What Happened When Swine Flu Hit Mexico?


INTERVIEWER: This is a
pretty weird combination of festive and ominous. The guy here is
dressed to the nines. He doesn’t look concerned,
and neither do the horses, for that matter. But there’s that face mask. Is the guy sick? Is the horse sick? Is it just allergy season? Thankfully, we have
some answers, courtesy of the man behind the camera. RODRIGO GONZALEZ: Hi. My name’s Rodrigo Gonzalez. I am a photojournalist
in Mexico City. This photo was taken
in the Alameda Central in downtown Mexico City. It’s a huge part park, and a
very popular touristic spot. INTERVIEWER: Which is the
reason the masked man was there. He’s an officer in a force
known as The Tourist Police. RODRIGO GONZALEZ: This group
was created to help and guard tourists visiting
the Alameda, so they are dressed with a mix of police
uniform and typical charro garments. A charro is a traditional
Mexican horseman, and also is one of the
most recognizable symbols of Mexican culture. Like the Mounty for
Canada, or the cowbody for the United States. INTERVIEWER: But
that still doesn’t explain why this officer
is wearing a face mask. RODRIGO GONZALEZ: The photo
was taken on April 26th, 2009. It was taken when an epidemic
swine flu, or influenza, was declared in Mexico City as
part of a worldwide pandemic of the virus. INTERVIEWER: The 2009
influenza pandemic was not something to ignore. Eventually it killed over
14,000 people worldwide. That’s why the officer
was wearing a mask. And he wasn’t alone. Many Mexican citizens
protected themselves this way. They were worn in
churches and schools, by the media and
the military, but it was just one small precaution
Mexicans took during that time. RODRIGO GONZALEZ: What
I took his picture, the health emergency
was just starting. At that time, we had no idea
that some days later, Mexico City would almost get to stop. public transportation
would stop, supermarkets were
emptied, and everyone would be in their homes,
protecting themselves from the virus. It was crazy. INTERVIEWER: And what
Rodrigo saw and experienced taking pictures that day was
like nothing he’d ever seen. RODRIGO GONZALEZ:
Seeing the streets of the city almost empty at
rush hour, it was unbelievable. It was like one of
those Sunday movies. INTERVIEWER: Hey, everyone. Thanks for watching
“This Happened Here.” If you liked this episode,
be sure to check out this one on why
thousands of people disappeared in Argentina
during the Dirty War. SUBJECT 2: Many of the mothers
came together in their grief. They began to
demand toe be heard, wanting to know where
their children were. When they were not given any
information, 14 mothers began– INTERVIEWER: And don’t
forget to subscribe.

8 thoughts on “What Happened When Swine Flu Hit Mexico?

  1. I was on high school, we called it Influenza Fest cause we didn't have school for two weeks. We went out the city and stay in our houses all day.

  2. I'm not hating or anything, but I think a sheriff would be more comparable than a cowboy to a charro.

  3. That hilarious moment when you are watching a random video and your uncle pops out as a charro for a couple of seconds.

  4. You reap what you do this is why this happened God makes things real big things happen not humanity Is anyone Understanding why we don't be mean or hurt the innocent people

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