Second time around

The first day of reconfinement and I have surprised myself. On the first full day last year I had to go out to the pharmacy and spent the whole time stressing about other people and whether the gendarmes would stop me. Had I filled in the attestation correctly? Should I be wearing a mask? Was my homemade gel protecting me? A bright spot was in the bakers as written about earlier on this blog thread.

Back at home we were trying to decide what we could and couldn’t go out to buy beyond food. Bigger worries, fuelled by the TV news, both French and UK, were that it was probably only a matter of time before we both succumbed to the virus and would die in hospital within days of entering with no visitors and unable to say goodbye to each other or any family member. Panicked, we tried to be sensible and posted a paper on the fridge with both boys names and addresses should the worst happen.

That is my overwhelming memory, the fear that gripped me which, amazingly, didn’t stop me sleeping or lead to the migraines I have suffered all my adult life when stressed, but which did colour all my decisions and meant we spent a lot of time sniping at each other as we tried to make sense of what we could and couldn’t do. For example, our communal bins are at the end of the drive but across the road. Do you need an attestation and passport to go to the bins? I was opting ‘yes’ as had read about an over zealous gendarme fining a girl who emptied her bins in her dressing gown outside her house and had no identification on her. Lou said it was nonsensical so insisted on strolling down to the bins as before with me nagging about 135euro fines! The first time we took a walk together I felt naked as all my rare outings had been in the car which I soon realised I was using as a comfort blanket, a metal one between me and potential infection.

Today I took a walk to post some letters and cheerfully filled in my attestation, printed off earlier, ticking the exercise box. I didn’t feel naked nor afraid. I exchanged a few words with the farmer’s son across the road and bonjoured a neighbour. I took photos and revelled in the glorious autumn colours.

Tonight I have pondered this new and very welcome relaxed attitude. Last time we had watched with growing concern as patients were moved from overcrowded hospitals onto trains that carried them to regions less afflicted, others were put on planes to travel over the border into Germany. Horror reports were coming out of northern Italy of doctors having to decide which patient received life saving treatment. And the awful death toll in care homes with tearful relatives telling of not being able to be with their loved ones at their end. Going into confinement seemed to polarise all those worries, presaged as it was by Macron’s pronouncement ‘We are at war!’

Nearer home there were stories of the shortage of gel and masks although the argument about mask wearing was still ongoing. Every outing prior to confinement was a personal tussle as to whether I should be going out to gym or rock or secours populaire. Would I be bringing the virus home?

This time I am equipped with gel and masks, mainly thanks to a talented sister who made my favourites, and have become adept at moving adroitly if anyone comes too close for comfort. As our eldest son says, amongst others, we may have to live with doom virus for a while and need to adapt.

Sadly, the volunteer work I had begun again has stopped due to the shop closure. The message came from our ‘chef’ yesterday but today another has come from the homework club asking could l help by facetiming again. Doors closing and opening.

So I am relaxed. We’ve been here before. There are still unknowns, like the bin visits, but other things have been experienced. The national and international news is still extremely worrying but that is a big concern, the piddling ones that wear you down on a daily basis have, for now, receded…

Photos have been taken over the last few days and are calming, j’espere….

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2 Responses to Second time around

  1. nessafrance says:

    It’s interesting how the psychology changes. Like you, I feel more relaxed about lockdown this time, perhaps because we are clearer about what to expect and better prepared for it. Last time, I was filled with fear, horror and a great deal of anxiety. Now, I feel it’s a bore but accept its necessity. And we are so much better off here than some others who live in restricted accommodation with no garden or outside space. My own feeling is that this probably won’t be the last lockdown, so we had better get used to periodic confinement, while hoping that they soon find a vaccine for this wretched thing.


  2. Thank you for commenting. It is interesting to hear how other people are feeling. Early in in the spring I read something by an ‘expert’ who was predicting that stop/start lockdowns would become the norm.. until there is a medical breakthrough. I’m trying to resign myself to not cuddling my family members until next year.. fingers crossed!


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