It’s not permanent Orange Alert condition, but the latest swine flu cases around the world has definitely caused some small amount of panic.
Is it too much hype or just right amount of alertness? I don’t know.
It’s not Duct tape your house in case of chemical attacks, but some in the West have accused China (including HK) of overreacting, in the latest cases of quarantines imposed on Mexican travelers.
Over 300 guests in HK’s Metropark Hotel have been quarantined for several days now.
Some Mexican travelers in China have been put into quarantines despite having NO symptoms of swine flu.
Mexico has denounced these quarantines as discriminatory and “inhumane”.
But let’s put this in perspectives:
(1) the Guests in Metropark Hotel are mostly NON-Mexicans. That’s not “discriminatory”.
(2) the 1 confirmed case Swine flu of Mexican traveler who was on a flight to China, initially also did NOT show any signs of illness. So much is unknown about this particular strain of swine flu, including how long does it take from initial infection to showing symptoms.
This indeed justify some quarantines of travelers from some geographic origins.
This is not “discriminatory”.
(3) Mexico itself has imposed blanket shutdowns of virtually all public places, including schools, shops, etc., to prevent the spread of swine flu, with no end in sight.
One can hardly claim that China’s limited quarantine procedure in this case is unjustified when the Mexican government itself has imposed a far more draconian dragnet operation.
In terms of economic damages, Mexico’s own shutdowns have caused far more damages to its own economy and impacted far more of its own citizens than China’s quarantines.
While specific targeting of quarantines might be more helpful and less stressful to individuals, but one must face reality, even the CDC doesn’t know for sure how the swine flu is being spread. Undoubtedly it could be any number of means.
Even some in US are suggesting an outright border sealing with Mexico.