As many of you may already know, a curfew has been imposed here in France. Starting tonight, residents are required to be at home from 9pm to 6am. Exceptions for municipal and hospitality workers will be made (paperwork required), but for the average Parisian, it means finishing off the last glass of wine at 8:45pm and cutting a deliberate if not hasty path home.
The measures, announced by President Macron on Thursday, are the equivalent of walking a public policy tightrope: infection rates are skyrocketing (30,000 in a single day recently) but the economy (already on life support from the first wave of the pandemic) can’t really afford another lockdown.
The announcement rolled over the country like a heavy, wet rug. Like everywhere else in the world, the French are fatigued with the restrictions but still concerned for their health. Some, of course, complain about their ‘rights’: to party with their friends, to stay out all night, and to basically put themselves and everyone else in the city, in danger.
A news presenter brought this issue up with President Macron during his television interview in which he announced the new restrictions. He was much more gracious and diplomatic in his response than I would have been. He said the he was certain that the French people would do the right thing during this challenging time, and acknowledged how difficult the pandemic had been on young people.
Watching the exchange live on my laptop, I simply spat profanities at the news presenter who raised the issue. I can think of nothing more stupid than complaining about your social life when real lives are in peril. I have no patience for it, especially from people on television who should know better. My ever-patient wife simply patted me on the leg and reminded me that the people on television couldn’t hear me. Probably for the best.
So our lives remain very much unchanged here in Paris. We will carry on much the same as we have this entire year: working a lot of the time, isolating much of the time, and wearing a mask all of the time.
But to be fair, as infuriating as the French can sometimes be, they are also incredibly generous and kind. As an example, I’ve included a couple of links to news stories about the Charitable Brotherhood of Saint Eloi (pictured above) who continue their work even in the age of COVID-19.
In closing, I was delighted to read the comments we received on home schooling and chateau life. Thank you all very much for those. As I’ve said before, your participation on this blog really makes it what it is.
Be safe and well.