Hogar de Vida (Home of Life), a Christian children’s home for abused and orphaned young children here in Atenas gains much of its budget each year from the visit of “mission teams” who pay to come work with and for the children year around with most coming during the northern summer months (now). The Coronavirus has stopped all team visits this year through at least August with the borders closed and groups afraid to travel, thus there is a financial emergency at both the home here in Atenas, Costa Rica and the similar home in Guatemala. Go to this link and consider giving online to help the children here in Costa Rica or the ones in Guatemala if you choose:
Costa Rica will begin easing some coronavirus measures starting May 1, President Carlos Alvarado and Health Minister Daniel Salas announced Monday afternoon. Theaters, gyms and athletic centers — which have been closed since March 18 — will be permitted to reopen during the week. But some of the country’s most impactful restrictions, including a ban on arriving tourists, will continue.
Read these linked articles in English on the Tico Times website:
We began this week yesterday with positive information on the spread of COVID19 in Costa Rica showing no significant increase with a total of about 600! Read multiple articles at https://ticotimes.net/or for the specific articles I think interesting, click the titles below. I think it particularly interesting how the traffic is kept down by limiting which days you can drive your car based on the last digit of your license tag. And police are giving tickets for those who “cheat” on what really means a restriction from driving on just two days a week! Not bad! But us walkers can walk on any day! 🙂
A week ago I showed you how I looked like a cowboy bank robber in my bandannawhich I’ve been wearing when out in the public for “necessities” like groceries, etc. Well, an enterprising local Tica seamstress, whom I’ve used for other purposes, is now making masks according to an online medically-approved pattern and a bunch of us in Roca Verde got some at only mil quinientos colones each or about $2.60 each in dollars. Washable and with a choice of several colors and fabric designs! 🙂 Those white medical masks are simply not available here.
Costa Ricans are a “can do” people and this local seamstress rose to the occasion! I hope it will help her little local business. And you may ask, “Why are you going to so much trouble when Costa Rica has only 500 cases of COVID19 and only 2 cases in Atenas?” Well, duh? It is because we as a country and a town are taking all the medically recommended precautions and have basically “shut down” everything that we are not ravaged by the pandemic like the U.S and we did it early. The government here is helping the businesses and tourism hurt by this and in another couple of months (hopefully) we just might be back to “normal” without thousands of people dead like in some other countries.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
The following opinion article was copied from the Live in Costa Rica Blog: (Stats not as up-to-date as Tico Times articles above, but expresses much of my sentiment.)
Day by day, I am thankful for living in an underdeveloped country like Costa Rica.
Where after one week since the outbreak of the first case of coronavirus already the schools mechanical engineering and physics at the University of Costa Rica have prototypes of ventilators they produced;
where the Clodorito Picado Institute, thanks to many years of development and production of antidotes for venomous snake bites, is now conducting experimental trials with plasma from patients who have already recovered;
where the National Institute of Apprenticeships INA (a type of trade school) is using its facilities to make robes, sheets, towels, and other hospital supplies;
where in a matter of days one hospital has been retrofitted with cutting edge technology in order to increase the number of hospital beds;
where a Costa Rican woman, living in Germany, invented an APP to make paperwork easier, so that senior citizens can get help from the comfort of their homes;
where the Costa Rican government (CCSS) chartered a plane to bring medical supplies all the way from China.
where only two patients have died from this epidemic in the whole country;
where nobody is denied medical care, even foreigners and tourists;
where supermarkets make their products available for the most needy like senior citizens with special schedules;
where health care workers, and law enforcement have sacrificed their vacations to help; and where our farmers work incessantly to fill the shelves of our grocery stories and cupboards demonstrating that indeed we are self-sufficient.
We produce milk, rice, meat, vegetables, beans, fruit, cereal and everything else we need. Basic services are accessible to everyone.
We even send medicine to the most needy by mail. Even without an army, our police force maintains order. Even in the most remote corners of our country small medical clinics (EBAIS) and schools can be found to serve the population.
Today a number of infected people in the US, Spain, Italy, for example, cannot afford to purchase a test to see if they test positive for coronavirus.
Today I ask myself , Really, how UNDERDEVELOPED is our country versus those who say they are developed? Today I feel proud of my country and its people.. ? ?? ~Christopher Howard
When you are forced to stay home I guess it is normal to change things in your house as well as to play on the computer! 🙂
For the 5 years I’ve been in this house I’ve always had my breakfast table at the left or NW corner of my terrace (best mountains vista) and the two rockers at the other end, nearer the driveway, SE corner. Since I’ve gone to sitting in the refinished rockers a little more now, I decided to move them to the left with a better view of the mountains beyond Atenas. Next I will ask my gardener to replace that old-looking plant in the frog pot. Of course I’m old-looking too, but don’t replace me just yet! 🙂
Rearranged Porch or Terrace
You will notice on the photos title I used “porch” which is what I grew up calling it in south Arkansas, while later, by my Tennessee days, I called it a “deck” and now here in Costa Rica it is called a “terrace” or la terraza en español, maybe because most floors are made of tile here? And I evolve with my surroundings! 🙂
Coming eyeball to eyeball with a hummingbird on my terrace is as exciting to me as any celebrity I’ve met . . .
Monday I returned to my dentist to see if the infection was gone so they can finish my root canal, stuffing it with something they get from a tropical tree. Unfortunately it still had infection though improved a lot and not painful, but I need more antibiotics and time. I wait 2 more weeks for it to be completed. Patience!
And when I arrived I witnessed this new sign (feature photo) taped to the front door that they now accept only emergencies, but they assured me that my infection is included in what the government accepts as “emergencies.” So I do get to go back in 2 weeks for what I hope is the last time! 🙂
Everything is different now with Coronavirus! The whole world is in a state of change!
They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
And if the virus caused you to cancel your Costa Rica vacation, try this very short 1 minute “Virtual Vacation” video clip. ¡Pura vida!
Like Costa Rica’s emblematic Sloth, the people here are always smiling and prepared for come what may – even Coronavirus! Feature photois by the Sloth Rescue Ranch, not me, and from Tico Times. Read on to see how better prepared little Costa Rica is than the big ol’ USA and thus we will get over it quicker too! 🙂
Thursday’s Tico Timesedition reminded us of how better prepared we are than a lot of bigger countries for the pandemic, like our great university is already making emergency respirators for when/if needed at only $140 each! (You think the U.S. would ever do that?) People are ready to sacrifice financially for the 25 days we are closed to all outside tourists (and it will be much longer before tourism is back to normal–like by next winter we hope). Here are the specific articles this week in Tico Times about the pandemic’s affects on Costa Rica:
Though we have fewer cases of the Coronavirus here in Costa Rica, our government has done a better job than many countries of educating people and keeping the number of cases low and thus as an “older person” I am staying in my house now (as recommended) except for these limited people contacts:
Supermarket – And I finally wised up to going when they are not crowded, like early morning.
Bank to pay 2 monthly bills and get cash at ATM (avoid Monday, Friday, & 1st)
Maid comes once a week and we keep our distance
Neighbor delivered Carrot Cake to several of us live-alone singles 🙂
And what keeps me from having “cabin fever” or boredom staying at home all the time? Well, that is easy to answer! I keep doing what I’ve always done since I retired in Costa Rica (minus the travel now):
What I Do Without Other People
(1) Birding that I can still do early mornings right here in my own neighborhood or even walk to other parts of Atenas away from the crowds solo as I prefer anyway.
(2) Blogging started becoming a regular thing for me back in 2014 before I even moved here as I focused then on the decision-making of such a move and now it is my replacement of many failed attempts at journaling, plus I actually have regular followers now and enjoy helping others who are considering retiring in Costa Rica, plus it is still a report to family and friends back in the states who want to keep up. Its a fun and creative outlet! 🙂
(3) Life History Recording (very slowly in the background) as it becomes much of the undated portion of my blog/website, the way WordPress blogs/websites have been organized from the beginning (dated blog & undated “static” pages). And in some ways a part of this history is my . . .
