An Island Without Corona: Lastovo Records Zero COVID-19 Cases

Daniela Rogulj

Sara Alduk
Sara Alduk

Sara Alduk

October 27, 2020 – One Dalmatian island with 760 inhabitants, a five-hour ferry ride from Split, has not recorded a single coronavirus case since the first was recorded in Croatia back in February. A closer look at why Lastovo records zero COVID-19 cases to this day.

Slobodna Dalmacija asked the head of the Lastovo Civil Protection Headquarters, Margaret Hropić, how the locals managed to achieve zero patients for nine months.

“We have no concrete explanation as to why no corona cases have been reported on the island all this time. We had a busy summer, quite a few tourists, life is the same as in all other areas. People violate and respect measures; there is no different, more special behavior that we practice in our community. We live like the rest of the world. We are a closed environment. Behind us, from a tourist point of view, it is a successful summer. Maybe we have stronger collective immunity. The area of the island is certainly energetically stronger due to the natural environment.

We are grateful to God and hope that He will keep us going. Maybe the explanation lies in some intangible reason; I have room to believe in such an option,” Margaret Hropić said.

One of the largest entrepreneurs in Lastovo, Marčelino Simić, the owner of one of the most famous restaurants in the southern part of the waters, and its marina, is almost of the same opinion. This summer, up to 30 yachts could be anchored on its pontoon simultaneously—and three-hundred people circulated in a small space. But what happened? Nothing. Everyone healthy, everything clean, everything tidy. So what’s the secret?

“So many people have passed, and did anyone become infected – no, did anyone have a fever – no, did the corona come – no. We had two, three cases of self-isolation, but from our people who came from outside to the island, so they had to go through that measure as well. And everyone was healthy. Why? It is not in the open, my dear, corona; it cannot survive there. There are few people on the whole island on 50 square kilometers. There are another 50 kilometers of water around us; our whole island is a great self-isolation. Care was taken when going ashore; care was taken on the ferry and catamaran. Each of us really cares about who we will stand with then and how we will behave. The neighbor and every peson on the island are taken care of. Because when I take care of them, I take care of everything and myself. And on Lastovo, there is a special energy that keeps us all together,” he says.

Furthermore, the island is experiencing a baby boom, with 10 babies this year! 

Bruna Rizvanović is among the pregnant women expecting a baby in late January to early February. She will be a mom for the first time.

“I know about five pregnant women; they say that there are about ten of them. It is difficult to count because we are connected by doctors in Split. I share the same day of birth with one. And to put it bluntly, we got pregnant at the same time, in April, May, during the lockdown. Well, the term clearly shows that we didn’t really keep a social distance,” Bruna laughs.

Her friend Martina Bašić Ivčević from Zaklopatica said that this is not the first time she has been in the center of a baby boom; one already passed ten years ago, when she was pregnant with her second child in a row. She is now expecting her fifth.

“And listen, there was a baby boom during corona. But I think it has to do with cycles, with decades. Now, why don’t we have a corona? Big cities – several cases, smaller areas, less. There is nobody here. We follow the rules; we wear masks, don’t have big gatherings, and we live. We protect each other. And so, everything runs as normal,” concludes Martina.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.



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