On the same trip to Baja Mexico referenced earlier, we were traveling while the H1N1 situation [scare? epidemic? what are we calling it now?] was still rolling. Going in and out of Mexico, we had to pass through an extra screening at the airport.
There was a woman on our outbound trip who wore a face mask on the plane. Whether worn to protect herself or others was not clear to me, as she seemed the picture of health. But the mask quickly disappeared before we left the plane.
Both times, we had to fill in a small questionnaire and have our temperature taken and recorded on the same slip of paper. Questions had things like "have you had a fever in the past week", "do you have symptoms ...", and weirdly, our e-mail address.
It wasn't totally clear what would happen to you if you answered yes to any of these questions. Or what would happen if you had an elevated temperature. Most people likely assumed, as I did, that we might be denied passage.
The real mystery here is why anyone would answer such a questionnaire honestly. I would guess that most of the questionnaires were completed with a line of "no" answers.
The whole procedure was so apparently meaningless that I thought it was an exercise in government relations.
There are times people are really inclined to lie. This was definitely one of them.
I recently heard a law enforcement specialist speak about this topic, and it was fascinating. I'll cover that in the next post.
[Meanwhile, if anyone can shed light on the temperature screening process, please take a minute and add a comment.]