Dept. Of Badly Timed Press Releases: We're Building A New Border Bridge From Mexico!
It can be tough to dodge all the PR releases flooding journalists' inboxes offering swine-flu experts telling you to wash your hands.
(Our favorite so far: Texas Dr. Gary Butka suggesting humming songs no one has hummed in years while washing hands."I'm not just talking about running your hands under the faucet; it means getting a bar of soap and washing your hands. Hum to yourself a tune, maybe 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' or 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,' and when you've finished the song, you have finished washing your hands.")
And then there's the people at the Mission Economic Development Authority, who thought today would be a good day to brag to the world that they are going to make it way, way easier for (swine-flu-soaked) Mexicans to reach the U.S.
"Economic bright spots can be few and far between right now, but the city of Mission sees financial opportunity in the Anzalduas International Bridge, which will be the newest and one of the largest international bridges in the United States," the release says. "The bridge will directly connect Mission with Reynosa, Tamaulipas, a Mexican city known for manufacturing as well as importing and exporting goods."
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A Mexican city with no pigs, we hope.
There is an actual piece of good news: The bridge is not expected to open until October, by which time we'll all either be dead or laughing in nostalgia at all that swine-flu hype.
Although as John Barry, who wrote a great book on the 1918 flu epidemic, noted in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, there have been four major epidemics in the US and "In all four instances, the gap between the time the virus was first recognized and a second, more dangerous wave swelled was about six months."
Let's see, six months from now would make it....We don't want to think about it.