Locked down in France
Not the most inspiring of photos, but frankly not feeling inspired at the moment. It was very quiet out this afternoon. Birds singing in the trees and I could hear a solitary motorbike on the village bypass behind our place.
Lots of absences from my blog as of late, as we get carried along by recent events. Am sure that in the UK there is the same feeling of anxiousness as there is this side of the Channel.
Except things are more structured over here, compared to over there, from what I've seen on Freesat. I am able to watch both BBC News and regional East Midlands Today. It seems that over there, the self isolating and not meeting in groups has been made a choice. Something we don't have in France.
School closed on Monday, until at least (they say) after the Easter school holidays, which means until the end of April. All non-essential shops, restaurants, take aways and leisure facilities have closed. Including swimming pools, museums etc.
Then yesterday evening at 8pm, Macron made his big speech on TV to tell us what will be happening over the coming weeks and months. He told us that "we are at war" at least 4 times during what he had to say. Which sounded a bit ominous.
In short, from 12pm today (as I write it is now 5.40pm) movement will be severely restricted. A form will need to be downloaded from the government website, printed off and filled in everytime you go out. On it you need to say what you are doing and where you are going. Even if you go out to walk your dog, you have to have this form filled in, with you. You have to have a seperate one filled out for each trip out. So for shopping, visiting the Doctors etc.
Failure to have the form when asked for it, will result in a 38€ fine. Which can go up to 140€ if you don't pay.
Needless to say, you are not allowed to be in a group, even if there is 3 of you. No family get-togethers etc. You need to keep at least 1 metre away from people when queuing for something.
Via a friend online, in central Paris, people are having to queue to get into supermarkets at the moment. As everywhere panic buying has resulted in shortages. A lot of those in Paris that have a "maison de campagne" have decided to leave for the countryside. There has been a mass exodus trying to beat today's 12pm deadline.
Work-wise, Isabelle has been into her office the last two days. She was supposed to have come home at lunchtime today. But unfortunately has had to work a whole day, as they all have a meeting to decide what they do next. The idea is that she works from home, but the techie bod was struggling to set up her lap top for home work. The reality is that the company could close for the duration. Which adds a few complications - like getting paid.
As for me I had continued with my lessons. Up until last Saturday I had 5 of my students wanting to continue. Then on Sunday we got a call from our neighbours. The wife works in the local hospital and they told us that things are pretty dire there at the moment and there's a lot that we are not being told.
Due to that I decided to cancel all lessons until further notice. I just didn't want to take the risk. Two of my students are happy to have lessons via Skype - so I'm busy trying to set that up so I can conduct those with them on Saturday.
We are going to sit tight, I'm not going anywhere, neither are the kids. My son has found it hard to accept that he can't go out and see his mates, but they are slowly coming round to how life is going to be.
Today the borders were closed, both into the EU and between all the individual countries. We were planning to go over to the UK on the 4th April for 10 days. The place we are renting had been booked since last September and unfortunately I booked the tunnel on the morning before we heard how serious things were going to get. So now I've cancelled the dates, but we need to come up with new ones, to then change the dates for the tunnel crossing.
We are considering perhaps mid-Autumn, but Isabelle needs to see if she can take the time off. Meanwhile she'll probably have to take the 10 days off in April anyway... which will be spent self isolating. Whoopie!
So that is why I've been a bit quiet as of late. Lots of things to think (worry) about. In the end the changes have happened very quickly. The lock down is supposed to last until the end of this month... but I really don't think it'll end there. We are looking at months of being confined to our house rather than weeks.
The Coronavirus is apparently not good for those that have an under-lying condition. I had a healthscare in 2011 and have taken medication for that ever since. This scare involved a pulmonary embolism, which is serious in itself. Although I am relatively healthy I don't really want to take the risk of going out. Added to which me and the kids went down with the flu 3 weeks ago. I still have a slight tickly cough from that, which is at least better than it was a week ago, but still there.
You could argue that this is a "symptom", but I'm convinced that it is just left over from when I was ill. The emergency Doctor we saw diagnosed the flu at the time.
Am sure we'll have plenty to do, despite being self isolated. The kids are having school work sent to them daily from their college/school via the net, so already we need to keep on top of that. I also have some English lessons I can provide for them.
I've had some admin work to sort out for lessons and I need to carry on working on my site.
We also (of course) have to try and keep things clean... a case of getting into somesort of routine.