Another month crossed off the calendar here in Tegucigalpa, the world’s 6th most violent city if you didn’t already know, and the buzzword (pun intended) has been Zika, Zika, Zika.
Honduras declared a national emergency over the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness with more than 10,000 reported cases during this outbreak. Symptoms are usually mild (fever, rash, and the like) and many people never even realize they have it. The concern mainly revolves around pregnant women with associated birth defects, like microcephaly, and more extreme complications like the 30+ reported cases of Guillain-Barre, a nerve disorder that can potentially lead to paralysis. Hondurans have mobilized to fight Zika through simple means like fumigating and preventing/removing stagnant water sources.
If you’re like me and wonder (with varying levels of seriousness)”can’t we just kill all the mosquitos?“, it’s been tried before. Latin American countries wasted plenty of money on that futile endeavor back in the 50s and 60s. Instead, we’ll laugh it off with comical “Zika-free zone” signs at parties and extra servings of bug spray.
Emigration is still, unsurprisingly, another staple topic in my Google alerts. Most interesting this month were reports that Central Americans are more often fleeing to the States in search of economic opportunities rather than fleeing from the violence of their home countries. That contradicts many of the anecdotal articles I’ve found, but not this story about a runaway turned runway designer.
One last story not related to Honduras but sure to make Consular Officers and Embassy employees worldwide unite in a simultaneous facepalm is the Hindu temple in India that supposedly blesses visitors with U.S. visas. A hilarious but humbling reminder of how lucky we are just to be born in the right place.