Trip to San Jose during Pandemic

On Wednesday I left the property, for the first time in eight months, to attend a meeting in San Jose.

toll booth Costa Rica
Toll booth employee.

The biggest change I saw on the road trip to the capital was people wearing masks. Most people were masked as they walked on the sidewalks, went into stores or waited for transportation. We switched from car to taxi in San Jose. The taxi cabs were very clean inside. I watched one of our drivers sanitized the inside of his car after we were dropped off. 

San Jose, Costa Rica
A street in San Jose.

I had to wear a mask for the first time inside the taxis and at the meeting. I completely understand why authorities want us to do this, but it felt silly and surreal. During the meeting I found myself studying how the various masks were constructed and how well, or not, they fit each face.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Parking lot in San Jose.

The next destination was the grocery store Auto Mercado. This was my first experience in a store in eight months. An employee sanitized a shopping cart for us to use. Everyone was wearing a mask. Because of that it felt like the human connection was cut off. It felt strange not being able to see someone's face. I found myself just ignoring everyone around me and became super focused on things I was looking for. 

Auto Mercado Lindora, Costa Rica
Auto Mercado

Social distancing lines were marked on the floor near the check out counters. This part was good, there was less crowding. Plexiglass was installed on the check out counter. I studied it for a while to see how it was supposed to protect people. What I observed was the payment exchange happening around the plexiglass and not through the small slits where cash was supposed to be slipped. My biggest take away from the shopping experience was the lessening of human connection.

Auto Mercado Lindora, Costa Rica
Auto Mercado

On another note, this outing marked the first time I have not worn sunglasses in the car and around town. I found it very freeing not to have them on and I'm not sure if it was the lack of sunglasses or not, but I felt more energized when we got home. In the past I would feel drained from a trip like that. I think my relationship with the sun has improved and I am benefiting from more unfiltered light through my eyes.

Stadium, San Jose, Costa Rica
The tallest building in San Jose under construction behind the stadium.