Starting to Feel the Effects of Isolation
Apr 18, 2020   Costa Rica
BLOG: Un-related thoughts and activites of the day . . . .

Wow, what just happened? I was so happy this morning and now I'm sad.
I feel, first of all, that I've been missing a huge opportunity by not blogging during this whole coronavirus pandemic. I should have started a month ago. But it is what it is and I can only try to write as much as I can now.

Second, I feel like I'm on a roller coaster. I've been doing great so far with the lockdown. Really, it's not too too much different than my normal life! ha ha. Well of course it is, but since I do work at home and I'm a computer nerd hermit, I sometimes don't leave the house for a week at a time. I've been "pretty" good with the sheltering in place thing. I mean I am in Costa Rica, in my own little cottage on the beach.

The couple that was in the cabin next door which, even though we were all social distancing, at least I had human bodies near by. They were very nice and we did talk from time to time. They even brought me half a fresh coconut one day.

Yesterday their car was gone then it was gone all night. Weird. So just a little while ago I texted her and asked if everything was okay. Turns out they decided to get on the second "repatriation" (rescue) flight out of Costa Rica back to the states. So they are up in San Jose in a deserted hotel awaiting their flight in 2 days on April 20. The fact that their current flight out of here on Alaska was just delayed until sometime in June was just too much for them. I don't blame them. Despite the fact that all the emails from the US Embassy keep stating "Those who choose to remain overseas should be prepared to remain in Costa Rica for the foreseeable future.", this has quickly become much more than any of us had thought it would be.
The two neighboring cabins to my right. Awesome huge bamboo.
The two neighboring cabins to my right. Awesome huge bamboo.
So anyway, as soon as I read her text, I had this wave of emotion come over me. I felt so ALONE! I cried! Where did that come from? I could tell a couple of days ago that, even though I think "this is no problem", that I'm starting to have a bit of a hard time with the isolation. I'm feeling more lonely, I'm starting to miss home which until now I've been able to separate it from here. But now that line is starting to blur. There are friends I want to see, a cat I want to cuddle with, and life I need to get on with.

On Easter, when Sue invited me for supper at Coquito and I said yes. I needed some social interaction. I miss her and Carlos - my new family. I felt, and feel, guilty about it, but it was so nice. Even though we are hundreds of miles from the nearest recorded case of COVID-19, I know that it could still be here. I believe one of the reasons it's not here (at the moment) is because people are being so careful. Well, some people. LOL
Grilling up the meat on a tiny little grill with a tropical downpour going on outside.
Grilling up the meat on a tiny little grill with a tropical downpour going on outside.
Barely (sort of) found a spot to put the table without water dripping in from the rain. My Zancudo family.
Barely (sort of) found a spot to put the table without water dripping in from the rain. My Zancudo family.
I also "risked my life for some soap" the other day. Since I had brought with me the amount of certain toiletries that I would need for my 2-month day in Costa Rica, now at 2 1/2 months, I'm running out. I keep thinking that okay, if I ration my shampoo, I can make it until May 3, when Delta is supposed to start flying again. In short, I'm not using enough shampoo and that it not helping my mood. I also have no more body wash so I'm using little hotel bar soaps that leave my skin feeling sticky and itchy. I'm almost out of q-tips so I'm rationing those more than I should be.

Why don't I just buy more? Well one thing is that the stores here in this small town are so expensive. Like I'd probably pay $10 for a small shampoo that would be maybe $2 or $3 in the states. I spent $50 on one bag of groceries a few weeks ago. Also, I keep thinking that I'm not going to be here much longer and that keeps getting pushed out more and more. So the thought of spending a lot of money on months worth of supplies, just for a few more weeks, just didn't make sense.

BUT when a friend of a friend came by to ask for help on the computer and he said he and his wife were out of food so were going to drive to one of the "big" towns, I was suddenly enrapt. I was also just about out of food (down to some cereal, peanut butter, and eggs, out of coffee, milk, snacks, wine,everything else). He said if I gave him a list, he'd get it for me, or I could come along. OMG you mean LEAVE my safe little haven of both my cabina and little tucked-away Zancudo? I'm in. The thought of doing proper shopping at a proper store was just too much for me.

Yeah, I had some guilt about this little jaunt, too! But we drove to the store about an hour away and wore masks the whole time as soon as we got out of the car. I was so surprised though! Other than having sanitizer spray and paper towels at the entrance to to the store, nobody was wearing masks! When in Zancudo, people are sewing them and distributing them to just about everyone it seems.

Stocked up on wine, milk, juice. All set!
Stocked up on wine, milk, juice. All set!

So I did my shopping, ahhhh, and I'm all stocked up. Other than probably wine (yeah, whatever), I'll bet I have enough food for a month. So I can (if I'm strong enough) property shelter in place. And OMG I have so much shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste!! I can't even tell you the relief and happiness that is bringing me. Of course i forgot to buy scissors to cut my hair with, bug spray, and q-tips. Sue was kind enough to hook me up with some swabs so now I'm good there, too.

Shoot, I'll just leave all that stuff here with Sue for when I inevitably return to Zancudo. For some reason, even though this is definitely not my typical ideal place, I keep getting drawn back here. I felt there was a reason I was supposed to come back here in February and I'm still not sure exactly what it was. Probably to have a safe place to hunker down during the pandemic. But I can't tell you how nice it has been to become a small part of the community here. I was staring to make some friends and was having so much fun with the locals here when the coronavirus hit! At least I know I have a wonderful place to return.


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