IMG_5358Yesterday I ventured to the supermarket. I didn’t want to go right at the open, figuring I’d be in line behind elderly early birds, and why not let them just go ahead. While on Wednesday it was warm enough to open all the windows to the brilliant sunshine, yesterday brought driving rain that turned to sleet and then to big, fat snowflakes. Surely the prospect of standing in line in such weather–our first snow, five days into spring–would drive away the weak of heart.

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Enormous flakes, as wide as teaspoons.
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Total accumulation. I don’t even have a scraper for my windshield.

There was a line anyway. Two masked guards kept us corralled behind barriers, barking to stay two meters apart. I got glared at by a few waiting shoppers, probably because I didn’t have a mask. I did have a scarf (I’m in France after all), and I pulled it up over my nose and mouth. That steamed up my glasses completely, as if I weren’t already blind enough, and the scarf didn’t stay up anyway. I didn’t take a purse; just a card in my zipped pocket. Less to disinfect later.

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A few days ago, in T-shirt weather.

The guards barked some shopping protocol, but what with the masks, the shoppers talking and the guards’ strong accents, I didn’t catch much. Something about so many people per aisle, and only two people waiting per checkout. Nobody obeyed anyway. The cheese and yogurt aisles (there are two cheese aisles and one yogurt-only aisle) were the most crowded. Fresh produce also bustled. You have to weigh your produce on one of the scales in the produce section, and enter on the touch screen (ICK) what it is, then it spits out a price tag that you stick on the bag. Anybody waiting their turn for the scale at the required distance got cut in front of by people who didn’t want to wait. Maybe clueless? Maybe not.IMG_5347I profusely thanked the cashier for her service. Nobody was behind me in line. I spent about 40 minutes in the store, and it only took me that long because I don’t usually go to that supermarket but the Carnivore does, and I needed to get some of his preferred stuff: pâté, rillettes. I forgot to buy junk food or comfort food and am regretting it sorely. The experience was supremely stressful. Is this what it was like during the war? Waiting in line? Wondering whether you would get home to your loved ones? I would get home, but would I be bringing in the enemy? This enemy is microscopic yet bigger than anything we’ve ever faced. In his address to the nation a week ago, President Macron said France was at war with the virus. A war where the danger isn’t hidden snipers but hidden germs. A war with a rising body count but no bullets. A kind of neutron bomb that is destroying the population without destroying buildings. Things still look normal, but in a closed-for-the-holiday kind of way. A temporary pause that is turning out to be less and less temporary.IMG_5364Today I soaked all the reusable shopping bags in bleach and hung them out to dry in the sun.

Last night I watched TV with our kid, who hasn’t been out at all since schools closed. I went out three times: for groceries, to do laundry, to donate blood. Our kid has gone running but nothing else. I worry about the effects. Is my internal terror showing, spreading? As we watched “The Good Place,” about two episodes in I stopped being shocked at the lack of social distancing. I forgot all about the virus. Life felt normal. We discussed the kid’s English homework, in which a verb exercise included a participle used in the text as an adjective. My kid skipped it (oversight, I suspect, rather than outright mistake), and was devastated not to get a perfect score. We went over the grammar of the situation, and my kid argued via email to the teacher and got the point restored. I was so proud. Speaking up isn’t easy for some people. I left my kid’s room to go to bed and suddenly got slammed with reality again. The world without a cure was still out there. We were still cowering in our house. The illusion of normalcy shattered. We can speak up but the virus won’t listen.

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Not the first poppy of the year.

