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

How difficult it is nowadays to enter a supermarket

On the other hand, Dominicans also surprised me quite a bit. Even if I can only speak for a negligible part of the population of the Dominican Republic and its capital, they obey what is told them.

Two weeks ago I was writing the following:

“What should I care about other people’s problems? I am doing just fine, I enjoy my life and I have no worries as long as I am sufficiently supplied and have enough to eat and to drink. Gracias a Dios!”

Dominican understanding of life

So far nothing has changed in their basic conception. Only that the number of problems has increased drastically and has proven to be a collective challenge. In particular, the part ‘enough to eat and drink’ would be challenged if one of these emergencies occurs. Dominicans, like everyone else in the world, have oversupplied themselves and supplied themselves for bad times.



These two photos above are more than two weeks old. Of course, I was curious to see what the national supply of all kinds of products would look like today in the supermarkets. Bottlenecks are of course never completely ruled out if people massively panic buy the supermarkets.

So I went back to the two supermarkets where I took the photos. Of course I was excited to see what has changed in the meantime. But I didn’t even get in.

The supermarket where I took the photo on the left no longer lets customers enter without respiratory protection. In my case, I was very unlucky since it was already late afternoon and the markets would close soon. Thus, I walked to the nearest pharmacy to get one of these highly demanded masks. Unfortunately, both of the closest pharmacies have closed due to the Coronavirus. So I went back home somewhat annoyed and had to try again the next day.

So how did people get these masks when all the potential sellers and shops are closed? Fortunately, I came up with a clever idea to simply re-use an existing mask:



With a mask like this, you normally go robbing banks. However, since these are currently either closed or guarded better than usual, this action is no longer a prosperous option.

This is actually a go-kart mask that you should wear on under the helmet. I had to put it on when I broke the daily record on the go-kart track last year in July:



Quite sensational, that this free gimmick should be useful almost one year later. Even if the real protection is only minimal. The mask is so badly air-insulated that the spikes of my beard stung through the loosely material. The supermarket staff didn’t care. In the end, they let in everyone who wears any kind of face protection. Even if it was just a scarf. Super useful rule.

I’ll try to think out of the box again, what I will misuse if the supermarket requires latex gloves 😇

Unfortunately, this duty of breathing protection was not yet enough. My patience is by nature extremely limited and can’t really cope being stretched and provoked too much. The first measure with the obligatory face masks wasn’t the only idea of the supermarket to give their customers some hard time. Another idea of them was to limit the access of the supermarket to approximately 50 people.

At the same time, they blocked the second entrance/exit was and only four cash registers opened to complicate the situation for everyone. In times of a higher demand to limit supply is quite a doubtful way to counteract.



Almost not to justify arguments. If people are not supposed to get close to each other and infect themselves inside of the store, they will just do it outside in line. This does not solve problems, but only shifts and exacerbates them. With the pleasant side effect, that anyone who sees the waiting queue for the first time will suspects a food shortage. It doesn’t solve the panic of the people – It presses the panic button for everyone who will be confronted with it.

I had no desire and patience for this scenario and leaped to the next supermarket. It is almost half a mile away by foot and has at least four times the size of this small city supermarket. I expected to have there slightly higher chances to get what I want. Unfortunately, this was not the case, since the second supermarket also had similar queuing measures:



And this queue was much longer, going over two blocks. Well, back then to the first supermarket, I guess. Unfortunately, the waiting line outside there had ,of course, increased in the meantime and now also lasted longer than one block.



Next page: How does it look inside of the supermarket?

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