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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.
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