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.
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.