The restrictions keep evolving. We could go out for exercise, but, as I heard on the Earful Tower podcast, in Paris people were dressing as joggers to just go out. (I do sympathize. We have a big yard, whereas many Parisian apartments are smaller than just the bedroom of La Suite Barbès–the bedroom alone is 35 square meters, or 350 square feet.)  To tamp it down, we are now confined to one kilometer from our homes and to exercise of 20 minutes. I might be defiant and take my walks; I can duck into a vineyard and off the road if I hear a car coming, or even take quite a long walk on narrow paths. Even without the lockdown I never encounter anyone on these back roads. The point is to avoid contact with other people; so much better on back road, regardless of the distance, than to stay in my kilometer perimeter in the village, with everybody else doing the same.IMG_5331The day before I took laundry to our empty AirBnBs, since I have neither repaired nor replaced our stupid Samsung washer. Seven loads. Two machines. It took all day–machines here heat the water, so cycles take up to three hours for really hot water. Technically I should have gone to the local laundromat. I went there a couple of times when our machine first broke down. It is a tiny but bustling place, always with people waiting their turn, in tight quarters. No sink for hand-washing, or for cleaning the counter or the chairs. I would have to take my own bleach-soaked rags for wiping off the selection buttons on the machines. Would I also need to wipe out the inside of the machines? I would not want to put my basket on the counter nor on the floor. All of it grossed me out. Instead I put the laundry into duffel bags and drove to the apartments in the safe space of my own car, hauled it upstairs without seeing anybody, and sat in the gorgeous space, windows open, while the machines turned. Nobody but me has been in there. A safe space. But technically not allowed. Rules that make sense for cities (take your laundry to the nearest laundromat) don’t make sense here. I managed to not see any gendarmes.

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Irises adorn the roadside ditches.

Laundry clean, groceries stocked, I plan to hunker down with my loved ones for as long as possible before sticking my head out of our cozy foxhole again.IMG_5362For perspective, Katherine Anne Porter wrote about the 1918 pandemic in “Pale Horse, Pale Rider,” among the few literary works about the influenza, merged with the anxieties about the other war, World War I, that was also raging.

Stay safe.IMG_5366

 

 

83 thoughts on “Siege Mentality

  1. My goodness we are living in a strange time. Laundry at your Air B and B sounds totally sensible! Fresh air peace and quiet open windows I would opt for that over a communal laundromat in a heartbeat.
    Our friends in Auvillar were out for a walk when two armed guards stopped them and told them to go back home and walk in their yard. We haven’t been told not to walk outdoors yet…but to stay far apart when we do go out. The grocery shops here now have strict distancing rules, certain foods are rationed and we have to pack our own groceries. It’s all very daunting but we must do our bit to stop the spread of this terrible virus.

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    1. People will go nuts walking in their yards. I guess too many people are abusing the rules and not social distancing, and thus come ever-tighter regulations.
      Definitely more traffic on the road today. Either more people are running low from their pre-lockdown shopping (like me yesterday) or they just decided to go out because it’s nice.

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  2. As always, love the slice of French life. Siege mentality is it, for sure. I’m very fortunate to live on a large family farm with my siblings, so we’re all in it together. And there’s PLENTY of work to do outside, but I’m working from home, so although I have almost nothing to do from work, I have to be available for short-notice Zoom meetings. Well, I’m still getting paid, so I CANNOT complain!
    Stay safe and well over there.

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    1. Glad to hear you are able to keep working. I hope your family stay safe. The more people you have, the more you need to stay on guard, for everybody’s sake. But at least you have each other for socializing!

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  3. I remember this late snow with snowflakes the size of the palm. In Romania we used to get them around May 1st but only once in few years. The snowflakes would clump and if any would get in my eye, I couldn’t open it, they were heavy!! It wouldn’t last though nor would it harm the plants or trees. Beautiful pictures as usual, isn’t early spring so glorious?
    As for Covid19 situation, we all have a story to tell, isn’t it? Life the way we know it has dramatically changed. The focus now is on survival the pandemic which is like the common denominator. The irony is that although we need to stay physically apart, we are more connected than ever because we have a common enemy. There is still so much uncertainty ahead of us which forces everyone to live in the moment.
    Yesterday I went to Trader Joe’s and I was really impressed with the way the store was prepared to keep people apart, the shelves were decently stocked and people were following the rules. We bagged our own groceries as well.
    Thanks for giving us a glimpse of how your life has changed. Take care and stay safe!

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    1. Bagging one’s own groceries is the rule here, so it doesn’t feel different. Glad to hear people are following the rules. I hope you’re right that the common enemy will bring us together. Sometimes it seems that certain people want everything for themselves.

