"If You Can’t Say Something…"

“…then don’t say anything.”

That’s probably as accurate as anything I could say here. Of course, you know I would never allow not having something to say stop me from saying something.

Not much happening…not much to say.

You know there’s not much worth sharing on your blog when you’re debating describing your 4 course breakfast on Monday morning. (It wasn’t actually 4 courses, but since I can’t seem to figure out how to get the eggs, toast, grits, and coffee to all be ready to eat and drink at the same time…it basically turned out that way!)

Of course, the truth is that the last week has been a bit quiet around these parts due in large part to this horrific flu epidemic which has reportedly stricken at least a couple thousand Mexicans with a mild flu that often brings on pneumonia which has hastened the death of about 20 people, apparently from treating it with herbal tea, bee’s wax, or a trip to the beach rather than actual medicine.

Seventy-plus word run-on sentences have been known to be more lethal. I believe there’s a higher mortality rate involving murders by English teachers of former students than of this “swine flu” that apparently doesn’t come from pigs. (As soon as I post this, I’ll join Salman Rushdie in hiding from these radical grammarians.)

Nonetheless, due to this mysterious epidemic, every student in Mexico has been out of school for over a week, every factory in the state of Querétaro where we live has been shut down, all restaurants in Mexico City are shut-down except for carry out (leaving Chinese restaurants unscathed), gatherings (such as church services) with 20 or more people have been made illegal (at least in our state)…and all these closings will continue until May 6th, when magically, all will be well again and students, workers and people of faith or superstition will be allowed and indeed prodded to return to life as normal.

Amazingly, a survey out this morning in El Universal reports that 94% of Mexicans don’t even know anyone who has caught this flu. What’s amazing about this percentage is that it implies that about 6 million Mexicans actually know one of the 2,500 people who’ve caught it.

I wonder how many friends these 2,500 people have? 6,000,000 divided by 2,500 equals 2,400. Wow! Every person who has or has had this new strain of flu are known by 2,400 other people. I suppose that’s possible. We know at least that many, but then again, we’ve spent years of our lives intentionally trying to meet and get to know lots of people. Missionaries need a large base of friends, obviously so that we’ll have at least a few people who will read our blogs. But…would it be considered normal that every person who has contracted this flu would be known personally by 2,400 others?

I assume that these people would be representative of all other Mexicans as far as this statistic is concerned. So, if all 110 million Mexicans know 2,400 others, I wonder how many acquaintances that would be? 110,000,000 times 2,400 = 264,000,000,000. That’s 264 billion with a B.

Last I read the world has close to 7 billion people. Hmmmm…of course, there would be some overlap because lots of Mexicans would know each other, and in the original assumptions, many of those sick would be known by others who were sick…but the survey clearly said that we were talking about 6% of all Mexicans.

You know, unless my logic is as bad as usual, there’s something wrong with that survey. Just like much of the reporting about this flu has been throughout this imminent “pandemic.”

Rumor from across town has it that one of our neighbors has the symptoms of this flu. We haven’t actually heard anything about that neighbor here in our neighborhood but out of our 50 neighbors, we don’t actually know 2,400 of them…uhhh…or something like that. Statistics wasn’t my best class which I think implies I could work for El Universal. Then again, I wasn’t too impressive in Logic class either.

Regardless, even if the rumor is true that one of our neighbors has “swine flu symptoms,” that would make about the tenth person we’ve known who has had flu symptoms recently (assuming that we actually know this neighbor). So far, none of these people has proven positive of having “THE FLU.” In fact, only 2 people out of the 4 or 5 million in our state have proven positive, including one person here in San Juan del Río.

I wonder if these two know 4,800 people?

Probably not, but what seems to be important in all of this flu epidemic is that I and my family and friends don’t contract it, and that we and everyone we know here in Mexico remain among the 94% of the 110,000,000 Mexicans who don’t know anyone with the flu. And if we of the 94% each know 2,400 people, then we join a total of 248 billion people (most of whom must work for Mexican online newspapers) who don’t know anyone who has it either.

Like I said before, “If you can’t say something….”


About alanbeth

What’s up? or rather, ¿Qué pasa? Hola, I’m Alan. I’m a missionary living in Mexico. We have a heart for MK Education and so we teach at a local Christian school with MK students as well as nationals and foreign students as well. I occasionally write or have a pic to share with you at my blog, Knowing Your ABCDs, which you can read with a click on the button above. You can read my blog with a click on the button above.
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1 Response to "If You Can’t Say Something…"

  1. Hilarious! Thanks for the good laugh this morning…yes, it’s getting a bit old, although with two cases here in this city (of about a million people, btw), we had some excitement over the weekend. Anyway, I think we’ll be getting back to school soon, our poor school administrator is chomping at the bits to get going! This interrupted our ACSI testing, much to the delight of the students…LOL!


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