It´s surprising how bad news related to situations generated by the collapse doesn´t stop. I have some ties to a relatively small town. It´s located not so close to any major city, not so far away neither. It´s not so rural, and it still has some of the charms of small towns, while being big enough to not be boring.
That being said, let´s proceed with the most important news I´ve received from my sources there.
With the lack of income, as all of the few money produced is going to someplace (which is not exactly the majority of the Venezuelan people´s pockets but to some tax haven, or maybe private accounts in Turkey, Iran, Andorra or God knows where). Managing a 30 million people country is not exactly easy. And with such a stressed economy, our country is a real mess.
But it´s the only one I´ve got, and have to love it.
There's a sanitation crisis.
As in most of the cities, the collapse has impeded to the (not elected but imposed by the ruling mafia) "authorities" to handle properly some crucial aspects like city sanitation and public garbage collection system. Collector trucks are no longer functional in almost any city. This originates a huge business for private "spontaneous" entrepreneurs, who swiftly prompt to offer their garbage collection to the communities. Of course, the city employees in charge of the trucks have (very likely) been previously bribed to sabotage the trucks and equipment. No surprises there. Otherwise, those trucks would be working flawlessly, those things are built for heavy-duty. I know what I´m talking about. These "entrepreneurs" hire a few young men to collect and make their routes in the communities. When these brave, generous and kind souls (and yes, I´m being sarcastic as heck) don´t show, garbage starts to pile up. This is exactly what has been happening these last few weeks.
For some reason, from November to after Mardi Gras in February, fires in some places suddenly start. Wild bushes are burning to the ground. Entire mountains that otherwise would be covered in green, are desolated and sad. It´s something unexplainable, and it´s just one of the most outstanding pieces of evidence we could have been populated with the wrong kind of seed. Because many of the areas surrounding the places where fires appear, are the same blocking the roads with violence demanding "the government" to install water pipelines (instead of banding together and work for one month digging a pond to collect some rain water…but maybe I´m wrong by thinking this way).
Trash is being improperly handled and people are getting sick.
When the "private" garbage collection system does not work, people have to deal with the waste. When the town is over 20k people…this can start to become uphill. Especially if it´s a small valley. So people started to select random places to pile up the garbage bags, throw some fuel on, and burn them. My friends living in that town reported that, after two months of such treatment, there was a thick layer of smoke, almost every day since they began.
The person submitting this report was sick with pneumonia, indeed. This is a strong alert. He was in bed, and unable to work.
It´s not healthy to send such amounts of chemicals into the atmosphere!! That person reported to me feeling his nostrils burn, and a few hours later his throat and even his eyes were swollen. This and other symptoms, like sudden weakening and being tired, was what made him look for medical care. Thanks to God, it's a small town, and good doctors (many of them known by my parents since they were kids) have been able to survive the crisis without running away, as many nurses in the private practice.