Swine Flu Scare Decimates International Travel – Barbados Suffers With Other Prime Destinations

Swine Flu = Empty Airplanes

Swine Flu = Empty Airplanes

“Dear Barbados Free Press,

It has been nothing but cancellations all day at the Hilton…”

Government Implements Watch At Grantley Adams Airport – Not Much Else To Be Done

No man and no nation can control the wind, tides and the seas. And so it is with swine flu. Nothing that Barbados did contributed to the outbreak, and little that Barbados does will matter on an international scale. Our government has instituted a watch at Grantley Adams international Airport, but realistically that is about all that can be done.

Shona’s little brother works at the airport and he says that passenger pickups are down by half as of today. An anonymous reader tells us that the staff at the Hilton were on the phone all day taking cancellations — not only from individuals, but also from group bookings.

It may take a few weeks or even a month, but this will pass.

As we said before, when times are tough — be frugal, and look after your family and friends because you never know when you might need a little help yourself.

Further Reading

Barbados Advocate: Barbados on alert!

48 Comments

Filed under Barbados

48 responses to “Swine Flu Scare Decimates International Travel – Barbados Suffers With Other Prime Destinations

  1. Sad To Say

    Hopefully many of those that intended to travel to Mexico reshedule their travel plans to BARBADOS. Our marketing agents should be flooding the networks and cable channels with BDS travel adverts.

  2. Mexico, Canada and the US all have the swine flu. I don’t see why tourists to Barbados should cancel their vacations!

  3. Lost..

    I don’t get it. Swine flu isn’t here, and Barbados isn’t remotely close to Mexico. Completely lost as to why they’d cancel their bookings.

  4. reluctant nonbeliever

    Well, this is weird. After reading this story tonight I phoned a friend who works at the Hilton and she totally refutes the anonymous reader’s claims, and said they’d had no more cancellations than usual today.

  5. Sundowner

    ‘There is a natural dip in arrivals after Easter for a few weeks, then it picks back up again’
    Thats what I was told by a man who works with the BTA yesterday. Maybe we can advertise ourselves as ‘flu free’!!
    I think we have to be careful no to make a crisis out of a drama here. Screening at the airport and port for people who have recently been to Mexico is all we can do.

  6. Artful Dodger

    Do you really want those who live in affected and infected countries to be coming to Barbados? The idea is to contain the spread world-wide as much as possible. If Barbados plays it’s cards right, it could avoid having any cases of swine flu. All it takes is one passenger from the U.S. or Canada that is carrying the virus and all hell gine brek loose.

  7. Paul Barnes

    I left Barbados early on Sunday morning en route back to work in Bermuda.

    While boarding the plane in Miami to go to Bermuda on Sunday afternoon, I heard two people getting on the same plane talking about their just-concluded vacation in Mexico, and how exciting it was…So I (along with a hundred others) shared an airline cabin for a little over two hours with at least two people who just left Mexico.

    It’s not hard to imagine how easily this contagion could spread around the world when you think about how freely-mobile humans are these days. Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst!

  8. crossroads

    sad situiation for them, but good point

  9. Artful Dodger

    That is just bare ignorance Paul. Those that were transferring from flights out of Mexico should have been made to wear masks. Steupppppse.

  10. Come On

    Mr. Dodger it’s more dangerous to drive the roads here…that alone should scare off tourists. Google the statistics, use your head, how many people die from motor vehicle accidents annually compared to any flu? How about washing your hands, practicing good hygiene, and eating right– that’s a start.

  11. Hants

    This virus is still spreading and some people are deciding to stay at home until the “event” passes.

    I am postponing travel to Barbados, cause I en pickin up nutten up hey to kyah home en gih my family or frens.

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  13. Naela

    Well I heard there is already 1 case?

  14. naela buchemi

    I believe there was a case in the south but I dont know why people are worried, like the man above say eat right you will be strong to fight.

