swine flu

H1N1 came late to Mongolia, but it came in like a lion.  Since the initial cases were reported in early October, the headcount has gone up to over 900 (remember, pop: 2.7 million), with 9 deaths (ie, 1% case fatality rate).  To combat the spread of the disease, we are basically on lockdown.

Schools have been closed for 2 weeks, and will remain closed for another 2 weeks.  The local stations are broadcasting lessons, so students are still learning and keeping up.  Universities are still open, however (not sure why).

Everything closes at 9 pm, with a strict penalty imposed for violators.  There is nothing like being harried through a nice meal to remind you to which extreme measures people can often resort.   Entertainment facilities, sporting events, and pretty much all public gatherings have been canceled.  This leaves most people very little to do, and unfortunately, the city’s youth have found hanging out on the street behaving like hooligans an adequate way to pass the time.  Luckily, its getting colder and colder, so most will stay indoors anyway.  I am guessing the liquor companies are doing brisk business at the stores.

The most recent decision has been to stop all domestic travel, except flights.  This means no buses, and potentially even no trains.  Private cars are still allowed around, but many people are not going anywhere. Rumor has it the city will be closed entirely this weekend, meaning no one will go in or out.

The most alarming news is that the land border with China is closed for 2 weeks, meaning imports will slow to a trickle.  Given how much produce and other food items come across that border, I imagine the prices are going to start rising soon.

What does this mean for the economy?  I guess we will soon see….


1 Response to “swine flu”

  1. 1 Chaitali November 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Yikes! Take care of yourself and try to stay warm and healthy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: