Going to Alajuela the other day I snapped a cellphone photo of the mask-requirement sign and the markers on the sidewalk to make sure we stand in line 1.8 meters apart (the same as 6 feet), but failed to snap the hand-washing station you must use before going in bus or in the little coffee shop.
Mask-wearing is required in public by national law now and almost everyone wears a mask. I only occasionally see a man or young person cheating but they usually have a mask in their hand or in their pocket.
If Coronavirus Lockdown has created a need for you to take a vacation into nature, you can visit the most popular nature vacation country in the world, Costa Rica, starting November 1. Just test negative for the virus, wear your mask, and come social distance in paradise! But first read the Entry Requirements. We’ve been working hard to keep down the number of cases in Costa Rica and you will have to help us continue that. 🙂
I do not know a single person here in Costa Rica who has or has had the Coronavirus or died of it, but I keep seeing death of small businesses. The featured photo is of small shops closed in Alajuela on my trip there today. Typical of all over the country.
And this week I sadly report the permanent closing of one of my two favorite restaurants, Poco Loco (“A Little Crazy” in Spanish). He seldom had big crowds, but steady customers until the pandemic came and now there simply is not enough business (even with home delivery & “take-out” orders) to pay the expenses and he has permanently closed much to my dismay.
It was my favorite place for soup and salad (fabulous!) or almost any kind of sandwich as the best in town and he made the best Sangria in Atenas! But no more. Poco Loco is gone due people being afraid to get out of their houses now. My other favorite, Parillada Androvetto (my Friday night steak place), is still hanging on but just barely with one brother supplementing their income driving a taxi. Likewise an old favorite, Donde Bocha, is hanging on and I ate there yesterday. It’s hard for a lot of people right now. But they all keep their spirits high here and continue to say . . .
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
Congratulations to you in the New England States (New York north) for ignoring Trump, maintaining shut-downs and requiring masks! Because you are considered “safer” now Costa Rica will allow you to visit as a tourist following strict guidelines including a health insurance policy, a negative test and wearing of a mask. Check online or with your airlines for the requirements, also in an earlier TicoTimes article I linked . Welcome to paradise New England residents! And thanks to Steve & Lucy in New Hampshire for alerting me! Hope to see you soon! 🙂
For the rest of you Americans to see what you are missing, check out my photo gallery called:
I had to go to the bank this morning for two items of business and they were really busy because it was closed Monday for Mother’s Day (which was really Saturday but banks and government offices celebrate all holidays on Mondays here now.)
My small blessing is that the banks here have a special line for us old people, “adultos mayores.” There was only one lady ahead of me in that line while the regular line would have meant waiting an hour or more. My little blessing of the day! 🙂 Still took 20 minutes+. They are also slow here! 🙂
And oh yeah, they are now taking your temperature before you can go in the bank in addition to requiring a mask. Taking the virus seriously is paying off here! Masks are required everywhere now, country-wide.
I picked up my “Permanent” Residency card today. more than a year after I turned in the paperwork. It lasts 3 years instead of 2 like the pensionado (not 5 like someone told me) and is supposedly easier to renew. We will see! 🙂
I have not been regular in keeping my readers updated and sorry for that! I figured what was going on here does not affect you in other countries, but it may. For example, my sister sent me a birthday card and it bounced back to her. Our Ministry of Health includes the post office as part of the “Border Closing” which has been in effect since March, prohibiting travelers or mail from all other countries to help stop the spread of the virus.
I had to send my application for absent-tee voting by DHL (which along with UPS does work at a higher cost). And I get internet orders through my courier service Miami address, at Aeropost which flies packages directly here to our Customs Office for clearance.
LIMITED HUMAN FLIGHTS BEGIN AUGUST 1 from only Europe and Canada which will greatly help our struggling tourism businesses. Sorry USA! But you are the most dangerous country to let in right now, along with many other Latin American countries. I do not know what the restrictions will be on European and Canadian travelers, but I’m sure there will be requirements of some kind and maybe quarantines. We recently had another spike in cases, thus they are extra cautious while the tourism businesses beg for them to open. 🙂 Tough times!
Cars can travel on limited days only and everyone must wear a mask in public everywhere in the country. This week is our second week of restaurants providing only “to go” and “delivery” meals – no inside sit-down dining which might restart next week, but haven’t heard for sure. No barbershop until July 31 and I need a haircut! 🙂
But Costa Rica has the fewest cases of COVID19 of any other Latin American country which is something to be thankful for and proud of our national government for! So glad I live in Costa Rica now!
Featured Image is “Morning in the Rainforest” from Maquenque of course.
Not only are we required to wash our hands before entering the supermarket, but they have a sign from the Ministry of Health showing us how! 🙂 But hey! We don’t have thousands dying from COVID19 in Costa Rica!
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Costa Rica has the lowest COVID19 death rate (0.86%) in Latin America! See the statistics in the “Live in Costa Rica” blog report:
Thanks to my friend Larry for catching this fine AP News Article: Bird-watching soars amid COVID-19 as Americans head outdoorsRead the article linked to see what people all over the U.S. are doing more of now, then head over to eBird or just use your phone to download the free app Merlin to identify birds and start your “bird collection” online or in a photo gallery. My world-wide (10 countries) ebird count is over 530 now! 🙂 Thank you Larry for this great way to relieve one’s boredom from quarantine! And feel free to peruse my BIRDS photo collection that include 76+ species I photographed in the States before moving to Costa Rica.
Now, this quote from the article:
“The birds don’t know that there’s a pandemic. They’re migrating, building nests and laying eggs, just like they always have,” ~Michael Kopack Jr.
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: