Woah. Holy cow everything got super serious in the last 48 hours in an attempt to combat Covid-19. Here’s what’s been happening in France:
– On Thursday night, President Macron spoke and announced that ALL French schools would be closed starting on Monday. Pre-school through University, public and private.
– On Saturday evening the government announced that starting at midnight, all restaurants, shops, and non-essential businesses must close until further notice. That leaves basically grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations allowed to open. From what we can tell, there are bakeries that are still open — I think they probably fall under “grocery store” category? — but we’re not sure.
– This evening (Monday), President Macron spoke again with even bigger announcements, including:
– All external EU (European Union) borders are closed for 30 days. That’s a BIG deal. To apply it to a family-level, it means Ralph and Maude can’t come here even if we want them to. It means if we needed to get to the U.S., we can’t.
– Our French isn’t the best, but from what we understand, he said hotels and taxis can be used by the government if necessary to move and house the sick.
– He said all rent and bills are being delayed. [Edit: From what we now understand, this applies to small businesses.]
– He said the pension plan that triggered all the protests a few months ago, has been suspended.
– He specifically mentioned businesses big and small and talked about how the government had a plan to assist each one.
– He said people who don’t follow the guidelines will be punished.
– He kept repeating: “WE’RE AT WAR.” (Meaning at war with the virus.) He said this over and over again throughout his speech.
(If you’re French and we understood incorrectly, please tell us.)
Since we work at home anyway, our day-to-day lives haven’t been super impacted yet. But we have cancelled 3 different trips, we are missing going to our favorite restaurants, and we are coming up with plans to keep the kids occupied at home — lots of baking, peeling wallpaper, taking walks in the countryside, and learning tiktok dances.
I am feeling an odd mix of emotions (as I’m sure everyone is). It’s quite lovely to have the younger kids home from school, with no pressure to run errands, etc.. It’s incredibly scary to feel separated from our older kids. It’s so odd that we can’t tell our kids what is going to happen, that we can’t manage their expectations. We have to keep reminding them that we’ve never been though anything like this before and we’re learning what to do at the same time they’re learning what to do.
How are you doing? What’s happening in your town? Your country? Are people feeling scared? Is there a community feeling of support and care? Are people taking this seriously? Are your kids worried? Are you able to stay calm? Have you seen anything beautiful you can share?