the flu...

153 deaths so far according to the Guatemalan newspapers, seven according to WHO. Costa Rica is now the first Central American country where one case of the disease has been stated, even if it's nothing life threatening. Guatemala is trying to protect it's borders, representatives from the Central American governments get together to try to find a way to cooperate to not letting the disease spread here. In Guatemala so far there are three suspected cases, but nothing stated.

Yesterday I saw all the pictures from Mexico City where people wear masks to protect them selves. Today I saw the first people here in Cobán using the masks. In Sweden they say that the masks are doing no good, that it even can worsen the spread of the disease since it will start to itch after a while and people will use their dirty maybe infected hands to scratch them selves in their face close to mouth and nose.

Of course the situation scares me, like it should for people all over our planet, deadly diseases spread through the air is never a good thing and it's a threat to us all. But more than it scares me right now it makes me very frustrated and upset. Why? Well... Where have most of the deaths been stated so far? Why? What parts of the world will PROBABLY get most affected of this disease? Why?

Keep your hands clean is the advice given to stay away from the flu. And stay away from crowds. In a country like Guatemala or Mexico volonteers from international organisations are trying to get people to understand the importance of cleaning the hands before eating. At some places there are not even portable water. In Mexico City the population is about 22 millions. It IS crowded! And people HAVE to go to crowded areas to be able to, in different ways, earn their living for the day. Now everything is closed in Mexico City. About 35 000 restaurants and bars had to close down. How will that affect the allready poor people there?

Many contries, now also including Sweden, are advising their citizens to stay away from Mexico. I don't know what will happen with the advises if the flu will spread more down through Central America or to other parts of the world. But I know that Guatemala is allready suffering from the increasing violence here, both through the insecurity and the deaths, but also with a diminishing tourism. This affects an allready weak economy. The flu will probably help...

A friend of mine, who is now living and working in Guatemala City, told me she went to the hospital with a friend today. No flu though, but they didn't feel to good going there knowing about the poor medical security and the high risks of infection. People here who can afford it buy masks, but that's all they can do. At the hospital they told my friend there will be medicin comming in for the flu in a day or two. One dose will be about 600 quetzales, or 60 dollars. Who will be able to afford that?

I have friends here who are just making it for the day, and I'm seriuos when I say that I actually don't know how they make it to pay their rent and their food. But their worst case scenario is if they, or their kids get very sick, becuase they will probably not be able to pay for a medical control, and if they do, they might not have money to buy the medicin the doctor will recommend.

I read something interesting in a Swedish newspaper today. A representative from the Swedish National Board of Health and Security said that "Anyone in Sweden can buy the medicin against the flu to have at home. But of course it wouldn't be to nice to keep medicin for one self if one is not ill..." Sweden today says they have medication for a forth of its population, a bit over 2 million doses. In the UK they say they have about 33 million doses. In Mexico about 150 people allready died. In Sweden and UK everyone is fine so far... So what did you just say about keeping medicin at home if you are not sick?

Today the argument from the Swedish government to advise Swedes to stay away from Mexico is that if they get infected they might not get proper care and medication. I will leave Guatemala in about three weeks from now and I don't feel to worried about my self. Of cours I'll wash my hands and stay away from crowds, but I will leave for a guarded, even if it's far from safe, Europe, and while I'm still here I have a medical ensurance that will help me if I get sick, even if I know that it can't cure me.

I'm not saying I'm safe. I'm not saying anyone is safe. But I'm saying that 50 000 people die every day on our planet from other reasons than age. I was born with a lot of benefits and I can return to my country with one of the best health care supplies (free of charge as well) in the world. But in Guatemala I will leave my friends who will never see another country, who have to fight to get food for the day, who don't have the possibility to clean their hands once every hour and some of them who can not even read a newspaper since they never attended school.

So do I feel afraid? Not to much. Do I feel upset? A bit. Do I just hate the unequality in the world? You bet!

Postat av: Sanna

Du är så kloger, söstra mi! Det är underbart (och skrämmande) att få hela den här paniken ur ett annat och mycket sundare perspektiv. Nu hörde jag igår att det första fallet påträffats här i bayern. Tror du folk är sådär i-landspanikslagna eller? Ehh, ja... Men lova dock att ta hand om dig. Ordentligt.

Puss /lilltrollet

2009-04-29 @ 15:59:21

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