We Do It Our Way

Tour de France riders, eat your heart out. Forget the water bottles and snacks handed out from the cars, do it the Costa Rican way…find a passing cow and help yourself! You need to know what you’re doing though, or you might risk a hefty hoof in your derailleurs which would leave you looking more jaundiced than your jersey – but at least you can be sure you’ll pass a dope test.

Not that Andrey Amador, the only Costa Rican riding in the Tour de France, will be looking for a handy cow.

A long serving Grand Tour ‘domestique’ he is riding for Team Ineos this year and Costa Rica will be keeping an eye on his prowess – something to keep minds off the blasted bug which has hit the country.

In which respect, the wheels have fallen off the campaign to contain it.

All went well in the early days. Existing hospitals were reorganised, a special hospital set up and the populace told to keep themselves to themselves to protect the vulnerable. Those presenting with symptoms were treated with the hydrochloriquine and zinc cocktail which produced excellent results save in the case of those with grave pre existing health problems. Then the WHO banned that treatment, so the hospitals turned to the use of dexametasone and steroids (anti inflamatories), oxygen therapy – including EMCO which is an extracorporean oxygenation machine – interleukin inhibitor and antibiotics -when the patient is reinfected by other pathogens. Not so effective…..but funding depends on WHO approval.

It also depends, it appears, on the numbers of cases reported.

Initially, when the cases began to spike, it was put down to the number of Nicaraguan ‘informal’ workers coming down for the fruit plantations’ picking and packing campaign. The Nicaraguan government deny there is a problem with the bug – even hold fiestas at which attendance is strongly recommended should you wish to keep in good odour with said government – and encourage their nationals to seek care in Costa Rica. Care which Costa Rica will provide nomatter the status of the person seeking it

No doubt the influx is a factor. Imagine a couple of infected people arriving and living in the squalid, hugger mugger conditions provided…or who go to visit family living in Costa Rica…

But the numbers have jumped…have high jumped….and anecdotal evidence is that when one person is tested positive, all those in their household are counted as positive also….inflate the numbers and increase the funding.

We had had confidence in our health service…and their management of the situation.

We still have confidence in the dedication of the medical staff – even if they cannot use the most effective tools.

We no longer have any confidence in the way in which government and the management of the health service are handling things.

Contracts for masks which are useless handed out to some tart running a communications business….numbers inflated to drum up funding…which ends up in whose pocket?

Good treatment banned, leaving staff to do their best with what they have….

Government ministers giving their statements all masked up…then being filmed mask free in close bikinied company on a yacht off the Pacific coast….or tucked up in de luxe hotels on the beach – mask free, of course.

Vehicle restrictions which all would accept in the cause of reducing infection, but which have turned into a money tree as traffic police impose fines for all and any infraction, hitting hardest, not the fly by nights, but the hard up guy who depends on his unlicensed motorbike to get to work to feed his family. Why it does not dawn on government that the high price of getting a licence, and for keeping a vehicle on the road hit the most needy hardest is beyond me…but Costa Rica prides itself on being eco friendly, so the poor continue to pay while the country flaunts its green credentials.

And now, having been so slow to close the borders, we are to allow tourists back in. To be fair, as a tourist, you stand little risk, unless you decide to visit the shanty towns around San Jose, the shacks housing the workers in the banana and pineapple plantations or the hospitals, but the risk to the local population of allowing tourists to enter with minimal restrictions is something else…just so that the largely foreign owned tourist trade can recoup its losses.

Tourism counts for only some eight per cent of GDP…but it has clout…and doubtless the transfer of funds from one pocket to another.

And in our little town, the reported case of one of the employees at the Walmart outlet has been made much of….whereas the absence from service of staff at the locally owned supermarket has been passed over in silence…

This virus has been presented as equivalent to the Black Death, which is nonsense. We have the means to combat it if not to utterly defeat it.

But perhaps the consequences mght be similar…..either people submit to the ukazes of their increasingly detached governments, or they strike out to free themselves of unjust restrictions in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

I fear that it will be the former…I would hope it would be the latter.

In my short time here I have seen the changes…worried about the future for my friends’ kids and grandchildren…it was an oligarchal society, but one which recognised that social justice reinforced its rule.

This virus has ripped up the underbelly of that society….but will people submit…or react?

Costa Rica was never a paradise…but it was socially stable….will our friends’ grandchildren find that they didn’t know what they had until it was gone?

And will this virus be the catalyst?


41 thoughts on “We Do It Our Way”

  1. I, too, love that photo.
    And yes, the ones howling to open borders are those who’ll be raking in the $$. And He-Who-is-Fixated-on-Economy will recklessly side with coal over any attempt to REALLY address climate change.

  2. Wow – that’s a new one for me, ‘helping yourself to a random cow’😜 personally I’d pass, knowing I’d probably get the hoof!

    Love ‘Big Yellow Taxi”, there have been so many remakes, but I alway love that happy melody🎵🚕

  3. Hi Helen, I didn’t know you have a background in medicine and maybe even virology?
    We need people like you to inform us of the true facts.

