Damn you pigopolists! (or whatever)
We have had a quite strange couple of days…
Everything was smooth as usual on Thursday. As I posted here, I cycled to Iztacala to give a talk and back, and basically had a good time. We had heard news some days earlier on the radio that the usual seasonal flu was still present by mid-April, while usually it disappeared by early March… But nothing more.
But Friday morning, as I listened to my usual news program, Aristegui repeated over and over that the Health ministry had ordered (in a press conference at 23:00 the previous day) schools of all levels not to hold activities… Quite unusual, but WTF… Got to work as usual, around 9 AM. The first thing I see in the Institute, our Academic Secretary telling us all to finish our most urgent business and head back home, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
And… During the morning it started sinking in. This is a very weird and somehow scary situation. We are facing -as you all must know by now- a previously unknown strain of flu virus (influenza porcina H1N1B, AFAICT). During the past couple of days, we have seen the scenes we wondered about during the past decade, mainly in South East Asia (with SARS and with bird flu): Everybody is scared, nobody really understands what they are scared of, people do stay at home. The streets are eerily quiet, and many people are seen with masks covering nose and mouth.
I must recognize our federal and local governments are acting very well coordinated (for the first time in probably over a decade, since they were from different parties for the first time). This has been clearly labeled as an epidemic (over 1600 sick people reported at hospitals, and over 100 deceased) and has spread to many of our country’s states (as well as to other many countries, although it still seems to be controlled there - But we have got reports from the USA, Canada, France, Spain, Israel and New Zealand so far).
I will most probably spend the next full week at home, as my University (as well as all schools and universities in this city and at least the Mexico, Nuevo León and San Luis Potosí states) will be closed until May 6th. Of course, sports and cultural activities are all suspended as well. Many (most?) bars and restaurants remain closed.
Today, my parents came from neighbouring Cuernavaca (where no alerts have yet been emitted, but will surely follow), and we went out for lunch (to a nice Yucatan food place, chosen partly as it had very little concurrence and because we could sit outdoors. Yes, I must specially thank them for being as imprudent as coming over here, given the generalized scare… I know there was nothing I could do to prevent them from doing so :-)
And… In this strange climate, I can only thank I am not a party-organizer or anything like that, as I’d have had my plans frustrated. Here I sit next to my laptop, in my halfway-re-windowed house, with a still shrink-wrapped book that looks beautiful (La bicicleta: Rito, técnica y pasión), eager to open it (Thanks, Nadezhda! :-* ).
Happy birthday to me. Take off the mask, blow 33 candles, put mask back on. Thankfully there is no cake to eat, as it could be messy with the mask on.
gwolf 2009-04-28 08:49:05
Kevin Mark 2009-04-28 00:48:43
happy b’day gunnar! firefox + google reader show a blue face as compared to your blog with firefox that shows the correct color. Hope this dreadful contagion leaves your area, post haste! here in NY, we had a few case, but no major panic yet.
lanjoe9 2009-04-28 06:41:52
Feliz cumpleaños :)
Nadezhda 2009-04-27 06:57:50
¡Feliz cumpleaños! :*
rjc 2009-04-27 07:42:06
Happy Birthday mate! If I had know before I would’ve pimped the hackergochi a little bit ;^)
rmayorga 2009-04-27 20:07:17
felices 33 :)
vicm3 2009-04-27 12:43:00
|End of the world (just kidding)**
We wish you a very happy birthday at home with your family. Crap, I was wishing to make a big party at your home ;)
Well had our best wishes. And give you a time to forget about the world for a moment and enjoy home and that beautiful garden (remember UV also kills “swine flu” virus.)