Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Seven African countries' economies at risk over Brexit decision

Read more

THE DEBATE

Britain votes out: What next?

Read more

#TECH 24

The 'fintech' revolution

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A certified 'palace': How hotels strive for excellence

Read more

#THE 51%

In her own image: Women in Art

Read more

REPORTERS

World War I: When northern France was on German time

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Ugandan city still scarred by Lord's Resistance Army atrocities

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#Brexit sparks a storm on social media

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Markets, pound plunge on Brexit vote

Read more

Americas

Notebook: Mexico's metro, a flu hotbed?

Text by Battiste FENWICK

Latest update : 2009-05-06

The Mexican government is introducing more security measures as the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, death toll climbs. Yet the capital's metro - the only means of transportation for many citizens - has so far remained open.

 
Thursday, April 30
 

Mexico City’s metro is much less crowded that usual at rush hour. But it’s not empty either: many Mexicans have no choice but to continue using public transportation to go to work.

 
 

Many citizens don’t own a car, and have to take the metro. Carla is afraid of catching the virus - she would prefer not having to travel in a confined space with dozens of strangers. “I don’t like it but I don’t have the choice. When someone next to me coughs, I try to keep my distance. It’s the best I can do to avoid getting sick.”

 

 

One blind beggar seems completely oblivious to the swine flu crisis. Nothing has changed in his daily routine. He wears no face mask and continues to beg in the metro trains. He sells CDs of ‘The most romantic songs of all time’ at ten pesos each.

 
 

David doesn't wear a mask either, not even in a high-risk place like the metro. “I haven’t been sick so far, so why should I catch anything now?” he says.

 
 
 

Even if the virus has made headlines around the world for several days, many Mexicans feel confused and overwhelmed by recent events. “Why should I wear a mask? What good does a mask do? I don’t understand!” wails one old lady.

 

 
 
 

A surprisingly large number of children also don’t wear face masks. Experts all say that the disease is airborne: so why haven’t masks been made mandatory?

 

 

Read Battiste Fenwick's earlier posts from Mexico City on Wednesday, April 29

 

Date created : 2009-04-30

COMMENT(S)