Diary of a gay Cuban who emigrated
By Luis Rondon Paz
HAVANA TIMES – Two months before the situation of the Coronavirus became critical here in Montreal, I was hit with a virus that left me with my defenses low and a very shaky state of health. Because of that, I was obliged to go into quarantine early. Unfortunately, today nearly the whole country is in a state of emergency. Practically the entire island of Montreal is in quarantine.
I know that the Canadian provincial and federal governments are taking the necessary measures to overcome the crisis that the country finds itself in.
Many people have been left without work, and there’s fear that many of those who currently don’t have a stable source of income, including myself, could end up on the street as they find themselves in the painful situation of choosing between going hungry or having a roof over their heads so they can sleep or feed themselves well. They then run the risk of becoming infected with the Coronavirus, because they ended up in an extremely vulnerable situation.
On a social level, according to what I’ve seen on the news and the infrequent days when I’ve been able to go out to buy food, most people are behaving in a civilized manner. You can tell that many have followed the orientations that the government has issued through the media: to go out only for emergencies, or to look for essential food. Those who’ve returned from outside the country must obligatorily stay at home in order to avoid infecting others, since they run a high risk of carrying the virus.
Thanks to the internet, many people have begun to use their time in different activities like doing Yoga, playing online games, or just sharing on Instagram whatever they find themselves doing at home.
I believe it’s important to emphasize the fundamental role of telecommunications, especially the social networks, which have become not only an arm for creating panic, but also a very useful tool for keeping people together in this very difficult moment that’s being lived all over the world.
To calm tensions a little, in the last weeks Canada’s Prime Minister and the provincial leader of Quebec have been announcing a number of packets of financial assistance. According to the Federal and Provincial Governments, the aid will begin to arrive around the first or second week of April. It will benefit self-employed workers and those who were left unemployed as a result of Covid-19.
They’re also going to offer more resources to social centers and shelters for the homeless. There’ll be still more assistance package announced later, according to the health situation in the country. I have hopes that all of us that live here will be protected during this crisis period, so that when the pandemic ends, we can continue in a normal way – alive, safe, and in freedom with our lives.
For the short run, I’ll continue being isolated in my house, following the news closely and with a positive mindset that this urgent health situation will end soon.