The police had swept the beach just 10 minutes before. We saw them drive from street to street in packs of three. We heard the whistles and we saw the tourists slowly walk back to their cars, many parked in front of our house.
It was late afternoon and it was our only chance. We threw on our bathing suits but didn’t take the time to put on our flip flops. Then we went for it, running the one block from our house directly to the beach and straight into the ocean. I could not keep up with my boys who were not about to miss their opportunity to ride the waves for a few glorious minutes.
No matter that the waves were choppy as hell (the boys had basically learned to swim in a rip tide), or that they were full of what we call “salad” (red seawead), we did it. No matter that there we could see the policia walking in the opposite direction telling the few stragglers to get out of the water, knowing he’d be turning back in our direction. That water was ours.
Shit is getting real here. The governor is not messing around. In reading the comments on David Begnaud’s FB page–David is the patron saint of Journalism/truth telling of Puerto Rico news, in English–there was some doubt cast on the ability of the government to enforce some of the strict mandates, citing lack of police and no national guard presence.
I’m here to tell you they seem to be doing just fine with enforcement–either that or they are just concentrated in my neighborhood.
This morning after my husband “gently” reminded me that I haven’t gotten any real exercise lately, I decided to go for a run. And well, I made it almost all the way to Isla Verde, when the policia stopped me, got out of their car, asked if I spoke Spanish (solomente un poco), and kindly told me I couldn’t run because we are on lock down.
That’s where we are here. My little tourist enclave is shut down, and while I welcome the break from the spring breakers, it’s not worth much if we can’t access it either. We are allowed to go to the grocery store, where they sell liquor and beer, so we’re all good in that sense.