Luis Miguel del Bahia
HAVANA TIMES — My girlfriend woke up with a fever and a generally bad look. Concerned, we left with her for the doctor’s office, yet what was supposed to be a relief turned into a nightmare.
Since a dengue outbreak had been reported, when we got there they diagnosed it precisely as that and immediately sent her to a quarantine center.
Whenever someone shows the slightest sign (meaning a simple fever), you’ll be admitted to a hospital. Nevertheless this involves even greater risks to the patient as they’ll be exposed to all kinds of bacteria and microbes concentrated there.
Refusing to be admitted involves a fine of 300 pesos – half of a good monthly Cuban salary. I was determined to avoid having her checked in because there are ways to prevent infection – mosquito nets, etc.
Therefore, it’s not imperative that one subject themself to reusable syringes, which when poorly sterilized can lead to you picking up an even worse disease.
The government’s position is clear; it prefers uncomfortable and somewhat risky hospital admissions as the lesser of the two evils. However from an individual’s perspective, no one wants to see themself or a family member on the other side of the quarantine – especially when there’s only a suspicion of them having contracted something serious.
To admit my girlfriend in there with other sick people was contributing to her possibly contracting some disease. Not only was it an abuse of the procedure but it was very poorly done.
“But where in the world would they not safeguard public health at the cost of isolation?” I thought: Nowhere. Even the most democratic nation would employ radical measures if necessary.
It turned out that she had a kidney infection, and despite this not requiring ambulance staff, it’s still possible that the Kaspersky (anti-virus) guys will come.
There’s no way, then, to escape God, the state… and now dengue.