On this 19th day of the Coronavirus lockdown in Paris I thought it might be helpful to give you a list of some useful links, whether you want to make yourself useful by helping others, or simply entertain yourself while helping out by STAYING INSIDE.
Live Piano Concerts
Kit Armstrong is a young British-Taiwanese-American classical pianist and composer who has been traveling the world performing since he was a young child. But for the lockdown he is doing free daily Facebook Live performances from an Art Deco church in a French village near Amiens that he converted into a cultural center and his personal concert hall. You can watch on FB (3pm Paris time on Friday April 3rd) or YouTube.
More Mail and Deliveries Without Signatures
La Poste announced they would start reopening more offices and start delivering the mail four days per week (up from the current three days) now that their workers are better equipped to stay safe. I’m not sure how it works for packages delivered when there’s no close office to your Paris apartment, so open to hearing from others. I just had a DHL delivery of coffee from Finland, and the driver called me and said to meet him on the curb to get my package. He handed it to me through the truck window, and when I asked if I needed to sign, he replied “Not during the pandemic!” and drove off. At least they didn’t just drop it outside my door where anyone could snatch it.
Vélib Free for Essential Workers
The Vélib ride-share system is still working (and charging you, if you have a monthly subscription), even though there are fewer bikes and even fewer places you’re allowed to go on one. If you happen to work in healthcare or any “essential services” jobs, you get to use the bikes for free for up to an hour at a time. If this applies to you, check the Vélib website to get a refund on anything you’ve paid since March and how to get your free access moving forward.
Fighting Fake News
France24, the 24-hour news network in France that’s also in English, has a whole section of their website dedicated to fighting Fake News. Here’s their latest article on spotting fake news stories in 2020: “Truth or Fake: 4 Tips for Detecting Fake News Online”
Donate Meals to Healthcare Workers
If you want to do more than simply applaud healthcare workers each night at 8pm, the “Ecotable Community” collective of restaurants engaged in “sustainable and local” practices are putting their talents to good use by cooking up to 500 meals per day for healthcare workers in Paris and throughout France. Their crowdfunding campaign has gone through the roof, but each additional donation lets them feed more workers (there are over 1000 requests per day, so they have a long way to go!). From just €32, you can fund four meals. Check out their project and pass it along! https://www.kisskissbankbank.com/fr/projects/restaurons-les-soignants-durablement
Help Make Protective Visors!
Visière Solidaire is a “citizen support network” of protective visor makers throughout the Ile de France region. They’re looking for volunteers with 3D printers at home to help make. Check out their website for more information: https://visieresolidaire.org/fr/ If you have extra cash but no 3D printer, you can donate to another crowdfunding platform, “United 3D Makers”, to help fund their protective visor manufacturing in Montreuil: https://fr.ulule.com/masques-anti-projections/
Free Legal Help
A French lawyers’ association is offering free 30-minute legal consultations by telephone through April 6th for any legal issue DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE COVID-19 pandemic (work contracts, family rights, aid for businesses, etc). Just fill out the request form online and a lawyer will respond within 24-hours to set up a call (in French, of course): https://consultation.avocat.fr/consultation-telephonique/express.php
Lily in Montmartre
Finally, I know I’ve been sharing a bit of what life under confinement in my corner of the 13th arrondissement looks like. But if you’re curious what the butte of Montmartre looks like when it’s not overrun with tourists, follow the lovely and talented Lily Heise’s Live FB strolls through her neighborhood in the 18th, guaranteed to brighten your day! https://www.facebook.com/pg/JeTAimeMeNeither/