A quiet picnic in Narnia

Day 50 of the Coronavirus in France

…or a zombie apocalypse. Whichever you prefer.

A quiet picnic in Narnia: Day 50 of the Coronavirus in France

Or a zombie apocalypse. Whichever you prefer.

Waking up today I was relieved that eating a nutritious breakfast could be leisurely now that we’ve switched to e-learning and telecommuting. Cami likes to cook her own scrambled eggs.

While we were still at the breakfast table my family doctor sent me a scientific study proving that spirulina boosts your immune system and fights viruses. We read this together as we drank our NaturaBlue®. Our family’s favorite breakfast drink.

Gazing out our kitchen window there was no one to be seen. I suggested to Cami that we go play outside to get some vitamin D. She looked at me bewildered, “But there’s no one outside.” I reassured her that there is no danger in the fresh air and that if we saw other people while we were out we would stay a meter away from them and wear gloves, hats and scarves over our mouth and nose. The parking lot in front of our house is full. Everyone is home. No one is out.

Cami was dressed in her Narnia dress. She packed a picnic fresh vegetable and tulsi tea. We picnicked under her favorite pink tree. Yes, she’s one of those kids that attaches to inanimate objects. Every time we come home from a long trip for example, she talks unendingly about how she can’t wait to see her tree. She’ll jump out of the car and give it a big hug. So naturally, picnicking under that reassuring tree that represents home for her was a sweet moment we could share together. We stayed right in front of our house. While we were there a couple did walk by, not wearing any masks, and before they even got nearby Cami instructed me to pull up my scarf over my nose and we waited patiently for them to pass by.

This day we needed a few groceries. Our first reaction is to go online and order a drive through pick-up. That’s when we found that the online orders have overloaded the system. Apparently yesterday the police had to shut down a drive-through that was so backed up it was blocking an intersection and those clients had to pick up their orders this morning. So the drive was out of the question.

The Asian store is closed indefinitely so that’s not an option. They have the best rice. We needed a plan B.

I tried to go to the bakery. I wore a scarf over my face and leather gloves. Cami did the same. I told her that we would be respecting the 1 meter distancing and that anything we bought we would not eat until it had been re-heated past virus killing point at home. Nibbling on the baguette on the way home is a common tradition. You don’t have to live in fear if you know how to protect yourself and protect others. Research and information is freedom. Standing in line we maintained over a meter from the person in front of us, but the instant that person coughed we turned and walked out. They weren’t wearing a mask. Maybe they think they’re not sick, maybe it’s a smoker’s cough, I don’t know. Maybe. But since we know that healthy people are asymptomatic for two weeks before we have difficulty breathing, then anyone with a cough has a higher probability of spreading the contagion when they do get it. Notice I said when, not if. Wearing a mask is common curtesy and the only way to slow the spread.

We did get our groceries eventually. The third attempt was a success. Rob walked into the neighborhood grocery store and got everything we needed. The government has guaranteed that stocks will not run out. We stocked up on carrots to boost our immune system. I don’t understand other countries stocking up on toilet paper, how does that protect you from the virus? But it made me think, so I made a plan: If I run out of toilet paper I’ll use washcloths.

We also observed our neighbor back from the farm where she picked up fresh raw milk for several families on the block. Getting in your car and driving into the countryside to get milk from the farm is still allowed. As long as everyone stays home voluntarily and respects social distancing then outings like this will be permitted.

Today the American president, Trump, announced the measures he would be taking during the newly announced State of Emergency. Millions of masks being produced by the masses for every American. Free testing whether you have insurance or not. And the government is paying your salary if you cannot work because you are sick or need to isolate yourself. Apple stores for example are closing their stores effective immediately.

One of our friends in another town has asked we start a Zoom® live video Bible study group. Today Rob met with him alone over zoom to get a feel for what that would be like. There is a lot going on in people’s hearts and minds right now. The concept of video group study needs some work.

Today they are calling all persons with any level of medical experience to step forward to meet needs in hospitals. They will be paid a salary by the government. (source)

If you get sick you don’t have a choice of where to go for treatment. Doctors and hospitals are instructed to divert all cases with trouble breathing to the emergency hotline. Dial 15 and it will redirect you to one isolation hospital in every department to group them together. (source: click point d’info)

Are you hearing updates from China?
They said the grocery stores are full and being restocked daily. But the recent threat is boredom. Isolation is long, grueling and energy depleting.

One woman told a story about a time that they ran out of coffee at the grocery store. I don’t know why coffee was just one thing they weren’t getting for whatever reason. The town was missing coffee and the author apparently had access to a coffee shop outside of the quarantine. So she talk to the officials and got special permission to leave the isolation and go raid the coffee shop pantry. She came back with piles of coffee to share.

We are now in the epicenter. Weeks ago when China was at this critical phase Parisians found it perfectly reasonable that full planes of people returning from China were redirected to hospitals and military bases for 14 days of quarantine.

Government.fr clearly states “people returning from epicenter must self quarantine “ Paris/île-de-France is now officially an epicenter.

Staying home is the only choice we have if we don’t want to overwhelm our doctors with catastrophic triage when lives hang in the balance.

I just talked to a doctor, former mayor, former senator concerning the lack of discipline: He says people who do not respect the social distancing protocol and stay close to home are “egotistical” and “reprehensible.”

I wish I could call each of you personally so that you could hear the calm and steadiness of my voice. We do not fear the virus, but we are concerned for the welfare of the doctors who will be forced to catastrophic triage in the days to come.

Our family is not worrying, but we are following protocol strictly. Thank you, Taiwan, for demonstrating how to succeed. Stay home or stay covered. Simple, cover your face wear gloves, keep a 1 meter distance from others. If someone coughs, turn and walk out.

Some of us have learned from Italy that you cannot “cheat” by going out with friends and expect lives to be treated equally. Even if half the people stay close to home the hospital staff and lay volunteers will be in less danger.

Some Parisians are still going to work – still taking public transportation – today one vocal group went on strike – protesting in Paris streets – just to make a point – just to appear invincible to the world.

On the cusp of crisis they have faith, not in science, not in God, but in the words of the president. It doesn’t matter what the WHO says. It doesn’t matter what the government.fr says. The president only banned meetings of one hundred or more people. So they’ll have a party with ninety-nine guests who drive in from other towns. That attitude is not going to slow the contagion. Then when their mamie or papy is sick they will blame the government. I’ve already heard it from their mouths. “The president didn’t ban all gatherings outside our family. He should have stopped us.” Do you really want the police enforcing a quarantine? Should they ration food as well? Wouldn’t you rather be told nicely to stay home and have the freedom to venture to the grocery occasionally?

France is classified as a culture of indirect communication. A classic example is that you never ask if you may have the last serving of something. You pick up the dish and start offering it to everyone else. And they refuse, knowing full well that you want it or you wouldn’t have asked. Thursday the president stood up in front of the country and instead of saying no one goes to work, he said he would pay their wage if they can’t work from home so that they don’t have to add financial burdens to the already heavy concerns of the day. You don’t pay people to not go to work unless you’re serious about them not going to work.

But many people without faith find it less painful to live in denial than to admit our own helplessness. When they blame the government for not warning them, Macron will say he paid them to not work. But in reality all of the information is out there, they’re choosing not to think about it or they will break down.

*Breaking news. Because the French people were so undisciplined and not getting the message that the prime minister had to announce draconian measures. All non-essential businesses closed. Indefinitely.

Ibuprophen makes the virus worse. (source)

The story continues in my Coronavirus log here.

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