Zòwèy a tè (ear to the ground): Mandatory masks and penalties for non-compliance


As countries around the world reopen their economies and their borders amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreaks, governments are increasingly embracing what remains in some places, a divisive public health measure: mandatory masks.

In Dominica, our National Epidemiologist, Dr. Shallaudin Ahmed, has warned that although at present, there is no evidence of community transmission on the island, community transmission of COVID-19 is inevitable if people fail to adhere to wearing masks in crowded areas.

As a result, Dominica News Online (DNO) sought the views of members of the public on this matter. The questions posed were, “Do you think the government should make the use of masks mandatory and should a penalty be imposed on those who do not comply?”


Here are some of the responses:


Michael (Roseau)- “All man free in the Father’s kingdom. If we don’t want to use a mask then  nobody should force it on us.”





Claudette (St. Joseph)- “Your face mask protects you and mines  protect me, so this really is needed for  public health. Though I think some penalty should be in place for those who don’t wear their mask, I think the government shouldn’t be the ones telling us to use it. We should be looking at all the deaths worldwide and know that masks are important.”



Mervin (Roseau) – “I agree to some extent that face masks are important but the government should not make it a mandatory use nor should people be charged if they don’t wear it. People die in traffic accidents every day and no one is enforcing the laws for seatbelts to be used in Dominica.”



Faith (Grand Bay)- “For someone to be walking around with a mask whole day, papa we will die in Dominica. The sun too hot for mandatory face mask. We doh get snow yet in Dominica. I agree we should put in in the store but we need to breathe when we out and about.”



Chad (Canefield) – “Yes I think it’s about time government made wearing a mask mandatory. Our borders are now opened and some of the  people coming in don’t comply with the Ministry’s request for at home quarantine. Yes I agree with them being penalized not only for not using the mask but for using it incorrectly because the mask was not made for under your nose or under your chin. We need to buck up in D.A.”


Alisha (Kingshill)- “This mandatory mask thing should not be applied because the government seem to have control over the situation.”




Annette (Marigot)- “Good leaders lead by example. There are so many instances when the government and other officials are seen in public without their mask. So it should not be mandatory but I think they should lead and we the people will follow.”




Laura (Canefield) –“If a face mask mandate meaningfully lowers coronavirus infections, it could be valuable not only from a public health perspective but also from an economic perspective. This will substitute for renewed lockdowns that would otherwise be the government’s next course if action. A penalty would also be needed to reinforce that law if passed.”


Massacre (Mahaut)- “I think government should make mask mandatory because I’m a bus driver and all the time I see people come on my bus sitting close to each other and no mask. If I ask them to put on their mask they will get vex but if government say so they will. I also think they should charge those who don’t want to use the mask.  If you know the mask helps to protect other people and even yourself why you wouldn’t want to use it.”


Mrs. Abraham (Portsmouth)- ” With all this talk about illegal entry I think we’ve reached a point where the use of masks should be mandatory and persons should be penalized if they don’t comply. We don’t know who is sick or not so we need to protect ourselves to prevent another lock down.”



Martha (Point Michel)  – “We can implement the use of mandatory mask but it shouldn’t be for one set of people. You enter the stores and the employees have no face coverings to protect themselves or customers. So it should be an all rounded thing and yes there should be a penalty to scare people into wearing the mask.”



Shawn (Loubiere)- “I prefer to wear the mask than have curfew once again. So I am okay with wearing one in public. I also agree to penalty for those who don’t follow that request if the government is to make it mandatory because they are proving they don’t care if they catch or spread covid.”



Vera (Colihaut)-  ” I agree that the government should make it mandatory that we use the mask. I understand, sometimes masks can be a little uncomfortable. But the bottom line is that we know that masks reduce infections and they save lives. I also agree to some form of penalty because these are basic public health measures that I think should be implemented across the country. It’s not that inconvenient. And if it helps us stay open and go to work and school and so on, it’s worth a little discomfort for me.”


William (Castle Bruce)- “I see no reason why we should have to wear mask. If the Government is saying the cases are under control and if so many people are allowed to host parties and do as they please, there is no reason why a mask should be mandatory. When we had local spread they never made it mandatory, so now there is no sense in doing so.”

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  1. john born
    October 25, 2020

    The mask is totally USELESS.
    WHO already said that officially and so many top experts around the world.
    The virus is so dangerous that you need a test to know if you have it !!!
    What a joke !

    ADMIN: WHO officials had questioned the efficacy of masks against the corona virus early on and the need for everyone to wear masks (the WHO had indicated masks should be saved for medical personnel due to the initial short supply).

