Hard to believe 32 days have passed since Paris started the lockdown and confinement measures. Weirdly, I don’t even think about where I can’t go anymore (clothes shopping, to the movie theatre, out to dinner), I’ve become totally used to the daily routine I’ve adopted that rarely takes me outside my tiny 31m² universe. In a way it’s nice NOT to have thousands of options, so much easier to focus on work during the day and my website redo at night. I can’t believe I thought I was going to finish it in January when I still had a million distractions, places to visit, people to meet for coffee, films to see at the cinema, sales to browse for new curtains…). If my new website isn’t ready by the time this lockdown is over I won’t have any real excuse aside from going blind in front of this computer screen all day! And although I keep worrying I’ll have nothing to share with you every single day, funnily enough there’s still so much going on in Paris that I think you’ll find useful or at least entertaining. So here we go, Day 32….
Bonus for Healthcare Workers
In today’s news, the French government announced healthcare staff working in the hardest hit areas of France will get up to €1500 as a bonus as well as higher hourly wages for the overtime. It’s part of the €110 billion euro rescue package the government has announced to support the economy and the people of France during the pandemic.
Public Safety Volunteer Network Needs Your Help!
La Protection Civile Paris Seine is a volunteer organization dedicated to public safety. They support municipal emergency services as first responders, help the homeless and other at-risk populations, conduct training sessions for first-aid and CPR (I’ve participated in these!), and are instrumental in emergency situations like Covid-19. Normally their funding is fully covered through the paid work they do for festivals and public events like sports matches, but since the Coronavirus lockdown they are working harder than ever with no income since there are no events. So for the first time in their history they’re asking the public for donations to keep their 150 Covid-19 volunteer force operational during the pandemic. Learn more and donate here (tax deductible in France).
Notre Dame in the News
Notre Dame’s oldest and biggest bell, Emmanuel, rang at 8pm tonight – the same time as the nightly applause for Covid-19 healthcare workers – to mark the one year anniversary of the fire that ravaged the cathedral. Because the electricity has been cut to the site, workers wearing protective gear (for the lead) used a rope to ring the bell à l’ancienne.
A new book “Notre Dame: The Soul of France” has come out this month by journalist Agnes Poirier, who watched the cathedral burn from her home just across the river: “Events reminiscent of another age are now taking place on Quai Saint-Michel: young and not-so-young Parisians have fallen on their knees. When was Paris last the setting for such stupefying scenes? Some are silently praying, while others are quietly singing Ave Marias. Those images, relayed on TV, stun this staunchly secular country, this viscerally skeptical people, and touch them to the core. Awestruck, France realizes how profoundly Christian its history is, even if it is buried under a century or more of secularism.” Here is an interview with the author on France 24:
The Tour de France Postponed
Normally taking place from mid-June through mid-July, the most famous bike race in the world has been postponed to August 29th through September 20th, 2020. The Tour de France covers over 3,000km and attracts roughly 500,000 fans along the route each day. It was out of the question for the event to be hold without the supporters (which, considering there are no “tickets” to sell anyway, is quite amazing).
Artisan Beer Delivery
The Brasserie Artemus is a local craft beer brewery in the Val de Marne (the southeast suburbs of Paris) producing a lovely selection of artisan beers that they deliver for FREE to Paris and suburbs of La Petite Couronne (minimum order 12 bottles, €30). You’ll need to follow the instructions on their FB page to order via email or phone (they will send a payment link in the reply).
“Stay thirsty, my friends” (and stay inside). – Heather