Rico’s Digest – OPINION – People aren’t listening. They did under the strict measures of Semana Santa, where the strict vehicular restrictions kept vehicles off the road and stores closed, only shopping for groceries and medicines allowed.
But on Monday, the first day of the relaxed vehicular restrictions and opening on many stores had people forget that the threat of the beast was, is still, out there.
And despite of the tough words of Health authorities, in particular, the emotional call by Dr. Daniel Salas, with a hint of tighter restrictions to come if the word is not heeded, didn’t have much effect on Tuesday either.
Unfortunately, these actions of social disrespect, failing to maintain social or physical distancing or their hygiene as recommended, will come at a price
Virologist Christian Marín Müller assures that the crowds of people that we witness these first two days of the week could have repercussions in just over 10 days with an expansion of the virus.
For the expert, Health officials and many others, the measures of restriction and that generated isolation at home Semana have to return, only in this way can we keep ahead of this deadly respiratory disease and not have see the efforts to date go to waste.
What most, I suppose, don’t get it that Costa Rica’s health system, however great it may be, whatever confidence we have in it and its managers, is not equipped to handle a large volume of cases.
What many don’t get is that they may be, hopefully, no one should be, in a position one day very soon when a doctor has to decide who will get care and who will not.
We know what the outcome of that is.
The consequences will be deadly.
Authorities reiterate that, if sanitary measures are not followed and staying at home is avoided, they will be forced to take other actions.
Let’s look at some of the numbers.
Besides the obvious of the total reported every day of the infected, there is another number, growing daily, despite the strong sanctions, that of drivers violating the no drive order.
Since the nationwide vehicular restrictions went into effect, as of Monday, 8,541 drivers have been sanctioned. The patios (years of the Ministry of Transport) are overfilled with vehicles of all types.
Drivers seem to be happy to pay the fine for the privilege of driving when they shouldn’t be, that as of April 4 was raised to ¢110,400 colones, plus the six points on their driver’s license and the confiscation of the license plate and/or vehicle.
The lines a the Cosevi offices in La Uruca and across the regional centers, were long, and most not respecting physical distancing. This prompted the measure that, starting this morning, Wednesday, you can only retrieve license plates by appointment.
Watching the videos and photos on social networks, what disturbed me, besides a large number of people on the streets, but few wearing masks, few keeping a distance from others.
I too had planned to go out on Monday, get some fresh fruits and visit the hardware store to be able to fix a leaky faucet and toilet tank. This would have been my fourth outing since the last week in March.
But then I thought, and unfortunately, I was right, there are going to be a lot of people. Is it worth the risk of exposing myself?
I know it’s difficult. I have a couple of friends who are finding it hard to stay at home. “I am taking care of myself,” one says. “I am young and strong,” says another.
And maybe they are, but what of the people they come into contact with? How do they know they are taking care of themselves?
My biggest fear is not getting infected, but rather passing on that infection to those closest to me, those I care about. My question to one the foregoing friends, “do you not care enough of your little one at home?”
So, please, if not for yourself, but for the sake of that special person in your life and others in general, stay at home. And if you have to go out, put on a mask, use gloves whenever appropriate and have handy, in your pocket, in your purse, in your car, gel alcohol.
Put on a pair of gloves when using an ATM machine, wipe down your plastic money and wallet after use, before putting it in your pocket or purse, before getting in your car.
Wipe down the steering wheel, door handles, in and out, anything that you will come into contact for your drive. Then wipe down all the bags and items you took home from the grocery store, after you’ve washed your hands first.
Maybe I am overreacting, maybe even seem paranoid, but do you really want to stress yourself out when a few days later you get a little sniffle, even a runny nose due to the change of season were are currently in?
This too shall pass. And with taking care of yourself and caring for others, you will one day be able to tell the stories. So many aren’t be able to. Many others won’t either if we keep on this path.
Stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.
PS, on my second outing, I had to visit a bank branch, the BAC in Lindora. I really pissed me off that I had to pull down my mask at the counter for the security cameras. I had forgotten about this until I was reminded yesterday by a friend who had the same experience, but at Scotiabank.