Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Overseas confinement

During those weird and somewhat scary times, I figured I'd check in with everybody ! (hi !)

As most of you know, I live in France. And our country's been put in lockdown since March 17th. 1/3 of French people work from home, 1/3 go to work and 1/3 are officially at home with nothing to do. That is my case, because as you know, I work in a bookstore, and all non essential businesses are shut down.

Which means I'm basically paid to stay home and read or play video games, make music, write or watch tv (I'm watching the Ken Burns documentary on baseball, actually. Haven't seen it in 25 years). It may sound like a nice vacation, but the anxiety is high and lockdown means no going out. You're allowed 1hour per day to walk your dog or exercise a little (no more than 900 yards from your place), and buying food is a nightmare. No masks and no testing have been made widely available yet, so until then, there won't be much moving forward.

It was announced yesterday that we were to stay put until May 11. We have no idea what will happen after that. They say schools will reopen, but there's really no logic in that. I'm pretty sure I'll start working again, though, as the bookstore doesn't hold that many customers, and safety instructions can easily be followed (social distancing, masks, soap etc.). The year promises to be real rough, business-wise, because things won't be back to normal before at least a year. And that's hoping there isn't a second wave coming our way before there's a vaccine available.

My thoughts go out to Riccardo, as Italy has been really severely hit, and of course to all my American friends who might suffer from an ailing and downgraded Health care system. My advice is to not take it lightly. It's only a 0.5% death toll, but when everybody is contaminated, it adds up to huge numbers. I have many friends in my surroundings who have had it. More often than not, it's a real bad two week cold, but I also know a couple who have had to go to intensive care.

I miss sports, of course, and baseball most of all (I'll probably need to pick up MLB the show 20 !), but it's really all a question of being patient.

I took the time to downsize my card collection, and that also felt good. It's always a good thing to stay focused !

I hope you're all safe and looking after the elderly and the weaker ones.