Day 240 – Mexican paranoia

2009/05/04 § Leave a comment


The fact that Mexico was closed down basically, made me reconsider and move on to Canada. However, the decision came not easy to me as I was hoping that the authorities would eventually wake up from their nightmarish paranoia.

Cancun airport temperature scanner

Cancun airport temperature scanner

While no one can predict if or not the flu virus now called “novel” is going to harm a significant amount of people, the past few days have shown, that the actual number of seriously affected individuals is vastly lower than originally estimated.

One would imagine that the facts would cause the authorities to reconsider if their measurements are really useful. So far my impression is that the politicians in charge are too scared to reverse their decisions. Obviously it is easier to be paranoid and overly cautious than take the bold decision that this thing has been evaluated wrongly.

On top of everything is that people misjudge and misunderstand the WHO scale applied to this flu virus. The spread of the virus is expressed on the basis of a scale that has six levels. Right now the WHO raised the level to five. Many seem to believe that this is some type of measure for the danger of this virus. This is, however, entirely wrong. Just because this virus spreads fast does not mean that it is harmful.

In fact, it spreads not even as fast as originally assumed, just due to international air-travel it has now spread to different continents, and a couple of dozen people died in Mexico and one kid in the US. While each individual death is a tragedy for the families and friends involved the number of cases does not allow for the type of alarm and paranoia exhibited.

Interestingly the checks at the airport in Mexico consisted of a temperature scan with cameras (deemed to be insufficient to pick up infected individuals) and a rather inaccurate type of thermometer. One can wonder if these measures are installed for publicity reasons or if someone actually believes they would do any good.

Well now it is too late for me anyway, even if the authorities would decide to revert their decisions. Mexico will have to wait for me to return another day. 🙂

Cancun airport

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