Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Posy Simmonds: 'French women have good handbags, English women have udders'

Read more

FOCUS

Security stepped up in Italy amid terror threat

Read more

ENCORE!

Music producer Uppermost: From the courthouse to the club

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Bulgarian president-elect hopes for lifting of Russia sanctions

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

30 years of Erasmus: Financing fun or funding employment?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

US policy towards Putin's Russia: A new era?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Burmese policemen abuse Rohingya in a video, and a Malian is deported from France in handcuffs

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Donald Trump's busy weekend

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France's electricity grid under pressure amid cold snap

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)