MEXICO CITY – Cinco de Mayo celebrations will proceed in Mexico. Adjustments are being made to counter the lingering threat of swine flu.
Mexico was the epicenter for recent swine flu which has garnered international headlines. Attempting to contain the virus, Mexico shut down schools and offices around the country, to great effect.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of a military defeat over the French in 1862. Within the country there is a minor holiday, however abroad it is a day of celebrating Mexican heritage and culture for many. Mexico hopes to encourage celebration in a safe way that does not put anyone at risk of contamination.
Police will allow people in Mexico City to come out of their homes for the first time in weeks. Celebrants will be able to gather in the streets, but authorities will be enforcing a 10 foot (3 meter) personal space rule. Bans on greeting or acknowledging friends and acquaintances will remain in effect.
In affluent suburbs that were not nearly so hard hit, children wearing surgical masks will gather around piñatas filled with Tamiflu and hand sanitizer.
Parades will go on like usual, however all participants will be required Haz-Mat suits and industrial strength gas masks. The Miss Mexico float and the Church of Scientology are among the few confirmed to be marching. An all Haz-Mat children’s dance performance will also proceed as scheduled.
State television will air reruns of last years festivities, along with a leaked version of the Wolverine movie to make up for the inconvenience.