As France falls into a situation that it will not dig itself out of easily or quickly (nationwide lockdown #3 coming soon, I think), I find myself thinking that this is too bad. However, I also find myself thinking that not much will change for me. Why? Let me illustrate with a simple graph:
The orange line illustrates either Covid numbers in France, percentage of ICU beds taken by Covid patients, national lockdowns, or even the number of BBQs in the country – it’s your choice because they’re all connected.
The blue line is my life, which, other than a little car trip we did early last summer, has really remained unchanged. When the curfew was put in place a couple of months ago, I was at home at 6pm, but before the curfew I was also at home at 6pm. When restaurants closed again (in the summer they were open) in October, I didn’t go out, but I also didn’t go out beforehand. Same goes for the cinema, museums, and shops that aren’t selling food, beer and home improvement paraphernalia. The only thing that I really took advantage of was the increased radius for cycling, but even there I have not ventured very far at all since all of this badness began.
I know people who have exactly the same attitude as me, i.e. no matter what the government lets us do or not do, there is an underlying reality that we don’t ignore – the virus is still with us and it will perhaps be with us till we stop it from propagating. If we all stay at home, it will go away. If half of us insist on going out to eat when we don’t need to, working from the office when we don’t need to, having dinner parties with friends when we don’t need to and seeing family for Easter when we don’t need to, the virus will spread.
I also know an equal number of people who are very irritated by the restrictions put on us and either don’t heed them for at least some part, or act differently once these restrictions are lifted. And who can blame them? When the French government told us to travel around the country and prop up the tourist industry last summer, how can we put any blame on folks who are just following orders? Even those youngsters who insist on having clandestine parties have my sympathy – nobody could keep me from hanging with friends when I was 20.
A friend of mine stated the other day that she wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of decision makers right now. There is simply no way that they will make the ‘right’ choice. Macron tried a couple of months ago with his ‘third way’ of not doing a hard lockdown, which looked to be working till a few weeks ago. Now I expect to see him on the TV very soon (you only hear from the President when it’s bad news), telling us that we have to stay at home again.
I’ll be here when he comes on.