When I was a child, I heard my grandmother talk about the hard times of cholera, and of how her family had escaped from this terrible disease. That was all I knew of this plaque, pure history.

And it turns out that now, in the 21st century, in “my beloved planet”, that terrible word is mentioned again. After those stories told by his grandmother María, I again heard about this pandemic when I enjoyed reading the famous novel by García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera, passionately losing myself in his unforgettable character Florentino Ariza.

I was surprised, it’s true, that for so many years we had weathered the danger of such a plague, because our beloved island is increasingly sinking into more precarious hygienic conditions die to the apathy and neglect in all sectors, in all social spheres. Thanks to our relentless sun, we have survived some diseases.

I have written a great deal in my blog, about the lack of hygiene and cleanliness in public places, among them, unfortunately, polyclinics and hospitals, as well as cafes and stalls, State and private (some), selling light and not so light food for public consumption, especially for those who do not have hard currency and are forced to go to them.

I avoid at all costs, and so I tell anyone whom I can within my power, not to consume these drinks made with flavored powders, because the lack of safe drinking water is very common, especially in places like Old Havana, where there are the largest number of tourists and local visitors.

Another of the reasons I resist, when the impertinent fumigation brigades, try to break into my house when they want to fill it with smoke from burning oil, is that time has shown that it is completely ineffective in liquidating the famous mosquito, while the hygiene of the environment and the city are so precarious.

Now, more worryingly, and in what must be emphasized to the authorities and the population in general, is the need to maintain the highest possible hygiene in our homes and our environment, so that this outbreak of cholera does not become endemic as has its other relative, dengue fever.

January 18 2013

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