Cuban dons full-body cardboard shield against coronavirus
HAVANA (Reuters) - Since the novel corona virus has reached Cuba, you can see a tall cardboard box with arms and legs staggering in a Havana suburb, going to the bakery or butcher's shop, or browsing the newsstand.
This is Feridia Rojas, 82, who has decided to build and carry mobile homes to protect herself from the virus, which is particularly fatal to seniors in a country where personal protective equipment is not sold in stores.
"I'm home, what about you?" reads a message on her box, in a funny allusion to Cuba's corona virus slogan "stay home".
The widower, whose daughters both live in the United States, said that without anyone running errands, she needed to find a way to do it safely, which illustrates the ingenuity and humor that Cubans are known for.
"I was concerned about the asymptomatic cases that could cough as they happened," she said. "So I thought: I'll make a little house with a box and carry it."
The retired Cuban nurse rescued the box from the pharmacy in her Palatino neighborhood and cut armholes and a window for her face, which she covered with clear plastic.
At the top she glued cake boxes so that it looked more like a roofed house than a flat apartment building.
"She is very creative," chuckled her neighbor Zayda Echemendia, adding that Rojas was still helping the locals with injections at home and the like.
While her mobile home may be less necessary since Cuba's outbreak appears to be under control, Rojas said it still offers the comic relief needed.
"Amidst this pandemic, this stress, and this fear, my little home makes people laugh," she said.
(Reuters TV coverage; Sarah Marsh letter; Richard Chang editor)
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