Many people are alarmed every day by the number of positive cases, the state of health of the most serious and critical cases in hospitals, or the increasing death toll in Cuba as the pandemic keeps running rampant a year after the first cases were detected in the world.
Even if the current situation was predicted, few of us expected such levels of infection, as much resulting from the opening of international flights that made travelers and their family feel overconfident as from the breach of health protocols and, especially, from lack of indiscipline among some who do not quite understand the seriousness of the virus, its consequences and the great chain of contagions it causes.
Everyone has their own views about the reasons for the increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, but we must also think about some behaviors in recent months in the face of a scourge now at its peak. It is perhaps because we live in a nation with a strong health system in terms of professional and human quality, but that does not make us immune to the virus. The effectiveness of our health personnel’s work needs everyone to be aware and act accordingly.
The use of face masks, the simplest protection measure, albeit the most important due to its proven effectiveness, is daily disregarded everywhere, because it is incorrectly worn on the chin, while the call to avoid crowding in queues and other places and respect social distancing seems to fall on deaf ears.
Given the need to protect human life and comply with the established protocols, the Council of Ministers approved Decree Law 31, referring to the negligence about the health measures to prevent and fight COVID-19, which entails fines ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 pesos, higher than those of the first stage.
Regardless, now that the schools are closed some parents expose their children to danger, either taking them out or letting them play in the open, and some youngsters take no heed of curfew and hang out and even have a few drinks if the streets are not patrolled.
Taking care of children, the elderly and other groups at risk in the midst of the current outbreak, due to their great significance within the family, is a moral obligation, because sadness affects even the strongest of us when any of them becomes seriously ill or, unfortunately, dies.
In spite of the progress of several vaccine candidates in Cuba and elsewhere, we cannot forget that we are dealing with a new ailment that we can only fight on the basis of individual responsibility and prevention. Now that, as epidemiologists and other experts insist, is the vaccine of the moment.
Being aware of and embracing the established health measures should be a general concern, in the understanding that they are not just guidelines, nor are the means for hand and foot hygiene just decorations to make others believe that they are doing the right thing. They are ways of preventing and containing the advance of an epidemic that has already claimed millions of lives and leaves patients with largely unknown sequelae.
Therefore, we must avoid the sad ending that being trustful and lacking discipline brings about and appeal every day to the citizens, organizations and institutions involved in the strict enforcement of health measures, the smartest way to tackle the pandemic with good and common sense.