For much good reason, the news cycle has been dominated by this swine flu which is showing the beginnings of a pandemic because it’s spreading from person to person. Wear your face masks, they keep telling people. With all this talk of a possible outbreak, and the safety measure places like church are taking, in the spotlight, all the other bad stuff gets pushed to the side for now, at least in our minds. Pockets of cases are spread throughout the country. Anyone with flu-like symptoms should see a doctor. What are flu-like symptons? Damn near everything.
Hysteria? Not yet. A radio program DJ was telling people not to go into a panic, because we can create ‘symptons’. As for the Mexican people, I imagine like New Yorkers they’re resilient. The streets are pretty calm in this part of the city. A closer look along a mile-and-a-half stretch along Cuauhtémoc Avenue didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary, maybe heightened awareness with people walking around with blue masks either covering their noses and mouths, or nestled around their necks–fashionable awareness for some, a break to eat a meal or smoke for others.
The masks aren’t comfortable. After walking around a bit (chronicled a bit here) we bought 8 of them at 3 pesos a piece. No shady, upselling by us, like some crooks ( as Reuters reports).
The real fear is if there a need for a mass vaccination. At this point quick treatment for any large fraction of the 20 million people who live in this city just isn’t going to happen.
So far, according to a press conference around 7pm, here are the stats:
People really shouldn’t panic and just wear their masks in public places. On the brighter side, all of this comotion makes for good background. Writer Warren Ellis blogs about the news and files it under “research.”
I’m on my way to a rap show by local rapper Sekreto. Several shows including the N.A.S.A. show were still on.
Wish me luck. Some photos after the jump.
Listen to a cut from the “Outbreak Soundtrack,” by James Newton Howard [King Kong, The Dark Night].
from Outbreak (OST)
Jimbo Gets Sick
Check out some mask fashion: