What to do with the swine flu?

I'm receiving an overwhelming amount of email and comments lately and there is a consistent theme to almost all of them. "What should I do about my upcoming vacation?" The good thing is, most of the mail I have received is from people who do not want to cancel their trips, they want to come down to enjoy all that the area has to offer and to give support to the economy of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. While most want to keep their plans, the majority of the mail tells me that people are being discouraged from coming down, friends and family that have fallen prey to the media mess, unaware of the true situation at hand are warning that it's too dangerous to come here. I'm also receiving mail from people who have had their vacations forcibly canceled by their airlines or tour providers and I am reading a fair bit of anger about that. Very few people are voluntarily canceling plans, they are not being reactionary and are waiting for more information.

Now, what would the Canucka do? Easy, I would wait. I wouldn't cancel plans until more information is known. Currently there are still zero reported cases of the swine flu in Cancun or the whole state of Quintana Roo and the same can be said for neighbouring Yucatan state. Every effort is being made to keep the area free of the flu, heat sensors in the airports, a shut down of non-essential businesses and an order for people to stay home until Tuesday. I know most people are not concerned about getting sick here, I certainly am not, but you are concerned about services and establishments being open when you arrive. Currently, there are no hotel closures (though yes, there are rumours that it could happen, RUMOURS, I have no confirmation that it is going to happen). Tour operators are still open for business, though the archaelogical ruins are temporarily closed. The large, enclosed nightclubs are closed temporarily (Coco Bongo, Dady'O, Dady Rock, The City and the Bulldog), but the open air terrace bars are still operating. My hubby went out to the hotel zone last night to check out the lay of the land and reported that the terrace bars were still busy and he had a great time partying with the tourists and locals alike.

So, for those of you with plans to travel to the area in the next few weeks, hold on, don't stress, wait for more information to surface before changing your itinerary. I am not a scientist or an expert in infectious disease so I refuse to speculate about what is going to happen in the coming days, but I suggest you hold off on canceling until more is known about what is going to happen here. I have no way of knowing what is going to be open or closed over the next few weeks either, but will keep you posted when information comes forth from reliable sources. Hopefully the uproar will pass soon and we can warmly welcome you to one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. The people of Quintana Roo and Cancun will need all the support they can get, I hope you come down and have a fantastic trip when all this craziness subsides.


p.s. I hope this answers a lot of your email questions, I know that I just can't reply to all of your queries, I apologize for that and hope that this post suffices in place of a personal response. Perhaps it's not as nice as hearing from me personally, but I am just one woman who must share the house computer with her hubby! :)


(this is old news now, here's a link for the latest updates on swine flu in Cancun)

Comments

Kelly said…
Waiting is so difficult! I will do anything to be able to head down there in 12 days, though. I just have to get through everyone freaking out if I mention that I am even considering going to Mexico.

Not as bad as you guys have it, though...I'm so sorry about everything!
David said…
Game On - Heading out Sunday for 6 days and we are not worrying about a thing. Hopefully services will be reasonable and I'm sure they will. Cant wait. Totally over this hysteria and prob safer there than in the US at this stage anyway.
Eric said…
Ugh. I just rescheduled our honeymoon which was may 10-15. Unfortunately, I couldn't wait any longer to see what would happen. The last straw that made me do it was reading that cancun is effectively being shut down till mid week next week. I just didn't want to take a chance to have to scramble late next week to book somewhere else. SO, we're heading down to Jamaca. But definitely plan to make it back to Cancun in the future. It's so sad that the media driven hysteria has caused so many people to have to resort to this. :(
Hey there honey. great post. Ruben's work has been really effected. I really hope that things turn around soon. PS. I am starting up babysitting for tourists who are traveling to the area is you know of anyone who needs a sitter.
Louise said…
We'll be there June 6th! "The Lord willing and the creek don't rise" as they said in my little corner of the US. I actually spoke to an Infectious Disease doctor this morning and he suggested to hold off cancelling any plans for a while and see how this thing pans out over the next few weeks. With the warmer weather on its way that should help kill off that nasty old H1N1 Virus. I understand we're not supposed to call it Swine Flu anymore. Apparently some parts of the world have slaughtered their pigs ... good grief Charlie Brown! Thanks again for your updates, I look forward to them each day. Hope to be sippin' a cold one and swimming in that beautiful blue water soon.
CC - great job on your posts - thank you
Waltsense.com said…
getting married June 6 and its Mexico or bust. ironically that is DDAY. Now i am jeopardizing wiping out my family name with the wedding but screw it - the logistics of moving it are crazy. The piggy flu is in philly and NJ - so should I not visit my homestate. Of course not. Obama already saying its run it's course and Biden is forever on my "sh*t List" for his stupid comments. Hopefully it will die down by the 8th. THANKS CANUCK!
Teresa said…
I cancelled my plans based on the Mass Exodus post. It was 2 am, we were getting ready to go the airport for our 6:30 am flight. Our hotel said they were not closed yet but it seemed like they were waiting to hear. We didn't want to get stuck. This is all so confusing. I am so heartbroken. We can hopefully reschedule for soon. Thanks for posting I read your journal to get an insiders view of what is up. I am not afriad of getting the flu, but being in a hurricane evacuation situation seemed like a bleak way to celebrate my birthday. And we didn't want to get there and have to come right back. The SUCKS! I want to come as soon as we can work our schedules out again and get something booked. I hope we all get our paradise back soon and this whole panic ends soon. Much love!
LisaG05 said…
Some interesting articles for those still on the fence about cancelling their plans...