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  4. Thank you for the reference and information on Katherine Anne Porter. I remembered enjoying her novel, Ship of Fools, very much, admiring her writing style and cast of characters. Hard to believe that so little has been recorded of the Spanish Influenza in the novels of the time and wonder if the Coronavirus will feature in the stories and films of our time.

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    1. I read Katherine Ann Porter in college and it was my first inkling about the 1918 flu. So little covered. That link talks about how writers like Fitzgerald and Hemingway were in Spain then and didn’t mention the flu.

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      1. Thank you for reminding me of Katherine Ann Porter. I read “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” in college too and was so impressed that I kept and still have my copy of it. Since our public libraries have been closed for over two weeks, I’m rediscovering what is on our bookshelves. I’ll read “Pale Horse, Pale Rider” next, unless it proves too much to read about the 1918 pandemic while living in the 2020 pandemic.

        Although we in Oregon are also under orders to stay at home, there is still an exception for exercising ourselves and our dogs as long as we maintain physical distancing. My husband is in treatment for an aggressive cancer, and getting that treatment (and assessment scans) at the hospital has become difficult but so far not impossible. While his cancer had already made uncertainty the rule in our lives, the compounded uncertainty imposed by the pandemic sometimes overwhelms me. I allow myself to check the most recent information about the pandemic only once each day…and then for only an hour or so. Trying not to ruminate about the pandemic when trying to go to sleep for the night has become a real challenge. But overall, I am lifted up by helping people more vulnerable than I and by the many stories I read and hear about how people (including my neighbors) are reaching out to and caring for each other.

        Thank you for continuing to post. For all the challenges the pandemic has brought you (including rules and regulations that make little sense under your circumstances), you at least are living in a country whose leader you can trust to have the best interests of his nation’s people at heart and in mind. Courage, Leslie

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        1. I think my reply to you went to midihideaways, but never mind. You can have a look at it if you like. Yes, we have leadership here who doesn’t rely on having a feeling that the virus will just go away!
          bonnie in provence

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    1. It depends on the situation. I just walked for an hour–three times the limit. I didn’t see another human. I certainly would not put my family–or strangers–at risk. It just isn’t the same in the middle of nowhere, compared with a city.
      That said, there are lots more cars on the main road today.

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  5. Hello to all, Here in Oregon USA we’re all in the same boat, except it has been made more challenging due to the “person” who, somehow, is president and his rhetoric which doesn’t always reflect the reality. Geez, I’m trying to be polite about this but it’s hard as the death toll keeps climbing. We are country folks who always have maintained a level of stocked up-ness. We drive a fair distance weekly to shop for fresh food. You, and all your readers, have no doubt heard about the craziest aspect of this situation – toilet paper hoarding!!! As my husband said “we can always use wash cloths” and I have a large assortment of old towels that could be cut and used. AND we have a washer and dryer! I have been staying in touch with neighbors via phone and we’re all looking out for each other as we always have done here. I am sending prayers and positive vibrations out to all!!! Candace in Oregon USA

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    1. The funniest thing about the toilet paper is that people aren’t going to use any more because of being locked down. They will end up with stocks of it for a long time. But it takes up a lot of space in store aisles, so if you go to buy one pack and see the shelves half empty, you take two or three just in case. And then boom there’s a shortage. It’s something that should be remedied soon–more will be made and back on the shelves. They can only ramp up production and delivery by so much.

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  6. One other thing – there is drone footage of a city in Ireland – sorry I can’t tell you where I found it – a news site I follow – on it you can see big streets and a very few people and moving cars. I was scoffed at a couple of weeks ago for saying that I feared this would become a global pandemic!

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  7. Here in provence (the department of Vaucluse) things are very reasonable. We have to take the french government’s affidavit with us staying who we are, where we are going, and what time we left, which is not difficult. We can still walk our dogs. I live on what in US measurements is about 3/4 of an acre, a couple of kilometers from a small town that has all services. I’ve been doing all of the backed-up garden maintenance, which is great. We have a small vegetable farmer about a km away and we can go there for our fresh things. I have to say it isn’t bothering me very much because of my existing life style. So sorry for the city people confined to an apartment, I think mental health issues will be prevalent.
    bonnie in provence

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    1. Oh, yes, those little city apartments are hard for staying in 24/7. A friend lives with a 2-year-old in 20 m2 (200 square foot) studio. I would love to take them in, but we have other issues that prohibit it.

