snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative


Swine Flu Shutdown
April 26, 2009, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Short | Tags: ,

“I know all of us will die one day, but I want to last out the week.”  Servando Peneda, NYT

“People are being strongly urged to avoid shaking hands, and the US embassy has advised visitors to the country to keep at least six feet (1.8m) from other people.”  BBC News

While every news outlet seems to have different tallies of the number affected by the swine flu outbreak, they seem to agree that over 1000 infections have been confirmed, and somewhere between 60 and 80 deaths may have been caused by the virus.  What’s more, cases are said to have been identified in New Zealand, France, Spain, Israel, and various states in the US, primarily among recent visitors to Mexico.  Reacting to the emerging spread of the virus, as well as possibly trying to blunt criticism that the government took too long to act, President Felipe Calderon pushed through an order giving the government expanded emergency powers to deal with the spread of swine flu.  Even the Catholic Church has gotten involved, allowing its worshipers to listen mass over the radio.

As the international news gets more panicked and dramatic, life in Mexico City gets more boring.  Soccer games closed to spectators, museums and theaters closed, restaurants and bars shut down, and even Starbucks closed for business for the week.  My options for the day are A) sit in the park wearing a mask, or B) hang out at home.  As I opted for B yesterday, I would be pretty excited if I could find a mask for A.

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