Chilangos will be happy when they can go back to their favorite cafe and plug in their laptops or sit around babbling about Freud and smoking a pipe on a Roma streetside. Everyone would agree, swine flu and any of its derivative paranoia has jumped the shark.
There’s at least one person close to me who I hope takes this commercial very seriously. Just because you don’t feel sick, doesn’t mean you’re not infecting others around you. Contain your germs, please.
This entire week-long catastrophe known as the swine flu epidemic brought to my mind proto-political rap group Public Enemy on several occasions. I really don’t know why. Just check some of my previous blog post titles you can see.
Other than the bit of reporting I did for publication, I’ve been indoors mostly. That hasn’t necessarily been my choice either. The fun parts of town have been relatively quiet by order of the local government.
Although there are any number of private soirees tonight, Mexico City is officially on lockdown this weekend. Most major events were cancelled once again, and as I was told by a friend, a talking head on a PBS news show was thanking the people of Mexico for enduring shut-down mode for the sake of all humanity, which again, brought to mind this P.E. gem:
After seeing a guy and his dad talk to Milenio in front of Mexico City’s federal respiratory hospital, I decided it might be a good idea to see if they were swine flu victims. One of them was and just getting out of the hospital, the other gentlman was his dad. They were telling the TV newsman that they had just gotten stuck with a big medical bill.
Somehow, my PNC (Photog In Crime) Deanna Dent, a rising young photojournalist and multimedia reporter convinced the guy, his dad, and the guy’s wife to allow us to drive with them 30 minutes to their house to witness the son’s homecoming. What followed was sad and really all crunchy, corny and sweet. Its was a reminder that this virus, as grave as it may seem, isn’t a total killer.
Concerns are still heavy since the CDC upgraded the flu meter to a Level 4 calamity.
And its continuing to have financial repercussions as experts are saying “swine flu will…deepen the global recession.”
On a fairly warm Mexico afternoon, yesterday, I ventured out to see if things had changed. Taking the subway was something I had been avoiding since the news broke a few days ago.
One of the biggest adjustments for the people of Mexico City has to be not going to church. Last night in the Colonia Guerrero, I stopped by the Templo San Hipolito. There was a quickie mass and a little water splash after the priest read a prayer of the Virgin of Guadalupe for the flu epidemic. He also announced that the church wouldn’t hold the special 28th day services for the San Judas Tadeo . i know a lot of kids are bummed about that.
There is a very mild (as far as I can tell) hysteria coursing through city life here. Although people tend to go about their every day, you can’t help but notice the fewer numbers driving and commuting and eating out. The only time the bit of hysteria comes up is If you hear a nearby sneeze or a cough. Most people look at the culprit in disgust or anger, especially if the sneezer or cougher didn’t cover their mouths in one of the two government approved ways: sneeze into your armpit, or into your a disposable paper towel. You could always wear your mask, but I think a lot of people are still on the fence with that one. Maybe the non-mask wearers are just waiting to cop a technologically advanced face-mask like the one created in Japan: the BioMask
Here’s to staying flu free in the D.F. (and by now, the rest of the world, too).
Something tells me Spanish grind metal band Pesta Porcina knew this was coming. If this is your cup, download their 2007 demo, here.
Pesta Porcina–Mantanca del Porc
Also, it wouldn’t be epidemic season without a few more musical reminders (followed by Mexico City street and subway shots): After the jump