During today’s shopping trip to the big Monoprix grocery store a few blocks away, we stood in a brief entry line where everyone self-arranged to practice social distancing automatically. After entering the store we saw this sign:
which says “We have sufficient stocks for everyone, Be reasonable about quantities, Let us be united”. That last part about being united is a typical and admirable French response to crises.
It’s Saturday morning in Paris, under skies described as “Paris Gray”, and rather more people are out doing their shopping today than have been out recently. Regulating how many shoppers can be in any store at once, keeping away from others, refraining from touching anything unnecessarily, etc. have all quickly become the new standards.
Stores have put tape Xs or lines on the floors approaching cash registers to encourage distancing while standing in line to pay and newly installed plexiglass sheets shield the cashiers from their customers. Many stores have gone to accepting credit/debit cards only, thus letting their staff members avoid touching any money.
The latest news from here includes reports that entire areas of the city, such as the Seine river walk, areas around the shuttered museums, and blocks with closed commercial buildings but no food stores, have been declared completely off limits. A small exodus earlier this week of Parisians going to their country homes was met with dismay, amidst worries that they may bring the virus to rural communities and/or overtax limited health care support there. Even with the restrictions in place, the number of Covid-19 cases in France is said to be doubling every four days.
Digesting the never-ending Coronamania news reports online can become a full-time occupation, if you let it, so we’re making sure we structure our days to prevent that from becoming overwhelming. We’re also thinking up ways to make weekend days distinct from week days. For example, this morning at breakfast we switched chairs at the dining table. Not a big deal, but a little different take on things that breaks the routine. Later, we may push back the furniture, put on some Merle Haggard, and Two-Step around the living room a bit.
Here’s today’s Paris Lockdown Lunch: local restaurants may be closed by official order for sit-down meals but some are still open for take-away. We went to Les Byzantins on the way back from Monoprix and brought home a Greek feast that started with assorted small puff pastries, olives, hummus, and babaganoush, then carried on to eggplant stuffed with ground beef and cheese, and roast potatoes. All accompanied by a nice Greek red wine. Absolutely delicious.
Au revoir, mes amis!