I have had several people asking me what it is like here during this pandemic. Some have wondered how different things are here from The States and other countries. I can’t speak for other countries but I can paint a picture of what it looks like in Costa Rica in the 4th month of the Covid-19 pandemic. I have already talked about this some but I thought I would do a little check in. ￼
Things started out very good here in Costa Rica. Our bread and butter is tourism and this all stared in the busy season and that is not ideal but even so the government took it very seriously and put very strict social distancing, driving restrictions, and closed businesses and schools very quickly. Recently though, we have experienced our numbers going up more rapidly. When you look at the numbers as a whole country it doesn’t seem like much but you have to remember that we are a very small county.
￼￼We have 7,231 reported cases of Covid-19. (For prospective, the population of Costa Rica is about 5 million.) We have been under very specific and very enforced driving restrictions since March. Right now, we (Nathan and I) are only allowed to drive on Thursday and Sunday and in most areas the curfew is 5:00pm and the latest is 7:00pm. In the areas where the curfew is 5pm (where the cases are the highest) you can only drive to essential businesses (hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores.) ￼
You may ask how they decide what days you get to drive. It is all based on the last number of your license plate. If you get caught driving on a plate restriction day then you get fined about $200￼. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten about halfway to where I’m going and panicked about whether or not I was supposed to be driving that day. I finally picked up on the pattern of what days I could drive and then they changed it recently.￼ ￼
Nathan is still required to work 100% from home. (But so happy to have a job🙏🏽🙌🏽) Pictured above is his homemade standing desk. Made from a boogie board.
Buses and public transportation are only operating at 20%. Playgrounds and public areas are closed. All restaurants are closed on weekends. These are just a few things that come to mind but I know there are more. ￼On a positive note, I have to mention that our grocery stores shelves are stocked and we have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels. We have not gone with out and I’m very thankful. ￼￼￼￼ I don’t mention these things to complain I just want to paint a picture of what it’s like because I do think that Costa Rica has made some very important tough decisions to slow the spread of the virus. ￼
Masks are required and I am happy to wear it. My kids need to be back in school and whatever I need to do to make that happen I’m happy to do it. If I need to wear a hazmat suit to go to the grocery store I’ll do that🤪
I don’t say that because I am so ready to get them out of the house but because they need to get to be with their friends and teachers. I’m not in a hurry. Whatever time it takes to get the vaccine and make things safe is great. I just see what a toll this is taking on them emotionally. ￼￼￼￼
I can hardly even stand to get on social media lately because of all the negativity and arguing about masks. I am just trying to stay positive. I tell Nathan all the time that I’m just so proud that we have been stuck together for all these months and our kids haven’t hurt each other!! That’s a big deal! They are each other’s only in-person friends right now and for the foreseeable future.
￼We are sad that we are not going to be able to go to The States this summer and I just can’t believe that￼ I will go so long without seeing my family BUT I want everyone to be safe and healthy. It’s like I tell my kids often….this is temporary. In the meantime we are enjoying our neighborhood, trying to enjoy some local beauty, exercising and cooking a lot. Blake is starting a little virtual summer ￼program tomorrow. And then very soon it will be time for school for everyone. It will be virtual again I’m sure and that will be fine. We are very fortunate to have that option. ￼