May Cuddehe, True/Slant, August 17, 2009
It’s finally here, everyone! The world’s first (and, I’m going to take a big journalistic leap into the future here, only) swine flu statue. In effigy is young Edgar Hernandez, aka “Patient Zero,” the boy from La Gloria, Veracruz, who was one of the first in Mexico to get the A/H1N1 virus. The governor of Veracruz decided to memorialize him after swine flu became the most exciting tourist attraction in La Gloria’s history.
The photo shows little bronze Edgar holding a frog in his right hand. Water pours from the frog’s mouth, somehow representing the virus that combines flu genes found in pigs and birds. “The Boy from La Gloria” is modeled after the famous peeing boy statue the Mannekin-Pis in Belgium. Governor Fidel Herrera Beltran explained the connection: “Edgar Hernandez is healthier than ever, and even when he goes to the bathroom people follow him because they want to cure themselves [with his urine].”