Rico’s DIGEST – Here we are, Monday, July 13, at the start of a week with the toughest restrictions of this pandemic. Not the entire country is affected. The area with Costa Rica’s largest population is under the “hammer”, an orange alert that has literally shut down commerce and forces people to stay home.
Outside most of the greater metropolitan area, the yellow alert allows the continuing of phase 3 of the government’s reopening program.
Both, the orange and yellow alerts are in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus, flatten the curve, moving to the “dance” portion of the recovery, as explained a few weeks back by President Carlos Alvarado.
What is open and not in the areas under orange alert this week? From San Ramon to Paraiso (Cartago) and Aserrí to Pococí, only open are supermarkets, grocery stores, pulperias (corner stores) and pharmacies.
Butchers, bakeries, fruit & vegetable vendors, home delivery (food, drug store, vet, hardware store), funeral homes, health care centers, and few others.
Basically, anything business that is not related to groceries and medicine is closed, including banks. Yes, banks.
The hammer on movement is through a 24-hour vehicular restriction. Buses and taxis are permitted to operate, at reduced capacity. All other vehicles (if not on the list of exemptions, we all know those now) are permitted to circulate from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm based on the last digit of the license plate.
Typically, the measure is on plates restricted, reducing traffic restricting 2 plates of 20% of the vehicles.
For this week it is plates permitted, that is only 20% of the vehicles can be on the road during the day: Monday (today) only vehicles with plates ending in 1 & 2 can circulate; Tuesday 3 and 4, Wednesday plates 5 & 6, Thursday 7 & 9 and Friday 9 & 0.
Apart we can soon be together again. The responsibility is of each one of us, no matter if you believe the virus not to be real, it is a hoax, it doesn’t exist or that you believe it has been blown way out of proportion.
I, like most of you, have not been touched closely by the virus. I cannot say I have close friends who have or are ill from the virus or have died. But I have seen enough from the different reports, talking to my network of contacts, some of who, at the beginning called it a ploy of the new world order and other stuff, are now wearing masks (even before the mandatory on June 27) and staying at home, both here in Costa Rica and abroad.