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  8. 3 hour wash cycle THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE!
    TOOK me back to those ITALIAN DAYS………and so so small the washers!OURS NEVER ENDED!!WE were a family of SIX!NO DRYERS either!!!!DO you have a dryer?
    I AGREE with YOU for getting OUT………..and BRAVO to YOUR LITTLE MAN!
    BE WELL………..XX

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        1. Even…plenty of nice days in winter. When I was a kid, I remember my mom hanging my dad’s overalls outside to dry in winter and they would be frozen stiff. We don’t get that–it rarely freezes.

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      1. I never dry my clothes with a dryer, but we have one, an old one from when we had kids (dancers and athletes) at home who produced more dirty clothes than we could line dry in our formerly=rainy winters. In order to do all we can to avoid being infected with the coronavirus, however, I’ve had to rethink line drying for clothes that have been worn away from home: virologists and epidemiologists have advised drying everything in the higher heat of a dryer (if that is an option) rather than line drying. 😒

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  9. Just to say thanks for your posts! I live in Australia, in rural Queensland, things are not so bad here I guess and I appreciate your taking the time to share your life and photos. Stay safe. Life will return…

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  10. Don’t get me started on Samsung. I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago called “Scamsung.” What a despicable company! I haven’t ventured forth to the store in 2 weeks. When I play the scenario out in my head about all the opportunities for the unseen enemy to get on the food, checkout counter, checkout person, the bags… I just want to shut down, mentally. Like you, I only take in my credit card. Sitting in your safe B&B sounds delightful, although if you really want to play out that scenario… It might have been the only time it was safe. Be well. xoxox, Brenda

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  11. Well, we all seem to be in the same boat, which makes this all the more surreal! I started a daily limerick challenge where I name one or two words as a basis for the rhyme scheme. Mostly just friends and family here in NE Ohio, but have included an expat couple living in Amboise (we visited there in 2015). I also invited the writer of FranceSays today since I read her blog. It relieves stress, requires one to work within a loose structure, and all entries are posted for your perusal. If you want to join in, just shoot me your email. Hang in there in the meantime…

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  12. My local Trader Joe’s had people lined up outside at six-foot markers, only 40 in the store at once, and carts already sanitized and waiting. A large-chain grocery didn’t. And I heard a child there ask, “Why are people wearing masks, Daddy?” Good luck with that answer, Pops.
    My local greenhouse will stay open, and you are allowed to go golfing (!!), but my city went on lockdown at 5 pm Friday, until April 16th.
    As I’ve said to friends, it likely wouldn’t be quite so terrifying in the US except that our national response is being run by Larry, Curly, and Moe.

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  13. It seems surreal some mornings when I wake up and read the paper, I sometimes feel as if I live on a different planet. Almost 2 weeks ago out schools, libraries, rec centers, museums, and several other places closed. I stopped going to yoga and anywhere else because my husband is older than I am and he asked me to, to keep him safe. Two days ago out governor closed all essential businesses for the next 30 days. And the last few days I have been getting numerous phone calls about dental, doctor and other appointments that I have had scheduled for months to cancel them and to be told that I will not be able to be rescheduled for at least 6 months. At the same time friends and family that I know in other states are at the beaches, shopping and all sorts of things because their state hasn’t shut everything down yet.

    I am an introvert and a homebody, and I work from home. I really haven’t had a problem with settling in for the duration but I do miss the ability to come and go as I please.

    Stay safe my dear, these are challenging times for all.

