The weather has returned to normal. I've put a blanket back on the bed (at least on my side) and we're back to only leaving the patio door cracked open at night as opposed to wide open. In short, we're back to normal, Bay Area springtime weather. Thank gawd. Even though I can take the heat better than Scoob can, I don't think either of us would have been fairing well come August if summer were to seriously start now.
We recently started a staff blog on the website at work. I had advocated for this addition to the site not realizing how it would impact my own writing here. I'm still posting 3 to 4 times a week, it's just that not all my posts are here now. So, I'll be trying to increase my post frequency here to what it once was.
I've been waiting for the exciting news of the arrival of my cousin's first child. He and his girlfriend know it's a girl, and she's due any second now. My cousin is the first of the 5 of us in our generation of the family (Mom's side) to have a child. He's the oldest, by 3 months, and we're both fast approaching 40. I'm not sure why none of us has had children up to now. I don't think it was conscious decision.
I kind of think that we (people in general, not just my family members) spend so much effort trying to not get pregnant in our 20's that the behavior becomes habit. Flash forward 15 years and we're still trying to avoid pregnancy without really thinking about it until one day you wake up and actually think about it, and wholly crappe, you know? That's the moment you really start to hear the biological clock and then there's all this pressure (real and imagined) to conceive. And heaven forbid you find that you're actually in a relationship with someone less than thrilled at the prospect of children, even though it's something you've discussed at length before now. He wants to wait, until I'm in better physical shape (lose weight), we move, the economy improves, and/or until the timing is better. *cough*
Anyhow (deftly changing the subject), so what about this swine flu? I didn't get too worked up over the avian flu scare a few years ago or west nile virus even though it's an ongoing threat and we live in an area with a high mosquito population, but this swine thing seems pretty scary. Usually these things are most prevalent with the elderly, young, or those already ill (which is still scary), but this swine thing is affecting otherwise healthy individuals.
Maybe I'm scared by this one because it is originating in our neck of the woods so to speak and with the constant flow of people, both legally and illegally, back and forth with Mexico, it will quickly spread here. This morning I read that 100 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in New York from a group of students who had travelled to Mexico for spring break 2 weeks ago. (One of my co-workers just returned from Cancún last Monday.) And up to 81 deaths in Mexico have been linked to it.
I did just read that WHO has declared this a "public health emergency of international concern" and could as such could recommend trade and travel restrictions, and even close down the border. Of course these actions would only thwart the legal exchange of goods and populations across the U.S.-Mexico border. With an estimated "375,000 illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border each year," that's about 1030 people per day that would continue to cross the border even with a formal shut down.
I'm in no way advocating for a wall along the border (completely unrealistic, if you ask me) or increased vigilantism (there's absolutely no reason someone should be shot or beaten for wanting to be in the U.S.), I'm just pondering the situation.
UPDATE: Philip Brewer over at Wisebread posted an interesting article on the economic effcts of pandemic flu in a recession.