Self-Responsibility Is Key to Face Cuba’s New Outbreak

By Paula Henriquez

Photo: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES – There has been a new outbreak of COVID-19 in Cuba. It wasn’t expected for another few months, but it came before and has once again put plans and economic life processes, etc. back on hold.

Just a few weeks ago, we almost had 0 cases. Only two or three cases were being reported per day, we managed to reach zero positive cases, but all of this hard work has been stained by the irresponsibility of a select few.

There have always been irresponsible people during this lockdown we have experienced since last March. People who find it hard to comply with simple hygiene regulations, which shouldn’t only exist because of COVID-19, but as basic behavior in life.

People who find it hard to use or wear a mask properly because they aren’t thinking about the fact that they are also protecting their families by protecting themselves, but instead thinking about how hot and uncomfortable they are.

People who don’t protect themselves when in the neighborhood, as if the virus distinguishes between different spaces. People who can’t wait any longer to have a party, celebrate a birthday, invite friends over, as if life were going to pass them by.

People who continue to go out for no reason, who look for excuses not to stay at home, even when they watch the news and see how things are out of control elsewhere in the world and thousands of people are dying every day.

I know what their line of thinking is: “it won’t get me, nothing will happen, I don’t have bad luck” or “it’s just a cold, it’ll be over in a couple of days, not that many people are dying in Cuba, etc.”

It’s true that our doctors have managed to save many patients from the clutches of Death. It’s also true that they fight hard right up until the last second to save lives, that sick people don’t give in, that they do the impossible pretty much to try and get infected people back home with their families.

However, that doesn’t mean to say that a select few have the right to tarnish such great efforts. It’s a lack of respect for those who spend entire weeks in a hospital or isolation center, taking care of positive, suspected cases, etc.

The country has now taken new prevention measures… they were recently announced. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to lock everything down again. We are back without public transport again, without working for a little while longer, without our children being able to even go outside… in short, we will all pay the dear price for these sinners, as the old saying goes.

But… if the country needs to take radical action again, I believe that it would also be a good idea to punish those who fail to comply with these regulations, who stain the hard work of doctors, experts and everyone who has been locked away and taking great precautions to prevent the spread of this disease.

There are people who speak for the sake of speaking and repeating this on TV… I believe that this moment has already passed. I’m not saying they should stop saying it, but they need heavier sanctions against those who refuse to comply with regulations for one reason or another.

In the meantime, I am sure that many of us will continue to follow guidelines and comply with what needs to be done.

Cubans are street creatures, wanderers by nature, but when the situation calls for it, they also must stay at home. That’s all there is to the matter.

It’s a matter of keeping our loved ones safe.  It’s a matter of stopping a disease that can affect any one of us. It’s a matter of life itself.


Paula Henriquez

Paula Henriquez: Since childhood I have been told I should be careful what I say in public. "Think before you speak, especially in front of others," my mother would say, and it was more of a plea than a scolding. Even today I hear her and I obey her, just that I do not speak, I write. Letters and words are my escape, my exit and daily catharsis, which printed on paper, revive me. And this picture is my refuge.

5 thoughts on “Self-Responsibility Is Key to Face Cuba’s New Outbreak

  • It has nothing to do with authoritarianism or totalitarianism. It has to do with political will and intelligence. The countries that locked down hard and early included New Zealand and they benefited greatly whereas countries with dumb leaders like Trump, Bolsonaro and Boris Johnson failed miserably. The main reason is that their mental capacities couldn’t cope with a real crisis that couldn’t be blamed on the blacks, mexicans, indigenous or other oppressed minorities. It’s true Trump tried to blame the Chinese but it didn’t help him much with the covid crisis.

  • Mr P makes a very interesting paradoxical point.
    I hear tell that in his ‘free society’ there has recently been the biggest ever spike in gun sales. Those that profit from this Covid related and gun related financial windfall will fund whoever they need to ‘fund’ in order to keep their gravy train a rollin’ in the land of the free………….
    Rather than forlornly attempting to draw distinctions between ‘totalitarian’ and ‘free’ wouldn’t if be better to draw a distinction between competence and incompetence ?
    Or as Mr MacD is perhaps suggesting, responsibility and lack of responsibility.
    If yer leaders are bunch of incompetent, irresponsible, a**holes encouraging people to behave irresponsibly, your lovely, dreamy freedom ain’t no use at all when it comes to stayin’ alive.
    Mr Prater, I hear what you’re saying but unfortunately I must tell you that this incompetence applies even more so to my country (UK).
    After a certain amount of time lapse we British seem to be world leaders once again (in Covid death rate this time around).

  • I really like that Cuba is taking advantage of it’s isolation to ATTACK the Virus with ALL it’s resources FEROCIOUSLY! In the US we’re whapping at it with a purse and getting the results of whapping at it with a purse. Massive infection rate, economy going south, more people dying.

  • The key word in Paula Henriquez’ s article is “irresponsibility”. The key question in addressing Covid 19, is the percentage of any particular society that is irresponsible.

  • Ironically, totalitarian regimes are better-suited to impose and enforce severe public health measures for the benefit of its citizens. A free society like the US has very little power to establish even the simplest public health rules like wearing a face mask.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *