snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative

And now for something completely different…
April 28, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Short, Video | Tags: , , ,

Economic crisis, drug wars, swine flu, earthquake…  it’s been a rough time for Mexico City as of late.  Apparently us Fulbrighters haven’t been the only ones making apocalyptic references (though perhaps the only ones doing it jokingly):

“I’m scared,” Sarai Luna Pajas, a 22-year-old Mexico City resident, told the Associated Press news agency.
“We Mexicans are not used to living with so much fear, but all that is happening – the economic crisis, the illnesses and now this – it feels like the Apocalypse.”  –  BBC

On a more positive note, however, here’s a little more Vincente Fernandez with a popular cantina song called “Estos Celos” (roughly “This Jealousy”).  (EDIT – The actual video was disabled, so here’s the same song with some random weird performance, which only makes it better)


Rumors (and an earthquake)
April 27, 2009, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Short | Tags: , ,

Now that Mexico City is in full end-of-the-world lockdown mode thanks to the swine flu, various rumors are starting to swirl through the population.  While I can’t claim to have heard the majority, I’ve definitely heard several, ranging from “believable” to “possibly started by a highly delusional psychiatric patient”.

A sampling:

1)  “Mexico knew about the swine flu far earlier than official word came out, but chose to delay making it public because Obama was visiting.” –  9/10 on the believability scale, i.e. likely.  It’s certain that Mexico government officials knew something about the flu prior to late last week; they’d been tracking an uptick in cases since late March.   The real question is did Obama’s visit affect their decision to take public action?  Quite plausible.  Swine flu is, after all, nearly as contagious as Hope.

2)  “The narcos are behind this because it keeps the soldiers busy (handing out masks etc)” – 3/10, i.e. quite a stretch.  While I’m sure the narcos aren’t complaining that the Mexican Army’s #1 priority is guarding the Metro against coughing people, I really doubt that a bunch of hick drug-runners found a way to release a potentially deadly virus on the city for their own benefit.

(unrelated, there was an earthquake just now…)

3) “More doctors have died at IMSS (social security health system) and others have now refused to go to work.” – 6/10, i.e. outside possibility it’s true.  While their may be cases among doctors, they are the first in line to receive medicines and are closely monitored due to their contact with patients, making them far less likely to die.  What’s more, the disease has only been confirmed as killing 20 or so people so far (though another 50-60 are suspected) out of 1,400 cases, so despite the panic, it’s not particularly deadly.  Finally, while there might be a small number of health care workers who are avoiding the hospital out of fear, I’d like to keep a little higher opinion of our profession and say most experienced doctors aren’t going to run away from their job because of the flu. (EDIT:  looks like I spoke too soon, they are now saying 149 people have died of suspected swine flu, all between 20-50 years old)

4) “The US army released the flu in preparation for a coup d’etat and martial rule, with concentration camps being prepared for the infected.”  0/10, i.e. bat-shit insane.  No further comments necessary