Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pandemic panic

As you are probably aware, Capt’n Tripps is upon us. The sudden outbreak of H1N1 “Swine Flu” has paralyzed Mexico. The Mexican government went public with it 6 days ago last Friday (it’s a matter of debate over how long they knew about it before that). Since then the entire nation has been gripped with fear and suspicion and not to mention quite a few uneasy jokes.

At the last count 159 people in Mexico have died from this and Mexico D.F. has canceled all public gatherings, even soccer games (I know some people here that would buy a bus ticket to hell if America was playing Chivas). Schools and universities have been closed until May 6th.

Yesterday all employers were told that all pregnant women are to stay home from work and all non essential government services were shut down (that one act will probably increase the treasury reserves of Mexico by billions of dollars as government employees will not be able to go to work and embezzle any money). Restaurants and bars have been ordered closed and will only serve take out (this promoted a street blocking protest in Juarez by bar owners and “teibloleras”- strippers, who cannot earn income at the moment).

Today there is talk of closing all large businesses. Crews have been set up to wipe disinfectant on commonly touched surfaces such as phones, door handles and even the railings on the walkways of the international bridges.

Millions of face masks have been handed out. While these probably won’t stop anyone from getting the flu, they might stop the flying snot from sick people from ending up on your shoulder.

All this in spite of the fact that not one case has been officially discovered in either Juarez or El Paso (I question this, one day before the announcement was made a 49 year old woman working 2nd shift in our plant died of a respiratory illness describes as “her lungs filled up with phlegm”. I was told that it would be reported as she died in the Seguro Social hospital).

This country is in a near state of panic with people walking around in masks, not touching each other and doing a wonderful job increasing Johnson & Johnson’s bottom line.

Mexican hottie protects herself while daredevil tests bronze lion

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