Health April 12, 2020 | 10:17 am

Attention: Dominican Republic, wear medical face masks when out and about, mind the curfew and stay home!

Renn Loren


Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn these days, it’s all SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, COVID-19, and pandemic. It seems like that’s the only thing going on, and in many ways, it is the only thing going on. SARS-CoV-2 is a very aggressive and lethal virus and much of its behavior and pathogeny remains a complete mystery to the medical community. One thing that is very well understood about the beast is that it spreads rampantly in the absence of measures to contain it.

In light of this, we here at Dominican Today will be devoting a few extra articles and column spaces to covering the situation as it unfolds up-to-the-minute. I will personally be weighing in with occasional updates and observations as I experience them here on the north coast.

The spread of the coronavirus was somewhat contained here in the Dominican Republic, with very few infections happening and no community transmissions. Then there was a wedding party in Cap Cana that infected many participants who went on to spread the disease further. Unchecked, each infected person will infect two to three others with the virus.

So President Danilo Medina declared a state of emergency and then a curfew to suppress the contagion, but far too many people have continued to ignore the 5 pm-6 am curfew. To date, there have been over 30,000 people in the DR arrested due to curfew violations.

And so the coronavirus spreads when it could have, should have been shut down. Too many people are not getting it: the sooner we shut this down and stop the spread, the sooner we can all get back to living and working again. Social gathering and mixing need to be put on an extreme hold for at least two to four weeks.

Here in Puerto Plata, there are now over 56 cases of COVID-19, and there have been at least two COVID-19 deaths with more unregistered or yet to come.

As each country finds its way through the introduction, infection, spread of the disease, and the virus running its pathological course through each society, we wait for signs of the slow climb out of recovery. We are all ready for the monster to spend itself and pass on out of our lives and hopefully allow us to return to some sense of normalcy—whatever that’ll be once this does pass.

To be sure, things weren’t all that “normal” before the pandemic, and they are bound to keep evolving in new and perhaps dreadfully surprising ways. Likely, many of the changes to come will not be comfortable or enjoyable.

The one thing looming dauntingly on everyone’s horizon is the economy and what it might be after the pandemic has passed. The truth is that there is always a degree of uncertainty on the road ahead. But now there is a suddenly added extra dimension to that uncertainty that leaves many feeling fearful in ways they have as yet not known.

We will face the unknown future, and somehow we will overcome it. We will prevail. It’s in our DNA as much as it is in our history to do so.

But the time it takes to get through this current crisis depends on every one of us to act responsibly and thoughtfully with consideration for and of others.

Regardless of what the ultimate ulterior motives behind the pandemic crisis may or may not be, the spreading of the coronavirus needs to be stopped, halted in its tracks if we are to get back to living a somewhat normal life again.

Here in the Dominican Republic with a population of 10.85 million, we have the slight advantage of being a relatively small country. Nationwide communication and solidarity are somewhat easier to achieve.

So spread the word: Stay home, socialize from a distance, wear a medical face mask when out in public, and wash your hands frequently.


Stay HOME, socialize from a distance, wear a medical mask in public, WASH your hands frequently, and STOP the spread of SARS-CoV-2


Updates on situations and conditions in the DR to follow.

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