Day 5: The silence is eery

Saturday, 21st March

The silence outside is eerier than ever. You hear the odd small child’s voice, a car or an ambulance siren in the distance. The sun is shining brighter than ever. Our windows are open all day long. I peer down with envy into my neighbours’ garden.

There’s been a call to donate blood as stocks are low due to the crisis, so I call the blood centre to find out what time I should go. They say they are overbooked and can I come next week. I feel good that people are doing this.

Food stores are not delivering before Monday: Otherhalf decides to go to the local supermarket, on his first trip outside in four days, to stock up on essentials. He returns and tells me, “C’est une vision de fin du monde.” People are being allowed in one by one, cashiers shrouded in plastic, store practically empty. He won’t be going back anytime soon.

Grandma homeschools my eldest via WhatsApp. It is a fantastic opportunity for both child and grandma, who is lonely holed up in her Paris flat, to chat and spend time together.

This frees up time for me to spend a couple of hours on the phone with my best friend in Toulouse who is helping me set up a website to post this diary. Confinement is offering me an unexpected opportunity to brush up on my basic IT skills.

In the afternoon, my eight-year old and I decide to sew a “simple rectangular bag with zipper” with our new sewing machine. I have never used it. Thank god for the kind ladies who post tutorials on YouTube. Three hours later, we have successfully sewn one side (with zipper). My son is being supportive, I am having a bad confinement day (my nights are still peopled with post-apocalyptic demons, leaving me tired and restless in the day).

I remind myself how lucky I am compared to so many other people in this crisis. I am off to bed to dream of giant green zipper bags chasing me down an empty street, under the gaze of an indifferent sun.

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