BRB

May. 1st, 2009 08:22 am
simgaroop: (Me)
I'm leaving town right now. Seems like the media finally convinced my parents that "we're all going to die" and their paranoia levels are so high at the moment that the only way they'll stay calm is if we leave this place.

Not that there's much to do here anymore, considering the huge shutdown began today.

We're going to a town nearby, in the middle of nowhere. So I'll have no access to the Internet, TV, radio, etc. I'll probably check my f-list when I visit some relatives this afternoon, but other than that I won't be available at all.

So in short, we're all fine and healthy. I'm looking forward to being able to be outside, to be honest.

I'll be back on Sunday night. I'm taking my laptop with me, so perhaps I'll have a surprise ready by then ^^.

(Yeah, we're also taking the masks and the 10000 cleaning supplies, just in case)

Take care and have fun!

(And don't fight too much tonight when the two secrets communities post their entries!)
simgaroop: (Default)
MEXICO CITY – Mexico took even more drastic action to squelch a swine flu epidemic, ordering a suspension of private business activity and nonessential federal government activities, as the World Health Organization ratcheted up an alert, warning that "all of humanity" is threatened.

In a televised address, Mexican President Felipe Calderon praised "the heroic work" of doctors and nurses and asked his countrymen to literally stay in their homes between May 1 and May 5, saying "there is no safer place to protect yourself against catching swine flu, than in your house."

"In recent days, Mexico has faced one of the most serious problems in recent years," Calderon said Wednesday night. He brushed aside criticisms that his government's response was slow, stressing several times that authorities had reacted "immediately."

School in Mexico has already been canceled until May 6. During the shutdown, essential services like transport, supermarkets, trash collection and hospitals will remain open.

Calderon said authorities would use the partial shutdown to weigh whether to extend the emergency measures, or "if it is possible to phase out some" restrictions.


Considering what's been going on in the city during this week, this didn't surprise me. Most of us were actually expecting this shutdown. Now the question is whether it'll last until May 5th, or if it'll be prolonged for more days. Will schools be reopened on May 6th? I really don't know, because the Secretary of Education said they can't go back to work until every school in the city (at least) has enough resources to clean the students hands every hour.

Even if I go back to work next Wednesday, I suspect activities will be restricted to just the mere academic ones inside the classroom. We'll probably have to wear the masks at all times (how am I going to convince my kid to keep his on?) and we'll barely do anything because cleaning the hands of 25 five-year-olds every hour will take forever.

*Sighs* April 30th is our National "Children's Day", where we celebrate both the current kids and the ones that still reside within ourselves :D. Sadly, this year the celebrations will take place inside our homes. We were originally going to have a picnic and a "water party" at school, but that's a plan long gone.

Although I was feeling restless inside my house the past couple of days, I'm now feeling better. Perhaps I'm getting used to this situation. You'd laugh at the amount of cleaning supplies we have at our entry: clorox wipes, alcohol in gel, lysol and, of course, the face mask for the few times we've left home to go to the supermarket. Everytime we come back home, we wash our hands, rub them with the alcohol and clean the door with a wipe (we also take them with us to clean the shopping cart too). I feel like Howard Hughes :S.

And I hate wearing the stupid mask. I feel silly (even if everyone else is wearing one too) and paranoid, and it's so hot right now that it makes it harder to breathe. I've seen around communities like ONDT that some people are now photoshopping masks to their LJ icons (sort of like they did with the grey hat when Obama became president).

I'm sorry, it's probably because I'm in a bad mood right now, but that kind of mocking pisses me off so much that I refuse to look at those communities anymore :/.

And that's my current life, in a nutshell. Gotta work on my story update right now.

Take care.
simgaroop: (Default)
"... This city of 20 million people has shut itself in as authorities try to prevent the epidemic from spreading. But with no schools, no movie theaters and no cafes to while away the hours, many are already going stir crazy.

On Tuesday, officials banned Mexico City's 25,000 restaurants from serving customers — takeout is still OK — and closed gyms, swimming pools and pool halls. Already, night clubs, museums, zoos and movie theaters had been off-limits. And schools have been closed nationwide until at least May 6...

