By Roberto Díaz Martorell
April 14, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
NUEVO GERONA, Isle of Youth. – The COVID-19 not only changed the perception of the reality of the people who live in the world, but also transformed the work routines for many, such as the young Indira Guevara, auditor of the Municipal Comptroller’s Office, who today collaborates with the National Revolutionary Police to control the distance in the queues where food is sold.
There are 33 young militants of the Young Communist Union (UJC) who were trained by the Ministry of the Interior (Minint) to take on the voluntary responsibility of supporting control measures in commercial establishments where food, toilets and other products are sold.
“We were called together by those of us who do not have children or elderly people at home and we were assigned this task in the People’s Councils where we live, so that we do not move from one neighborhood to another and avoid the movement of people that could facilitate the spread of the virus.
“I was assigned to Abel Santamaría, a community that today reports six positive cases to COVID-19 and therefore extreme measures of quarantine and reinforced isolation are adopted, so I consider my work more important.
“They told us how we should proceed with the population to help avoid crowding in the queues, both in the stores in CUC and in the markets and points of sale of other food or supplies. Without hesitation, I accepted. This will allow the police to devote most of their personnel to areas with limited movement.
“We all agreed because the situation we are experiencing today is very complex and it is the duty of the young people to assume responsibility, as revolutionaries and Cuban citizens.
“It is true that sometimes we are afraid because it is something new and it is not a game: that pandemic has taken many lives in the world. Already here, on the Isle of Youth, one person has died, and many still do not understand the magnitude of the risks they take on the streets.
“At first it was funny, but it is true that the police vest they gave us gives us some authority, because when they see us so young people may think that we are not prepared and they may continue to be disobedient.
“So far I haven’t had any unpleasant encounters. We address people with respect and education so that they keep their distance from each other, so that they do not despair. We ask them please and that opens the dialogue to a better understanding.
“However, no matter how hard we try, they distance themselves and the next minute they are together again. People should be more aware of how dangerous this pandemic is and once and for all assume with responsibility and discipline the measures, which are all for the good of all,” reflected Indira Guevara.
This booster troop works on a voluntary basis from the time shops open until they close. Everyone is guaranteed water, a snack, lunch, and they rotate on occasions to rest. There is always a Minint officer with them, to advise and solve any situation that may arise.
According to Yander Zayas, first secretary of the Municipal Committee of the UJC in Isla de la Juventud, the group chosen comes from sectors such as Energy and Mines, Computers and Communications, Education, Sports or are students of the territory. This youth participation in the tasks of prevention against COVID-19 is part of the country’s strategy to guarantee the continuity of services to the population and ensure the future and health of all.