4.30.2009

Is The World On The Brink Of A Pandemic?

The Swine Flu, H1N1, is believed to have started in La Gloria, Mexico where a 5 year old boy was confirmed to have it in late March. Since then it has killed 160 and is suspected in sickening nearly 3000 in Mexico. Currently there are over 100 confirmed cases in the US.

Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview today on the TODAY Show that he would urge his family not to fly anywhere in a confined aircraft or take the subway. The President has said that we will not close the boarders or suspend flights, except to and from Mexico. Schools in Texas are closed and more school closures are expected. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/30494440#30494440 for more about the Swine Flu pandemic. There have been no travel restrictions.

The World Heath Organization as urged countries around the world to activate their pandemic emergency plans and has raised the alert to Phase 5 (Phase 6 is the highest alert level). With confirmed cases in Mexico, US, Canada, Spain, UK, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand, Israel, Austria, Netherlands, Peru and France, and the fact that it could be much worse than is reported, should I stay home and not travel at this time? See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30485593/ for reported cases worldwide.

They say not to overreact, but it's all you hear about today. Although there are no confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Hawaii, you may be fearful to travel anywhere during this heightened pandemic alert. We at Hawaiian Island Weddings understand that there may be situations beyond your control which may prevent you from coming to Hawaii for your wedding. There may be school closures where you live which could cause you to postpone or cancel your trip. There could be airport closures and flights out of the US may be suspended. Rest assured that we will reschedule your wedding if you are worried about the pandemic or fearful of flying at this time.

For current wedding bookings:
If your trip to Hawaii is canceled due to airport closure, natural or man made disaster, etc. or if you choose not to come to Hawaii due to pandemic or fear, and you do not want to reschedule, your balance will be refunded if you choose to cancel your wedding. The nonrefundable deposits paid will not be refunded if you cancel for any reason.

For new wedding bookings:
If your trip to Hawaii is canceled due to airport closure, natural or man made disaster, etc. or if you choose not to come to Hawaii due to pandemic or fear, and you do not want to reschedule, your balance will be refunded if you choose to cancel your wedding providing you have added wedding package insurance of $150. Your deposits and insurance premium paid will not be refunded if you cancel for any reason.

We are not trying to scare you, just to give you the facts and our policy regarding the Swine Flu pandemic. This may just slow down and be petering out. Currently all deaths have only happened only in Mexico, where there is more poverty and less efficient medical care. Cases in the US have been mild, so this may just be a sign to take more precautions. Of course, if you feel sick, it is probably best to stay home and not fly. If this causes you to postpone your wedding plans we will be happy to do so without penalty on our end. Some other companies contracted for your wedding may have their own policies regarding this. When booking travel through our website or on your own, make sure to purchase travel insurance. Although we are confident that their policies will be as lenient as possible.

See a slide show about Swine Flu worries internationally at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30410284/displaymode/1247/

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