Having just experienced the "cheek to jowl" feeling of an airport's rat maze in Havana last month, see above, I can somewhat commiserate with the hordes of Americans crammed into close quarters at 13 of our nation's airports this weekend trying to get home from overseas before everything grinds to a halt.
And like just about everywhere else on earth, Cuba finally popped up on the "Corona map" last week with four Italians bringing the virus along with them on their Caribbean vacation. The contamination confirmation happened last week in the 500+ year-old colonial town of Trinidad in the province of Sancti Spiritus, roughly four and half hours from Havana. The group traveled through Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, so one can only assume the virus will take hold in the capital as well.
According to my friend, Andrea "The Greek" Weitz, who travelled to Cuba last week, only a few fools are walking around in Cuba with face masks, erroneously thinking that a mask will protect them from COVID-19. It's incredible that after being told repeatedly, people continue to sport their very visible false sense of security. I don't know about you, but I think that the mask and gloves thing just make things seem more scary.
So anyway, my weekly informational spin through Google produced predictable results with one exception. Apparently, and I stress the word "apparently," Chinese health care providers have been using an antiviral called Interferon Alfa on Coronavirus patients. Created in Cuba, it is SAID, that 1500 patients responded positively to the drug. The questionable part of this story is that I couldn't find anything from familiar sources like Reuters or the Associated Press.
Be it accurate or not, Cuban scientists, for decades, have been responsible for several groundbreaking cancer drugs despite the withering embargo our government has insisted to continue even though it's nearly impossible to point to any real benefits. I can't help but wonder how our government would handle an announcement that some little, socialist, third-world country solved the Coronavirus outbreak.
We all know that COVID-19 knows no borders and doesn't discriminate. Perhaps someday we can do the same.