The first strawberries of the season have arrived at my local coop supermarket, and I’m enjoying them so much I feel like I’m breaking a lockdown rule!
The Latest Figures
France now has 13,197 deaths from the coronavirus: 8598 who have died in the hospital (including a child under 10 years old), and 4599 who have died in nursing homes. But today was also the second day in a row that the number of patients on life support has gone down, which means the healthcare workers get a chance to catch their breath before the next wave arrives. “Charles De Gaulle” has been trending on Twitter all day because of the eponymous French aircraft carrier that has confirmed at least 50 cases of covid-19 onboard, despite having been offshore since March 15th. The three sailors who were showing symptoms were evacuated “as a preventative measure” while the others are confined in a separate area of the ship with protective gear and monitored by a specialized medical team. The aircraft carrier is currently in the Atlantic, but is returning to the port of Toulon a week earlier than planned due to the outbreak.
French Manufacturing Resurgence
Yesterday when I was out foraging, I discovered hand sanitizer gel for sale at one of the little supermarkets in my neighborhood. They were at the cash register in two sizes, a small one for travel and a larger bottle with a pump dispenser for home. I had given up on finding any in stores so was a bit surprised, but happily purchased a bottle. An article in the economics news site La Tribune explained how this was possible because of the boom in French manufacturing since the coronavirus outbreak. “The production sites for masks, hydroalcoholic gel, respirators, consumable medical equipment have flourished in recent weeks in France. In a short time, the production of masks tripled in France and that of hydroalcoholic gel was multiplied by 10.”
This isn’t just due to the increase in production by companies already making these items in France, but also because other French manufacturers such as LVMH, L’Oréal, Shiseido, Michelin, Air Liquid, Schneider Electric and PSA have converted part of their production facilities to make hydroalcoholic gel, fabric or rubber masks, and single-use or washable gowns. They’re now almost able to meet the complete demand for hand gel in France, while imports from Asian manufacturers for extra masks and surgical gloves will still be necessary to fill the gaps in the coming months. You can read an article specifically about the hand gel manufacturing boom in English here.
A Petition to Re-Open Pet Shelter Adoptions
La Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) in France has launched a petition to try and convince the French authorities to allow them to re-open pet shelters for emergency adoptions during the lockdown. The shelters have been closed to the public for over three weeks now, but there are still many animals coming in, so they are at 120% capacity now. If you are a resident of France or have an address here, please sign the petition and pass it along to your entourage. These animals shouldn’t end up as collateral damage of the coronavirus. https://victimes-collaterales.la-spa.fr/
The World After…
If you’re interested in discussing (in French) how we can change our world for the better after this pandemic has ended, join the collective of French personalities in the environmental and sustainable living movement for a FB Live event this weekend, “L’Académie du Monde d’Après” with Cyril Dion, Juliette Binoche, Yael Naïm, Jean-Marc Jancovici, Yann Arthus Bertrand and others for two days of online meetings and exchanges, this Saturday and Sunday from 3-11pm. It’s all free, just sign up here or see the program and follow the conversation on the FB page here.
Easter Sunday Social Distance Hike
The Abbey Bookshops has been hosting monthly hikes around the Ile de France for years. Now in the time of lockdown when we’re all confined to the one-hour of exercise in our own neighborhoods they have introduced the “first ever real-time worldwide multi-viewer hike”. Just load Zoom app onto your phone on Sunday at 9am Paris time and share your solo hike through your own neighborhood with other participants for an hour. For more info (in French and English) and the Zoom info, check out the FB event page here.
Stay healthy, enjoy your hour of fresh air, then rentrez chez vous! 😉 – Heather