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  14. It could be worse than it is. We could be living by rules that you couldn’t have anything or do anything unless that is what they want. We could be starving to death. GOD BLESS EVERYONE

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  15. Wow, you had snow!! I saw it on my walk, some of the hillsides farther away were showing a dusting, but we only had rain.
    I count my blessings every day, even though the confinement is no piece of cake! In many ways we are fortunate compared to the people who have lived through the first and/or second world wars – they had real shortages of everything and they couldn’t keep the enemy at bay with frequent hand-washing and staying away from other people. The effects of this crisis will be fairly profound though, nothing will be the same as before, but perhaps we will be kinder to our fellow human beings? I live in hope! 🙂

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  16. I admire your diligence in the germ warfare! I try to disinfect but it feels like a losing battle; French husband is just immune to it, even though he says he takes it seriously. Trying to ignore some vague cold symptoms at the moment while paranoia creeps in my brain. Positive side: bright sunshine here in the Haute Savoie and working as a team this morning we managed to clean our house almost as well as the cleaner would have! 😂

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  17. We went to the James Tissot exhibit in San Francisco in late January. I read about the flu in China while we were in California. By the time we flew home to Kansas, my husband estimated about 20% of the passengers—almost all Asians—were wearing masks this time. We agreed they knew something we did not.

    When we got home, we began to make our plan to stock up. It took us about a month. We retreated from the world on March 7 I think. We prepared for a month…that seems so naive at this point. Fortunately we do have several local delivery options—and now, we have a wipe down procedure!!! I am 70. My husband is 72. We are taking this very seriously. We are a university community with students and staff going nationally and internationally for spring break. Classes were postponed, then called off, but still 17 of our 19 cases came from returnees from someplace else. Our very vocal conservative politicians thought it was—and some still do—think it is a hoax. Karma smiles and bites Boris Johnson in the bum! Trump deserves it. Yes, I said that and I mean that for all of his lies and ineptitude, of his putting the economy over people’s lives, of making every decision about whom to help based on whether it will help him win reelection.

    Love hearing your stories of France and I agree with those above about the shout out to Porter’s writing. I may have to revisit…I do have the time!!

    Take care and you may have to join us the the “yard brigade”! Your Samsung story makes we want to go to the basement and hug my Maytag girl we bought last year. My husband does the laundry now and I have suggested he may be cheating on me with the washing machine and her twin, the dryer. Growing older makes for some rather strange “dalliances.”

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    1. Yes, I think karma is striking all over, but sometimes it misses and hits the innocent, like the 16-year-old who is France’s youngest victim (as in death, not just infection).
      You were smart to stock up early. We had been moving to more of a just-in-time situation and I bought enough for two/three weeks when it looked like a shutdown was coming. But will stores remain open if more employees get infected? Ditto with deliveries? And factories? Who knows where we are headed. I hope people will do the right thing and stay out of harm’s way–rather than contribute to the surge of cases.

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  18. I think we must have sent the snow from here …. amazingly, we are on the same latitude as Madrid so it sort of makes sense. Anyway, we had the first snow in an age earlier in the week. The winter has been mild here. We are on a stay at home advisory and only essential businesses are open. Grocery stores … well, my husband is a Senior and I am only 6 months away and had the added weapon that he recently had radical spinal surgery so can’t lift anything much. The store were fine with it but, flattering myself that I do not look even slightly senior, the aged were visibly hostile and I was aware of the penetrating and displeased stares of many olds over their masks. I loved your remark about your scarf. Yes, you are in France! I hope your Kid is coping. It is hard on the young. Hard on their parents. I also agree heartily with your statement about making people walk within a km of their homes. I can’t see how that could possibly be better than letting people walk in countryside where people are so much less likely to come across one another. This is a war. A war with an invisible enemy. A war that was similarly fought in 1918 against a background of a world at war with itself. Well done for referencing that. People would do well to read the book you mention. I shall. Stay in, stay safe and stay well x

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    1. Many people order groceries online and then go pick them up. It sounds great, but when I looked at the website I was so overwhelmed I had to lie down.
      Masks are mostly useful for those who already are sick (not to cough germs all over) and for health workers who have to get close to sick people. For most of us, they are of minimal use. Psychological armor only. Since there’s a shortage of masks, I see no reason to wear one myself, although I am considering trying to DIY some.

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      1. Tell me about the masks. It infuriates me. The hospitals are running short, people are sewing whatever they can into makeshift versions, the Governor has pleaded with people to donate what they have to those that need them and still people hoard them and don the blasted things whenever they are out. A note of levity though. In the local store a week ago, a fellow was wandering around in Stetson and huge bandana tied triangular round his face like a lost cowboy. ‘Got his post apocalyptic costume sorted’ muttered my husband!

