Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Gone viral: part III


Welcome to part III of my lockdown diaries. If you have a little oh, I dont know, FREE TIME on your hands, part II is available here and part I is available here.

April 6
Amazon delivers a box. This is the highlight of my day—a box! With stuff in it! Stuff for me! Actually, it’s stuff to occupy my kids, but no matter; I bought it, so it’s sort of for me. Deliveries these days are bizarre. When UPS came with our new printer last week, the delivery dude basically threw the box at me and ran off before I could contaminate him or whatever he was so worried about. *cough* 

April 7
In an abundance of completely misguided wisdom, the government decides that there are entirely too many people strolling about during the one hour of exercise we are allowed outside of our homes per day. So they limit exercise to before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m., which as any common idiot can imagine is ABSOLUTELY going to worsen the problem.

April 8
I go running at 7:01 p.m., along with what feels like half the town. WTF was the government thinking? I do my best to steer clear of everyone, even leaving the trail and running in the middle of the road (“Thanks for the asphalt,” say my knees and ankles). An older woman leaning on a walker glares at me, as though I were the Grim Reaper in the flesh, despite my respecting about 2x the recommended social distance AND holding my breath. Sigh.

April 10
Oh look! Our local authorities have noticed that the whole 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. restriction thing was an epic failure. But have they recanted? Not a chance! Instead they have doubled down, and now my entire neighborhood is encircled in barricade tape to keep folks off the most popular running paths, i.e. the ones that aren’t full of roots, leaves, and rocks. Speaking of barricades, I kind of feel like climbing one. Where’d I put my French flag?

April 12
Christos Anesti! I slip outside early in the morning and hide the 48 plastic eggs that I ordered online last month and spent 30 minutes filling with chocolates before going to bed a few hours ago. I sit in the garden and enjoy the silence. Having an apartment with a garden is an absolute lifesaver and I am incredibly grateful to be able to do this. The kids soon wake up and have a fantastic time racing about collecting the eggs. This feels like a solid win.

Easter Covid-style turns out quite nicely, actually. I tell the children that I am going to church, which these days means disappearing into my bedroom with my laptop and the online worship service of the American Church in Paris, virtual communion included. It’s alternative, but kind of fun! I like the fact that I can hit “pause” to go to the ladies’ room instead of slinking out of the sanctuary through the back door like I would if I were at a physical church.

Later, we go out for our daily stroll, which lo and behold takes us to the very neighborhood where I have an invitation to a “through the fence” wine tasting. We meet a very nice wine merchant, who lets us into his front yard where he introduces us to his wife and two children, who seem elated to meet our two children and the four of them R-U-N-N-O-F-T together immediately, which makes me realize how lonely my kids probably are, and I’m about to start feeling guilty but I can’t because there is a glass of chilled rosé being handed to me and before I know it the four of us are laughing and telling stories and GOOD LORD IT IS SO NICE TO JUST TALK TO ACTUAL PEOPLE! Like not on FaceTime or Zoom or whatever. Actual people. We buy six bottles and I stop just shy of asking them if we can be friends IRL. Come to think of it, I still might.

We head home, where I make a fairly elaborate Easter dinner, complete with hard boiled eggs sculpted into little chickens and again, I feel pretty proud of myself. My son says, “Mom, this is the best Easter I’ve ever had.” Remembering this simple affirmation is the primary reason for my writing this entire post. Our Easter is full of hope indeed. 

April 13
Macron addresses the nation wearing his furrowed, “empathetic” look. No wonder he’s trying to look empathetic—he announces FOUR MORE WEEKS of lockdown. I’m about to go look for anything I can make into a noose when he adds that after these next four weeks, schools will reopen. WADHESAY? So help me, there IS a light at the end of this long-ass tunnel. And that light is called “public school.” 

This really won’t last forever. Imagine that.



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