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.



  1. Crazy times. They've already told us that we won't be going back into our classrooms for the remainder of the school year, but we'll be conducting instruction online. I'm very surprised that I haven't had any issues with my anxiety being cooped up all of this time. Hopefully things ease up for you and you and your family are able to stay safe.

  2. Hey my friend! Thanks for checking in. You are much missed. It's crazy in Michigan. I'm laid off til at least May 4th but have had a productive time sorting cards and working outside. Fortunately, I have several acres to enjoy. I can't imagine living in an apartment right now. Be well!!

  3. Glad to hear you are well. Also that you are still getting paid. Many people around the world in this pandemic thing lost their jobs. I am fortunate that I am still employed and getting paid.

  4. Glad to see you are weathering the storm over there, hang in there and stay well!

  5. You and I have never really had any contact, but I hope that you continue to stay safe, and will provide updates when you can :)

  6. Hey Kevin! Better late than never, I am finally replying to your kind words. Here in Italy right now we are in phase 2, which means people are allowed to exit for a walk or a bike ride, as long as they wear masks, the vast majority of stores is still closed, and schools shouldn't reopen until September. I've been working from home since March 9th and I honestly can't wait to get back to office, I find it a bit strange now that work and off-work happen in the same place!
    I hope you're doing fine and that the situation for your and everyone else gets soon back to normality.