Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Deadly strike hits Gaza market despite four-hour 'truce'

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    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)