The French National Assembly had a late-night session to vote on the Emergency Health Bill that would allow the government to enact more strict confinement measures over the coming two months as well as solidify the economic measures to support businesses. It’s still up for debate in the Senate, but seven if the details aren’t agreed on yet, everyone is expecting the news on Monday to announce the extension past the original 15 days.
The good news is that the Parisians are beginning to get the idea about how far apart they’re supposed to stay in open-air markets, so maybe they’ll be allowed to stay open after all. If you understand French, Le Monde has published a pretty thorough Coronavirus Q&A, the rules, the recommendations…whether or not you should be scrubbing your groceries when you bring them home.
If You Need Support in English
Being a foreigner in Paris, whether you’re a newcomer or a longtime expat, has its own particular stresses, even when we’re not in the middle of a pandemic. If you need to talk to someone in English, the SOS Helpline is still open daily 5-9pm. “We offer empathetic, non-judgmental emotional support to those going through a difficult time. Loneliness, mental or physical health, family conflict, bereavement and suicidal thoughts are some of the painful issues raised by our callers. You do not have to cope alone. Call us on 01 46 21 46 46.” Pass it along to any English-speaking friends or family in Paris. www.soshelpline.org
Make Yourself Useful
I know many of you are beginning to crawl up the walls, but there’s at least one good reason to go out during the lockdown: to donate blood. As long as you have no flu-like symptoms, you may donate blood at the closest center to where your live (find it here). You need to make an appointment online (here) and on your attestation check the box for “l’assistance aux personnes vulnérables”.
It’s good to stay informed, but watching too much news is bad for morale. If you’re looking for some French-themed comic relief, check out the 2-part OverSimplified episodes on The French Revolution, or Drunk History episodes Joan of Arc Leads an Army or Napoleon Bonaparte.
Stay healthy, keep in touch with loved ones! – Heather