Month fifteen of quarantine cleared. No rest for the wicked, as month number sixteen is hours away.

Venezuela continues as usual in this new normal of ours that’s just as entropic as our pre-pandemic normal, if not worse. The lockdowns are still in place—yet we’ve collectively adapted to them, and life just goes on as ‘usual’ or as ‘normal’ as it can be these days. The majority continues to suffer through the worst aspects of our collapsed nation while those with access to foreign currency continue to maintain their bubbles that shield them from the abject misery that the sheer majority lives through.

The Venezuelan regime’s mass vaccination campaign continues to be an utter mess, and that’s the least harsh way that I can describe it. Inhumanely endless lines, improvisation, corruption, and shortages of shots are what you find all across the country in each and every locale that’s currently serving as a vaccination center.

It would seem like these types of disasters are something we’re simply doomed to suffer through over and over again, they don’t even feel outlandish at all, it is the expected behavior, anything more normal would simply be too bizarre and out of place for us.

I did try to get vaccinated earlier this month only because I received a message from the Fatherland system assigning me a date and time. I was reluctant at first, and I only ended up going so as to get one in the likely and very possible scenario that vaccines become mandatory for international travel in the near future. I have tried (and failed) so hard to get a visa and migrate legally over the past three years, and I would hate to get ultimately thwarted by not having one now—in a time when I currently find myself betting it all on my final hand.

Mandatory vaccination for travel is something that, if implemented, I wouldn’t agree with, but after years of Venezuelan bullshit I no longer have as much physical and mental strength in me as before, and this would be an obstacle I can’t just overcome by sheer power of will, so, yeah.

Be that as it may, I armed myself with a few hours of sleep and embarked myself on an ill-fated journey that took place on the 04th of June. I waited outside the assigned center for nearly twelve hours through sun and rain, I got my arm branded with the number 243c (out of 350), and I got myself a not-so mild sunburn.

It was all for naught, a futile waste of time by every humanly conceived metric. Even though 350 people (out of over a thousand) got branded with a number to see who would get one of the 350 remaining doses, a ‘miscalculation’ that was only announced close to 06:00 p.m. meant that only ~100 got vaccinated that day.

*record scratch* *freeze frame* Yup, that's me.

They kept letting people in (friends, people with connections with higher ups, and whatnot), of course they were going to run out of doses, but that’s how things go in Venezuela, not the first time it’s happened, and certainly not the last one.

The way the socialist regime assigns who gets what type of vaccine goes like this: Russia’s Sputnik-V to everyone 60 years old or older, and China’s Sinopharm to everyone else. There are no ifs and buts about it, take it or leave it (unless, of course, you wet some hands here and there).

It’s been three weeks since that day, and the whole process continues to be just as disastrous. Besides the endless lines, corruption, and abject humiliation that people are being subject to, a new latent problem is rising: shortages of second doses. There is a steep shortage of second doses of the Russian vaccine, which is putting all vaccinated elderly at risk of losing their first dose.

This whole thing reeks of improvisation and mismanagement—you know, typical characteristics of this regime when it comes to doing literally anything.

Either I’ll keep waiting it out, or I’ll just try my luck and travel without a vaccine if and when I get my visa—my threshold for humiliation only goes so far, and I’ve already done enough lines in this country to push that threshold to its limits.

My father, who is quite old, had his encounter with COVID-19 earlier this month too. I was rather concerned because he is, well, quite old. Thankfully, there were no major complications despite his age, and he has since then fully recovered from it, including his sense of smell and taste.

He spent some days in the same hospital that he’s done his forensics career at all these years—a place now seemingly more collapsed and derelict than ever before. The person that was to his left got hit by the virus pretty bad, and unfortunately, passed away. The hospital was so collapsed and overworked that the corpse was only removed after eight hours had passed since the time of death.

Other than that, life goes on as usual here. The looming talks of negotiation between the regime and opposition are something that instead of bringing hope for a change are ending up doing the opposite. Time and time again we’ve been witness to this theatrical charade several times throughout the past twenty two years, and it always ends up in the same continuation of our status quo while we all continue to wither and fade away.

Nothing will come out of it, if you ask me. Keeping this disaster going on is, unfortunately, good business for too many hands and powers that be.

The continued stagnation, and the further assimilation of this new normal into our ongoing collapse is but one of the reasons that have led me to further detach myself from Venezuela’s ongoing disaster and instead focusing on myself, my brother, my friends, family, working on my projects, and helping friends and strangers alike.

This month of June was a rather unproductive one for me, between my ADSL line failing, going into a partially working state, and then back to its regular slow state, some apartment flooding issues, running water woes, power brownouts, and other miscellaneous personal affairs that plain and outright drained me. 

Getting my groove back and ramping up on my productivity to more acceptable levels is something I’ll be trying my best to do so over the next six months—and it’s definitely for the best, because there’s no easy fix to this country, and I’m sure as hell not going to let it keep withering me away more than it has, after all, I’m not getting any younger.

Until the next one,