Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I hope that, as you receive this letter, you are all well.
Briefly, I want to share with you the situation in Costa Rica. The Covid-19 pandemic has been handled extremely well by our government and health professionals. As of today, we have 830 confirmed cases, 535 people recovered and 287 still in treatment. Seven people have died. A total of 18, 388 tests have been performed. The population has acted responsibly in following the instructions from the government to minimize the contagion.
The dynamic at the UBL, both at work and academically, has changed significantly. With the reduction in income, in order to weather the crisis, the leadership has found it necessary to reduce administrative staff to half time, so as not to fire anyone. We hope that, between July and August, the situation in the country will return to normal. On the other hand, many students, both in Costa Rica and in other Latin American countries, have found themselves unemployed, and so have requested scholarships to be able to continue their studies. To give scholarships to so many students during this time has not been an easy task. It has required an arduous strategic work on the part of the Vice President to respond, as much as possible, to all the requests. Nevertheless, thanks to specific donations from some overseas organizations, we have been able to respond positively to all the requests in the midst of this emergency. In total for the second quarter 135 students have registered and we have assigned 31 scholarships, in addition to those that were approved at the end of last year for the year 2020.
With regard to my family, we are all well. I am doing telecommuting. From my house I am accompanying the students with emails, notes encouraging them to continue their studies online, and spiritual and emotional help. I also continue to coordinate the Editorial Committee and Publications. My husband has not had problems with lack of work. My children living at home are studying online. My son Miguel, who is a music professor, offers his classes online as well. My daughter Andrea works in a hospital laboratory. She has had a lot of work during this time and is constantly exposed to being contaminated. Nevertheless, for her it has meant putting in practice “going the extra mile.” She has worked 24-hour sessions at times, in order to get fast results of the samples that constantly arrive to the hospital. They are applying a system that takes a hour to get results, but this has required a greater effort from everyone. She doesn’t complain about her work. She says that to work and serve others without conditions was a decision that she made when she chose this profession. That is her ethics and values, not only as a health professional but also as a daughter of God.
This has not been an easy time but, thank God, so far, we have had the means, the strength and the energy to continue serving others in the best way possible. In this time of a pandemic, we can affirm that God is still good and great in mercy.