Suspicions

Basura en una esquina de la céntrica calle Reina

I think a new epidemic of dengue fever is upon us. Numerous rains in the last few days and the health messages have already started: wash your hands well, don’t greet people with kisses, don’t stay in enclosed or poorly ventilated locations. The Public Health inspectors insist on reviewing even me; I don’t have spiritual vases, I don’t have tanks, I don’t have aquatic plants, the water tray on my refrigerator has a drain… The Family Doctor–on Sunday!–visited house by house and warned that if anyone became feverish, they should see him without fail. The fumigation, of which my dog and my husband’s cat are terrified, on alternate days for a week. All of this speaks to the preoccupation about health, but why don’t they clearly say it? The doctor was evasive, but he was working on his day of rest.

Furthermore (above all), the hygienic situation of the city, the one that counts on community service to run, is a disaster, the pockmarks left behind by poor paving, and the holes of the shoddy work done by Havana Water Department or the Sewers make ideal surroundings. The fight against dengue fever cannot be won by invading privacy. The terms of battle, war, and combat are fashionable. A task that, like everything else in this country, prioritizes the urgent over the important. A higher cost, we are used to it.

Translated by: Josephine Larke & Erico el Rojo

October 24 2011