Chronicle of a Humble Chavista Dealing with the Flu in Times of Coronavirus

A collection of several posts published by a very well respected Chavista, Gustavo Borges, narrating his experience dealing with a flu in this complicated time of coronavirus in a humble low income barrio in Caracas.

Breakdown, cough, malaise, nasal congestion. April has led me to sixty-one years of fighting, this time in the midst of Chavismo’s relentless struggle against this global pandemic. We are doing well. We will save as many lives as it takes. Every one of them. Chávez would be proud of us. The flu is not annoying, hot ears, mild, even nice as long as it does not give you a coughing attack, that for sure is no nice. It makes you want to stay in bed. But now I’m on my feet, I’m wearing a mask, and I’m on my way to the nearest CDI (Barrio Adentro public clinic).

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Already there::

  • “Tell me.”
  • “Hi, I’m here for the Coronavirus test.”
  • “Sit in those chairs, ask who’s the last in line.”

About 15 people with their masks waiting. I am struck by the sight of about six or seven young people. It’s the CDI at UD2 in Caricuao, on the way to the police station (Jefatura Civil) as they call it. The Mountain in front of me. Almost next to my house, what a privilege.

  • “Come in, madam,” orders the security guard to the next one in line.
    And so it goes for half an hour. It’s a quickly done test.
  • “Sir your turn” – that’s me.
  • “Walk till the end and turn left when you enter, there’s the doctor.
    Nothing to envy from what the rich boys and girls (sifrinaje) of the country call “private hospitals”.

The Cuban accent of the nice doctor in a white coat with her face mask reminds me of my times in Barrio Adentro in the 23 de Enero neighborhood. She writes down my answers to her meticulous questions and ends up writing me an order where I read: “test COVID”.

I must wait in another corridor.

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  • “Sir, come in.”

The office for screening is large. Spotless clean. All the equipment looks new.
“-Sit there.” Two doctors greet me in their white security suits, fully shielded. They’re Cuban.

The test is quick. A blood sample is taken with a prick in the arm and placed in a container in front of you, just like a pregnancy test. The attentive doctor watches, I watch: – “Negative,” he says, showing me the test.

I almost hugged him.


I go home and although you may not believe it, the whole process took as long as it took me to write this chronicle.

Long live my government goddamit, the revolution, Nicolas, his team… the Cubans and the Chinese!


Unbelievable Nicolas, on Friday I was taken care of at the CDI and they did all the tests, they also brought me a box of food (CLAP), last night I got this message (SMS) from Maduro through the Patria system…and I bet you don’t know: today a couple of Cuban doctors are visiting me at home to make sure everything is alright…


“Come on, I’m going to stay in quarantine forever, that’s how easy it is.”




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