Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Misinformation the biggest source of mass hysteria regarding Swine Flu in Cozumel Quintana Roo

I realize that, oftentimes, modern media likes to keep the public complacent with scare tactics, however, I am urging you, not to buy into the media hype of the Swine Flu. Confirmed cases here in Mexico are very far away from Quintana Roo, Cancun and Cozumel. I can only liken this to hearing of a mine collapse in Kentucky and phoning my New England relatives to check on their safety.

I don’t want to downplay all of the news coverage of the recent outbreaks of Swine Flu here in Mexico, and no one more than me has more sympathy for the families of those affected, however; I think it’s time we set the record straight here.
As of me writing this, there are NO cases in the entire state of Quintana Roo. Look at the following real-time map.


This is a severe flu, and those that wait a very long time to seek medical treatment are often dehydrated, have pneumonia or other complications related to the swine flu. This has a 6% fatality rate. Just as a basis for comparison, look at the following facts:

According to MADD and the NHTSA, "In 2007, an estimated 12,998 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes involving a driver with an illegal BAC (.08 or greater). These deaths constitute 31.7 percent of the 41,059 total traffic fatalities in 2007." I don't recall any bars being closed because of DWI concerns.

In a single year, 2008, 3,012 children and teens were killed by gunfire in the United States. Swine Flu Deaths: 0

As an inhabitant of the small island of Cozumel, I am dismayed to hear from fellow small business owners of cancellations in JUNE, due to concerns of infection. Our island has always been a peaceful, safe, Caribbean refuge from the hustles and bustles of metropolitan life, and it continues to be to this day.

Yes, schools are closed. It is correct that we have cancelled the Feria de Cedral. Allow this to illustrate to you, that we are just as concerned as anyone out there, that this will be contained and eliminated as quickly as possible. Our government is on top of this, and appropriate steps are being taken.

No, Geraldo Rivera is not coming down here with a camera crew, to compile a series of “in the trenches” broadcasts. Nor are we being shipped out clandestinely via medical helicopter.
Frankly, we’re looking forward to an end of the hype, trumped up media concerns and hoping that our 15 minutes of fame is soon over, and we can return to business as usual.

Remain calm,all is well!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Upcoming Cozumel Fishing Tournament

The annual "Rodeo de Lanchas," or the Cozumel Fishing Tournment is fast approaching. If you're participating, you know you want to, or just watching, it's a Cozumel event not tobe missed. I love going down to the downtown pier and watching the boats weigh in. Just to whet your appetite here's some photos, mostly from last year's tournament, that my friend, Rita, from http://www.cozumel-fishing.com/, sent to me! As they say, tight lines, and screaming reels...

Friday, 24 April 2009

Cozumel Diet

My very dear friend, Rosalie, who has a posh, yet affordable, beachfront rental villa, http://www.tangodelmar.net/, deserves credit for this series of photos. This is what happens when you leave a trail of hibiscus flowers on your patio.

If we could all only eat so healthy!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Great Article about travelling to Mexico

This is by emmy award winning writer Linda Ellerbee, and I have to credit tropicasa.com for posting it originally....

Sometimes I’ve been called a maverick because I don’t always agree with my colleagues, but then, only dead fish swim with the stream all the time. The stream here is Mexico.
You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico, causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people, some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed.
But that’s not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.
I’m a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico, specifically Puerto Vallarta, for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer.
I walk the streets of my Vallarta neighborhood alone day or night. And I don’t live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico. Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.
I’ve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and, unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?
No, it was a local police officer, the “beat cop” for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense.
Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans, and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood — house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows.)
There are good reasons thousands of people from the United States are moving to Mexico every month, and it’s not just the lower cost of living, a hefty tax break and less snow to shovel. Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place.
The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected, and I have yet to hear anyone mention Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Madonna’s attempt to adopt a second African child, even though, with such a late start, she cannot possibly begin to keep up with Angelina Jolie.
And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, but— in general — Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent. Or at least not an idiot.
I have had taxi drivers track me down after leaving my wallet or cell phone in their cab. I have had someone run out of a store to catch me because I have overpaid by twenty cents. I have been introduced to and come to love a people who celebrate a day dedicated to the dead as a recognition of the cycles of birth and death and birth — and the 15th birthday of a girl, an important rite in becoming a woman — with the same joy.
Too much of the noise you’re hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that — noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it don’t live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.
Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, “Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?” or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.
It would be nice if we could put what’s going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldn’t be going on if people in the United States didn’t want the drugs, or if other people in the United States weren’t selling Mexican drug lords the guns.
Most of all, it would be nice if more people in the United States actually came to this part of America (Mexico is also America, you will recall) to see for themselves what a fine place Mexico really is, and how good a vacation (or a life) here can be.
So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think you’ll like it here. Especially the people.

