Saturday, May 02, 2009


This time tomorrow I'm really on the way home, but will I get quarantined? Oh, the horror, days extra in Barcelona? This worldwide fright about swine flu is reminding me that panic can be a good thing.

Of course, the only deaths have been in Mexico, so I suppose I'll have to stay in a hotel with some returnees from Mexico. Can you send some to the Catalonia Rubens, thanks.

About 300 people at a Hong Kong hotel have been placed under quarantine after a guest there became China's first confirmed swine flu case.

The 25-year-old man, who is now in hospital after testing positive for the virus, had travelled from Mexico via Shanghai, Hong Kong's leader said.

Local TV footage showed police wearing masks guarding the hotel exits.

Meanwhile, the UK joined Canada, Spain, Germany and the US in reporting person-to-person transmission of the virus.
The Mexican man is said to be in a stable condition in Hong Kong's Princess Margaret Hospital, after seeking treatment on Thursday night after becoming unwell.

The Metropark Hotel in Wanchai district where he briefly stayed will be sealed off for seven days, health officials said, and the antiviral drug Tamiflu given to about 200 guests and 100 staff there.

Medical staff wearing protective clothing were seen carrying boxes of equipment into the building.

Efforts are also under way to trace people who travelled on the same flights as the Mexican, and taxi drivers with whom he came into contact.

BBC China Editor Shirong Chen says confirmation that the man has tested positive for the virus has set alarm bells ringing beyond Hong Kong.

Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu said the virus was very likely to enter mainland China and urged the country to prepare for an outbreak, as millions start travelling over the May Day long weekend.

I shall be looking into a face mask, which unlike many of the folks I've seen in pics from Mexico, I'll wear covering my nose as well. Has the term 'nasal passages' escaped attention?

A few notes about cruises; wonderful when the sun is shining, the last few days of cool cloudy weather has brought out a few complaints about getting money back that I have overheard. Oh, yes, I remember the tourists at Chincoteague, often heard the same theme when they were paying resort prices and the sun disappeared. Should there be sunshine insurance for the faint of tan?

Also a favorite; after visiting the oldest structures in Europe, on Malta, a fellow tourist was overheard announcing that she had visited the pyramids in Egypt the previous year, and they were 'much bigger, and better'. Still pondering that one.

Another note; the drinks are likely the big revenue item, so it doesn't hurt to go on the wagon for a few weeks. Now for the diet. After my breakfast.

Ta Ta for a day or so.

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