Argentina opens 2022 overwhelmed by extreme heat, without light and with the Covid shot at record figures

It is midnight in Buenos Aires, the streets burn at 29 degrees after having overcome 41 during the day and at the night news news, Ry Cooder sounds at "Dark Wa

Argentina opens 2022 overwhelmed by extreme heat, without light and with the Covid shot at record figures

It is midnight in Buenos Aires, the streets burn at 29 degrees after having overcome 41 during the day and at the night news news, Ry Cooder sounds at "Dark Was The Night". Western music to describe a Tuesday that it was a madness and that threatens to be repeated in the coming days: a good part of the Argentine capital without electricity while the cases of Covid reached the record of 137,000 contagions in a single day.

And a recurring question that became the subject again in the middle of the endless overhead by heat: is it reasonable that the monthly electricity bill equals to the price of a coffee in a bar?

Buenos Aires did not reach 40 degrees since 1995, and 41.1 on Tuesday, January 11 involve the second highest temperature in its history. The heat wave that covers Argentina all this week and makes it one of the hottest places of the southern hemisphere will be extended several days, although this is not that the main problem: one thing is that it is very hot, and another that electric service It does not work, that the air conditioners and fans are paralyzed while the food is spoiled in the refrigerators.

There were 700,000 households and trades affected, which implies millions of people. The cut, several hours and at the peak moment of demand, became a great part of the Argentine capital and in the northern area of the extrarradio.

Nothing new for the Argentines, who today rescued on social networks from 1989 newspapers in which the then government of Raúl Alfonsín announced restrictions, scheduled courts and that television would only emit between 19 and 23. There is, however, differences between what was happening in that first government of democracy and the current one of Alberto Fernández.

In 1989, the electricity service of the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires was provided by the State, but since the '90s do private companies. Since the arrival of Kirchnerismo to power in 2003, one of the axes of economic policy goes by subsidizing public services: light, gas, water and even Internet. To earn your vote, the user should not feel pain when paying. Cristina Kirchner, today Vice President, led to the end that policy when she was president between 2007 and 2015. The consequence was uninvestment and extremely frequent electricity cuts.

Thus, the invoices arrive printed with a legend that says "with a subsidy of the national state". Electric companies have frozen their rates for two years, after three in which the Government of Mauricio Macri boosted a strong increase, convinced that people would understand that electricity bill can not have a symbolic value.

People, in general, did not understand it. This increase was one of the reasons for its electoral defeat in 2019, the former president today, who during his government managed to moderate the power supply cuts: the electricity network improved in terms of generation capacity, but very little in the networks of distribution.

The phrase "Viva Perón!" It became trend in social networks, driven by those who attribute to the founder of Peronism and followers of him the long decadence of the country.

"Edenor regrets the accident that occurred and particularly on a day like today in which unusual temperatures have been recorded with the consequent peak of electricity consumption," said the company, which can not guarantee that the courts do not happen again in the next days. Relief for the company and the government is that much of the residents in Buenos Aires are on vacation outside the city in the depths of January (August Argentine). If the same situation had been given in December, the reaction could have been another very different. And that on Tuesday the historical record of electricity demand was blown.

While the traffic lights of the city did not work and the traffic went crazy, those lucky who teleworked traveled bars to check that they had light and at least a good fan to improvise their offices there. That, and even if it was a waiter, something difficult to guarantee today before rampant work absenteeism from the fulminating omicron strain extension in the country: businesses, offices and restoration work at half a machine, at best.

The Government announced that those close asymptomatic contacts, vaccinated with two doses and a reinforcement, should not quarantine. One way to avoid the picardias of those who, in the midst of the summer overwhelming, opted for taking some simple vacation.

But until there came the government, which unlike what happened in 2020, when he led the response to the pandemic, does not disguise his exhaustion and hartezge regarding the topic Covid: it delegates it in the provinces and does not want to be seen as responsible for No restriction while the cases are triggered, but not deaths or hospitalizers. Four hours from Buenos Aires, on the beaches of the Atlantic, thousands and thousands of young people celebrate and dance without masks or social distancing. They vote or not, coincide with Fernández: They are also fed up. They do not want to know anything else.

Updated Date: 11 January 2022, 23:27

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