Monday, 20 April 2009

This is what happens when you let 12 year olds paint your toes....

I actually like having every toe different, and I'm planning on rocking them for a few days at least, thanks Bianca!

My neighbor

I've been so busy, getting my new webletter out, that I haven't had time to post. However, I know that some of you (Dad) really look forwward to my musings, so I thought I'd go visual this time, and let the pictures do the work for me. This is the iguana that lives in the dividing wall between me and my neighbors. This is his standard pose when I pull my car in.

Monday, 13 April 2009

The Luckiest Man Alive

For those of you who do not already know it. I am married to the luckiest man alive. That’s right, not only did he manage to convince me to marry him but he is truly lucky. If there’s a raffle, he wins it. A prize to be had, it’s his. The blinking yellow traffic light waits for him to pass. I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to convince him for years to purchase lottery tickets. Seriously, he’s just that lucky.

Yesterday being Easter and all, I wanted to go to church. See, I go to church on Christmas and Easter. Yes, I’m one of those people. Now before you send me all kinds of flame mail about how hypocritical and offensive that is, please keep in mind that, I probably remembered your birthday too!

Anyhow, so the Fab-man and I are tossing around the church options. There’s the Roman Catholic church, which last year was so crammed to the gills with overheated and unsupervised children running down the aisles, that we were forced to listen to the sermon from the park across the street. Our other option was a Christian service in English, which started in about 15 minutes.

We hightail it over to the service, and we’re getting out of the car, as a very nice lady asks us

“Are you here for the service?” (which is blatantly obvious since I’m wearing a dress on a Sunday ) “Our pastor and his wife are sick and I’m afraid they had to cancel services today, we’re very sorry.”

My husband actually had the grace to turn beet red, as the nice lady and I looked on him incredulously after he said “SCORE!”

See I told you he was lucky.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Friday Happy Hour

We're going to the Caribe Blu Hotel today for Sunset Happy Hour, y'all! They have a gorgous deck and the view is fabulous! I'm hoping it becomes a new Friday tradition (since I don't have enough ADD rituals in my life already!)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

New Grocery options!!

Cozumel is really getting developed in a big way. Recently we got a giant new grocery store, that has actually made shopping for food less gruesome. I can’t tell you how much I hated to go to the grocery store. I’m not a squeamish person, really! However, the other grocery store, where I used to shop, was often frightening and frustrating.

There was no consistency. Just because you had seen a particular item on your last visit is not an indicator that you will ever see that item again. I’ve coasted in there, shopping list in hand only to find out that key essential ingredients for Thursday’s pot luck were unavailable, forcing me to mentally recreate recipes in my head. “Ok, so the pasta salad is out, but perhaps I can work these beans into something nice..”

Once upon a brief time they had veggie burgers, and Oh how I loved them. I would race expectantly over to the refrigerated section searching for my beloved veggie burgers. First they were there consistently, then sometimes and then, never to be seen again. I finally asked one of the clerks, and she told me they were no longer carrying them “They were really popular, see? And we couldn’t keep them in stock all the time, so we got complaints, so, no, we’re not going to sell them anymore.”

Like I said, I’m not a super girly girl, but even the vegetable section grossed me out. There were fruit flies, and it smelled. There was half rotten produce that had been fondled by multitudes of strangers, trying to see if they could salvage enough for a meal.
Most importantly, the roof leaked. Dripping water would mix with the rotten vegetable pulp, creating a slick area of spooge. Rather than clean this spooge up, what the staff would do was place flattened cardboard boxes over them. That way you were cross the sea o spooge on your cardboard surfboard.

One particular incident stands out clearly in my mind. I was shopping and had a full cart of selections. I stopped in the veggie section, hit one of the cardboard flats just right and landed IN the spooge. I was literally covered from hip to ankle in sludge. It was probably one of the most disgusting things that had ever happened to me. Fellow shoppers looked on in both revulsion and sympathy. I stood up, wiped my hands on my pants, collected my purse and headed directly for the door, leaving the full cart. I drove directly home, with only one cheek touching the seat. I arrived home, and as I went up the stairs stripped off my clothes, in route to the sanitizing bath. I considered bleach. I mean, isn’t that where polio comes from?

This new grocery store, smells nice, and the floors aren’t slippery, and they seem to have things consistently. Looks like progress has finally hit the island.