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In a Little Cafe on the Other Side of the Border, a Virtual Visitor's Blog on Cancun

May 2009
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Cancun; Sifting Through the Swine Flu
Filed under: Cancun Casa Blog, Cancun Tourism, Cancun Swine Flu/AH1N1
Posted by: Dangers @ 8:49 pm

 Today, sifting through the local Cancun newspapers it has become apparent that the swine flu, A(H1N1), situation has left the hub of Mexican tourism, Cancun and her sister towns, struggling for answers. Patience may be a virtue of Mexico’s people but not of her economy when it comes to tourism. This slowdown is much longer than the typical Mexican minute and the folks on the street are feeling it as hotel occupancy dropped to an abysmal 21.9% yesterday when typical occupancy this time of year is between 60-70%. At least 9 hotels in Cancun have shutdown entirely, most, multiple resort operations in the Hotel Zone that have moved remaining guests to their high end hotel offering, in a form of appeasement.

 The news on the street isn’t good as rumors of layoffs, cutbacks and closings appear rampant based on press reports.

 There’s also a ton of finger pointing, much of it at Mexican President Calderon’s government, his Health Ministry, the CDC in the U.S, the WHO, foreign governments, especially those of the U.S., UK and Spain, and of course the media, mainly the U.S generated media.  The Mexicans aren’t real thrilled with the Chinese at this point either after Mexican Nationals whom were aboard flights that landed in China were treated as common criminals, quarantined and then sent home because of an over zealous fear of the Chinese that swine flu was about to escape to Mother China.

 Along with this, there is a whole lot of denial, ridiculous sentiments that swine flu wasn’t in Cancun, it is, and likely has been, as of now, there’s two confirmed cases of H1N1, and a total of 11 in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo with more people suspected and being tested. Of course this variant of swine flu is probably in most hometowns of the U.S too, it’s just that until the WHO raised the red flags based on reports and test cases from the Mexican Health Ministry no one was really checking for the strain in Mexico, the U.S. or anywhere else in the world. It’s fairly obvious that the WHO and the CDC recognized this possibility from the onset, which is why the WHO didn’t issue a request for a ban on international travel. It’s also the reason, the CDC waited but then caved in under government pressures to issue its non essential travel statements, rest assured they knew.

 There’s also this sentiment worldwide that now that the governments and talking heads have back seated the H1N1 flu from the headlines, everything is OK with the world, now, complacency is setting in. This is the one aspect where we all still need to proceed with caution and be thankful we have the bug busters out there watching and listening like the CDC and WHO, if this thing does evolve via mutation, we’re still not off the hook.

 In this venue we’re also getting tired of folks talking about the common flu only kills 35,000 or so people a year in the U.S. as a quoted statistic. We guess that’s great if you or your loved ones aren’t members of the special 35,000 dead club or the other 35,000 or so these same folks are willing to see bite the dust in the no big deal flu argument.

 Now don’t take us wrong, we’re not saying we don’t believe there was a media hype, a semi panic, a needless travel ban or an illogical course of wide human reaction to a situation with a logical course of action. What we’re saying is that there was plenty of bad arguments on both sides of the fence, and that side came down predominantly to whose bull was getting gored.

 And, man did Mexico’s bull get the goring, while most folks around the planet go back to their normal routines, scores of Mexicans have had their businesses crippled, lost their jobs and have had the bejeebers scared out of them, especially in Mexico City, city and suburbs to upwards of 22 million people.

 If you’re Mexico minded like we are here, the best way to assist is to keep those vacation plans if able, schedule those vacations as planned and don’t be afraid to venture to Cancun and other Mexican resorts areas.

Courtesy: Focus Radio Caribe

 Over the course of the next six or so months Cancun is moving towards a complete southeast side hotel district beach replenishment project and will be building a state of the art Anthropological and Archaeology Museum featuring the civilization and history of the Maya. 

 Yesterday, 500 plus people visited Tulum as she opened for the first time in over a week, the local press reported that a couple from France waited day by day for a week to visit the Maya ruins and finally on their last day, they were able to visit the beautiful Maya city on the sea.

 Cancun, like Tulum, awaits you, her people welcome you, and there’s some very good vacation deals to be had if you take the time to look and compare. Despite those 9 hotels being closed in Cancun, there’s literally dozens of others available, then there’s the nightlife, the world class dining and that magnificent Caribbean Sea and beach.

 Do yourself a favor, don’t give up on Mexico because she hasn’t given up on you.