By Rosa Martínez
HAVANA TIMES – I have heard people talking about COVID-19 ever since mid-January 2020. The new coronavirus that appeared in the densely-populated city of Wuhan, in the center of China, slowly began to rob me of pieces of my life.
The first thing this unknown virus took from me was hours of my sleeptime.
Even though I know it’s not advisable that we use light-emitting devices before bedtime, my curiosity to know how SARS-CoV-2 was developing in the Far East, forced me to read the latest news published online for an hour or more, every night.
The second thing COVID-19 took from me were kisses and hugs.
It reached the Americas and our country was no exception, as expected. So, Cubans – the affectionate people that we are – were forced to say goodbye to greeting in a tight embrace and make do with words that sound cold to the majority, as if it weren’t a hug-loving Caribbean person saying them.
It also ended with classes at every education level. This forced students all over the country to receive classes on the TV and study at home.
Coronavirus also took the joy from our streets, parks, theaters and stadiums. As well as the hullabaloo of carnivals and other popular celebrations.
It has also ended work colleagues socializing, as most workplaces were forced to approve remote working practices, which has led to a double burden for parents, especially mothers.
In Cuba, the pandemic has also taken away our food, as it has disappeared even more so in a country that is suffering a brutal blockade, and shortages have been made worse by the pandemic and a failing economy.
SARS-CoV-2 has taken away my children’s and their little friends’ sleep too, who miss their everyday conversations, games and common stories. They are also afraid for their own lives and the lives of their loved ones.
Last but not least, this damned virus has taken away a dear friend of mine, an extension of the family who I had seen, hugged and loved pretty much ever since I was born.