Things That Matter

Argentinian Teen Electrocuted To Death While Walking Barefoot in the Dominican Republic

Melina Caputo, 17, was on vacation in the Dominican Republic with her family when one misstep ended her life. Caputo was walking back from the beaches of Punta Cana to her hotel room when she came in contact with a live wire and was electrocuted. By the time paramedics arrived, they were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead on the scene. Her brothers and cousins reportedly witnessed her death.

Caputo’s grandparents hosted Melina and her brothers on the Dominican Republic trip.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

It was the last day of their trip, and the group was heading back to the hotel, Be Live, presumably to pack up and head back home to Argentina. Melina was walking back from the beach barefoot, and once she stepped up onto some metal stairs, she reportedly “came into contact” with a live wire. Preliminary investigations assert that the teenager died from cardio-respiratory failure, but the family is waiting for results from the autopsy.

The Director of Communications for the hotel chain insists there were no live wires on the hotel’s property.

Credit: melllchu / Instagram

The family was staying at Punta Cana resort Be Live of Bayahibe. Its parent company, Globalia, has issued a statement asserting that there is no live wiring on their property. There are no reports as of yet as to who is responsible for the live wiring found on the metal bridge linking the beach to the hotel property.

Melina’s father has since traveled to the resort to make arrangements for her body.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

He’s also there to offer support to his family. Since her, her friends have posted emotional tributes honoring the young girl’s life. Nicolas Baistrocchi, who was Facebook married to Melina, shared, “We both thought that if we were going to separate, it would be when we are old, but I never imagined that I was going to lose you so soon.”

Her brother, Leandro, has taken to social media to honor her memory.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

“I saw you being born, I saw you growing up, I saw you fighting, I saw you crying, I saw you smiling, I saw you dreaming,” he wrote in an emotional post. “I know you were a good-intentioned person, as you were always fighting for the defenseless, I apologize my love for not being able to do more to have you by my side.” Leandro witnessed his sister’s death.

Just last week, Leandro shared a new tattoo: her name inscribed on his chest, por siempre.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

In pure poetry, Leandro captions the post, “We had those same pleasures, those of scratching ourselves like a school bench, those “gustos” of piercing our ears, nose, weird clothes, extravagant hairstyles. The sad tunes that only our souls could feel hugged by, and now it’s my turn to follow without you, how? I still don’t know, but with the hope that you give me, las fuerza hermanita, I love you madly, my guardian angel and wait for me, please. We still have a thousand songs to dance to.”

The last thing Melina posted on her social media before she died was, “me voy despidiendo,” which means “I’m saying goodbye.”

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

Melina also had a separate Instagram account for her band. The photos she posted of herself wearing goofy, white plastic glasses with her friends and side-view car mirrored selfies are all framed with beautiful images of roses and palm fronds. 

After 13 Americans have died in the Dominican Republic so far this year, Melina’s death is only the latest.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

It’s hard for any family to make sense of the reported deaths in the Dominican Republic thus far. While the DR’s minister of tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, balked at the notion that the DR is any less safe than its ever been, the United States’ own FBI launched its own investigation. Since then, tourism has dropped by 74 percent on the island, and Javier Garcia is finally acting.

New measures have been put in place that could help save lives, and assure tourists that they are safe.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

The Dominican Republic has newly officiated a Department of Tourism Services and Companies. The department will oversee the enforcement of new policies that include ensuring medical professionals on staff at hotels are sufficiently qualified, that lifeguards are fully certified, along with reinforcing an existing law that requires hotel staff to notify guests of what to do in the case of an emergency. After a string of deaths related to consuming mini bar liquors, resorts are now required to release their standard operating procedures for handling food items and a list of all their beverage suppliers.

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic

Man Posts Plea For People To Social Distance After Falling Ill Of COVID-19 And Died The Next Day

Things That Matter

Man Posts Plea For People To Social Distance After Falling Ill Of COVID-19 And Died The Next Day

Tommy Macias / Facebook

The world is still in the midst of a deadly viral pandemic. COVID-19 is not going away on its own and there are things that people can do to slow the spread. One of the most effective tools is wearing a mask followed up by social distancing. One man thought he could ease up and contracted the virus. Here is his warning.

A man known as Tommy Macias died one day after warning people about the dangers of COVID-19.

