Trapped in paradise: Day 12 in Santo Domingo with the Coronavirus

Coronavirus, Dominican Republic, English

It is now day 12 since tightened measures came into force in the Dominican Republic. The spreading Coronavirus should be combated, minimized and slowed down with these governmental actions. I am quite surprised, on the one hand, that these taken measures are of an extremely strict nature. And, on the other hand, they are enforced and pursued very consistently by the Dominican executive.

The Dominican government reacted far too late to the global development of the Coronavirus as many other countries as well. It was more important to wait until the local elections were held on March 15. However, compared to many other governments around the world, the Dominican Republic was after that mentioned date quite authoritarian and rigorous.

For example: If anyone gets caught at night after the curfew, they get penalized immediately, will be arrested and go straight to jail. The following picture reached me via WhatsApp and shows some of the people who have violated these strict curfew times:

In contrast to the weak laissez-fair style of some European countries, it’s a big contrast for me to see the executive forces that merciless. By the way: The curfew at night was initially from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. But was then extended to 5 p.m. – 6 a.m. Less free time that we can spend outside.

But I did walking around a bit to do some errands and check the general situation. Do I just live in a well-guarded and calm zone? What about other parts of Santo Domingo?

This is ‘Avenida Maximo Gomez’ – one of the worst transportation hubs in Santo Domingo. It drove me literally crazy multiple times before when I needed to cross that street. If you are lucky enough to be allowed to work in that specific sector around ‘Avenida Maximo Gomez’, you would be quite amazed about these quiet days we are all experiencing. This street usually looks like this:

I would have never expected that the terribly congested traffic of Santo Domingo could be relieved and calmed down at some point. It just needed a global pandemic to establish normal traffic conditions for the oldest city on the American continent.

What I could record from my balcony was surprising and disturbing as well:

Jeez, we poor citizens were once again reminded by loudly announcements from the mayor’s friendly voice that we should please rather stay at home. Which of course I did, otherwise I would not have been able to record this video.

These cars drove through my district for hours and sounded loud enough to not understand your own words in the apartment. Because of missing rebellious crowds of people on the streets, this measure seems a bit overpowered to me.

Regardless of that, Dominican people turn out to be surprisingly cooperative and obedient. What about supermarkets and how to get supplies?

Next page: How difficult it is nowadays to enter a supermarket

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