The ones left behind

30 Apr

I may have been able to hop on a plane a few days ago, but the 20 million people I left behind in Mexico City and its surrounds weren’t so lucky.  Many of my friends there are journalists and have been working hard to get out on the streets and cover the story, infectious deadly diseases or not.

My friend Alexis down in the subway.  Photo by Deanna Dent

My friend Alexis down in the subway. Photo by Deanna Dent

Alexis Okeowo, above, is a freelance journalist friend of mine from Alabama who covers everything from Kenyan runners training in Toluca to Mexico City design firms to how the Mexican government is dealing with the encroaching drug addiction problems in society.  She worked for two years in Africa, so I guess after the dealing with the slums of Kenya the swine flu is no big thing for her.

The photo was taken by Deanna Dent, another good friend who has been working day and night to shoot the possible pandemic.  She has a great blog full of photos and sound slides that give you an idea of what it’s like in the streets.  Sounds pretty scary if you ask me.  Empty, quiet streets in Mexico City are not the norm, not at all.

A young girl in the upscale condesa neighborhood rides her bike

A young girl in the upscale condesa neighborhood rides her bike

As I sit comfortably at my computer and breathe in the fresh, spring air of Charlottesville, I can’t help but wonder what it’s like for the friends I left behind.  A good friend of mine from Emory had just moved down to Mexico City for a month or so, and recently decided it just wasn’t worth it and also packed up and left. Several of my exchange student friends who were in the middle of finals have also decided to leave.  The exchange office where I study also gave a green light to any of us who wished to return and said we could complete our finals from our home universities (I will be returning in a week to complete my finals at the school).  I also just heard a rumor the government is thinking about shutting down all non-essential businesses.  At least some people have something to smile about:

A young couple in the Historic Center of the city

A young couple in the Historic Center of the city

All fabulous photos by Deanna Dent (thanks girl!).

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