Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

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)