Day 19: What about de-confinement?

Saturday, 4th April

The strange dreams are back. I wake up tired.

Otherhalf is home for the weekend, so I leave the kids with him and go to the shops to buy food.

The cherry blossom is out, there is a smell of spring in the air.

Spring has sprung and the cherry blossom is out in Lyon.

I put on my headphones and choose a podcast. Everything I listen to at the moment is Covid-related. I should disconnect, but I find it difficult to do as I try to make sense of what is happening, and of what is to come.


The French government is considering several scenarios for de-confinement. What is certain is that nothing is. What is almost certain is that de-confinement will occur in stages: experts are afraid of what they call a potential “second wave” of the epidemic.

De-confinement could take place by region, and it most likely will depend on age: elderly people, considered to be among the most at risk, would probably be asked to stay home a little longer. But the whole process will depend on how much testing is available, and that is where the problem lies: nobody knows how fast they will manage to develop simpler tests, including so-called serological tests, that will make it possible to detect whether someone has had Covid-19 from a blood sample. Only this will allow de-confinement to go ahead in order to not put vulnerable people at risk.

What also seems to be increasingly likely is that kids will not be going back to school after the Easter school holidays in early May. But that remains to be seen, as do all other plans in the coming months. For now, my kids’ scout leaders are still planning summer camp. We, as a family, are waiting to see whether any kind of trip will be possible. Normally, we go camping in the summer.

Grandparents must keep a distance

The hardest is for the grand-parents: this morning, I spoke to mum-in-law in Paris who has been very brave about the whole confinement until now. Today, for the first time, she said what makes it hard for her is the lack of perspective: as she is over 70, she is not sure she will be able to leave her flat at all this summer, to come and visit her grandchildren or travel to Corsica, where she has her roots and holidays regularly. She says it would be too silly to die of such a ridiculous virus. So she stays home, and takes no risk. As does my father, except for the daily one-hour walk. They are right. I hope we will see them again soon but not before it is safe.

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