CONTEMPLATIONS ON CORONAVIRUS CONFINEMENT, CONUNDRUMS, CONSEQUENCES (in France)

CONTEMPLATIONS ON CORONAVIRUS CONFINEMENT, CONUNDRUMS, CONSEQUENCES (in France)
  • This would have been my annual Paris Marathon article. Marathon postponed (we hope–i.e., as opposed totally ash-canned for 2020).
  • My local chocolate-shop is closed. We are allowed to shop for only basic necessities (achats [purchases] de première nécessité). Isn’t chocolate a basic necessity?
CORONAVIRUS CONFINEMENT
Hand crafted in Bozeman Montana! But also under coronavirus confinement.
  • We are authorized to go out and run, albeit for only an hour per day. If we had an older, fatter president who had an older, fatter prime minister who had an older, fatter health minister, that number would be zero hours per day. This generation of leaders knows that depriving exercise addicts of their workouts in addition to their general mobility would put them over the edge.
  • We (the media, scholars, doomsdayers, fortunetellers, your grandmother) have for years been predicting that Planet Earth will be brought to its knees by terrorism, natural disaster, trade war, real war. It is being brought to its knees by a microscopic organism that has been said to measure ONE THOUSANDTH THE WIDTH OF A HUMAN HAIR.
  • When on their balconies and hanging out their windows people applaud healthcare workers at 8:00 nightly, how do they know when to stop? Is there some universal unwritten rule? Some neighborhood-by-neighborhood unwritten rule? Street-by-street? Is there some guy who started mid-March and is still out there in delirious celebratory cluelessness clapping his heart out?
  • Does every healthcare worker appreciate the acknowledgement? Do some of them think, “Just leave it alone! I’m tired! I want to go home for my now nightly two hours’ sleep! Go inside and download a vampire movie!”
  • If you haven’t reached out to me for the past ten years, if you have responded to none of the last five Happy Birthday textos I’ve sent, if you dropped me a decade ago from your gang family-news-update Christmas-e-mail list, do not, in the tedium of your bored, lonely homebound doldrums, send me a message that reads, “Hi! Just a little note to let you know I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you are!”
  • The drastic drop in Earth’s pollution has been accompanied by a reduction in global quivering, according to nature.com. With fewer people walking, riding, driving, biking, rollerblading, running (except for the addicts–see above), hopscotching, rope-jumping, operating factories on and otherwise imposing upon its surface, that’s logical. But who’d’a thunk?
  • Not sure which is better: officials’ saying every two weeks that confinement needs to last another two weeks, thereby gently easing the citizenry into desensitized comfort with the new reality, or blurting out all at once that they hope Santa leaves us a bunch of nice face-masks under the tree, thereby pulling the figurative band-aid off the scab in one swift yank and that’ll be that!
  • It could be worse. We could be doing this without the Internet–like they did during the Spanish Flu in 1918. We could be tripping over dead bodies in the streets–like they did during the Black Death in the mid-1300s. But it could be a lot better, too.

Shari Leslie Segall is a writer who lives in Paris in coronavirus confinement.

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