Covid-19 Virus Update in Haiti

This week, we are going to write blogs and post other things on social media aside from what is going on with the virus, but today I wanted to give you an update on how Covid-19 is effecting Haiti. Updates about the virus, in general, are both simple and complicated at the same time. It has, and I have no idea how, become a politically charged topic while at the same time being something that crosses every barrier ever invented. 

To give you an update in Haiti, there is so much information to give. For instance, at the time of this writing there have been just over 200 tests given, 22 confirmed cases, 1 death, and many more suspected cases. On top of that, because of economic, cultural and religious reasons, many Haitians will never step foot in a clinic or hospital to find out if they have the virus.

Add onto that the idea that some (not many, but some) Haitians have conspiracy theory type ideas (similar to many Americans) that include but are not limited to the following:

  • The virus has not really come to Haiti, but it is an attempt by the government to bring in more money in aid.
  • Covid-19 is not that bad and will not effect the masses.
  • Haitians cannot contract the virus.
  • There are certain superstitious activities that you can take part in that will make you immune from or cure you of the virus.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, social distancing is virtually impossible. I quoted a Haitian pastor on Facebook recently (not an exact quote but my memory of the quote) who said: “Haitians will choose to either stay in their home and die of starvation or go about their lives and take the chance of contracting the virus.”

It is a hard thing to hear, but because of their reliance on each other, the countrywide poverty that includes most Haitians making less than $2/day, and the proximity of neighbors it is difficult to see how social distancing could ever work. On top of that, the culture of America, in general, is much more conducive to seclusion than the culture of Haiti. 

Logically, at least, the virus should be spreading and spreading quickly. Statistics, however, seem to be saying something different. We do not know the reason for this, but we do know that we must continue to pray for Haiti even as we pray for our own country and those that we know who are struggling during this time.

The truth:  Nobody knows how many cases there are in Haiti right now or how many there will be in the future.

In the Dominican Republic (which shares the same island as Haiti) there are almost 2000 confirmed cases with multiple deaths and that count rises every day. With the lack of tests and difficulties in reporting, there is no telling what the real effect might be.

Some of you read the report I linked on Facebook last week where some experts are estimating the spread of Covid-19 to surpass the devastation of the 2010 earthquake (in terms of human lives) that took killed over 200,000 Haitans.

The bottom line: Please continue to pray for our kids, for All Things New, and for Haiti. I know that there is so much going on here in America right now as well, but please do not forget what is happening in this poor country where people that we know and love are just starting to see what this pandemic may look like.

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