(4) Photo Gallery which was originally going to be pages of this WordPress website, but because of the future potential problem of using too much memory and slowing down access, and me not liking their gallery templates that well, I chose to use a photo gallery specialist at a separate address with a link from my site menu where I can put the full-size photo files (WP wants me to “web-size” photos). Though it is only a click away from my website/blog Home Page, it is actually located on a different server where I have a plan with unlimited space, thus putting all of my important photos, both historical and current on it. And I’m still working on the historical part! 🙂 Hey! I have thousands of photos made just since 2000 and still picking through them for the best to put in the gallery. And oh yes, I chose SmugMug.com as the best looking and easiest to use of the many options today! (Having tried Flickr & Pbase.) And from my gallery you can even order prints or wall art of any of my photos! 🙂
(5) Spanish Lessons Online now! No people contact there! 🙂
(6) The heaviest people contact I’ve had in the past was in almost monthly trips to lodges all over Costa Rica. I postponed two trips, one next week to San Gerardo de Dota and my May trip to San Isidro del General, which had included going on public bus (not healthy now). After that I’ve planned a July birthday trip to Manquenque Lodge in a tree house room as I turn 80 and things will have to get pretty bad for me to miss that! 🙂 I’m using my personal driver to get there and its in “the middle of nowhere” jungles where there should not be any virus. But I wait and see! 🙂
“At this point, it is believed many of the world has come in contact with the virus. And for that reason, we all have to experience social distancing and self-quarantine at various levels.”
RAIN — RAIN — a real rain with a lot of water yesterday afternoon, not the little sprinkle we had on the 24th. This is good news! The gardens and trees will love it and maybe the rainy season is starting early this year – we will see. But at least I don’t have to water for a few days now! 🙂
I still find it hard to show rain in a photo, so I won’t share my effort. But this is a big deal because there has been no rain since early December and we sometimes have to wait until May! I am not living in a rainforest, even though nearby. The Central Valley is in between the cool/wet cloud forests and the hot/wet/humid rainforests, thus our claim of “the best weather in the world” needing no a/c or heat ever here! But we do have rainy and dry seasons and it is still considered “tropical.” 🙂
SETTING THE WAY TO GO FOR ALL GLOBAL INSTITUTIONS COMBATING THE PANDEMIC
The United Nations (UN) representative in Costa Rica has recognized the “exceptional and innovative” way in which the country has responded to the Covid-19 Pandemic. “Under the leadership of the President of the Republic (Carlos Alvarado), the Minister of Health (Daniel Salas), the Emergency Operation Center (COE) and all related institutions are truly developing an inter-institutional response and an exemplary articulated response,” was said by Alice Shackelford, UN coordinator in the country.
Shackelford highlighted, for example, the fact that the National Liquor Factory (Final) is producing gel alcohol, instead of Guaro Cacique, to supply demand and that “Correos de Costa Rica” is providing facilities to distribute this product to the population. “There is a coordinated, articulated response, also thinking about an innovative system that can help us against Covid-19,” said the representative.
She states that “on behalf of the United Nations System we want the citizens to know that the country is being accompanied to develop this response by the different implementation plans to ensure that no one is left behind.”
Hackelford indicated that they are supporting the communication and development of the country’s official’s message to the population about the novel Coronavirus, with a more specific focus on more vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples, children and adolescents, senior adults and people with disabilities to ensure that no one is left behind.
On Thursday morning the country had registered 69 people infected with the virus, one of whom died last Wednesday and five others continued hospitalized. The first fatality is a retired doctor (pediatrician), 87 years old, who was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit of the San Rafael de Alajuela Hospital.
Daily, the health authorities offer a press conference to inform the population about the new cases, the measures to be taken and insist that citizens do not leave their homes unless for urgent needs. Among the provisions that have been taken as a result of the pandemic, there is the suspension of classes until April 13th, the cancellation of large public gatherings, the suspension of sports activities and the closure of discos, bars, and casinos.
Also, as of this Thursday, all borders are closed for the arrival of foreigners, while nationals and residents entering the country will be placed in mandatory quarantine. For its part, the bank system will prioritize the adjustment of debts for those affected by the virus, and the National Rehabilitation Center (Cenare) was designated as the exclusive hospital to attend patients with Covid-19.