... Outside, the overcrowded city has become almost spacious. Traffic flows easily down broad avenues and normally crowded squares are crisscrossed by the occasional pedestrian.

Even one of the city's main produce market, La Merced, has emptied. Normally, thousands of sweaty bodies jostle against one another among the towering mounds of jalapenos, mangos and squash blossoms. On Tuesday there was hardly a soul, save produce sellers and the occasional health worker taping up posters warning people to steer clear of crowds."


- From this article on Yahoo.

*Sighs* :(

Right now, the only places that are still open are some office buildings, banks and grocery stores, but for how long?

This city is slowly turning into a ghost town with each passing day.

I'm upset.

_______________

By the way, I've just re-uploaded all the files I had on my box.net account to a new esnips folder, following [livejournal.com profile] dragancaor 's suggestion. My box.net files are supposed to go back online on Friday, but it doesn't hurt to have a back up.

You can find all my stuff here (it's a public folder).
simgaroop: (Simself)
According to the local news, there were no damages from the earthquake we had at noon today. The worst was that some people fainted or felt ill from fear, but that was it.

We're fine at my place. We barely felt the earthquake, and we only noticed that it had happened when a police car passed by our door announcing that the "Danger had passed and to please go back to our homes to continue our house arrest".

The WHO has raised the pandemic alert from level 3 to level 4 in my country, but as far as I know, it doesn't imply a change in the situation for the citizens, just more awareness from the scientific community to develop either a vaccine or an accurate way to diagnose the swine flue as soon as possible. Honestly, the news say so many things all the time, with so many different versions that it is hard to keep up with them.

At home, we're fine. Just extremely bored, which makes us check the news yet again and increase our paranoia :P. I've just gotten an offer from some dormitories called "Dobie" at Austin, so I'm browsing through their website to see how they are. I was planning to go to Austin on May to check out some places to live, but with this situation I don't think they'd let me leave the country on the risk I might bring the virus to other places.

This is the part where I admit that a huge part of my fear came from the fact that before the announcement on Thursday night, and obviously ignoring this threat, I was all over the city with one of my siblings, doing some random errands. We were in the public transportation, walked up and down some bridges to cross the avenues, walked by some construction sites (they are building a new highway to commemorate the Bicentenary of our Independence on 2010), in particular where they installed the latrines (you can imagine the odor).

In short, I was exposed to a lot of risky places on Thursday, so there was (still is) a chance I caught the swine flu and I'd be carrying it at the moment. As the days have gone by, the fear has decreased, because according to the news, the flu symptoms develop three or four days after initial contact. Today's the fourth day, so if by tomorrow I have not suddenly developed a cold or fever, that'll mean I'm safe. *crosses fingers*

I'd also been playing a bit. I'm working on the mall I mentioned the other day and I have some preview pictures, but those will be posted in another entry. In a minute :P.
simgaroop: (Default)
No, seriously, that's the only thing we're missing around here.

On top the insanity that's taking place in Mexico City thanks to the swine flu epidemic, we've just had a 6.0 earthquake.

And it's just been announced that all the schools in the country will be closed until further notice. All the cinemas have been closed too.

When is this non-sense going to end? :(
simgaroop: (LOLValentine)
"MEXICO CITY – Churches stood empty Sunday in heavily Roman Catholic Mexico City after services were canceled, and health workers screened airports and bus stations for people sickened by a new strain of swine flu that experts fear could become a global epidemic.

Mayor Marcelo Ebrardo said two more people died of swine flu overnight in the overcrowded capital, and three other deaths are suspected to have been caused by the strain. Another 73 more people were hospitalized with influenza, possible swine flu.

City Health Secretary Armando Ahued said most of the fatalities involve victims who only sought medical help after the disease was well advanced and urged people to seek urgent care

President Felipe Calderon has assumed new powers to isolate people infected with the deadly swine flu strain that health officials say has killed up to 86 people and likely sickened about 1,400 in the country since April 13.
"

According to a televised message from our President, which was transmitted just a few minutes ago, the officials are still discussing if they are going to also close down public transportation or flat out stop all the economic activities in the city. It all depends on the evolution of the swine flu epidemic in the next 72 hrs (<-- I'm pretty sure this sentence is made of grammar fail, but today's one of those days when my English just plain sucks).

It was confirmed last night that schools and Universities will remain closed until May 6th.

The good news is that a. This disease is curable if it's diagnosed on time (what the media is not telling is that from the 1384 confirmed cases in México, 924 have been released from the hospital) and b. There are drugs to attack it in my country (in particular the Tamiflu).

But this is still a very serious issue and that's why they are being so strict with all the closures, to prevent things from getting out of control.

As for me, things are still the same around here. My parents arrived last night from a long trip out of my country and were pretty worried about us, because the international media was being a a tad pessimistic about our situation. I don't blame them, the city feels eerie and it lacks its usual noise because the streets are deserted. This silence is distracting, to say the least.
simgaroop: (Default)
Thanks for the good vibes and wishes, everyone :). Things are still a bit tense right now, and according to the news, we shall have a confirmation on when will the schools be reopened or, in the worst case scenario, if there'll be an official quarantine in the city.

For now, I went to the market as early as possible (to avoid crowds) and bought enough canned food, water and vitamin C supplements in case something bad happens (but we're trying to remain positive). I also got some antibacterial gel (which is worthless since this is a virus, but it's good to have anyway) and surgical masks from a dental store, so we can wear them if we go outside.

So for now we're set for the following week, and we'll just hope this menace will fade away as soon as possible (and if possible, it'll remain here instead of propagating around the world, as the experts fear). None of us are experiencing any of the swine flue symptoms yet, and I pray things will remain that way.

I guess I shall spend the next few days finding creative ways to not go insane during this forced lock up. Well, at least my sisters are in the same situation, so we'll have time to catch up (there are days in which we barely have time to chat!), read, do more planning for my upcoming move and mastering the Guitar Heroes game. I'll also try to finish Pokémon Pearl, because thanks to the new Platinum game, the kids at my work are obsessed big time and since I'm still stuck in 1998 regarding these games, I need to catch up on the 400 Pokémons I don't know yet :P.

So, I'm still worried, but now that we've taken some preventive measures I feel a lot safer.

And as a way to pass time while I listen to the news during this long, long and boring day, here's a new hair retexture:

New XM Hair for girls under the cut )

Locked up

Apr. 25th, 2009 06:45 am
simgaroop: (Timmy toddler)
MEXICO CITY – The schools and museums are closed. Sold-out games between Mexico's most popular soccer teams are being played in empty stadiums. Health workers are ordering sickly passengers off subways and buses. And while bars and nightclubs filled up as usual, even some teenagers were dancing with surgical masks on.

Across this overcrowded capital of 20 million people, Mexicans are reacting with fatalism and confusion, anger and mounting fear at the idea that their city may be ground zero for a global epidemic of a new kind of flu — a strange mix of human, pig and bird viruses that has epidemiologists deeply concerned.


And it's just being announced that schools will be closed at least a week.

That means, no work for at least a week for me :(. And according to the news, they are still evaluating if they will eventually declare a full quarantine in the city.

There are no more masks available on stores. We don't have masks, so we're going to search for some today because it's being advised to not leave home without them.

I won't lie to you, I'm also scared :(

...

Apr. 24th, 2009 06:56 am
simgaroop: (Default)
Last night, the President and the Health Secretary of my country ordered to suspend all classes in my city, from preeschool to University, both public and private schools:

«From the news»
Mexican authorities on Friday closed all schools in the capital and central Mexico as the WHO announced hundreds of human cases of swine flu in the country, including 57 suspected deaths.

The outbreak has killed at least 20 people in the past month, Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova said in announcing the school closures.

"This afternoon, the epidemic was confirmed by Canadian and US labs to be a new influenza virus," Cordova said in a televised statement late Thursday in which he urged people to avoid large crowds, shaking hands, kissing people as a greeting, or even using the subway.
AFP.


So, here I am, not working today. My sisters are also staying home because classes at both her Universities were suspended too. We're all fine, don't worry. And I've just talked with my student's mother and he's all right too.

Oh well, I'll get to spend this unexpected lock up working on my update. More exactly, a very evil and long teaser that's coming up today :).

P.S. I'm extremely thankful for your support regarding my last entry. Now that I have expressed this decision, I can focus on giving the Brokes my full attention until the time I'll let them go. :)

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