Monthly Archives: April 2009

You Look Stupid With Your Cheap Face Mask

I’m not one to criticize (who, me?) but I have to admit that all the people wearing those cheap disposable light blue face masks look pretty darn ridiculous to me. Plus, they don’t work (doctors words, not mine)

For one thing, they don’t fit properly around your nose area ‘cuz they’re not anatomically designed so anything in the air will get in your nasal passages from the openings around your nose. If you were really concerned you’d go out and find a real face mask that seals your nose and mouth area. Oh, there aren’t any of those.

Add to that the fact that the swine flu is not airborne, it’s a contact thing where you have to get sneezed on or grab a handful of germs from a telephone or something and then rub your hand in your mouth, the whole exercise seems rather futile.

I suspect most people either a) already know this; or b) could care less in true Mexican laissez faire fashion, but are obligated to wear the face mask because their employer insists on it. So most people are putting it on, but choose to use it as an interesting fashion accessory in the form of a headband or neck scarf. Often, however, the blue clashes with the clothing you have decided on wearing that day and it just clashes grotesquely. Not good.

So they don’t really work and you look ridiculous.

Happy now?

Official Information – Finally!

Here is a link to the Yucatan State government’s website page where you can find information on the state of the influenza in the state. How many times can you put ‘state’ in the same post?

It seems everything is OK in the Yucatan. No cases reported; even that French guy in Valladolid was given a clean bill of health. Or so they report.

Still nothing on the Governor’s Facebook page, though. It still says “Hola Muchachos” and asks what those muchachos think of the informe. Maybe the people writing on her Facebook page think only the muchachos use Facebook? I haven’t been a muchacho in quite a while.

Let’s Get a Grippe

I’m no doctor, so don’t look to me for medical advice.

Did you, dear reader, know that last year, in the US alone, and according to the CDC, 36,000 people died of flu-like symptoms? I read that this morning on CNN.

We don’t know how many in Mexico or even if anyone’s counting of course, but there’s probably a number out there and its more than 1000.

Let’s lighten up, shall we?


Mobile Blogging from here.

School’s Out!

Yes, although there is nothing on the official Yucatan government website ( all schools from kindergarten through university – in Merida at least – are suspending classes until May 6th.

I even checked our governors’ Facebook page ( where I can respond to her question: what did I think about the ‘informe‘. Nothing on the flu or school closures or anything else related to the current situation. I don’t think anyone could care less about her informe at the moment.

With absolutely everyone talking about the swine flu and many people resorting to wearing masks, the state government doesn’t feel it warrants any update or further information. The fact that there is nothing on the government website is nothing new, really. During the 3 hurricanes I personally have lived through here, the government run radio station will happily play music as if nothing was going on.

Perhaps they might consider updating the site every 12 hours or so to calm the populace…

HSBC Fees – Outrageous or Just My Imagination

HSBC, my favourite worst bank to deal with (and they all suck so there’s no where to go) just charged me the fees detailed below. I had given my daughter my debit card and she didn’t get the PIN right and so made several attempts at accessing the account.

HSBC, the bank that will give you a Mickey Mouse Made-In-China cheapo plastic digital photo display frame ‘as a gift’ if you open an account with them so they may fleece you indefinitely, decided that each of these attempts constitutes some sort of ‘service’ and charge for it. And of course the ‘service’ incurs a 15% IVA tax.


The following is from the online bank statement this morning. They don’t charge for checking this online – yet.

04/20 I V A $ 0.45
04/20 I V A $ 0.45
04/20 I V A $ 0.45
04/20 I V A $ 0.45

Influenza in Mexico

Apparently, there is some sort of influenza bug in the air and there is an alarming amount of cases out there; enough to – according to the press – warrant the IMSS apparently issuing an ‘alert’ and proceeding to apply vaccines to people already in the hospital system. There are reports that there are no more vaccines in the Mexico City area.

This information was corroborated the other night by a local doctor I happened to have coffee with who said that here in the Yucatan the IMSS did not want to issue a general alert as this would cause a rush on the available vaccines, which, according to this source, were scarce. There is, he said, indeed a shortage of vaccines in spite of a report in the local press citing the contrary for the state of Yucatan. He suggested that if you can, to get a shot.

Influenza is a health problem that affects everyone, but those most susceptible are the very young and older people.