My Family and I Were Lucky

By Safie M. Gonzalez

HAVANA TIMES – My parents and I had managed to stay clear, for over a year, of the virus that is taking so many lives today. To tell you the truth, we’ve been looking after ourselves a lot, our hygiene measures were extreme, but the virus got in somehow and we’re all sick.

We’ve had some really rough days. Thanks to good friends, we were able to do a rapid antigen test and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), both of which came up positive.  It was decided we would stay in quarantine at home, taking the proper measures and with a doctor coming to visit us every morning, of course.

I don’t want to get into details and particular points that are very important, which doesn’t happen as outlined; but the important thing is that we are taking medicine and hope to slowly feel better.

If there’s one thing I would like to stress, it’s the solidarity our neighbors and friends have shown. They have come to bring us food and medicine. It’s really been touching. Many people wouldn’t take the risk, but all they needed to know was that we would be locked up at home for a good while, and they came to our gate to leave us root vegetables, grains, fruit and medicine. Without charging us a single cent.

Attitudes like this remind us that there are still many people who hold onto their values and are able to rise to the occasion when needed. During such difficult times in the country, when food is in shortage, and the food available is sold at exorbitant prices, I can only thank them all from the bottom of my heart, even if most of them won’t be able to read this article.

We are Cubans and this alone says something, because we have always been a supportive people. It’s true that many of our values have deteriorated in recent times, because to think that there are people who can sell antibiotics for 3,000 and 4,000 pesos, makes me lose all hope in human nature. Profiting from medicines of people who could even die, is so sad and shameful.

My family and I were lucky. We don’t need to spend a single cent on medicines and this is why I’m so so grateful to everyone who has managed to get them to us, however they could. There is no doubt that this damned pandemic has taught many of us to value the importance of life. Beyond those who have only seen it as a way to continue to fill their pockets.

Read more from Safie M. Gonzalez here.

3 thoughts on “My Family and I Were Lucky

  • Muchas gracias por sus buenos deseos. Estamos mejorando.

  • Hope and that your family comes out of the illness soon and with no lingering effects. COVID is a deadly
    and lingering virus that unfortunately many did not take serious enough at first.

    Even here is the US where vaccine is available and free, some refuse to get the shots for various reasons
    few of which are really genuine. I just lost my 97 year-old mother two weeks ago due to COVID. Despite
    being vaccinated early on in the virus spread, she contracted what may have been the Delta variant. She
    fought hard, but as the doctors told us, at 97 you have almost no immunity to anything.

    I hope and yes, I pray that this scourge unleashed on the world will someday be irradiated and families will
    once again be whole; where children can be kids without having to cover their little faces and play with friends and be hugged by relatives. With worldwide hope and the work of millions of medical technicians, doctors, nurses and researchers we will triumph, but only with the faith of us all that we can.

    Bless all of you on your beautiful island.


  • I am sorry to hear that you and your family are sick. On the other hand, you write a very inspiring article about the gratefulness and the humanity existent among your Cuban friends and those who have sent you medicine.

    COVID is a very serious, transmittable disease. I can understand how the majority of ordinary Cubans who have to stand out on the streets cramped close to one another in long lines waiting endlessly in the hot sweltering heat to purchase basic necessities for a family probably contributes to COVID spread.

    I can fully understand your gratitude to those friends who left at your door food which otherwise would have been impossible for you or anyone else in your family to venture outdoors given your dire predicament.

    Yes, unfortunately, there are scoundrels in every human population who profit from other people’s misery. It is unconscionable for some to profit during a pandemic where every human being is vulnerable to these vultures. Here, in Canada, specifically in the province of Ontario, there were sellers of disaffecting wipes who charged customers an exorbitant amount of money and had to be admonished publicly by the Premier of the province.

    “On March 27, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a warning to COVID-19 profiteers: “We’re coming after you.” He cited high-end grocery retailer, Pusateri’s, which had charged customers $29.99 for containers of disinfecting wipes — a price premium that even Pusateri’s clientele noticed. (CTV notes that the average price for these wipes is $5.99.) Pusateri’s described the price as a mistake and apologized for it.” (Sotos Class Actions, April 2, 2020, [email protected]). Apologize all you can but at the end of the day, the retailer keeps the profits.

    Moreover, “On March 22, CTV New reported that a family had set up shop in a Port Coquitlam, BC park to sell boxes of surgical masks, for as much as $70 apiece. Bylaw officers fined the family $500, and still they returned to sell masks the next day.” (Ibid). For some profiteers, the unscrupulousness knows no bounds.

    Not only in Cuba, but also in Canada, and wherever there are human beings there will be those who have no scruples, no conscious, no empathy, no civil responsibility to at least not prey on the helpless and less fortunate. Humans can choose between good and evil and some evidently enjoy profiting from evil.

    Kudos to your friends for helping you in your time of absolute need. “Attitudes like this remind us that there are still many people who hold onto their values and are able to rise to the occasion when needed.” Absolutely, despite what we read and hear there are good people in every geographical location doing a great service to others.

    In Cuba, I have met many Cubans, like your friends, who would give the shirt off their backs to help their fellow brethren and not for any gain whatsoever but because they are neighbors, empathic friends.

    I wish you and your family well and hope you and your family recover quickly.

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