    Love the drink on tap photo; a great giggle in these confused and confusing times. Something instantly and unequivocally clear and understandable.

    1. That pic is just so Costa Rica!
      No background in either, but years of training in being able to pick apart arguments.
      The info I gave is straight from the horse’s mouth…..one of those in charge of treating virus patients in hospital – with expletives deleted.

    1. Super, isn’t it!
      I’d be very sad if the social cohesion that used to be prevalent went under, but people are so fed up with the lack of reliable figures, with the corruption touching medical supplies, with the restrictions on movement that I do fear that this virus could be the origin of a social division which will hurt all concerned.

    1. I am very much in favor of vaccines, which I keep updated religiously. Yet, even I may be hesitant of a covid vaccine in the US, if I thought the process of approval was rushed by a megalomaniac more interested in winning an election than in public health.

    2. According to The Lancet the Russian one seems to be O.K.,,,well, as O.K. as anything is which has not had time to show any potential side effects.
      And if the virus mutates will the vaccine have to be rejigged every year as happens with the ‘flu jabs?
      I worry that trials will be side stepped because of the perceived urgency.

  4. Alas, it would seem the global economy is loathe to anything other than immediate gratification of whatever stripe that entails. In the US where chaos (as well as greed) rules, there is a steady drip, drip, drip sound of democracy being frittered away in favour of authoritarianism. I’m embarrassed and ashamed for what we’ve allowed to happen and as a naturalized citizen long for those days where the “Greatest Generation” solved crises for the greater good. This country no longer knows or respects sacrifice as a means to an end. Instead it screams “you’re not the boss of me.” 😳

    1. Solidarity seems to have gone out of the window…and that is one of the things I worry about here. People were pulling together until the mishandling and abuse of health measures in high places beame known…now, much more individualism and refusal to accept what are, in respect of the figures, dodgy stats.

        1. the trouble is, people feel betrayed when fiddling and lying are involved in such a vital area as this virus…in other areas they shrug…used to it…but nit here. And the lack of confidence spreads…

  5. It was polite for the cow and rider to, uh, moooove to the side of the road. (snorf) There’s an additional side to this whole Covid situation and that’s the creation and festering of conspiracy theories that ultimately become corrosive to a society. Nothing is too outlandish. A claim that the disease was brought by aliens – the outer space kind – would be met without derision; in fact, there’s probably a YouTube video of their arrival. Too many folks hoping to leverage what is a public health situation to achieve personal political and/or financial gain – or is that just a conspiracy theory? Main thing: you and Leo stay safe and resist the call to party hearty at the fiestas.

    1. That’s one thing I don’t miss, the sound of landmines exploding to announce the start of a fiesta…….
      We stay out of the way as much as possible…but that’s nothing new. With Leo’s illness any ‘flu could start an attack so we are used to amusing ourselves at home. Luckily you and your good lady have Max to keep any rambling urges in check.
      One of the happier theories circulating is that no drunkard has died of the virus…..hic!….and it has to be said that the town’s complement of same appears to be undepleted despite their riotous assembly on the benches outside the park where social distancing consists of handing a bottle of booze from one to another. No masks…though they would probably have rotted from the fumes in any case.
      Peoples’ health is at stake here and i am jolly fed up with those in power playing political and commercial games rather than pulling together to get through this as best as possible.
      Stay well….and don’t be tempted to get Max any medical outfits…

      1. Hand sanitizer is 70% alcohol and is recommended for frequent external use so my thiught is that a nice bourbon at 43% alchohol would be a good complement for internal use. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Now, excuse me whilst I medicate…

        1. I have found liquid alcohol without ethyl added on sale ….a gentleman of my acquaintance in Turkey has a good recipe for gin using this. As purchase is limited to one litre per person per visit the staff either
          A think I am very worried about catching the bug or
          B will drink anything.
          Costa Ricans are unaware of the Scottish character so the answer is in fact
          C will drink anything if it is cheap enough….

    2. I did read a Twitter comment the other day claiming that a meteorite fell on China in October 2019 bringing the virus with it! These people may live next door to you!

      1. I live in Southern California so are 100% correct when you suggest there may be crazies next door. But I get all my news and opinions from Hollywood celebrities so I am fine. /sarc

  6. Helen, I do not know how this country can come to any resolution of the virus crisis, the governance crisis or the populace crisis.Even if we turn the scalawags out, is there strength or character enough in the replacement, to hold the country together while they muddle through. So, I’m Celtic enough to drink anything to solve the problem.

  7. Someone or other said there will be two endings to the pandemic – the social ending when people finally get sick of all the restrictions, start ignoring them and go back to life as usual, and the medical ending when the virus is finally under control and no longer a serious threat. The social ending seems to be gathering pace.

    Few people have much faith in the British government, which keeps being wrong-footed. The latest cock-up is advising people who want covid tests that tests are available 300 miles away.

    1. Stunning, isn’t it. If they are making these dedisons on ‘scientific advice’ then I suggest they try necromancers instead…
      Each time a new pronouncement comes out the words ‘brewery’ and ‘whelk stall’ come unbidden to mind.

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