After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Swine Flu or The Buenos Aires Crud?

Many readers of tangocherie have written me lately wondering about the dangers of flu here in Buenos Aires, and if they should cancel their planned trips. Up to now, I've sort of ignored this theme in my blog, knowing it will soon pass and that the media has blown it all out of proportion across the globe. But the panic outsiders feel is real.

This article,
Argentines told to stop kissing to curb spread of H1N1 flu, published last Saturday in the Borneo News, is a perfect example of bad journalism. It promotes the swine flu panic and is downright incorrect in stating that the "tango halls" are closed.

Here's the advice I write to inquirers:
From my point of view, except for theaters and the
schools,life here is normal. The milongas are
perfectly normal. I could throttle whoever it
is who's spreading gossip about "closed milongas,"
rabble rousers all. During winter here there are
always fewer tourists and folks who stay at
home with colds and flu of whatever variety,
however we've been extremely busy with lots
and lots of dancers from Australia.

No one is wearing masks in the street,
restaurants aren't closed, etc.
So just do what you're comfortable with.
There are never guarantees that
something will not
go wrong on vacation.

The truth is that I haven't blogged about the flu scare because it hasn't affected us. I don't know anyone who's had it. The milongas aren't closed, there are just as many people dancing in them and in the streets and restaurants, and I honestly forget about it until I listen to the news. But the basic theme is beginning to bore everyone and life--and the headlines--is moving on.

Many folks however do get sick with what I call the BsAs Crud when they arrive here due to allergies, pollution, exhaustian, whatever. That's a fact.

No one can promise a totally healthy vacation, but there are more tourists here than ever, and all appear to be having a great time.

So the scare is leveling off and Buenos Aires is tranquilo--until the next panic. Such is life.

So come on down! We'll be here waiting for you!


Margarita Milonguita said...

I'm not bothered by any fear campaigns. I'll be in Buenos Aires on August 8. I'll be going to milongas and kissing anyone I damn well please!
Thanks for the message!

Henry ( said...

Thanks for keeping it real!

Elizabeth said...

Just wanted to say that the most alarming messages we've received have been from Argentines, dancers who are about to travel here to teach, greatly exaggerating the numbers and the seriousness...very fearful indeed. Very dramatic explanations of the situation which seems not too bad...
But everyone could try a little more to wash hands etc. I guess.

tangocherie said...

The Argentines are nothing if not dramatic!!!

bill said...

Yes agreed, the residents on the surface do not care about Dengue Fever OR the flu, whatever it's name is this week.

However they have stopped some activities, like visiting the vendors on Florida street. This is what I hear from the vendors.

The city itself can make you cough and give you flu like symptoms...yes, very funny and I agree completly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing that up. We also have London crud. Before I moved here, I used to get ill on every visit. When I visited my Dr. before one trip, he told me I was allergic to the molds in the air. London is relatively damp and in the winter (which can start in September)it is grey and overcast. I used to be on heavy duty antihistamines on all my trips. It is a dirty city like New York. At the end of the day, one can blow their nose and look at what you have been breathing in all day! Wearing makeup actually protects your skin!
So, no place is perfect. Why does the government need to make a big deal out of this? What do they get from it?
I am glad you are well and that people are still dancing!