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          1. There is a company (in Ohio I think but don’t quote me) who are in the last stages of developing a way of safely sterilising masks for re-use … up to 20 times. They joined the task force for yesterday’s address from The White House. I hope if the final tests are successful that this will be something that other countries can use too. Because putting masks in the oven really is not right.

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        1. Those bandanas are better than nothing, Osyth. When we go to get groceries or medicines, my husband and I, lacking any masks, each wear a big, thick bandana, double folded, over our nose and mouth and tied behind our heads, plus big glasses or ski goggles over our eyes and gloves on our hands. (The glasses or goggles also keep the bandanas firmly against our cheeks and noses.) The bandanas and gloves are machine-washed and dried and the glasses are sanitized, after each use or if they become moist, whiehever happens earliest. Each time we’ve gone out, we’ve seen more people using this form of protection. Of course, we are also keeping at least 2 meters between ourselves and anyone else.

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          1. I think that is an excellent solution, Leslie. Thank you for taking the time to share it. My point really is that what masks there are should be given to those on the front line. Stay safe over there in Oregon.

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            1. Sadly the staff at OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University) a big hospital/teaching place – now has employees who have tested positive. Also I can’t say much good about the response to this dread disease from the president – except that I certainly didn’t vote for him. We keep sending out positive thoughts and prayers for this to end soon. Everyone please take good care of yourselves!!!

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              1. I live in Massachusetts- I don’t think anyone here voted for him! Keep safe and keep sending out the positives. Eventually this will be a memory and the important thing is to come out the other side with as few casualties as possible. With a virus this rapacious, sadly the tolls all over the world will be great but we can all do our bit to lessen them.

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              2. I’m so sorry that some OHSU employees have been infected and hope that they are asymptomatic or have mild cases. Where are you in Oregon? We are in Portland.

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              1. I’m in Massachusetts (about 30 miles west of Boston) … home in my heart is France but I have lived here since 2018 as an LPR (Husband is a citizen) and before that on and off on visas. Really, we must all pull together. That,in the end is what will triumph. I send you strength.

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        2. Oh yes, that mask is the Butch Cassidy model, a real trendsetter. I have worn mine a couple of times, it sure gets the looks here in France! Sadly I have no cowboy hat, but I do have the real deal boots ….
          bonnie in provence

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          1. Hello Bonnie! Good for you! Finding the silver linings and setting the trends that are born of good sense. And the boots … I have a pair from R-Soles in the Kings Road which I have adored for two decades. Sadly they are safely in my house in France so no good for giving the bandana the needed full effect. Doc Martins it will have to be!! Lovely to ‘meet’ you by the way and please give my love to Provence – I lived close to Arles too many years ago to own up to and there is no more beautiful place on earth. Except the bits of France I have chosen as home since 😉

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              1. Oh we’ll be back. Ironically I was supposed to be in Provence this week. Was flying to London, collecting eldest daughter and baby grand-daughter and taking off for a week and an opportunity to introduce the baby to what will be her second home when we are reinstalled. Plans, of course, are somewhat fluid right now – we have a house to sell here and a search for a maison familiale (we have a house but it was bought as a maison secondaire and isn’t what we want or need as a permanent home). Anyway enough already …. I’ll pop over and follow your blog. Even if I can’t get there, my head is ever in France. Take the best care of yourself and all those you love x

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                  1. Yes. We will finish the renovation and then rent it. As you know, we have a great and sacred relationship with the town so will go with their preference – vacanciers or permanent tenants. I’m pretty sure they’ll prefer the latter since there are already several gîtes and chambres d’hôtes in the commune and having residents will bolster the community. We will be looking for a place with land, age, high ceilings and precious few neighbours. The only non negotiables are snow guaranteed sometime in winter and mountains either close enough to see or actually in them so it’ll be Alpes, Pyrénées or Massif Central. I’m impatient to get there but the global curved ball we are all affected by makes plans fluid. And let’s face it … so many are FAR worse off than a disgruntled Francophile stranded in the wrong side of the pond. 🐸