  15. Come On

    I am actually a woman! I’m glad someone has their head on straight around here…

  16. Why worry

    whatever will be will be i do not know why people worry about what mite happen do what you want to do and live life to the fullest

  17. If any US or Mexicans arrive and they snort or grunt? Pelt them back out, LOL

  18. Artful Dodger

    Come on: You need to educate yourself and keep abreast of what’s going on. It is possible that in Barbados, the effects of the swine flu will be minimal but in the rest of the world there have already been a number of deaths and it appears to be spreading very quickly. The head in the sand approach does no one any good. Naela: “Eat well and you won’t get the swine flu”?? I never heard such nonsense in my entire life. This particular strain of the swine flu has never been seen anywhere in the world before and hence, no one has built up an immunity to it.
    Just the same as we drive carefully and defensively to avoid road accidents, we would take precautions to avoid contracting a potentially lethal virus.

  19. Paul Barnes

    But when you think about, would masks make a whole lot of difference? While I was standing in the Immigration Hall at Miami International Airport upon arrival, another AA flight came in from a city in Mexico. Those passengers de-planed and queued up right behind those of us that travelled from Bim. Even if the passengers from Mexico had all been wearing masks, each one of them still had to hand over their passports to the US border control agents, they each had to put their fingers on the fingerprint machine, etc. So they each had the opportunity to pass on anything they may have been carrying (as we all do, not just those from Mexico!). Masks won’t do much in those circumstances. Good personal hygiene is always the best bet. I washed my hands at the first opportunity upon leaving US Customs….

  20. Sargeant

    Does this mean that you would ban all air and sea traffic between any country with a case of Swine Flu and Barbados?

  21. Sad To Say

    We do not have to make it too obvious. My grand mother always said while the sun shines let us make hay.

  22. Sad To Say

    What is the probability of someone with swine flu travelling to Barbados? Your guess is as good as mine. However, my guess is if you are in the active stage of the disease you will be too sick to travel. So let us capatilize on the fact thatr US citizens are being discouraged to travel to Mexico. We should be promoting BDS as a swine flu free destination while we can.

  23. Sad To Say

    Idiot personified.

  24. Rumplestilskin

    This virus is spreading fast, appears very contagious and as exhibited at how many cases are showing throughout the globe, will surely end up here, it is inevitable.

    Some Asian countries have implemented thermal scanners to check for fevers on incoming passengers, but how about those who are infected but yet to show fever, not to mention a quarantine facility?

    Passengers from all over come to Barbados, so we had better be prepared.

    My worry is the number of serious respiratory cases, including pneunomia that have occurred.

    Is our hospital prepared to have as many as hundreds in the ward being treated for pneunomia?

    Maybe a large clinic should be identified and used as a treatment centre, including beds, respiratory equipment etc, for the near future.

    Do we have enough anti-virals, do we stockpiles of antibiotics for infection if pneunomia escalates?

    Do we have a specific doctor/ nurse staff complement to dedicate to this facility for months?

    These are the questions that I suspect should be asked.

    In addition, will the Ministry of Health implement additional measures for public facilities such as hotels, offices, stores, for every end of day cleaning of common areas with suitable cleaning agents, will this be monitored?

    That might sound silly, but bear in mind that door handles, counters etc will become potential storage for infected body fluids.

    Peace & Live Strong

  25. Harumph, Harumph – serious only here! No wonder the Barubans get vex…

  26. No US nor Mexican oinkers for souse or BBQ pig-tail

  27. Hants

    Good advice. Bajans need to be careful. Tourists coming from Canada and the USA everyday.

    5 more cases detected in Canada. 4 of them in Ontario.

  28. Come On

    That’s why I stick to puddin’, pickle and breadfruit, no oinkers for me…oink, oink, oink.

  29. Artful Dodger

    Interestingly, Ian, you can not contract the disease from eating pork. The front line workers on pig farms, the ones doing the slaughtering, have to come in contact with pig secretions such as mucous and feces. This is how it began and now it is passing human to human also through mucal secretions that are airborne through coughing and sneezing. Don’t be suggesting that the people are not to eat pork, you would brek every Bajans heart. 😉

  30. Artful Dodger

    2 adults dead in California, hundreds of school kids in NYC ill with suspected swine flu.

