A poor Mexican child, who travelled with his family from his native land to Brownsville, Texas, has died just short of his second birthday from swine flu. The attendant headlines all read “First U.S. Swine Flu Death,” and everyone is panicking even more, as is their patriotic duty. The Times hollers, “Flu May Have Spread Within New York City,” and shows Chinatown residents wearing surgical masks, but they might just be trying to evade the smell of the fish markets. The Mayor says two New Yorkers have been hospitalized; both of them recently visited Mexico, so the safe thing to do is avoid going to Mexico — advice which many citizens have already taken.
Some people have gone looking for root causes: Deborah Newell Tornello has an extensive report on the Smithfield pig processing plant which has been spewing pig blood and fluids into the air of La Gloria, Mexico, and is thought to be the epidemic’s Ground Zero. Amanda Marcotte finds it “interesting [that] the attempts to rename the swine flu now that people realize there’s a giant Smithfield factory farm by the outbreak site.” Yes, swine flu is now H1N1, thanks to the agitation of the pork lobby. Fuck them, we’re calling it the Smithfield virus. The CDC is sticking with swine flu, and says the U.S. currently has 64 cases. The population of the United States is 304,059,724. Okay, cranky grandpa is finished; you can all go shit in your pants now.