It was a beautiful day in Paris, sunny and almost warm. At lunch I went for a run around the neighborhood and couldn’t help but notice half of the city seemed out for a run as well, since it’s one of the few activities allowed outside the home these days.
But before anyone gets the idea that we’ll finish this lockdown as a city of seasoned marathoners, the government has tightened the screws yet again. There’s this thing about the French law that allows anything that’s not specifically banned. So the Parisians, like their compatriots all over France, took advantage of the beautiful day and went out for “exercise” – with their families — at the beach, through the forests, along the riverbanks. In Paris the parks are locked, but Parisians were still found across town, far from their apartments, “running” in the Bois de Boulogne and other open-air spaces (with their picnic baskets). Keeping a meter between them, but still clearly not in their homes, and not sticking to the spirit of the lockdown. So now there’s a “clarification” of the restriction that we can’t go further than 2km from home, and all of the beaches, wooded parks, biking trails and riverbanks are off-limits. “At a time when healthcare workers are fighting day and night to save lives in hospitals” , they recall that “outings linked to physical activity, children’s well-being and the needs of pets must be brief and in the immediate vicinity of the home.”
Advice from a fellow runner to those of you who will now be running in tight circles around the block for the next – few? – weeks: take it easy starting out. Getting shin splits or plantar fasciitis the first week of the lockdown isn’t a good long-term plan for staying sane. 😉
Parisians Businesses Adapting
Despite the government assurances that no businesses will go under during this crisis, we’re all worried about the small neighborhood shops. On Sunday I purchased a bouquet of flowers –my “black market bouquet” – from my neighborhood florist who stayed open despite the closure of all non-essential shops. Yesterday I looked out my window after a tweet from a neighbor: “The florist just reopened as an organic fruit and vegetable shop.” I had a peek on the way back from my run. “No flowers anymore?” I asked. “They’re back there,” said the owner with a nod to the barrier set up in the shop. I didn’t dare attempt sneaking another bouquet into my apartment, but it’s nice to know they’re going to remain open for now (and doesn’t that produce look fabulous?!)
Click-Bait Headline of the Day: French Baguette Hoarding
Breaking news: The French like baguettes! Really. Crack journalism there. 😉 And why wouldn’t they? They’re damned tasty. And as the French Revolutionary Danton once said, nothing is more important for the people than bread. So the AFP’s headline might make you wonder if they’re going to start another revolution over their baguettes. Don’t worry. As they point out (way) further down in the article, there’s no danger they will run out, they’re made fresh each day. There’s a line outside my closest bakery every Sunday morning, but today there were only three people inside, and plenty of baguettes to go around. Same for the five other bakeries I passed on my (2km – I swear!) run around the neighborhood. People probably need to buy more if they’ve got to feed a whole family three times a day, so no surprise if they’re stocking up. Well, that and maybe because the Picard frozen food store near me was out of almost everything, including their (surprisingly decent) frozen bread loaves (they’ll be getting restocked tomorrow, don’t panic, folks). Any other click-bait articles you’ve found out there?
Stay safe, stay inside! – Heather