many schools that had closed started reopening after announcements were made that closing schools was unnecessary in the battle against A(H1N1), better know as the swine flu. Of course, we’re not supposed to call it swine flu because, well, us humans like pigs, like them so much we raise and eat them, and we were hurting the “pork” industry by halting our daily purchasing and consumption of pork due to misguided notions that eating pork could give us swine flu.
Now those Chinese would hear nothing of that, they don’t want us or our pork, putting foreigners in quarantine and banning pork imports since the influenza outbreak.
The Chinese prefer to export stuff, people, soy sauce, computer viruses and that sort of thing, they don’t need our stinkin’ pork, especially if we’re going to send it over in an unleaded can, marked swine flu free.
So, abruptly, the powers that be, the man behind the screen, called off the great swine flu scare almost as quickly as it had started.
In less than 24 hours, the major international networks all stopped flashing the swine flu drill, the talking heads stopped pounding away at us with tales of curl tailed children and evil Mexicans flying into our countries passing around swine flu like Czech hookers passing around STD’s at a political convention.
The Center for the Disease Control in the U.S. meekly admitted that the swine flu was likely no worse than the common flu and the World Health Organization decided against going to a Level 6 Pandemic rating, it’s highest alert warning.
And, Mexico took a pasting, xenophobes and racists started crawling out of the woodwork to blast those rotten Mexicans, businesses involved in travel and tourism already rocked by the economic crisis, remember that, got rolled over like the Wiley Coyote chasing the Roadrunner into a tunnel, and an entire country was shut down like so much excess baggage by a world that claims it cares but in reality just offers lip service while forcing the Mexicans to turn off the lights.
Obviously, we’re exaggerating here and swine flu still isn’t anything to sneeze at, and there is the chance the damn thing will still mutate and come back and kick our ass at a later date. Still, one has to wonder, where the heck the human race is heading when we’ll scare ourselves to death before the virus even gets us, just worrying about it.
To their credit, the folks at the WHO stated from day one, there was no recommendation against international travel, the thing is, nobody listened, at least not the folks that mattered, the people running governments, airlines, cruise lines etc.
So here we are, Cancun tourism in a shambles, open and ready for business with few takers because akin to sleeping children we’re still afraid of the monster under the bed.
Which begs us to ask, what will we do when, eventually, there is a monster to be afraid of.
Signing off and signing out…