Things Have to Change

16 avril 2020


Here’s a personal anecdote. We landed in Paris, returning from Mauritius, 16 March, just as the lockdown was being announced. Taking a taxi into town, at first it was kind of cool. Little traffic, clear skies, quiet streets. Then, considering the lockdown long term, my first reaction was to suggest hiring a car to drive down to my mother-in-law’s summer place in the southwest where she has a big terrace and a garden across the street in a small town of maybe six or seven hundred, new suburbs included. Better than being locked inside our city center apartment, no? But since my wife’s mother is old (91), relatively frail, semi-handicapped (sight, hearing, memory failing, the Full Monty), and stubborn as a mule, my wife decided to put my plan on hold for the time being. I had misgivings and tried to explain that if we didn’t get out of the city “tout de suite”, we could very well be imprisoned for quite a while. To no avail. My wife’s mother was tired and it wasn’t her habit to go down there so soon. It would be too cold (even though the house is centrally heated). Go figure.

And so now, a month later, here we are, still in Paris, filling out our little permission slips to go outside for an hour, without sitting on a bench to take a little sun (we’ve had exceptional weather), to go for groceries or whatnot. My wife takes the bus two or three times a week (sometimes more) to her mother’s place to make sure she has stuff to eat, clean up, cook a meal, and continually explain how to use her computer or cell phone or tv or portable radio. Since she can’t see the buttons, it’s no surprise.

I finally got fed up with my wife’s gracious patience, called my doctor for an appointment, and explained the situation, asking him if he could write a medical “exception” and let us take “la veille bique” down south (and escape Paris). He explained that she would have to make that demand herself. Reporting back to my wife, she hesitated for another week or so, then finally, finally explained to her mother that it was either now or never if she wanted to go down south at all because no one knew when they were going to lift the lockdown or maybe even restrict it more.

The results? We finally got her mother to agree to a consultation with my doctor, but sometime in ten days or so (can’t remember the exact date). By then, who knows if we’ll be able to rent a car to get down there. Or if the restrictions on movement will be more severe.

I’m going crazy.

As for all the other stuff about “flattening the curve” or “herding” or whatever, I couldn’t care less. So-called information these days is where one wants to find it. You can believe in any number of scenarios. It’s a Gates takeover of the world. It’s the incompetence and corruption of the health authorities. It’s nothing more than the flu. Or any of the other theories floating around the internet. Take your pick, choose your “Blindness” (Jose Saramago). Either way you lose.

Things have got to change.

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