COVID-19 is now in Venezuela.
Four days ago our government announced the bad news, the first two confirmed cases in my country in the Miranda state.
I've been wanting to do this post for 2 days now, it's been kind of hard to organize the words to describe the amount of feelings I've had since the news that the COVID-19 is in my country, the amount of panic that that news generated, the misinformation and lack of technological education that the people of my country have has caused all people to start panicking and end up with all the shopping malls, pharmacies/medicines, ignoring that there is a large part of the population that cannot afford food or medicine due to the financial limitations they have (this is because they depend on the minimum wage they earn monthly at their job).
Just think about this for a moment: Teachers, people so important that they sow the "future" of the country (or at least that's a nice way to describe them), they earn a minimum salary of 250,000 BSS, about 3$ per month, there are other bonuses that also give them (or so I think) about 200,000 BSS more, so they end up earning about 450,000 BSS per month, about 5-6$ at the end of the month. Only 5-6$ in a month of work, how is it possible to live on that shit? I saw a picture where a girl showed that a 12 unit face mask package costs 2,220,000 BSS, about 28 fucking dollars, how can a citizen who depends on the minimum wage buy even one single face mask? It sounds simply unrealistic and unfair, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The shopping centers in my state began to close as of this Monday, the only things that work are the pharmacies and markets to buy food, public transportation activity began to decline and there are almost no buses. The panic that everyone has is worrying, today I went out to buy some food for today before we go into total quarantine and. Unfortunately most of the shops in my community are closed due to lack of stock.
Panic has become the most worrying thing of all
Currently there is a lot of misinformation about everything that is happening in the country, there are many people/groups that are dedicated to distorting the information that is shared in the official media, completely misleading the people and causing everyone to panic.
In my state there is still not a case of COVID-19 (at least not one that has been confirmed), but since the first 2 cases were confirmed in Miranda state, many people began to share information of confirmed cases in my state, which motivated everyone to go out to the malls to finish off all the stock in the pharmacies and food centers. Venezuela not only suffers economically, incredibly there is still a lack of supply at the national level and this has been demonstrated with the entry of COVID-19 in my country, businesses were not prepared to run out of supplies so quickly and this has caused them to close (speaking of businesses that have not yet closed because they are not in quarantine), Today I was able to appreciate this and it's really sad, I think the hardest thing is to know that out there there are people who depend on the minimum wage or on the bonuses given by the government and, if they go out and buy the food of the day, they won't be able to find anything because the people who went "crazy" because of all the false information that's going around took everything. How will these people survive? (Believe me, a lot of Venezuelans live that way), also: What will they do when they enter quarantine and will not be able to work? Where will they get enough money to buy what little food there will be over there? And that's if they're lucky enough to get anything with the little money they make.
How am I doing?
For the people who have been following me lately with the chess project I've been doing (and, that probably new changes will come since now there will be HIVE), I also want to show you how the situation can become so difficult here:
Currently the amount of money I make through my posts has allowed me to remain stable in this situation, but, I never thought that the situation would become so terrible even for me. Using the example of a package of masks: $28, how the hell can I get enough money to buy that? The post that has generated more rewards this week will give me about 96 liquid STEEM and I can make a change to BSS through @orinoco (a well known exchange in the Venezuelan community), it would be about 988,000 BSS at the moment, about 11-13$, I don't have even half to be able to buy a pack of masks despite working on the internet and despite doing a well worked post and doing a good job to promote this community, that's how hard the situation is even for me.
It's a little difficult to maintain a good activity here since I've been looking for other sources of income lately to earn money fast and cover the expenses that my family and I need, I've never liked to expose how difficult my personal situation is being because that's a tactic that many Venezuelans have been using everywhere (I've even seen how here at Steem many Venezuelans did the same) and personally I'm of the opinion that things are earned with hard work.
To be honest, I'm not really worried about the disease, I'm someone who's really healthy, I'm young, I'm 17 and it's not like I suffer from any kind of disease, so I'm not really worried about spending a few days sick with a fever or anything like that, I've had worse things (like hepatitis B), but my concern lies with the rest of my family, My uncles who are over 60 are very vulnerable to this virus and I really want to do everything I can to keep them safe from it, even though there are no confirmed cases in my state, I can't trust the information the government gives us because our health systems are inefficient, so the more time they can spend at home, the better.
The confirmed cases have been in constant growth these last days and I know that the situation will get worse, so yes, the situation is quite worrisome, but the worst thing of all is that, like me, there are many Venezuelans that can't do much, I will just try to find sources of income to try to get and buy medicine and food for these days since I know that soon they will lock us in our houses with a quarantine, I think that one of the worst things that could happen to us is to be in quarantine and without food (and that we are 8 people in the same home).
How will this affect my chess project?
Actually, it will not affect the project (or so I hope).
Until recently, one of my plans was to hold a small event among the players of my chess club, but due to the rapid progress of the COVID-19 in the country, it is not possible to hold any kind of activity involving a large number of people in one place, so it is forbidden to hold a chess tournament even if it is a small one. But, the good news is that we already have the award assured for the next chess tournament that we are going to hold when all this is over (thank you very much @yabapmatt). I'm really excited about all that can be achieved with this initiative and, I'll be completely happy to implement HIVE in my project (since I'm considering doing content in both block chains), but without a doubt if I have to decide one, I'd love to be able to actively participate in HIVE, I'll go wherever the community goes.
I take this opportunity to thank those people who have been supporting the project and my content, I am currently in difficult times, but as soon as I recover from all this, the chess events will be even bigger and I will strive to do a much better job than before.
What I'm trying to say is:
Please take care of yourselves. Even though this virus is not as lethal and even I may actually be in a stage of unnecessary panic, I think it is better to be safe than sorry. The situation worldwide is probably going to decline a lot in the near future because of all the economic repercussions this pandemic is causing in so many countries, so it is best to be safe and take good care of yourself. Is COVID-19 already in your country? What measures are you taking to combat it? No matter who is reading this, please take care of yourself and I hope you are really well, a better future is coming for the Steemians (Hiveians maybe?) and I hope we can all be there to enjoy it.