By Safie M. Gonzalez
HAVANA TIMES – “Stay at home” is a phrase that we are constantly being told over and over again, every day. We see it on the TV, we hear it on the radio, but can we really stay at home?
The situation in Cuba has become even more depressing. On top of that, the number of COVID-19 infections is on the rise. Havana is the most affected, because it’s the capital and the most heavily populated province. More and more positive cases are reported every day.
However, I’m surprised to see that lockdown measures are a lot stricter in other provinces. I can’t make any sweeping statements, but, for example, every workplace in Cienfuegos needs to shut at 2 PM and nobody can be out on the street after the 7 PM curfew.
Things aren’t like that here in Havana. The Cuban capital has been waiting some days now for measures to be announced to try and help reduce the number of positive cases, but this information has yet to come.
They are only talking about stepping up hygiene measures in workplaces, and that’s it. But what about food shortages? Crowds outside some stores, and the lines that go on for hours on end? Will any measures come into effect in this regard?
It isn’t only a matter of putting four police officers out there to try and organize these long lines, nope. It’s a matter of stocking different places equally because the people who are exposing themselves the most at stores, are people aged 60 and over.
A family friend lives on Baracoa beach, in the Artemisa province. She tells me that they haven’t had a case reported in many months, and that her municipal government took very strict measures to prevent the infection and spread of this virus.
Every district is warned ahead of time to buy whatever comes into the store, at a specific time, so as to prevent crowds and people exhausting themselves standing in one line after the other.
It’s obvious that we can’t stay at home, when we have to go out and search for food, above all else. Food that can’t be found on every street corner, or in every store. In the best or worst cases (it depends on the way you look at things), you must buy many products well above their retail price from resellers. If you have the financial means, of course.
In the meantime, those who can’t by on the illicit market will must continue exposing themselves every day to this invisible virus that is growing thanks to the organizational incompetence of those who have never had to stand in line, nor have the need to get on a bus.