Le Coronavirus

Well, there’s nothing stopping me from having a daily lie-in, napping whenever, binge streaming all day, reading a dense novel for hours on end, or taking a desultory journey through the wonders of the Internet. We are in social isolation while we wait for the pandemic to reach its peak in France. That’s expected 50 days from now, a long time for anyone but a hermit.

So far, grocery stores, pharmacies and Tabacs for the smokers among us are still operating. We are otherwise asked to stay home. Real estate agencies are shuttering, Galeries Lafayette and all other retailers are closed indefinitely and work on the restoration of Notre Dame has been suspended. Today I cancelled my physio appointment and my book and photo clubs have ceased their meetings.

Unlike in Italy, there are no police stationed outside telling us to go inside, no requirement for an official certificate approving travel from one town to the other.

I will admit, I do take my solitary self outside for a daily walk, staying at a distance from people.  For the first time in my experience the normally bustling daily market was gone, leaving the square empty.

cour saleya in the time of coronavirus

The empty stalls at the Cour Saleya daily market square.

I do notice plenty of others out and about, so perhaps we are not treating this as seriously as we should.

In Paris this weekend, the Smurf Festival went on as planned, and the Gilets Jaunes defied government decree and protested en masse. Idiots, IMHO. The number of deaths nationwide is rising rapidly. Here in Nice, the Mayor and his wife have tested positive.

France is way ahead of the US but it may need to tighten controls, à la Italie. Tonight, President Macron is giving a televised address, and rumor has it that he’ll impose a five-week total confinement. That means one trip a day to the grocery store, and a 6pm curfew, to be enforced by the gendarmes.

I am making up my daily boredom-avoidance schedule now: morning exercises, book time, movie time, photography time if I can find a way to be creative within my somber walls, and daily FaceTime sessions with loved ones. It’s a new world. I doubt this is as bad as it could get.





About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, photography, arts and politics.
This entry was posted in Coronavirus, COVID-19, expat, expat life, France, Nice, France. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Le Coronavirus

  1. Ted says:

    Thanks for this update. Thinking of you and David, Kathleen. WA State is mounting an aggressive response now, with bars, restaurants, gyms closing today and meetings larger than 50 suspended. Our hearts go out to France, to Italy, really to all of us. We really are all in this together (even when we must stay apart).

  2. Kelly Blunt says:

    Let’s set up a FaceTime call soon.

    Not only have all of my spring guests canceled, six of them in all, but on Saturday evening (as I was leaving Grenoble) I either lost my wallet or it was stolen.

    So you can imagine what I have been dealing with. Have not been able to do anything to replace things easily (like my CdS and récépissé) right now. Hoping to get cash from the bank when they open tomorrow, as it will take a week for the new debit card to arrive.

    A huge stressor even without a pandemic shutdown!!!!

    Talk soon Xo Kelly

    Envoyé de mon iPhone


  3. Lynn Blasberg says:

    Hi Kathleen, good to hear from you. Much the same is going on here. Not quite as bad in US.

    I also canceled the physeal appointment and my yoga class. I courses at UBC i’ve been canceled. So social life is restricted. Online grocery shopping is the next step. As you can appreciate, Bruce is at high risk so we are being diligent and have now taken a break from seeing kids and grandchildren. I know this is say this will get worse before gets better, but really hard not seeing family and friends. I like your plan for exercise, books, and movies scheduled for the day. Send Love to David, Lynn

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Diane says:

    What a miracle that we can all communicate, worldwide and effortlessly, and even order groceries delivered to our door (if we have to). (Suddenly I’m no longer so put off at the thought of robots packing boxes. Vt. had two confirmed cases two days ago but is now up to 12. No mortalities, but that will change. For us, though, the home arrest is a gift. An escape from over-involvement, exhaustion, and lack of time. A respite. I think we’ll come out of this a much different world, much better prepared to make the changes that we’ll have to if we’re to avert a much bigger disaster. You take care of yourself! And give Dave a big hug from me!

  5. Francesca says:

    Will wave at you from socially distanced Scotland!

    Sent from my iPhone so please excuse the brevity


  6. B says:

    Be well. Students are gone. University is closed. All bars and restaurants too. Drive up for groceries. Like nothing we have ever experienced. Ghost town.

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