True enough, in Caracas, we go without reliable access to an extensive list of basic life essentials, from toilet paper to toothpaste. But if you ask me, dry taps are by far the most unpleasant of the epic shortages.
Dishes are brushed off and reused, and clothing is not something regularly laundered, though, personally, I draw the line at multiple wearings of underwear or socks. You ask friends whether it’s okay to flush. You often do not. We’re sweaty and, yes, smelly, especially in the rainy season when the humidity can top 80 percent. We’re at risk, too, because water stagnating in the vessels that people stash around their homes attracts mosquitoes; malaria rates have soared.
The poorest, as usual, have it the worst, though no one is spared. Hospitals and schools, posh neighborhoods and slums, they all go without water—at times for weeks on end—making this man-made drought arguably the most equalizing disaster the socialist government has ever managed to engineer.