Who's wearing the masks?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts just had its fourth swine flu death.  That's two more than the Mexican State of Nayarit, where we live.

Yes, I know, Mexico was blamed for starting this whole flu mess, although I don't think Mexico should own any blame.  And it's H1N1, to take some blame off of the pigs.

And, I think, Mexico handled this whole flu thing much better than the United States. For starters, all schools were closed, countrywide, even in this little fishing village of ours where we haven't had a single case of flu.  Bars and restaurants were closed in most major and many smaller cities and towns, to keep people from gathering in crowds in case the flu spread.

Flying to Boston at the height of the panic, on a flight reserved months before,  there were only a few signs of concern.

Most doors to the Puerta Vallarta airport were closed, with passengers directed to the only open door, where we were greeted by a three person medical team. At least, they looked medical, all dressed in white.

First, passengers filled out a form saying if you had a fever, cough, sore throat, aches and pains, vomiting, etc in previous days. Then, a temperature was taken by the most modern thermometer I've ever seen. It was a round disk, almost like the little flashlights eye doctors use, held about an inch from the forehead. (We passed, with 37.5 degrees C.)

That was it. None of the airline workers wore masks. I saw only three passenger on our airplane, a family of three, wearing masks and they all looked a little wierd, masks or no masks.

Everyone acted normal. Like any other day on any other plane.

But people in New England didn't act so normal if we mentioned we had just traveled up from Mexico.  An old New Hampshire Yankee, selling plants along the road, physically jumped back four feet when he found out we'd been south of the border two days earlier.

And that was the reaction of everybody we told. Backing away, turning away, afraid that we were carrying the flu with us.

Maybe Mexicans should jump away when they find out we've been in Massachusetts.

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