We’ve all seen the T-shirts for sale proudly advocating to “Keep Nosara Weird.” As cool as they are, it’s a safe bet  the designer didn’t quite envisage a weirdness of the strain or magnitude Nosara is currently experiencing. Fist bumps, kisses, and hugs replaced by hand waves and sleeved elbow bumps, empty restaurants in high season, and hotel guests unable to leave their rooms. At the beach entrances, a proverbial tumbleweed blows over ground which only recently was filled with cars, bikes, foot traffic, and other beach goers clamouring to surf Playa Guiones. Apart from the odd rebel-without-a-clue, the Guiones lineup is now empty. And that, like so many other things happening around us right now, is very, very weird. Furthermore, the current weirdness is set to continue for weeks, maybe months.

Just like nearly everywhere in the world, it’s now abundantly clear to Nosara residents that Coronavirus will shake up lives and livelihoods for the foreseeable future. Unless you’re a hunter-gatherer living off the land in the Guanacaste jungle (which anyone reading this is not) then you’re affected. From surf instructors, yoga teachers, musicians, and the service industry, people from all walks of life are beginning to feel the impact. Naturally, it can be tough to disassociate oneself from the anxiety caused by this pandemic, for which a cure is yet to be found. And, as global headlines grow increasingly ominous, it’s easy to feel powerless.

But, you are NOT powerless.

Although no one can single-handedly obliterate the virus or halt its wide-ranging impacts, there are still plenty of ways to help. From looking out for one another to simply staying indoors, here are some ways to help Nosara, the town we know and love, to keep calm and carry on.

Social Distancing

“Social distancing,” in whatever language, may be the fastest phrase to enter the global lexicon in history. You’ve either heard of it or you’ve probably been living under a rock. It can be hard, but distancing yourself socially is one of the best things you can do to combat the spread of COVID-19. If you’re fit, healthy, and have read that the effects of this virus are negligible, particularly if you’re infected yet asymptomatic, then the idea of staying home may sound exaggerated. However, in reality, the simple yet frustrating gesture of placing yourself on lockdown may save the life of someone you never met, particularly the old and vulnerable. Remember, 15 days or more really can make a colossal difference.

Follow Local Medical Advice

At the time of writing, zero cases of coronavirus have been reported in Nosara. If local experts are correct it’s not if, but ‘when’. Paradise Medical, in Playa Guiones has been particularly proactive in keeping the community updated via podcasts, Facebook live transmissions, and information sharing. Although most of the advice they offer simply echoes that coming from national institutions, there’s also been some Nosara specific information. We advise residents, locals, and those stranded here to keep an eye on all that they share.

Reach Out to the Vulnerable

Nosara has long been celebrated for its location in the heart of one of the world’s few blue zones. The upside is that the clean water, natural food, and all-round healthy living may foster a stronger immune system. Consequently, people are known to live longer, and therein may lie the down side. It’s now common knowledge that the most vulnerable group are the elderly. If you know anyone in this category, for whom self-isolation may be a riskier prospect, reach out via phone or text message to ensure they’re okay, and to ask whether they’re in need of essentials such as food and medicine. Additionally, think about donating to those in need via local not-for-profits such as Nosara Food Bank. Currently, the NCA is working diligently alongside the food bank to help care for those most in need.

At the time of writing the Nosara COVID-19 Emergency Fund, organized by Amigos De Costa Rica, has received nearly 27K USD from nearly 120 supporters. If you have not donated and would like to, click here.

Another way to provide immediate assistance is by donating to El Chivo’s pre paid meal scheme. This is a temporary program to help people until the Nosara Food Bank begins distribution in earnest. To donate, click here.

Support Local Businesses

Although some have decided to shut their doors, many local restaurants are offering takeout or delivery. Not only does that keep the business going, it also provides income for staff and delivery drivers. Happy to cook at home until this thing blows over ? Then think about buying a gift card, either for yourself, friends and family, or better yet, someone who is struggling. Spending a few dollars now on a gift card or voucher for the future is a great way to give these businesses your vote of confidence. You won’t always be stuck at home, and when life returns to normal you’ll have credit to enjoy at your favorite eatery, boutique store, or in the service industry.

Look On The Bright Side

For the first time in known history, it seems humankind isn’t just coming together to fight against a common threat, but, by extension, to fight ‘for’ a better, cleaner world. And, that is something to be celebrated. And just maybe, after we’ve all gone collectively crazy for the next however many weeks, we’ll come out the other side a species more consciously aware of why and how to achieve a better world for all animals, human and non-human. As an environmental organization, the NCA can’t help but think that in some ways, this global pandemic has come as a welcome respite for the planet.

Be Nice, To Everyone

While we shouldn’t have to wait for a global pandemic to promote kindness, let’s all make a concentrated effort to be particularly empathetic right now. Life is tough enough for everybody, and projecting one’s own stresses onto those you come in contact with doesn’t help. If there was ever a time to remember that gratitude, goodwill, and a simple thank you can go a long way, particularly with employees working overtime to keep things running, that time is now. We’re all in this together. Instead of spreading germs, let’s all try to spread as much kindness as possible.