Swine flu won't prevent everyone -- this reporter included -- from visiting Mexico
Who'd have thought Mexico's bloody narco war would take a back seat to swine flu?
If there were justice in Mexico, the epidemic would be restricted to those involved in the illicit drug trade. But unfortunately it's indiscriminate, and prospective tourists undoubtedly now will entertain more second thoughts about visiting the country.
This is bad timing for me. I'm going as planned to the Los Cabos area on vacation, beginning Sunday. My airline ticket and hotel room are paid in full and I'm looking forward to catching marlin and lounging by the pool with cold cervezas. But I will not let the bartender squeeze a lime into my beer; I'll handle that responsibility and exercise the same precautions I exercise at home during flu season: Wash my hands often and avoid close quarters with anyone who appears remotely ill.
Some airlines are offering date changes or refunds. I'm not interested; I'm bolting for the land of abundant sunshine and a refreshingly beautiful and seasonally bountiful Sea of Cortez.
I became mildly concerned after reading in the Washington Post that Baja California was one of the states where swine flu had surfaced. But the report did not mention Baja California Sur, a separate state, where few if any cases of swine flu have been reported.
"To date, no outbreaks in Los Cabos; I believe Tijuana is the place where they found it," said Tracy Ehrenberg, owner of Pisces Sportfishing and wife of a prominent local politician.
Jonathan Roldan, whose Tailhunter International outfitter service is located in La Paz, said in an interview with 976-TUNA that "the biggest worry down here is that people are worried up there," and that he knows of no swine flu cases in the Baja California Sur capital.
That's good enough for me. I just hope too many people aren't coughing on the airplane. I hate when that happens.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Striped marlin on the hook. Credit: Bill Wilson