do not mention the war

Corona Week 5, Summary

In History on April 23, 2020 at 13:12

The week commenced with an announcement by the French president Emmanuel Macron that the total confinement would last until May 11. This means that after four weeks we have reached the halfway mark. While this is some positive news, it means there is still a long haul ahead of us. The plan is to open up the country progressively, that is step by step. On May 11, it begins, the schools will re-open on that day and a week later more classes will follow before all kids go back to school on May 25. One thing is for sure, there will be smaller groups. Quite how exactly this will work has not been explained as of yet and certainly is down to each school. Wearing a face mask will be compulsory. This will however affect the quality of the class as it is difficult to speak and understand people talking through a mask.

Physical, spatial disitancing will be difficult as the hallways are often narrow. The toilets are a mess. How small or big are those ‘small groups’? 10 pupils? 15? How does this work out in the canteen? In the teacher’s common room? There are plenty of questions and it’s likely that there won’t be an answer very soon or at all. The idea of plodding along without a plan or an idea is what makes me hesitant to join the joy of the reopening of the country in a few week’s time.

From a psychological point of view, it was very important to have a date to look forward to. At the same time it feels wrong; there are still more than 500 people dying each day because of this virus and more than a 1000 new cases are reported each day. France has the fourth highest death toll world wide. There is now even talk of a second wave, which is justified. I guess, many of my colleagues will have similar thoughts.

As summer approaches, questions about whether or not we would be allowed to go to Germany to see friends and family crop up. Face masks will be made compulsory in trains as will be sanitizing gel. Should we however decide to go, will we be let back into France? Holidaying in France seems to be no problem. For now.

Scrapping a bad idea

The other point that made last week so interesting was the scrapping of the restriction to run between 10am and 7pm in Hauts-de-Seine, which is where I live. It never made sense, even though Boulogne-Billancourt is densely populated (120000 people on only 6,17 km2 means a density of 19.460 Einw./km2). Runners and joggers have the streets to roam despite the condensed space in this city as there is no or hardly any traffic at all. From the off, it was nonsense. It does not even make sense in Paris. Runners will avoid large groups of people by nature, they are using bus and cycle lanes and may even reclaim the streets for their sport.

Slowly but steadily we are getting there. We have coped well I dare say during these hard and testing times. Other families have encountered bigger problems; some would not have thought these issues existed in their marriage in the first place. This crisis brings deeper lying problems to light. People denounce their neighbours for example in a nearby housing estate. What are families with three kids supposed to do other than having a walk around the estate once in a while?! Moreover, the weather has been very good, making life indoors a pain.

We will not come out of this unscarred. That much I know. However, as a family we have done well so far. This is something we can be proud of and which should give us courage for the future.

Corona Journal Week 4

In History on April 14, 2020 at 06:00

Another week goes by, completing a month of confinement. This post is more about one or two issues instead of a diary of last week.

Corona Week 3

In History on April 7, 2020 at 08:00

The week that was: the third of confinement. It ewas not all that bad but the overall feeling is that this will last forever. It is this uncertainty that brittles the mood.

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