Swine Flu continues to make headlines, Mexicans in
family back home while trying to stay healthy here. Many in this immigrant
community are from the state of
and say family members are reporting few illnesses so far there. WNYC’s Cindy
Port Richmond Avenue in
restaurants, bodegas and supermarkets dominate the area. Hortencia,
de Inmigrante, a neighborhood advocacy group that helps Mexican immigrants with
everything from labor disputes to health issues. And lately she says she’s been
trying to educate people about Influenza Porcina – the Swine Flu. She reads
from a memo sent to her by the Mexican Consulate:
a high fever above 102, a cough a headache, muscle aches, watery eyes. If they
have those symptoms they must go directly to the doctor.
good relationship with the Consulate General’s office and is trying to keep
people informed about what’s happening in their homeland. Florentino Melendez
has been calling home to find out how his family is doing. His hands are full
of tomatoes as he stops stocking fruits and vegetables for a moment:
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: He says of course we are worried about our families…but
so far everything is ok.
Melendez says they are wearing masks and staying indoors. The Mexican immigrant
says he has been in
far the illness has not caused much of a stir
says everyone should take precautions.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: …because it’s not an illness that’s only affecting
Mexicans its everyone all over.
Down the street at the Latin Empire super market Araceli Ramirez is not taking
ENGLISH TRANSLATION: She says because of everything that’s happened she will no
longer send her kids to see their Grandmother in
purchased their plane tickets and gotten them passports.
worried about her Grandmother especially because she is already in bad health
and likely would not be able to survive an illness like the swine flu…
Miles away in
grappling with travel plans. Mariela Elizondo was born in
but her family lives in
She says she will be attending a wedding there next month.
leave on the 16th so I was a little worried about it especially because my
flight is stopping in
Elizondo says she will wear a mask but wonders how much good that will do on a
plan with no ventilation:
The oxygen is just being reused and reused so i really don’t know.
Elizondo volunteers for the immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York. On a recent evening at the group’s
office most people were more concerned about immigration reform than the swine
flu. Omar Benitez said he did worry about his family from
Thursday I was very sick you know I lost my voice I don’t know if you can hear
it. I was kind of scared you know.
Benitez says he went to a pharmacy and got a shot and now he feels better. He
says many uninsured immigrants find it hard to get medical help and are often
turned away from hospitals. Nearby pharmacies say people have been buying up
hand sanitizers and two businesses have run out of masks only to find out the
wholesaler has as well.For wnyc, I’m