Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Live in Havana

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Semanal)

Havana under the 7PM to 5AM curfew.

HAVANA TIMES – Although a scare doesn’t necessarily imply fear, the Cuban capital is disturbing us every morning with Dr. Francisco Duran’s reports. He announces the latest on the virus and how, to be fair, it visits each municipality of the city. Now it is also spreading in Ciego de Ávila, 400 km from here. The Minister of Public Health himself traveled urgently to address the situation there.

Dr. Duran appears tired of warning of the care people and institutions must take in the face of the virus. After the slightest carelessness, tragedy ensues. The political discourse, which has begun to change, has sustained the good collaboration of the citizens of the capital. But now it warns of the need for more repressive measures against offenders, who are many.

These very stiff fines scare more than fear of “the bogeyman” when we were little. That virtual villain who took children who didn’t want to eat, misbehaved or shouted too much. More than a thousand fines imposed so far.

Peaceful nights for stray cats and dogs

Seventy-two hours after the 7PM to 5AM curfew was decreed, there are two unquestionable aspects. Havana nights are very peaceful for stray cats and dogs. Likewise, when the curfew ends at five in the morning the city convulses with crowds. This, as people seek out food or personal hygiene items, or other necessities, anywhere they are sold.  

And in the lines and crowds, no matter how organized they may be, the virus is also present. It looks to see what it can get, not to take home, but to hospitals and isolation centers.

Police, military prevention forces and special army troops have night owls and early risers at bay. But the mornings are a real headache because, although Dr. Duran hasn’t said it, the virus doesn’t sleep or rest.

The night, an example of discipline and order; while the days seem like a festival of disorder. Something like the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in a very Cuban version of Covid-19.

Read more articles by Aurelio Pedroso