Le Noël Covid

Nice, France, December, 2020

It has been raining for two days so I have been spending this day of gloom determined to finish reading Romain Gary’s “Chien Blanc,” only breaking for hilarious Hugh Grant interview videos. Of late I have had a penchant for random entertainment, possibly as a mental break from the ennui and predictability of our prolonged confinement. Last week, it was about the Steven Sondheim song, “Someone in a Tree,” every version of which I watched repeatedly over the course of a few days.

The new Covid variants, radical lockdowns in the UK, suspension of flights and once-again delayed family reunions are enough to make me feel an emotional kinship to Jetski Man. Don’t we all just want to bust out at this point? And yet.

In France, new Covid cases are at a stubbornly high of about 15,000 per day, and until that number drops to 5,000 social restrictions will not be relaxed. Restaurants, bars, cafes, gym, yoga studios are still closed — sadly, a necessity in my opinion — and a curfew is in force from 8pm to 6am. There will be no exception for New Year’s Eve. A low-key celebration is proscribed, with no more than six at a festive table.

A report by the Pasteur Institute finds that most new Covid cases in France come from family, friends and co-workers. If you are going to socialize indoors, it is recommended to keep the number down to six people, wear masks, open a window, and disperse within an hour.

My perception is that the French are taking the viral threat quite seriously. Virtually everyone wears a mask, and for the most part, properly. Only 2.5 percent are traveling for the holiday, way down from the usual 25 percent.

Man in mask, Nice, France, December, 2020

The social isolation is getting difficult. It’s come to the point where I get excited for a masked face to masked face visit to the doctor. Luckily, Nice is relatively warm during the winter and we can meet friends outside, for a walk or a chat in a park. Some cafes are open for take-out to serve this sort of situation.

That’s likely how we’ll spend our Christmas. The forecast is good, so a long walk and some spot visits outdoors with friends is what we can hope for.

For all of you, my best wishes for a brighter, healthier 2021.

About kmazz

I spend as much time as possible pursuing my interests in global culture, photography, arts and politics.
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11 Responses to Le Noël Covid

  1. Thank you for the update and stunning photos, Kathleen. Believe it or not, you may be better off there than here. Not a very happy scene.

    Thank you for your holiday wishes. Of course, I send warm season’s greetings and hope your holiday time there opens up ways to enjoy them even more than thought to be possible.

    May you be reborn
    in the Love of this season,
    revealing the Truth
    that you
    also
    are perfectly Divine.
    MERRY CHRITMAS!

    Uplifting hugs,
    Jim

  2. Mel says:

    Kathleen, it’s so good to hear your voice. Oonagh and I went for walk in Washington Park yesterday. You’re definitely on our minds. We miss you. I agree with your friend that it’s good that you’re in Nice. The fact that most people are wearing masks speaks volumes of your community. Happy Solstice and Happy Holidays!

  3. Ian says:

    It’s good to see that the French state is responding vigorously to the virus and, although these are dark times, more cheerful days surely lie ahead. We will all get vaccinated! The virus will be vanquished! Soon the days will start getting longer, and warmer! Just a few more weeks to go…
    Kathleen, your blog, and occasional communications with David, are two bright spots for me in this dismal year. Many thanks and wishing you both a jolly, if secluded, Yule, and happy times in the new year!

  4. Diane Foulds says:

    So good to get your post, Kathleen, right before Christmas. I printed it out and packed it off to Christiane, who will be thrilled, as usual, to hear from her old hometown, even if obliquely! Joe and I are also pleased to hear from you. It’s reassuring to hear that Nice is responding with such practical common sense, even if the system can’t keep Macron himself from getting it (I’m wishing him a fast recovery!)
    We’ve almost got it whipped, and you know what? Good things are coming.
    Merry Christmas to both of you,
    Diane

  5. Maridel says:

    Your posts are always a delight, even in hard times. Thank you for the gift of your words and photographs.

  6. binx says:

    Thanks, Kathleen.

    I can only say, Oy To The World !

    Very nice to talk with you two!!

    Betsy

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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