http://travel.msn.com/Guides/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1034680&gt1=41000

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090501/ap_on_he_me/med_swine_flu

I get the feeling that right after more people cancel plans, this whole thing will go away in a flash and leave everyone kicking themselves for making new arrangements. I truly hope those who reads this and those articles stick to their guns and don't be afraid. This will work out and everyone will be fine.
robm said…
I'm not gonna cancel my plans. I'm going to Isla Mujeres for a week, and I know that I'm going to enjoy my stay. From what I've heard from residents, there are no cases of H1N1 on the Isla (or for that matter in all of Q Roo), open-air restaurants and bars are open, the Super Express is open, ATMs are working, and Playa Norte/Playa Lancheros are what they always have been.
My employer is making me work at home for a couple of days after my trip, to allay the fears of my co-workers who have fallen for the media plague scare. As an experienced traveler, I am not afraid. And mi gente sur Isla need tourist income. Are folks from el Norte scared away? then it's more Isla for me!
Louise said…
LisaG05 - Thanks for the links that you posted. I checked them out and found the information very interesting. Thanks again!
Joan said…
My three friends and I will be there next week. Looking forward to it. Thanks for your blog, it helped us make our final decision. We wouldn't spend our money anywhere else. Nos vemos el Jueves Cancun!!!
My husband and I departed Cancun yesterday 5/1 and were told by a friend on the way out that there had been one death in Cancun - due to Swine Flu.

We left 3 days early because our grandson has already had health problems and he is due to visit us next week. We wanted to be home and isolated long enough to ensure that we were past the incubation period. We have as yet to feel any ill effects.

I personally think that one has to look at the numbers. Though there have been a number of people ill, as well as a number of deaths, the number is small in comparison to the overall population.

Although the local entertainment venues were closed or closing, which would be a greater concern to those who are looking forward to the night life and entertainment in general, we most likely would have stayed had it not been for our concern for our grandson.

One thing I found frustrating was after the intial Headline grabbing and sensationalized announcements, there was little day to day information. At the risk of sounding cyncial, it seems like a lot of fearmongering. A sudden pronouncement of possible Pandemic and then absolutely nothing to back that up. Yes, the flu is spreading. But that is what flu usually does. Given the numbers I just think it seems like sensationalism run amok.
However, I am not an expert nor a medical professional - just a frustrated tourist.
Thanks for the great blog!
strouslot said…
Are you kidding me??? You are still wondering if you should go to Mexico??? Are we talking with adults here? Have you not been following the media?? The reason this is spreading like wildfire is because of irresponsible people that are STILL going or considering Mexico. Game On?? You are not playing with just your heath, but everyone you come in contact with after you come home. There is a time and a place for everything, but come on people step up to the plate and stop being so selfish. The advice "a Canuck in Cancun" is giving is not only irresponsible, but almost criminal. How can she give advice to "the world"? Does she work for the CDC, WHO or even at the very least a healthcare worker at all? NO!! I don't care if she's in Mexico, she of all people knows this is not the time. The Mexican President himself is saying "Not now" we are closed! People now returning this morning from Mexico are saying everything is CLOSED, the poor resort workers have been told to go home to keep their families safe, but by going your not allowing this. With time, the CDC and WHO will have more of hold on this and a vaccine, this doesn't mean you'll never get to go, just not NOW. It's not about fear, but intelligence and thought about the rest of the population. Wake up people and smell the Swine Flu. Oh, and go wash your hands.
CancunCanuck said…
Thanks for all your comments everyone, I wish all of you all the best.