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  19. Does this mean the dreaded active wear will become fashionable in Paris now? It wasn’t so long ago that I understood some tiny apartment dwellers still needed to use the communal bath house. Another layer of complication to some people’s lives … You’re doing an admirable job at keeping the home fires burning in a safe and sensible manner. And good you’ve got your bolthole to illicitly slip off to. We’ve still not got completely serious as a nation and there are many out and about. I’m going to restrict my food shopping to twice a week to balance out Mr P. needing to go off to work every day … There has been a police helicopter buzzing our neighbourhood for the past half an hour – maybe they’re keeping an eye on the backpackers in the nearby hostels as they flagrantly disregard the social distancing rules with their parties on rooftops. If this goes on much longer, they’ll become pariahs and never welcome back … Oh, no prizes for guessing our proposed trip to your neck of the woods in May is off! Maybe we might get to have an aperitif in 2021?

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  20. It’s reassuring to read beyond the daily statistics that la belle France is plugging away as we are in North America. Those produce weigh-stations, though: maybe it’s a good thing they’ve come back to bite ‘em. I understand that this creates jobs and reduces backlog at check out, but at this moment they’ve doubtless become germ factories. We’ve taken to wearing latex gloves for shopping—early morning so that we can efficiently shower afterward, lathering liberally. Happily the daily virus battles are offset by interludes in the natural world, your snow surely a mystical lift. Although we’re in the thick of the daily deluge of numbers, the US is likewise providing moments of inspiration: https://bbreaden.wordpress.com/2020/03/27/the-not-so-guilty-pleasures-of-covid19/

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  21. Actually I think everything has ALWAYS been a germ factory but we were never so completely freaked out by it. A friend recently sent a FB post with a young man with a cello sitting on a chair in what looked like a snow field playing Hallelujah. So beautiful. That’s what I’m focusing on right now. I can look outside and see birds and the sad apple tree that my husband butchered a few days ago – when spring finally comes and it has leaves I’m sure it will be fine!!! Humming birds are still coming to my feeder, my two pink plastic flamingos are still holding down the fort in the little flower bed just outside the front of the house. Blessings to everyone!
    Candace in Oregon

    Liked by 1 person

  22. We’ve been in lockdown for 2 weeks and now for 2 more weeks. Thank you for posting, it keeps us connected to the world we knew. And the comments show we are not alone, all around the world we are in the same boat, some have gardens, some can still go out for a walk.
    I live alone in an appartment in the capital city and we are not allowed to go for walks. But I feel I am blessed because I am working with new technologies which force me to learn new things, it keeps me busy.
    And these technologies allow me to be in contact with family living in other cities & countries.
    #stayathome #staysafe
    Sylvine

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am learning how to teach on-line. Quite challenging, moreover when Zoom has collapsed and you just learnt how to share the screen of the computer after having digitalized all you need!!! So you try Skype and it is down and you go to Hangouts and it works for a while and end up with whatsapp videoconferencing. All that for a 2 hour lesson, and in half another you have another two hour lesson.
        It keeps me on my toes, and using my neurons, … I have to find the silver lining
        What I have learnt is that I am resourcefoul and that on-line teaching is great if technology accompanies, but nothing replaces face to face teaching

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Talked to my cousin who lives/teaches in Nevada here in the US. It’s a struggle for everyone. I’m particularly glad to be retired at this worrisome point in time. I’m keeping everyone I know and (almost) everyone I don’t know in prayers and sending out positive cosmic vibrations all the time. On the think of something positive end of things I expect many have heard of the city in (Madrid?) Europe where at a certain time of the evening all the apartment dwellers step out onto their balconies and clap for the city workers. Just heard of the young cousin of a local woman who lives in Nebraska and has initiated an evening event where everyone on their street steps out on their front porch and waves to all the neighbors. It’s a strong reminder that there are many good people in the world. I’m not so sure how many of them live in Washington DC, USA
            Take Care All of You
            Candace

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I have a friend in Madrid who says the evening clap gives her strength and she hasn’t missed one yet. Have you heard the Italians singing from their balconies? Gave me goosebumps.

              Like

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