Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2015: Businesses 'cautiously optimistic' in Japan

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Twitter storm as IMF boss Christine Lagarde hails Saudi King Abdullah as 'strong advocate of women'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR CONGO: Senate amends controversial constitutional law

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Pope Family Planning: Heated Debate over Pontiff's 'Rabbit' Comments (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Saudi King Abdullah Dies: Succession, Stability and Youth in Question (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France tackles terror

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric: 'France is on a better track'

Read more

DEBATE

Davos debate: Can big business agree on climate deal? (part 2)

Read more

#THE 51%

Chile's abortion debate

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)