So as I was leaving Habana, now over a week ago, some cars - maybe police, I couldn't tell - went down a nearby street with sirens. My taxi driver seemed annoyed by this - I thought oh, maybe it's some sort of fancy convoy. Except then a big truck drove by with crazy billowing white steam coming out from behind it so i thought oh, street cleaning. How odd since it's so filthy here, but i guess that's why they clean the streets. So we drove off in the opposite direction, and went to turn down a street, only to see that the entire street was a total white out. You couldn't see more than 5 feet ahead, up to the sky. This happened for a few more streets before we found one where the smoke had lessened so we could cross it. Turns out they bomb for mosquitoes. That "steam" was a crazy amount of chemicals being sprayed - with people just walking through it. I thought wow - that would never happen in Berkeley. But, they have a massive mosquito problem here, which causes many terrible diseases, and with the spraying they have essentially none. I have no idea how frequently they spray, but it certainly works - there was only one night in Santiago De Cuba when I was bitten by mosquitoes. None of their windows have screens - nor glass. They're not really windows, rather the hole that a window would go in, with wooden louvers over them. With it being so hot here, and the need to keep them open, I can see how mosquitoes would be a huge problem.
I'd forgotten about it until today when I had to leave the casa I am staying in because they were going house to house doing fumigation. You are actually forced to allow them into your house to fumigate. They don't do the bedrooms... but still. I was even nervous about it out on the streets, and I will say, it smells really badly. If toxicity had a smell that would be it.
Again, I'm not saying it's a bad thing to do, this is one solution to a really bad problem they had, and i for one have no other solution to propose. I just wonder if people are maybe not given the proper warning and information so they can avoid the chemicals as much as they should. I saw people walking blocks through solid white chemical spray... or maybe they know and don't care. Quite possible.