No Man’s Land Between Confinement and Deconfinement
Life is slowly coming back to normal thanks to Phase II of the deconfinement. I actually sat on a bench in the Place des Vosges Saturday afternoon — the parks and gardens had just opened for the first time that day — and watched kids play in the sandbox. People were on the grass picnicking and soaking up the full rays of the sun under bright blue skies. Mask-wearing on the streets seems to be more for the over 40 crowd and less for the young, but let’s face it, they are less vulnerable to Covid-19 than we are and a whole lot more irreverent. (I try to avoid them knowing they could be carriers.)
At the fresh fish department in Monoprix, a man standing not too far away from me and not masked, I piped up, “Monsieur, s’il vous plaît! Vous n’avez pas de masque!” (Sir, please! You don’t have a mask!) The fishmonger rolled her eyes along with mine. That’s the kind of behavior that’s going to put us all back into confinement and worse, get us sick. Don’t you just want to scream?
I’m doing everything I think I should be doing without going overboard or being paranoid. My daughter is convinced that we have the ability to control our own bodies with positive thinking, that as long as we honestly believe we won’t contract the virus, we won’t. This is the concept of the placebo effect which has been proven to be true. Dr. Joe Dispenza is a leading authority based on documented cases of people who have “reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo” in his book, “You Are the Placebo.” He claims that belief is so powerful that “pharmaceutical companies use double-and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs.” And that in reverse, people can become sick or die from such beliefs in such superstitions as a hex or curse. If you’ve ever known a hypochondriac, then you’ve likely witnessed how someone who believes he has ailments, manifests them to prove himself right. Basically, the proof is that my daughter is right, but this virus is real and with it has come an awful lot of paranoia, warranted or not.
Right now this is a transitional period between semi-deconfinement and full deconfinement. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know how to behave. It feels like no man’s land. I almost preferred confinement when my days were determined, spoken for, without question. Until tomorrow when we can actually go sit at an outside table at a café or restaurant, we’re still stuck eating at home or dining with take-out, of which there has been more and more offered by cafés and restaurants from their doors or windows. There has been not much else to do besides shop or take walks. But, at least we can do that!
As of Saturday the parks and river quays opened. That’s a big improvement already. Sunday I went back to Place des Vosges for a late afternoon picnic on the grass with a friend, instead of being on the cobblestones at the Seine’s edge, our other choice. In a normal situation, I might have invited anyone and everyone to join us, but this transitional period holds me back from putting too many people together in one place. I wonder when it will feel comfortable again to really “party.” I heard a full-blown party coming from a neighbor’s apartment this past week and wondered how many people were in one small space. It was hard to tell, but the noise level was higher than I had heard in months.
I’ve had a few small dinner parties at home with no more than three people, or have been invited out to others’. In one sense it’s delightful after having been solo for so long, but now I remember how much work it is to market, cook, serve and clean up. My dishwasher has been getting plenty of action and the tiny refrigerator stays full, unlike the “old days” when I ate out every meal and the fridge was virtually void of any real food. It likely won’t take long for me to revert to my previous ways.
Thursday I’m headed down to Nice on the train for almost three weeks (to make up for lost time), because as of tomorrow, June 2nd, we are allowed to travel outside of our previous 100 kilometer restriction. Bars, cafés and restaurants will be able to fully open in the green zones (Nice is green, yeah!), but Paris is still “orange” and that means only the outdoor terraces can open for business. (Café Charlot, here I come!) I also intend to fully enjoy the Niçois restaurants and will go immediately from the train to my favorite one, Il Vicoletto, even if totally alone. I don’t care!
Beaches are opening, so I’ve packed my bathing suits and you can count on me being on the “galets” (pebbles) in Nice as often as I can while I’m there. All schools are hoping to open, but with class sizes restricted. Theaters, museums, sports centers, swimming pools, and more will reopen, but only in the green zones. Tourist accommodations are opening up, too…such as hotels! Paris is a bit behind the rest of the country, but on June 15th, border restrictions within Europe and the U.K. will lift up. Travelers from outside of Europe will still be under some restrictions and they’re asking for voluntary quarantining, particularly people traveling from the U.K. and Spain.
June 22nd we’ll be looking for more announcements related to the orange zone, so Paris has to have a bit of patience. This is Phase III of the deconfinement. And the country will still be in a state of emergency until July 24th, or extended if necessary. By September, larger gatherings will be allowed, but until then, nothing more than 5,000 people — although that seems large enough to me! So, our annual picnic on the Champ de Mars on July 14th in anticipation of the fireworks won’t be happening this year. Jazz Festival in Nice mid July won’t be happening. Our Living and Investing in France Conference in Nice and Tour to Provence that was planned for October of this year has been postponed till September of 2021. (Stay tuned for detailed information coming soon.)
For more information related to Paris deconfinement, visit
And for information country wide, visit gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/ and in English gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19.
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(At Place des Vosges)
P.S. For those of you still at home more often than not and dreaming of a move to France, or even a property purchase or rental, I’m happy to connect with you on Skype or by phone. We can talk about a strategy to change and enrich your life by living or investing here. To schedule your time, Contact us to learn more.
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