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Lockdown in Paris: Day 16

cooking swiss chard

After an almost warm Saturday then a windy Sunday, Paris is chilly again with the temperatures going down to freezing in the evenings this week. So I wasn’t looking for an excuse to go outside at all, except that as I started preparing dinner at 7pm I realized I ran out of garlic (even the little chopped frozen garlic from Picard!) so I thought I’d pop out quick and get some in the little convenience store in the square. Except it was already closed. I knew the Franprix a block over would be open for 20 more minutes, so I headed over there and realized I forgot my attestation. D’oh!

Breaking the Law, J’ai Honte

I didn’t have time to run back home and get it and make it to the store before they closed, so I hurried my steps, looking around like a criminal in case I saw a police patrol coming. I got my garlic (and some extra bananas) just as the store was closing, so there were no lines, and I was home in less than 10 minutes. I should probably put the attestation papers I printed out next to my door so I don’t forget and end up paying a €135 fine. I know some people find it really “annoying” that we have to carry the attestation, even comparing it to the Nazi occupation, which is absolutely shocking when the whole point is to save lives (and save us from our own stupidity), not snuff out lives. We’ve already had over 3000 deaths in France; 418 over the last 24 hours. What will it take for it to finally sink in for these people complaining about “liberticide”? ☹

One Hour…or More

I should mention that the “one hour” limit when going out only applies to the “dog walking or exercise” case, not for groceries or other essential shopping. They know some people have to wait in lines or go to multiple stores to find what they need. The attestations allow us to get what is essential, while limiting our propensity to goof off because we feel like it.

Minimum Mail Service

In case you hadn’t already noticed, La Poste has closed over 1000 offices die to staff shortages (some are sick, some have kids, and some refuse to work in dangerous conditions with no safety equipment). To try and reduce the risk of its workers, La Poste announced that from now on they’ll only be delivering the mail three days per week, Wednesday through Friday. I’ve heard there are long lines at the few offices that are open, but I haven’t seen them yet. I ordered a delivery of my favorite coffee from Finland, and if it’s too big to fit in my mailbox I guess I’ll find out!

Free Drink-Making Lessons with David Lebovitz

Today in my ongoing home-cooking experiments (that almost got me into trouble when foraging for garlic) I cooked up a bunch of blettes, or Swiss chard, that I got at my co-op over the weekend. I never cooked them before but was pretty happy how they turned out. But I have a very insistent sweet tooth that demands chocolate, so I was thrilled that David Lebovitz showed us how to make a French chocolate frappé on his Instagram live today. He’s doing a live “show” each day during the lockdown from his home kitchen in Paris, presenting recipes from his new book Drinking French, answering questions, and being his wonderfully entertaining self. Tell him you like his plaid shirts. 😉

Masks Arrive with their Own Armed Escort

The French news showed today’s arrival of the first of 8 million masks (of a billion ordered) and several tons of medical equipment from China. Because of the the widespread theft of masks since the pandemic started, the delivery was met at the airport by 150 military and gendarmes to escort the cargo to six main distribution warehouses around France that supply hospitals and pharmacies. The government is preparing for what they calculate will be the peak of hospitalizations in the next ten days. At the moment only the hospitals in the Alsace region are completely full, with up to a dozen Covid-19 ICU patients being transferred each day to hospitals in different parts of France as well as Germany and Switzerland.

How the French National Orchestra Managed a “Home Concert”

Musicians from the Orchestre National de France played Ravel’s “Bolero” from their homes, each clip cleverly combined together to create a magical musical moment. It’s touching watching each of them doing their best to do what they do best even under these strange conditions. As a former orchestra percussionist myself, I couldn’t help but notice the snare drummer looking to the door a few times, and wondering if we’d hear the neighbors pounding at some point! Enjoy…

Volunteers Needed This Week

The Secours Populaire urgently needs volunteers living in the 3rd, 4th or 10th arrondissements who can get around without public transport (I assume that includes bike or foot, since they don’t say car) to help with packaging deliveries on April 1st, 2nd and 3rd from 10am-12:30pm or 2-4:30pm at their 9 Rue Froissart location. You need to be able to print out the attestation they will email you. Protective gear will be provided. If that’s you, send an email (in French) to benevolat@secourspopulaire.fr with the following info: NOM,  PRÉNOM,  ADRESSE POSTALE,  ADRESSE MAIL, TÉLÉPHONE, Dates et plages horaires où vous pouvez venir.

Be smart, stay inside, stay healthy! – Heather

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