Nasobuco, Relaxation and a Virus that Hasn’t Gone Away
By Osviel Castro Medel
August 25, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
From the nasobuco, that addendum of which we knew little in times of normality, one can write today almost a treatise, the same with Cuban humor as with the most serious things.
There have been those who, accustomed to using it almost all the time, forgot to take it off before performing some acts and thus spilled coffee on their bodies or bit their tongues trying to eat.
It has also been responsible for certain language tangles, such as that of a Bayamese man who spoke to his wife about “fixing the pedals to look for food for the boys” and she understood that when the carnivals were suspended they would have to sell the “males” (as pigs are called in much of the Orient). “Don’t even think about it,” she answered, to the surprise of the first.
Regardless of any joke, the nasobuco helped, along with other measures, to contain the new coronavirus in Cuba. However, for some weeks now we have seen with alarm how hundreds of people have dispensed with its use, not only in the Cuban capital, the epicenter of the disease.
Let us go -even in the provinces that are right now in the third phase- through some main streets, let us go to one of the long daily queues, let us go to the parks, to the bus stops, let us get on public transportation or let us enter centers that serve the population and we will find many citizens without the minimum protection that these times advise.
There have even been images uploaded to social networks of crowds drinking beer from the same tap, or rum from the bottle, as if they were celebrating the end of the pandemic. They have, unfortunately, entered the so-called relaxation stage, unaware of the aforementioned and recited perception of risk.
The bitter spike in numbers these days – which are people, not numbers, of course – is linked precisely to overconfidence or chanting victory ahead of time.
A few days ago a friend, in an educated hypothesis, was walking without her nasobuco in the middle of a crowd. When I made the observation, she answered the incredible: “Ah, we are already in the third phase, stop that, there is no need”.
When the Temporary Working Group of the Government for the confrontation of the new coronavirus announced the entry into the third phase of almost all the provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, it was emphasized: “We reiterate the need to maintain the health measures and physical isolation, which are applicable in the three phases, including the use of nasobuco in public and closed places, where there is a concentration of people”.
Do we need to pressure our hands a little with the fines and other coercive measures? Could it be that the messages in the media calling for a collective conscience do not reach the majority? Will we courageously denounce the irresponsible without creating a witch-hunt? Have we already forgotten the regulations regarding the hygienization of hands and surfaces, the distance between people and the recommendation to keep ourselves informed?
These are questions that can help move thought and generate action. In the end, the most important thing is to know that the battle against the virus is not over; it has probably entered its most critical phase, and we can continue to move backwards if, as we say in the popular jargon, we throw ourselves into the middle street or get infected with “extreme freedom” and throw the nasobuco and all the rules related to the preservation of our health into a corner.