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from the December 2009 issue

Suite Prelude A/H1N1

suite preludio a/h1n1

we're in an epidemic:
we're creatures of swine flu la influenza porcina:
a new status that has us panicked:
completely out of proportion:
the virus is a new virus
no one knows how it acts:
it's very aggressive and highly contagious:
after six days cooped up we're on the verge of turning into experts in televised epidemiology:
specifically the a/h1n1 virus:
there are no schools no restaurants no bars no clubs
no libraries open:
33 million cloistered students with nothing much to do:
we set foot outside when strictly necessary
with facemasks and antibacterial gel:
we do not kiss or touch
we avoid each other at every turn
but we thrill at the thought that everyone could disappear in an instant
with a great sneeze that puts an end already to this whole damn thing:
every person is a high risk group:
they recommend staying away from crowds
but two can be a crowd

From "Suite Preludio A/H1N1." © José Eugenio Sánchez. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2009 by Anna Guercio. All rights reserved.

suite preludio a/h1n1

estamos en epidemia:
somos creadores de la influenza porcina swine flue:
un nuevo status que nos mantiene en pánico:
fuera de toda proporción:
el virus es un virus nuevo
nadie sabe cómo es su comportamiento:
es muy agresivo y altamente contagioso:
en seis días encerrados en casa estamos a punto de convertirnos en expertos en epidemoilogía televisiva:
específicamente en el virus a/h1n1:
no hay escuelas abiertas ni restaurantes ni bares ni discos
ni bibliotecas:
33 millones de estudiantes enclaustrados sin mucho que hacer:
salimos a la calle cuando es estrictamente necesario
con cubreboca y usamos gel antibacterial:
no besamos ni tocamos a nadie
nos evitamos de esquina a esquina
pero nos excita la idea de desaparecer todos en el mismo instante
con un gran estornudo que acabe con toda esta madre ya:
cualquier persona es un grupo de riesgo:
se recomienda no estar entre multitudes
aunque dos sean multitud:

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