07 May 2009

Vacation alone...

We just got back to a green and wet New Hampshire that has several cases of swine flu. We were in sunny Mazatlan visiting my folks and having fun with Art's sister and her hubby. Note: Sinoloa has NO cases of swine flu. NONE. ZERO!
The big Swine Flu scare in Mexico City happened the day we were leaving. We are not prone to panic and didn't think anything of it. Besides, my folks are in Sinoloa not Mexico City. This is drive of over 17 hours or almost 600 miles as the crow flies. That is like saying you won't go to Chicago because of a riot in New York. Silliness.
The American media has been screaming at the top of their lungs that we should NOT go to Mexico, and we should shun those who have gone there. As the first week of our trip wore on we found that there were fewer and fewer tourists. A little odd since they had several holidays including Labor Day, el dia de los ninos (National Children's Day), and Cinco de Mayo which isn't as big a deal (partywise) as in the US but rather a regional holiday to celebrate the Mexican's defeat of the French in Puebla. Mazatlan is a big tourist destination for Mexican Nationals, Canadian's, Europeans, Japanese, as well as from the US. Yet they were all slowly disappearing- or not coming...
It is really disappointing to see the effects the American media has had on Mexican tourism. First with the border gun scare. Which ironically is more of an American problem, not a Mexicans running wild with random guns problem as they suggest. Tourism in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo (among many others) were hit very hard by this series of media warnings and scare tactics.
The flu scare seemed to be more of the same or perhaps worse. The Mexican government did an excellent job of stepping up cautions and controls. They mandated that all food servers wear masks- even in Sinoloa which to this date has had ZERO cases of swine flu. They canceled schools, stopped bus services, celebrations, and flights. They were very proactive in containing and helping to come up with a solution. Yet, when the Mexican health official determined that the flu was reduced in strain and not a threat any longer, the US stepped up their fear mongering scare tactics. It is hard to watch these individuals whose livelihood depends on tourism. Not just American tourism- tourism. Times are tough all over yet we deliberately take food off the tables of thousands of taxi drivers, hotel workers, food service, and entertainment workers because of fantastic coverage. Not fantastic as in wow- fantastic as in fantasy, overblown, ridiculous fear mongering. It really makes me angry!
We had a wonderful vacation and highly recommend Mazatlan, or any Mexico beach destination for a fun in the sun vacation. The exchange rate is also very favorable right now. VISIT Mexico :-)

6 comments:

nikkicrumpet said...

I love Mexico...Cancun is one of my favorite places to vacation...the beaches are gorgeous. I'm glad you guys had a great time! It's tough with something that effects people's health..you can't blame anyone who doesn't feel like it's worth taking the risk. We have 6 or so cases here in Massachusetts but so far it seems like they are containing it.

jan said...

I'd like to rename it the Media Hysteria Flu. Who doesn't remember so many other sky is falling stories?

Shannon said...

Nikki-
Cancun is beautiful! I agree :) I don't begrudge people who they are prone to get sick/be a carrier. My problem is with the media. There are cases all over New England but the WHO isn't wasting any of their money on a "Don't go to NE- you'll get sick" campaign, they are wasting their money saying not to go to MEXICO an entire country! (Neither of which I consider a good use of resources btw) Especially since MUCH of the country (Mexico) has NO cases. A little responsibility or heaven forbid restraint in propagating hysteria in media was my plea.

Jan- That's a good one! M1-H1N1-HF (Media-1, on H1N1 Hysteria Flu) I was very surprised (and so were most others) that the reaction was so incredible.

Becky said...

The regular old flu kills more people than the swine flu has so far in America. Fear mongering by the media, it helps them try to pass universal healthcare! As Obama said, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

Lisa said...

I hope one day to return to Mexico, preferably the Mexcian Riviera next time. Just to see that beautiful ocean again.

Uncivil said...

I can't get past that first picture of the chesty statue gal!
I'm shallow like that!