A Fireside Chat?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu

I guess the last man standing get’s all the groceries. Yesterday we helped two more of our friends get ready to head north by taking all of their groceries!

In the last few weeks we have inherited all sorts of delicacies from one Gringo pantry or another. I’m liking this end of the season bounty. We have some asiago, camembert and blue cheese, and many varied and exotic salad dressings. We have Bailey’s with a hint of crème caramel (reportedly good on ice cream) and crèma de macadamia con café (we need more ice cream). We’ve got containers of crescent rolls, peanuts, rice chips, more mayo . . . pie shells, bananas, raspberries, chicken and frozen vegetables.

So maybe we can skip the market this week which would be disappointing. I love the energy of the market. The noise, the music, the colour and even the elbow to elbow shopping experience conducted in both broken English and attempted Spanish is enjoyable. For Cath and me the coup d'état of market day in Mexico is the stuff that leads to yodeling and chest pounding when we have successfully managed to infiltrate a sea of humanity, grab some fruits and vegetables and live to talk about it!

But now in view of the fact that much of the population is hiding behind blue masks and avoiding contact with one another maybe we ought to exercise a little caution until the swine flu scare is over.

I’ve been listening to CNN the last couple of days and the bulletins that they keep releasing makes it seem like Swine Flu will turn out to be the forerunner to Armageddon and eventually we will all be shaking our heads from the grave saying: “I guess I should have stayed home with my mask on”.

Maybe it is just me but I am considering yesterday’s numbers of one hundred and forty nine dead in Mexico and trying to decide what that figure means to my household. The reporting is nothing less then sensational and misleading when you run the numbers. And, oh, by the way: those cases are overwhelmingly in Mexico City and as of yesterday the cause of death for the one hundred and forty nine souls was not confirmed. These are two facts often omitted from the CNN reports.

At last count the metropolitan area of Mexico City exceeded nineteen and a half million people while the city itself is estimated to have more than 8.8 million permanent residents. Anyone who knows me realizes that math is not my strong point but I do believe that when you consider the statistics and combine them with several hundred miles of separation, the odds of us avoiding Swine Flu are in our favor.

For friends and family who are worrying about Cath and me I can only say: don’t. We are healthy and doing what has been advised by cooler heads: keeping our hands washed, and avoiding crowds and if it becomes necessary we will purchase masks. So far there are no reported cases Lakeside but should that change we can just stay home and ride it out. After all the larder is full to capacity!


Mathieu said...

I'm giving Swine Flu another month before its sent to the "Failed Doomsday Plague" team along with Hanta Virus, West Nile, Flesh Eating Disease, and SARS.

And having suffered through many Stats classes, i can tell you that your gut instinct is right. To put it in context, Spanish Flu killed about one hundred thousand.

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Hi Jen! Just poppin' in to say hello. :> )
Yep, the media ran wild with this one.
We all need to worry when folks start droppin' like flies.


This is MY Giraffe and I don't want it Packed!


Soon to be Our Home on Wheels