  31. Artful Dodger

    Air Transat has suspended all flights to Mexico and is only bringing home it’s staff and customers already in Mexico.

  32. Sundowner

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8021547.stm

    This is a map of cases, suspected cases and deaths.The BBC site has some interesting reading on the subject, including the below.

    CONFIRMED & SUSPECTED CASES
    Mexico: 152 suspected deaths – 20 confirmed cases
    US: 64 confirmed cases
    Canada: 13 confirmed cases
    New Zealand: 3 confirmed cases
    UK, Spain, Israel: 2 confirmed cases each
    Countries with suspected cases: Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, Australia, and South Korea, and seven EU states

  33. Dances with cons

    Hello, PP/S.

  34. J

    The world Health Organization has already said that this flu cannot be contained.

    From reading about what is happening at the leading edge of the epidemic (Mexico) It appears to me that about 1/3 of people who are exposed will become sick and that about 1% of that 1/3 will die.

    In Barbados’s case we have a population of about 300,000 people.

    1/3 of that number is 100,000. That is a lot of sickness that may occur in the space of a year or two.

    1% of 100,000 people is 1,000 people.

    This is just speculation but Barbados’ air seems to be much cleaner than Mexico’s, and Barbadians may smoke less so it may be that Barbadians have healthier lungs.

    Since the WHO says that the epidemic cannot be contained, by the time it is finished with us, most of us will NOT have become sick, most of those who have become sick WILL SURVIVE, but ALL of us will know someone who has died.

    That is what is so bad about highly infectious flu epidemics. They will touch us all.

  35. Sam

    I fly to Barbados from the UK on Friday.

    I can’t wait!!

  36. peltdownman

    I agree with Paul Barnes about the fingerprinting devices at Miami Int’l. Even under normal circumstances, they are a threat to good hygiene. I recently asked an officer if he knew whether or not the man using the device before me had been to the toilet and not washed his hands. He took my point and cleaned the surface. A very good idea to wash your hands immediately after using that device.

  37. Graham

    is it true about suspected case in Barbados?

  38. Swine Flu – What To Do

    So what’s the big deal? We’ve had the flu before
    Why are all these countries in the big furor
    It’s puzzling to hear people say cover your mouth
    No work when you’re infected and avoid travelling South
    Epidemics like this depend on our thoughtlessness
    Flu travels best when our people are careless
    Like covering their mouths when they cough but taking that hand
    Using it to shake hands, open doors and spreading unplanned
    We breathe in each others’ faces like on the bus
    Have no reservations eating publically and while there, discuss
    All the latest news and the spread on influenza too
    Transferring the virus at the tables from me to you
    The viruses don’t need to be manifested to be in the air
    Our infants should learn in hygiene, they’re everywhere
    Dirty and unclean practices generally cause the hullabaloo
    Our society should be naturally protected from spreading Swine Flu

  39. Come On

    Excellent!

  40. BadBob

    Me boss is a swine. What can I do!??

  41. queenam

    two patients at the QEH have the swine flu. it is already here. Just ask the CMO when she meets with the Ministry of health’s staff this evening at 5:00 p.m. at Sherbourne

  42. reluctant nonbeliever

    This is simply NOT TRUE.

    You have either been misinformed or are shamelessly scaremongering.

  43. Hard Driver

    More people die from choking on pork every year. Sounds like a global pandemic indeed.

  44. concerned

    someone i know who was in mexico for a sporting event came back last week. he told me he went through the airport like normal and came home. nobody asked him a question! how can we trust what the authorities are telling us in the news reports?

  45. shelley

    Masks offer NO protection against viruses because they are much smaller than bacteria and will go through a mask (except the kind with the big filters attached).

  46. victor

    If I had a voice they wouId Iisten to , I wouId say, vigiIant on checking visitors, no more tourists for a coupIe of months.

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