A Cuban Radiologist Recounts His Experience From Italy

In Turin, Italy, it’s also difficult to contain the coronavirus. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Galina González, Turin, March 21, 2020 — We here in Italy have already  lived for a month in this nightmare, and in spite of the fact that we haven’t reached the peak of the contagion, we are very aware of the restrictive measures that must be taken. Avoid contact with others and keep a one-meter distance if you don’t have a face mask. Wash your hands often and never touch your face while you are in the street. Avoid going out unless it’s for work or to buy food and medicine. The Red Cross has activated volunteer services to help the elderly.

When everything began in February, I didn’t know very well what I had to do and things were less clear. For me it was more difficult in relation to my work in the hospital, but now I am less worried. I work in radiology where women who have been operated on for breast cancer come to be monitored, but on March 9 they asked us to suspend all exams. My work right now consists of telephoning and giving information to patients. I don’t work with patients infected with the virus.

With all the restrictions that many people have who can’t go to work, it’s good right now to be able to work.

I feel I am living in a future that now everyone outside Italy is beginning to experience, and I’m worried about you. No one is prepared for this epidemic unless you are living inside it. i tried to give some advice to people outside Italy but realized it’s difficult to understand if it’s not happening to you.

I live in Turin, which is not as large as Milan, where it’s very difficult to contain the infection. Here when I go out to work in the morning with my bicycle I don’t have to stop at any traffic lights even if they’re red, because there’s no traffic. But I can see people walking their dogs.

When I finish work at 4:00 in the afternoon, it’s hard to see anyone walking in the center. Everything is closed: bars, shops, theaters, etc. And if the police see you outside your house they can stop and question you just because you’re outside. They’ve never stopped me because I have a certificate already prepared saying it’s for work.

I heard a radio program on the epidemic in other countries, and Cuba seems to be reluctant to take the restrictive measures necessary to avoid contagion. I saw a video on Facebook about a meeting of medical students in Cuba. A doctor was talking and asked someone to take off his mask or leave the room. This is disturbing, not to mention criminal. It could mean disaster. Be vigilant, all of you, and take preventive measures, even if the Government is taking its time to do it.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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