strouslot, where did I tell people to come? I specifically said "wait", we don't have enough information yet. Anyone with plans in the next few days has already made their decision, but people with plans later this week have time to wait to change their minds. I was quite clear that I am not an expert on the disease nor do I have a crystal ball to see what will happen in the future, I simply said "wait". Nothing "criminal" or "irresponsible" about that.
Jon said…
We where scheduled to leave on May 11th from Denver and staying at Grand Sirenis in Akumal, WorryFree changed our vacation to June 1 at no charge. I figure one month from now the media will have moved on to another hysteria. If we went now my daughter may have been held out of school due to the "stigma" of going to Mexico. Although, from what I have heard, the H1N1 possibly originated in the good old USA.
Feel bad for the hotel workers down there, such nice people. Thanks for the info CC, helped a lot of people with real info.
Jon said…
strouslot - "Does she work for the CDC, WHO or even at the very least a healthcare worker at all?" Maybe not, but she is helping a lot of people who don't trust government agencies and media a second opinion. We are more adult than the blind sheep who follow whatever their government tells them without question.
strouslot said…
My point being, how can you tell people "Wait to Cancel" when the Canadian and French governments has SUSPENDED ALL flights into Mexico and the United States has recommended, "No nonessential" trips to Mexico. I am amazed you would assume to make "recommendations" when governments of entire nations have said, "NO". Something somewhere in my gut says you yourself should sit back and listen and wait. Regardless of what you see going on around you has nothing to do with what is actually happing in this world. I think it is extremely irresponsible of you. I myself had to cancel our trip to Cancun this month, but it was not an option. We don't have the luxury of the option of going now, we have to think of others!! I don't mean to provoke you, but there is an entire world at stake right now, not just our vacations!!
CancunCanuck said…
strouslot, it would be far more irresponsible for me to say "Come on down" or "Cancel your trips", especially since we don't know what is going to happen in the next week. If I were to take either of those sides, I WOULD be suggesting that I know more, by asking people to hang on for more information, I am trying to avoid being a) a fear-monger for saying "don't come" or b) someone trying to benefit financially by saying "come on down". The warnings are not for a definite period of time and could change at any moment. The emails and comments I'm getting are from people with trips in June, July and as far away as September, I am not going to tell those people to cancel when we have no idea what's up. I think a nice middle "wait" is the best I can offer right now. Even the WHO and CDC can't say when things are going to change, who I am to suggest that the next three months are going to be dangerous? I'm simply trying to keep everyone cool and levelheaded and seeking information, real and timely information before they make a decision for a future event. If everyone with trips in the next three months were to cancel only to find that all is well, then the 2.2 million people who work in tourism in Quintana Roo would needlessly suffer themselves. If things get worse and it does appear that it is too dangerous, then we'll share that information when the time comes. Right now we just don't know, so the "responsible" thing to do is to ask people to stay calm and to wait.
Andrea said…
Ohmygodpanic!! Wereallgoingtodie!!! Sheesh. That's why the media loves the fear-mongering so much, people just eat it up and can't get enough of it. Yes, people die of the flu, and the risk of death with this strain is significantly higher for a variety of reasons. But it's the flu, not Armageddon, people, calm down. We're already in a global recession, and the economic devastation that an ongoing shutdown will cause is much more frightening than a particularly nasty bout of the flu. If the outbreak had occurred in Dallas, TX instead of Mexico City, would there be the same hysterical reaction to people traveling to Orlando, FL, when there wasn't a single case reported in FL? Think rationally, people.

Thank you for your reports, this is exactly the kind of information I've been looking for. We have a trip booked for May 16th, and our continued concern isn't the flu, but rather getting stuck in Cancun with canceled flights and closed hotels, or having our trip canceled for us by airlines/hotel and it being too late to book another location. I will keep coming back to find out more about the local situation. My thoughts are with your family and your community.

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