Hi from quaratine, and happy May Day. I can’t see too far beyond swine flu for today’s show, especially now that Mexico is preparing to do what everyone there feared and shut down parts of its economy. Have a look at these suggestions and let me know what you think.
1. Does the economy matter more than stopping sine flu?
When we were in Mexico people seemed far more worried about the threat to their finances posed by swine flu than the threat to their health. The government was talking about closing all businesses, but as the early days of the week passed it seemed to have turned against that idea.
Not anymore, and it’s beginning a five-day shutdown of parts of its economy.
A sensible and appropriate measure you might say with the WHO putting the virus at Phase 5 of 6. But might the economic consequences of this (one BBC journalist put the figure at 60 million a day for Mexico City) actually cause more health problems the the swine flu virus?
If people are losing money they’ll be stressed and may have fewer resources to fund food and healthcare. Isn’t that a more serious problem for Mexicans?
I’ll be honest I need some persuading on that one. I just swine flu is too big a story at the moment for us to go anywhere else. But Martin may make his case when he gets in.
3. Should people who’ve been in Mexico for the last week be treated like pariahs?
You’d never guess I have a vested interest in this one. But seriously, how would you react if I asked to come and meet you? Do you think anyone who’s been in Mexico recently should be kept out of contact with everyone else as much as possible? Or is that an over-reaction?
Mark’s just told me about this article in the New Scientist.
It says we can be infectious for 24 hours before the symptoms kick in which definitely wasn’t what we were told.
I’m feeling decidedly less relaxed about being at home than I did an hour ago.
We had been told the symptoms arrived at the same time as us becoming contagious. Food for thought.