Credit: Tommy Macias / Facebook

Macias died the next day after posting this message on Facebook warning his friends and family about the dangers of COVID-19. According to the man’s post, he attended a party and contracted the virus there. Health experts have warned against gathering with friends and family right now. Parties have become some of the most infectious sites leading to the current outbreaks across the country.

Macias’s Facebook post touches on a point that drives home the importance of wearing face masks. After being exposed, he then exposed his entire family because he ignored health regulations.

The man’s death from COVID-19 has created a fear among his friends.

“Don’t take advantage of the unknown, don’t expect things to be fine. Take this shit seriously,” @flawlessbikerzcordova wrote on Instagram. “I had been diligent about wearing my mask but from time to time loosen up around the crew and friends. Not anymore!”

The U.S. is seeing a spike in cases across several states and cases are increasing in 35 states. The U.S. has seen record infection numbers in recent days and that trend is mirrored in Calfornia where the sudden reopening of the economy led to a runaway outbreak in the state.

Macias is now one of the more than 127,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

According to NBC News, the Riverside County Office of Vital Records confirmed that Macias did die from COVID-19. According to Macias’s brother-in-law, Macias was diligent about wearing his mask and following health regulations. However, when California Governor Gavin Newsom signaled rapid reopening within weeks in June, Macias felt safe letting down his guard.

“He was quarantining because he was overweight and had diabetes,” Lopez told NBC News in explaining how careful Macias has been.

Macias’s death is a warning to Americans.

As the quarantining drags on due to reopening reversals, fatigue is setting in with Americans about self-isolation. With a holiday weekend underway, Macias’s message is a warning call to Americans as social distancing is forgotten and people argue over masks.

Health experts continue to stress the importance of wearing face masks when out in public and to stay away from indoor gatherings with friends, like parties. It might be uncomfortable and you might not like it but it is what we need to do to get back this virus.

Please stay safe, smart, and follow health guidelines this 4th of July weekend.

READ: #TheWorldReopenedAnd Is Highlighting All The Ways We Are Failing In Our Response To COVID-19

After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

Things That Matter

After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

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For one Argentian man, there really ain’t no mountain high enough.

After the coronavirus pandemic halted international travel, Juan Manuel Ballestero set sail on a three-month-long high seas journey to his see his 90-year-old father, proving not even a novel virus could keep him from his dad.

Ballestero set out to see his father after his home country of Argentina canceled all international passenger flights in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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Misión cumplida! La fe cruza oceanos

A post shared by Juan Manuel Ballestero (@skuanavega) on

According to The New York Times, Ballestero had been on the Portugal island of Porto Santo when Argentina canceled international passenger flights. Still determined to see his father, Ballestero decided to set out on an 85-day sailing voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. All on his own.

“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Juan Manuel said in an interview with The New York Times. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”

Ballestero is a veteran sailor and fisherman who has been a lover of water since he was 3 years old.

Still his family expressed that they were nervous about his decision to go his journey alone.

“The uncertainty of not knowing where he was for 50-some days was very rough, but we had no doubt this was going to turn out well,” his father, Carlos Alberto Ballestero said in an interview with The New York Times.

He also documented the trip all while on Instagram.

Though Ballestero made the trip home safe and sound, he did run into a few issues along the way.

Ballestero said that on April 12 authorities in Cape Verde barred him from docking his sailboat so that he could replenish his food supply and refuel his boat. At the time, Ballestero was eating only canned tuna, fruit, and rice. Because of Cape Verde’s denial, he was forced to continue forward with less fuel and rely on winds. What’s more, towards the end of his trip, Ballestero hit choppy waters and was forced to add an additional 10 days to his trip while in Vitória, Brazil.

Despite the complications, Ballestero said he never considered giving up. “I wasn’t afraid, but I did have a lot of uncertainty,” he explained. “It was very strange to sail in the middle of a pandemic with humanity teetering around me… There was no going back.”

Ballestero arrived on June 17 in Mar del Plata.

“Entering my port where my father had his sailboat, where he taught me so many things and where I learned how to sail and where all this originated, gave me the taste of a mission accomplished,” he shared before revealing that he had to take a test for COVID-19 before he could see his family. Fortunately, after 72 hours of waiting for his results, he found out that he was COVID-19-free and able to enter Argentina.

Despite his long trip, Ballestero said that he’s eager to hit the waters again soon.

“What I lived is a dream. But I have a strong desire to keep on sailing.”