Still in Hermosillo, hearing increasingly alarming reports of the spread of "la influenza" in Mexico City and the surrounding area. The government has closed all of the schools in Mexico, including universities, which I haven't heard of any country doing ever. This leaves Milly in the infuriatingly hilarious situation of having no classes for two reasons: one, because her school is on strike, and two, because of the bird flu.

It seems like this could get ugly, and I'm going to have to change my plans up a bit. Rather than backpack south from Sonora, it looks like I'm going to try to "jump over the virus and outrun it"* by flying to Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Penninsula. This means I'll skip most of Mexico, but I don't really feel like traveling through an area that looks like the begining of the Zombie apocalypse (though I did pick five items for that on facebook).

My Abuelito wants me to come back to Huatabampo and stay with him "till this thing blows over," but it looks like it could last months!

It seems that Quintana Roo, at the other end of the country, hasn't been hit hard yet. Sonora has three cases, while QR has 20, 17 of which have been proven to be false alarms. I have an old friend on the Island of Cozumel, and a contact furhter inland who has promised to show me his woodworking group. As such it is a good place from which to set off through Central America. The only problem is the my plane stops in Toluca, about 2 hours from Mexico City by car. That'll be fun!

While looking around for info on the flu, I found this collection of decorated surgical masks from Mexico City, so I'll leave you with that.


*I used this phrase while talking to Milly's sister Mariana, and she said it made her picture the virus as a big monster.
*Picture credits: the zombie image was taken at the 2008 Richmond Zombie Walk by flickr user thomashp. If you look closely you can see me (top, left from center) and my brother patrick (top left) among the zombies.

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