- Luggage and a doll of a Santería practitioner sit in the Havana airport on Friday. Despite the fact that there is no regular commercial air service these days connecting Cuba to the outside world, there are the occasional “humanitarian flights” that allow foreigners stuck on the island to return home. Today a group of Panamanians were able to leave and several of them had been visiting Cuba at the time of the coronavirus outbreak to perform Santería rituals. The dolls are meant to protect their owners who give them offerings and gifts.Car rides always knock them out. My twins insist on wearing their “nasobucos” as people call them in Cuba. They are only three years old but know the coronavirus is bad and that masks protect you and others from it. It’s really not that difficult a concept to understand.Quinta.... Havana’s 5th Avenue.Today is the 125th anniversary of Jose Martí’s death fighting the Spanish in Dos Ríos, Cuba. You can’t spend a day in Cuba without seeing a bust of Martí, hearing a poem or phrase of his or having his name invoked in some way. It is still truly amazing to me all these years later how strongly he belongs to Cubans everywhere around the world.Some of my photos from my first trips to Cuba in the mid 1990’s. I had an old Nikon F4 then and was just learning to use it. A lot of my photos were hit or miss (still are today) and of course when you shot on film you didn’t know if you had taken the photo you thought you had until you were home and got your prints back from the developers. Does anyone recognize what the last photo is of?Spraying chemicals on cars on the highway to stop the spread of coronavirus in Cuba. Cuban officials have said the island will not reopen to tourism until the threat of coronavirus has passed. Currently there are only 4254 foreigners here, six of which are my family. Even though the number of cases are steadily dropping, it looks like we will be on lockdown for some time to come.Look up in Havana at 3:01PM and this is what you will see.To avoid having to make lines when we shop for vegetables and have some actual options in produce, I have started driving to the next province over from Havana and loading up my car at a local farm. I am very fortunate to have a car and to be able to afford the gas to do this, something most Cubans aren’t able to do. I have to say though that the best thing is getting onto a farm where there are few other people and all this space. Hope everyone has a safe and healthy weekend.Because Cubans find a way....The return of the bike.... When I lived in Cuba in the 1990’s during the economic crisis known as the Special Period most people got around on bikes. I even pedaled around on my own Chinese-made “Flying Pigeon” which was great exercise especially as I had to carry it up and down three flights of stairs every day to the apartment where I lived. For a while now bikes had all but disappeared in Havana as a form of transportation. I used to joke that the only people you saw using them anymore were tourists on bike tours (Unlike most Cubans, they wore helmets). But now that all public transportation for everyone but “essential workers” has been suspended, the bike is making a big comeback here. I have seen more Cubans on bicycles in the last few days than I have in a long while. Maybe it’s time to track down my old “Flying Pigeon.”Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución this morning... usually it would be jam packed with people on May Day. This year the plaza was empty as Cuban officials had to cancel the parade. Officials instead told people to sing the national anthem and thank medical workers from home.Has time stopped? It certainly feels like life is frozen in place these days. Hope everyone who follows me is staying safe and sane in these uncertain times.The Star Spangled “Nasobuco.”Havana this morning.Moment of zen. Like everywhere, life in Cuba has become infinitely more complicated. There are endless lines at stores and shortages of many items. People are on edge. Most things, including the airports, are shut down on this island for the upcoming weeks, if not months. But I am very fortunate to live near the ocean and that’s a tough one to close. 📷: @cubajournalSeen on the highway just outside Havana this morning.To keeping your eye on the horizon.Stay home, stay safe. Public transportation is now suspended starting today throughout all of Cuba. Having a car or a motorcycle is an incredible luxury for Cubans so most people are now going to be on lockdown in their neighborhoods. As I drove around Havana yesterday I could see people getting ready for this new reality. There were long lines anywhere and everywhere one could buy food. Buses and taxis were still packed tight. How are people going to manage now? You could see the worry written across everyone’s faces.Out for my early morning stroll/look around. Starting Saturday the Cuban government is suspending all public transportation for everyone who is a non-essential worker. So for the moment no more buses, almendrones, ruteros, cocotaxis....This measure makes some sense as buses were still packed with people and were a breeding ground for coronavirus. It is going to make moving around much more complicated and with many supermarkets closing, I worry how people here are going to get enough to eat. Life for Cubans in the more than 20 years I have been visiting Cuba and eight years living here has always been tough. It’s about to get a lot tougher.La Puntilla this morning. Havana is incredibly still. I thought the weekend after Fidel Castro died was the most silent this city had ever been. But this morning you hardly heard a car start, a dog bark or anyone making the rounds with wares to sell. It’s like the whole city is on tip toes, trying not to be heard.