Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu – Hype or Health Concern?

From TravelGirl --

Remember when SARS was all the rage? And the avian flu? Where did they go? Still alive and kickin’ (think Simple Minds, 1985) years later, here we are inundated with images of the swine flu – lines of Mexicans awaiting visits to their overworked doctors, tourists wearing masks on vacation, passengers quarantined upon arriving back to the U.S. from Mexico, cruise lines cancelling their port stops to Mexico. Is this the “big one”? Will this be the virus to weed out our overpopulated earth? Who knows?

All I know is that it is virtually impossible to turn on a television and not see Dr. Sanjay Gupta or a stern face of a newscaster preparing us for updates on the number of confirmed swine flu cases, number of deaths, and number of states in the U.S. where the virus has hit. It’s really hard to remain objective about the topic of leisure travel to Mexico when the swine flu is looming around us. Yes, I said leisure travel.

Is leisure travel considered essential travel? I think it is. I am of the belief that travel/vacation is essential to life, as much as vitamins, minerals, water, and the occasional cocktail with an umbrella and plastic monkey. In fact, people who take vacations at least once per year are expected to reduce their risk of heart disease by 30% (per the State University of New York at Oswego). That is HUGE! 30%! Wow!

Four days from now, Alex and I will be settling in nicely at our condo in Playa del Carmen (after having wiped it down with bleach wipes), smelling the salty air (through masks of course), nibbling on tacos (with our over-sanitized hands), enjoying the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

Ahhh, leisure travel. Does it get any better than that?

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