Saturday, May 9, 2020

Diary of Covid-19 confinement, day fifty-four

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-four wild flowers
Wild flowers and orchids in the lanes around the village

Day fifty-four, 9th May 2020

From the British Embassy following Edouard Philippe’s update

If you follow the British Embassy Paris on Facebook, you will have noticed they are posting translated updates whenever the French Prime Minister or President make an address. The latest one can be found by clicking here

For those of us in France, I thought this part was particularly useful and clearly lays out what will happen if you think you might have Covid-19 symptoms (fever, sore throat and persistent cough). We mustn’t forget that the virus has not gone away while we have been in lockdown and from next week when our rules are relaxed, hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing will be as important as ever. It has also been a timely reminder to me to give our spare bedroom (or self-isolation suite) a quick dust and hoover, just in case. 

If you have Covid symptoms, act immediately: contact your doctor or call 15. After answering some questions, a test will be made available to you at a lab, hospital, drive-through or at home – you should stay at home to await results. Self-isolate until two days after you recover (between 8-10 days). The cost of the test will be 100% covered by l’Assurance Maladie. If you test positive, you will be taken care of and l’Assurance Maladie will begin an investigation into who you have been in contact with. When self-isolating, stay in one room if you share a home, do not touch others or objects they might touch, air the room frequently, disinfect objects you touch, wash your hands regularly, do not accept visitors unless from doctors, and wear a mask. If you are contacted by l’Assurance Maladie because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you should self-isolate, take your temperature twice a day, and work from home if possible. After seven days, if you test negative, you will self-isolate for a further seven days. If self-isolation is not possible at home, you will be directed to a designated hotel.”

Stay safe

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-four cycling
On our village loop bike ride


With every passing day, there are more and more news articles promoting the benefits of cycling, commuting by bike and the changes being made to city centres to cope with the increase in those seeking out ‘active travel’ methods. This is such an important opportunity for governments to change the emphasis of city travel and make it easier and safer for all of us to make healthier and greener choices. It will be extremely sad if pollution levels are allowed to rise again once life begins to return to normal. Normal wasn’t working, we need change to create a new and improved normal.

Our cycling has certainly taken a knock during lockdown. I’d already managed to clock up 561kms from January to mid-March, but my lockdown total is only 90kms, mostly made up by repeating the same 4km loop around the village. Not only is this getting a little dull, it’s also quite busy, seeing as it’s about the only loop around the village that fits the 1km from home criteria. No matter what time of day we do it, we meet walkers, cyclists, and dog walkers; people we would normally stop and chat with, but for the moment we all shrink back to opposite sides of the path, wave a greeting and keep going.  

French Village Diaries covid-19 confinement day fifty-four cycling 100kms
Our 100km radius - find yours here

From Monday we will be permitted to travel, by any means, within a 100km radius from home, so we have been studying our map to see just where this will allow us to go. Imagine my excitement when I found out there are nine departments (counties) within our 100kms. I have set Adrian the challenge to plan us a cycling route for each of the departments, that we can do in a day out, with a picnic. I am looking forward to plenty of adventures in the Deux-Sèvres, the Vienne, the Indré, the Haute-Vienne, the Charente, the Dordogne, the Charente-Maritime, the Gironde and the Vendée. One of my cycling challenges for 2020 was to cycle in twenty French departments, of which I have so far managed only the one I live in (Deux-Sèvres) and the two whose borders are within a few kilometres from home (Charente and Charente-Maritime). With holidays a mere dream for now, I might not make all twenty, but I am determined to tick off the nine that are within 100kms from home.

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