The experts said Costa Rica would hit its COVID peak around September/October. It’s looking like they were right.
One of the most depressing things about watching the daily COVID-19 briefing in Costa Rica has been the numbers. Or, to be more accurate, the amount of time the numbers continued increasing.
You could look at other country’s charts around the world and Central America and see a defined peak in their COVID numbers. But Costa Rica, since June, has looked like one uphill slog.
Measures made no difference. Turn this canton orange, that one yellow. Can’t drive this day, can drive that. No bars or restaurants. Put a mask on. Get off the beach. None of it made a difference. Costa Rica’s COVID chart looked like a never ending upward line.
Al 27 de octubre el país registra 862 casos nuevos de #COVID19, de los cuales 248 son por nexo epidemiológico y 615 por laboratorio, para un total de 105.322 casos confirmados. 64.406 personas recuperadas y 1329 decesos relacionados con COVID-19.https://t.co/1FljkiRydp
— Ministerio de Salud de Costa Rica (@msaludcr) October 27, 2020
Now, for the first time in 50 days, Costa Rica has less than 500 people in hospital for COVID. The last time there were less than 500 COVID patients hospitalized in Costa Rica was September 7.
COVID hospitalizations peaked in Costa Rica on September 22 with 637 patients. Since then, it’s been a slow, gradual downward trail. Slow and gradual enough for many to miss it.
But it’s there. It’s definitely there. And the health system never collapsed either.
Whatever your thoughts are about COVID, today marks a small milestone. It’s great to see hospitalizations drop. After all, hospitalizations and deaths are the only numbers worth watching.
New daily cases appear to be dropping, too, or at least plateauing. No, make that dropping. Costa Rica’s now averaging less new daily cases than last month, coming in at around 800-900 cases per day.
50 días después, país reportó menos de 500 personas hospitalizadas – https://t.co/DyCylWVlHE
— CRHoy.com (@crhoycom) October 27, 2020
Dare we say the worst is over?
There’s still a way to go. Costa Rica is still recording more daily cases than anyone else in Central America. The other countries hit their peaks a while ago and have been dropping longer. But nobody but the most jaded and cynical people could say they couldn’t see green shoots on the horizon.
Numbers are numbers. It doesn’t matter what you think of the virus or how they’ve handled it. The fact is, no matter how slowly, the numbers are going down. At last.
And that’s worth celebrating.
James Dyde is the editor of www.centralamerica.com. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.