Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hedging Bets Against the Swine Flu

The chapel of Jesus Malverde, commonly known as the patron saint of narcotraffickers, sits across from Sinaloa State's Government Centre. The State, like all others in Mexico is planning strategy and creating policies that will minimize the impact of a predicted H1N1 pandemic. As everyone knows, most influenza outbreaks are unusual outside of the winter season — but on a day when the temperature hit 47.5 Celsius in Culiac├ín there were reports that at least 5,000 people had been diagnosed with an infection of the H1N1. virus.

Malverde faithful are known to hedge their bets and the prayers to this putative saint are cross-referenced to recognized saints and Catholic figures such as the Virgen of Guadalupe, San Judeo de Tadeo (figure in background is San Judeo) and others. But this picture of a visitor to the chapel seems to indicate that it might also be wise to put some faith in science and hygiene.
A report about the swine flu and the picture is from Rio Doce, a weekly periodical in Sinaloa.

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