By Safie M. Gonzalez

Lines and more lines.

HAVANA TIMES – We’ve beaten our daily record of infections here in Cuba. I never thought we would have more than 500 cases in a day, but it’s happened. The State continues to bet everything on citizens exercizing common sense, and believe me, this is something the majority don’t have.

I go outside and it’s like I’m living in a horror movie, or worse yet, a war movie, where everybody takes to the battlefield and where a large percentage will die. But there’s a difference… warriors were fighting for a cause. It seems like nothing seems to matter to us Cubans anymore.

I won’t talk about other provinces because I live in Havana, and yes, the government has adopted measures such as shutting down schools, closing borders between provinces and public transport services only running until 9 PM. However, people go about their daily business as if nothing were going on. It’s like the news of the number of people infected and dead per day weren’t important for many.

People continue to crowd together in lines, without respecting the distance that has been repeated to death and established as necessary, and people even come to blows. I have seen many people without a mask on. But the thing that bothers me the most is seeing children being dragged by their parents down the street, on buses and even in lines. Some don’t even wear a mask.

Where are these parents’ common sense and sense of responsibility? Haven’t they understood the danger they are exposing their children to? Or the danger they are exposing their family members too? Some of whom may be older and are put in danger when these parents don’t respect established hygiene regulations?

Where are the police? Why aren’t police officers being reinforced in places where we know people crowd together? In lines at banks and in stores. What is happening to those, who, if we use our common sense and try to do things properly, to save lives more than anything else?

Talking about buses is like tallking about the deep jungle. The bus driver calls five people to come on and ten board, and some climb on top of others. I agree that public transport has always been bad, that everybody needs to get to work or wherever they need to go, but why don’t they regulate these measures? Why don’t they step up public transport services when citizens have to get to work?

I could write ten more pages, but there’s no solution unfortunately. It’s a chain, a vicious cycle we form part of, and unfortunately only a minority think with their heads. In the meantime, we have to keep eating, working and, more than anything else, try to live with COVID-19 in the middle of this jungle.

Read more from the dairy of Safei M. Gonzalez here.


Safie M. Gonzalez

I was born in the 80's. I love nature and animals, as well as my country. I admire the sacrifice of a people. I consider myself a simple and honest person, therefore I detest injustices. I have a taste for the arts in general, but especially for literature, photography, and cinema. I believe in the power of the word and in the ability of the human being to change the world.

2 thoughts on “Surviving Coronavirus in the Cuban Jungle

  • “The State continues to bet everything on citizens exercizing common sense, and believe me, this is something the majority don’t have.” Not only citizens in Cuba flaunt the medical authorities directives regarding COVID, here in Canada political leaders who are suppose to be setting an example and are instrumental in setting COVID compliance polices flagrantly flaunt the government rules.

    As an example, the Finance Minister of Ontario, one of the most populous provinces in Canada, during the Christmas holidays flew to St. Barts an exotic Caribbean island for a planned one month vacation. An influential politician on Premier Ford’s government who repeatedly said to Ontario residents to stay home, stay home, do not leave your house, and here we have a Minister careening off to the Caribbean in exact opposition to his very own government directives. Was he exercising common sense? No, of course not. He was summarily recalled back to Canada and had to resign in total disgrace.

    Other flagrant abusers who have shown absolutely no common sense worked for medical authorities in various provinces and have had to resign similarly in disgrace.

    “Where are the police? Why aren’t police officers being reinforced in places where we know people crowd together?” According to Safie, she feels her state police are not being forceful enough to control the pandemic. The exact opposite, and seems rather ironic, that here in Ontario police are more than enthused in fining residents who are even suspected of flaunting the COVID laws. There is a stay at home and no more than five person in one place rule instituted in the province.

    One lady rather than bringing her kids to the grocery store brought the kids to their grandparents house. Supposedly a neighbor seeing many cars parked in front of the house called the police. The police quickly apprehended the lady and fined her for breaking the COVID rules. She was livid. The police acted and did their job. In Canada such draconian use of police power is unheard of. One expects such exuberant police protocol to exist in Cuba, not Canada. So, here we are.

    “In the meantime, we have to keep eating, working and, more than anything else, try to live with COVID-19 in the middle of this jungle.” Yes, Cubans definitely have to struggle to keep eating and working under very trying circumstances. In this metaphorical jungle infested with COVID virus whether one lives in Cuba or Canada there are citizens who fail to listen to leaders and medical authorities who are trying to cut a path towards some sort of normal semblance. Not easy many trip and fall. We all need to cooperate to conquer COVID.

  • One would think the government for the people may just make life a little less stress full with the start of easing the basic food supplies & just give the people what they need & even more to Stop the crowding masses gathering. The dictator needs more respect, control & attention before his people are permitted peace in his Cuba. No other nation has created the problems that Cubans must withstand every day of there lives. Livestock herds wondering for greener pastures every day & losing weight daily until Covid takes its Toll. There is not a reason for this suffering in Cuba if your dictator would just manup.

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