Thursday, November 12 and Friday the 13th - Two weeks into the Shutdown

A Walk through the Park

Thursday was sunny and quite warm for the season. I cleaned the apartment, did some wash, then went to the post office and from there, I walked a fair distance through the park pictured above in order to get to the grocery store. I felt really good being able to get in the walk as well as doing errands, having selected only ”Errands” on my Attestation paper that we have to take with us each time we go outside. Normally, you can do one or the other, but not both in a single trip. Otherwise, it all felt like a rather normal day.

In the evening we tuned into a long press conference hosted by the Prime Minister, as well as other Cabinet members, followed by a Q & A session with many of the reporters who were present. The reason for this event is the fact that two weeks into the nation-wide shutdown, Covid cases, hospitalizations, especially in ICUs, as well as deaths, are beginning to go down. No restrictions will be lifted before December 1 and only then if these trends continue in the right direction. The public wants to know when they can start booking train and plane tickets to travel during the holiday season. Small businesses that make over 50% of their yearly revenue during November and December are naturally very worried about a shrinking bottom line. People who have lost their jobs want to be reassured of continued government help. Representatives from all parts of the government, especially the Minister of Health, were very clear and precise in their assessments and in answering questions. What a refreshing difference from what comes out of the Trump administration. As bad as things are here, they are way worse in the US, because nothing much has shut down and life goes on. Those who don't get Covid, or do but don’t die, may be hoping that vaccines will be available soon and will get rid of the whole mess. I hope that gamble pays off, but for now, I feel much safer here.

Today is Friday the 13th, so of course André and I won’t set foot outside of the house today! Just kidding, Folks. In fact, I feel more optimistic that by Xmas, if only temporarily, things will move toward a higher level of normalcy than now. Meanwhile, I signed an agreement with an editor for my novel. She won’t actually start to really edit anything until I send her the completed manuscript, and there will be deadlines. I’m enthused about how my revisions are going, and I am aiming to send off something before I return - hopefully - to the US in mid-January. Although this whole project on its face seems like a pipe dream, at the very least it will keep me from going stir-crazy.

As a final piece of news, our granddaughter Ella, who is in college in St. Pete, FL, had to shelter in place because of TS ETA, that fortunately made landfall further north than originally predicted. Still, there was flooding, several tornado siren warnings, and fallen debris on campus, but everyone is safe. Scared the dickens out of us so far away from her, as I’m sure it did her parents, who are even farther away in Gabon, as well as her aunt in LA. Thanks to What’s App, we were all able to get news throughout the day and into the night from Wednesday - late last night ECT (European Central Time).

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