    They have since made it clear that the organization supports the widespread use of masks in fighting corona virus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-and-masks

    Those interested in learning more on the mask debate can follow this link: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02801-8

    October 24, 2020

    the roman army destroy the children of Jacob 70AD
    TODAY the roman church teach us love
    is it a vatican trick all over again

    October 24, 2020

    How I’m affected and what I’m doing to prepare:
    1.) I haven’t worked for a company/corporation since December 2019 since then I’ve been without work do to the scamdimic so my financial situation is a struggle.
    2.) I’ve turned away from social media platforms except YouTube and instagram using them for my business and learning new skills. Media detox.
    3.) leaning closer to the word of the most high. Getting back to the basics.
    4.) repentance
    5.) I’ve locked my hair to refrain from vanity and need littlest possible to upkeep
    6.)I’ve learned how to make my own lotions toothpaste, deodorant, and cleaning supplies for home.(that’s why I started my YouTube channel to help other do for themselves)
    7.) I’ve started storing up food and water
    8.) learned how to forage for food and water in the wild.
    9.) no matter what I’m doing to prepare all I CARE ABOUT IS THAT I DONT GET TURNED AWAY FROM CHRIST , HIM SAYING HE DONT KNOW ME! So I’m changing and doing my best to not be swayed…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    October 24, 2020

    get this. this virus is not as dangerous as the media has lead us to believe. the flu has already killed more people this year than covid has done. it has been proven in Europe that covid has been around since oct last year and they have people in Europe with it since then. the gov in dca has been telling people that dca is virus free. do you all know how many Europeans Chinese USA nationals and visitors who came to dca from Oct to march this year? this virus has proved that a mask will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to protect a person. the gov has been telling you all that dca is virus free. if the country is virus free then why should you be needed to wear a mask? ask your government why they been lying from you for so long. there are young healthy people who have died randomly and haven’t been tested to see if they had the virus. the number of elderly that have passed this year is already higher than the same time last year.1.2% of infections are fatal in people with other diseases

    • Da Girl
      October 26, 2020

      There is a difference between ‘no active cases’ and ‘virus free’. I have not heard a single press conference where it was said that we were virus free. Furthermore, if that was the belief of the ministry, that we are virus free, why would they be pushing for continued vigilance and adherence to public health measures???

      And I am just tired of hearing that the flu kills more people. The flu has nothing on this virus so stop trying to downplay this thing. People not gonna take this thing seriously until they are personally affected.

      • MAGWA CA
        October 26, 2020

        and it should be downplayed just like the flu . the sooner we downplay it and stop believing all the bullcrap that the media has been putting in small minded people like your heads. this virus has been around for yearssss check out the WHO website and see all the outbreaks of the virus there has been over the past few years all of them originating in saudi arabia and the midle east. thius virus also originated there . but remember china is the badguy these days so as soon as the outbreak was detected by china the media started spreading the false information cause thats what sells news and gets them ratings and makes money. stop being a fool. the flu kills 5% of the people who contract it covid 19 has so far not even killed 1.2% of the people who contracted it. majority of people who are passing away would have been killed by the flu virus. look at Australia sky news if you want to get informed properly instead of listening to those biased US news channels dominicans like to take

  5. TsadaqYah
    October 23, 2020

    What all you really think that little cloth mask stopping?one of the most “dangerous” disease known to man? SMH! stop living in fear and seek The Creator! NO BELIEF!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12
  6. It is not about you
    October 23, 2020

    That is the one of the weaknesses of a democratic society: Most people want to do whatever they want, regardless of how their attitudes and behaviours negatively affect others. In a dictatorship, some of the people interviewed would not even be asked a question.

    Wearing a mask has been proven to be a simple and inexpensive way to fight this virus. Since February 2020, I have been using a face mask whenever I am out in public spaces. I am willing to continue to wear one for as long as the virus remains a global threat. Also, for years I have carried various sizes of hand sanitizers (pocket, purse, handbag sizes etc.) with me and bottles of water and antibacterial liquid soap in the vehicles that I drive to wash my hands whenever necessary. Why? I realize the importance of these practices to protect myself, those at home and everyone who comes in contact with me, if I am sick.

    The Government should not have to “force” people to wear a mask for their own safety. Smh.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
      October 24, 2020

      remember the days of Noah
      remember the days of lot
      why weaken the children of Jacob
      remember the enemy always come disguise as a friend to give aid
      they friend your leaders in the community
      then undermine
      then destroy from inside

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