The swine flu has created headlines all over the world in the last week. In the United States it has definitely become a big issue being so close to Mexico and also having many confirmed cases. But the last day or two it seems like the news might have a calming effect – the outbreak might not be as bad as many feared. And except for the 2 year old Mexican child in Texas, no one has died from the flu here.
I am currently in Miami in Florida and I can not notice any difference when I just move around in the city. There are people everywhere, the bars and clubs are as packed as usual and no one seems to shy away from greetings like shaking hands or kisses on the cheek.
But even if you can not see anything right away, the flu has affected the Americans. My friend tells me that there was a bit of confusion in the beginning as to the name "swine flu". Was it like with the mad cow disease and the bird flu when you were supposed to avoid eating those animals? He threw out a pack of bacon, just to be on the safe side.
The flu has also affected the emergency rooms of some hospi.jpgtals. People with no symptoms at all show up just because they are afraid and that leads to longer waiting time for those who really are sick.
All the schools where a student has been confirmed sick has also decided to close down temporarily. But it is now said they will not open again for another two weeks. So even if the last headlines are true – that the worst is over – the everyday life of many will still be slightly out of the ordinary for a while longer.