Mexican researcher Marco Reynoso is tracking developments in the H1N1 virus’s spread throughout his country, and providing us with disturbing – if not outright alarming – information about what is going on in the streets of major cities south of the border. He quotes an e-mail from an anonymous resident of the state of Michoacan that reads thus: “I live in Michoacan. To date, 3 cases have been confirmed in this state. However, we have had people dying of similar symptoms and in fact, one of them was incinerated only a few hours after dying. Why isn’t the truth being told? I understand that caution must prevail in political and economic matters, yet it has also been said that this is the same virus that killed nearly 100 million people in 1918.”
Reynoso indicates that the state of Sinaloa (on the Gulf of Cortez) reported five suspicious cases that were promptly denied by officialdom. People are debating whether to believe the rumors or the official disclaimers, although some individuals are mistaking symptoms such as slight fevers as proof of contagion with H1N1. Things are altogether different in the city of Puebla, with confirmed cases of H1N1. People are going about their business, mouths uncovered; parents are taking their children to playgrounds and eateries. Puebla’s bus station handles twenty thousand users who commute into Mexico City, where the situation is slowly spiraling out of control. Reynoso notes that the news media is bombarding the population with so much information that people are beginning to panic. Covering one’s mouth is essential before entering commercial premises: the streets may be empty, but supermarkets are crammed with people purchasing supplies against what they see as the eventual collapse of society.
“Mexico City,” he writes, “is nearly desolate.”
The plague – or fear of the plague – keeps cars off the street, pedestrians away from their normal routine, and children away from schools. No one knows who’s infected and who isn’t. Mistrust of official sources of information has caused the citizenry to seek counsel from sources that feed off gossip and rumours. “The weaknesses and shortcomings of the Mexican health system have been laid bare along with its epidemiological alert system. Atypical pneumonia cases first began to emerge in the month of March, with deaths among the infected victims, but these were not analyzed until the USA and Canada became aware of that the virus had mutated.”
We would like to thank Mr. Reynoso for this information and will continue posting updates as they become available.