HAVANA TIMES – Camila is six years old. She doesn’t know how to express the way her life has changed during lockdown. Her mother has had to make important changes. It isn’t only a matter of waking up at 4 AM in order to get a spot in line at the store to buy food.
No, money’s run out now. Alina, her mother, no longer has a crafts stand at a market in Old Havana like she used to.
The business closed down as soon as Havana declared a lockdown in March.
Camila watches her mother leave every morning and doesn’t know where she’s going. All she knows that is that she won’t be there to dress her to take her to school. That she will return late at night and won’t be able to see her awake.
Children as heroes
Camila is a living example of these Cuban children who are heroes, who are forced to readjust their everyday lives. She has suffered depression at her young age, as all of her daily habits have changed. Her mother is no longer the owner of her own business, now she looks after an elderly woman to make ends meet. These changes can be seen in her daughter’s constant crying, her intolerance and lack of concentration.
“I want to go to school and see my friends,” the girl says, revealing an adult’s fear and concern.
According to her parents, there have been changes in her sleeping patterns and eating habits. Her concentration level has dropped. She just looks at the clock to see how much time is left until her mother comes home.
Both of her parents know that this situation will last a little longer. They wonder how they can reduce the crisis that could ensue after the pandemic ends. Meanwhile, every night Camila looks up at the ceiling and with a deep sigh. She asks for the virus to go away and for her mummy to come back home.