Thursday 5 August 2021

Is Costa Rica really as good as its press releases?”

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Ten years ago I wrote a short ebook with this title. But I think the title still means something.

The first thing? Almost everyone reading KNOWS how big Costa Rica is… in size, diversity, and population. But no one thinks about it. I mean, come on… Costa Rica is not even as large as most states in the U.S.

It is REALLY SMALL.

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Can you imagine your own state accomplishing the things that Costa Rica has? I doubt it … unless you are New York, California, or other large states in the U.S. … oops, guess some of those aren’t doing real well either, are they?

But today?

We all know that Costa Rica is one of the premier vacation spots in the world… and most of you reading this can list off the reasons why.

Costa Rica is flat out gorgeous … and with its diversity, it seems to go on forever. My wife and I take road trips all the time… we leave early in the morning and we are back at night… and we can see almost everything in the country in that time span. I mean you have variety that is impossible almost any other place in the world. I have been here nearly two decades and I swear that we never get tired of those road trips.

No one denies that Costa Rica advertises itself… personally, I don’t think it needs to… but it does.

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But today… with the pandemic… my own country is a mess… and I am in Costa Rica. And I thank god, because half the members of my family are about ready to have nervous breakdowns because of the anger, the rioting, and the dissention all throughout the country.

They are unhappy… and miserable is a better word. And they all envy us.

But this country gets criticism too.

And in spite of its small size, limited budget, and limited personnel it has handled itself head and shoulders above nearly all other nations. And others are holding Costa Rica up as a model.

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But there is criticism too.

A lot of its citizens feel that the country should help those who are starving and have lost their jobs as a result of the lockdown and the pandemic and the rules that have been enacted.

And they feel that “stimulus checks” should be forthcoming because many other nations are doing so.

And most of all … they want the borders to open because they want things “back to normal.”

They are no different than people anywhere in the world. But how they handle it… the government AND the people… is different.

Costa Rica, statistically, ranks among the very top of all countries in the world for the number and percentage of deaths, and infections… and has received recognition for doing so. But many feel that they should be doing more… and on one hand Costa Ricans are proud but… on the other…

The government has chosen to protect its people from a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands and has not yet stopped or even been effectively dealt with.

The government of Costa Rica has put the lives of its people first before anything else… and many criticize the actions as being selfish.

Yet we all see what has happened to other countries that open their borders and end lockdowns earlier than scientists and virologists recommended.

It is a “Catch22”… no one wins.

No one can predict what would “really happen” if the country of Costa Rica opened its borders to visitors and vacationers as well as people from neighboring countries… But actions in other countries have given pretty solid indications of the future… should the borders be opened before the so-called experts recommend?

There is no doubt that arguments for and against any country opening their borders and essentially sacrificing lives in order so that its citizens can begin to return to normal… to get their jobs back… and pray that deaths stop.

But that is a risk that, thus far, Costa Rica has chosen not to take.
And it has been roundly criticized…

Are they wrong?

I personally believe that the country is doing the right thing…placing the lives of its citizens ahead of vacationers and a return to normality.

Others don’t.

I don’t know who is right and what will happen next.

What I know for certain is that my own country is in crisis and nearly everyone there is unhappy…

And I am in Costa Rica… and I am thankful.

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Randy Berg
My name is Randy Berg … and I am, I guess, officially an “old guy”. Now, my best guess is that you are thinking something along the lines of “why should I give a sh.. ?” And you will have to be the judge of that as one of the editors of this online “newspaper” asked me if I wish to contribute my writings. And no, that does not mean that you will like my writing. But I hope you do… and I want to start by telling you that my writing is a little different than most. I don’t use flowery language and I usually write too much on each subject, mainly because I don’t know of any other way to write. It is what it is. I write from the heart and I tell it exactly as I see it.

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