There are some slight cultural differences between Costa Ricans and Americans but their tight connections and love for family seems to be the thread that has kept them home and safe through this world pandemic. I was ready for my Dad, 71 and his wife Ellen to leave after their three month visit with us. Not to be mean, I love them but it was time for us to have the place to ourselves again, throw some fun dinner parties with friends, walk around the pool naked, etc. On the flip side, Maria Jose, my beautiful Costa Rican shop manager was scared to death about getting her grandparents or her sister’s new born baby sick. After some tears and an awkward week of bleaching everything and spraying everyone down with hand sanitizer, I gave Maria Jose time off to go home and be with her family. She has been safe in quarantine with her family ever since.
I closed my shop doors March 17th, out of respect for my father who is in every high risk category of dying from the virus. I didn’t want to be the one who brought it home. He postponed his March 18th flight back to Virginia and now I’m so relieved he is here and safe. We had no clue what would happen, and when all the borders closed and we saw how America was responding, it was the best decision he could have made to stay in Costa Rica. It’s been lovely reconnecting with my teenage son, my boyfriend, my Dad, and Ellen. To avoid fights we don’t talk politics (EVER). Ellen bakes cookies and brings them up still warm, little treats that can make the day sweeter. My Dad is helping my son with his room remodeling projects. He keeps coming up with new business ideas for me, I nod and smile and say, “Good idea Dad”, but he doesn’t realize what a ghost town we are in right now. With borders closed and flights halted, no tourists are going to be here for a while.
This respect for staying home has worked here. We have no reported cases in Nosara, very few in the entire Country and hardly any deaths. Not only do we stay home but we have a 7pm curfew and can only drive on certain days of the week. Every social class here is obeying these laws. There are many people here without jobs and savings, it’s sad and scary to look into the future. The Nosara food bank is ready but we may be seeing some bleak times ahead. But still, we are playing by the rules in this Country.
New reports are coming out about the COVID 19 virus not being able to live long in the sun, warmth, or humidity. This is great news for future days spent in the sun on the beach. As much as my May birthday wish is to surf again, I pray for a vaccine. I pray for the world to get it together enough so Costa Rica will open their borders again so we can live and thrive Pura Vida style, not pure pain. We all depend on tourists in Costa Rica for our economy to grow. Please take care, please stay home, or in Spanish #quedenseencasa