Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, Day 1

Ze French Coronavirus Chronicles, 1

 

March 17, 2020. From noon today, no one is allowed to go outside in France, except for food or medication. One must print and fill and sign a paper, a sworn statement, to show to the police. Get a fine if you don’t have it.

 

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Confinement is also the word in French, and we write quarantaine. “Quarante” means forty in French. The idea comes from Hippocrates (it’s also in the Bible, the idea of separation, etc), who said that 40 days is enough for a disease to… appear if someone is sick.

 

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I read a few weeks ago about Wuhan and China that the big population blocus of millions of humans would probably lead to a Baby Boom in autumn – which makes sense. I thought about the big blackout of New York (is it 1965 or 77?) which lead to babies 9 months ago – but is this true of an urban legend?

Mmmh they also talked about a big divorce boom – which makes sense TOO. Many couples stay married because they really don’t have time to be together, busy busy busy. When they have to, it can lead to many interesting developments…

 

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Empathically I think about those who are old or alone, but also about those who live with a mean person (spouse or mothers-in-law) or… a teen!

 

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We have food for about 2 weeks, therefore we did not have to queue for hours before supermarkets, where French humans are since this morning. I chose delivery, and I’ll run errands on Friday, when it’ll be calmer (well, I’m not sure of this, but).

 

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Many stores on the planet open only for the eldests for one hour BEFORE the crazies rush into toilet papers and food.

 

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There are the same old good advices about distance, sneezes and hand washing, but I also read that anti-inflammatory pills (like Ibuprofen) are not recommended if you get sick (it can make it worse), and also, if you go outside and have to wash you hands, that one should get rid of rings and jewelry (which seems logical : those a good nest for little demonic viruses.

I have a thought for my colleague who would never quit the bunch of wristbands she keeps all life long. Here’s something to read :

A Microbiologist Tells You Exactly How Gross Festival Wristbands Are

 

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Little by little the whole planet gets quieter. People have to stay in their house, in their apartment. They have to find something to do, be creative, read, find movies. It slows the planet.

This is what introverts do all the time. Thinkers, quiet persons, loneliness lovers. These people will adapt. They watch their books and films collection with a smile and some appetite. It’s the moment to dig deeper into complex or long things : John Ford or Hitchcock movies, Proust or Dante books. It’s the moment to learn, too.

It’ll be harder for the others. I think of them. Sports obsessed. Party goers. Managers.

I think of Susan Cain’s book : Quiet, The Power of Introverts.

https://afrenchtoolbox.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/quarantine-introverts/

 

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I live in the North of France. The climate seems to be similar to Seattle in America. It’s the North! We just had WEEKS of rain and drizzle, and like a storm every sunday. Everybody was tired of this endless winter.

The FIRST day of the quarantine, today, the sky is absolutely perfectly blue. This is NOT cool.

 

Thanks for reading. Stay safe!

 

PS : If I were passive-aggressive, I could have written : “It’s blue sky today the first day of confinement, that’s sooo cool”. But no.

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Quarantine & Introverts

I don’t know if many of us will be quarantined, but I already think about it…

I read this morning, about China, that being locked in your apartment with your spouse will “maybe” provide a baby boom this next winter, but in the meanwhile gives two consequences :

  1. Infodemia (too much informations about epidemic dramas) and depression.
  2. Explosion of… divorces.

 

We don’t need a master in psychology to know that many couples go on just because they don’t have time to be with each other. Busy busy busy! That’s OK, we all do what we can, right?

Locked together, toxicity begins to dance around, boredom walks along walls like a tiger in a forgotten cage, back and forth…

I can’t imagine what happens to sports addicts, bikers and runners. They can do push-ups, but well, that’s not enough drug, I suppose.

But for introverts, it’s probably different. Being quarantined with shelves of books and Blu-rays (or with a computer and Internet, if you’re a dematerialized person) looks like holidays…

 

Bah, it’s just a feeling. Spring will come soon and will make all of us (including introverts and other cat persons) in a sudden urgent need of going outside to 1/ run with a dog or 2/ to lie down in the grass to smell the good quiet power of nature growing.

Let’s hope the heat wave will kill the viruses, all of them.

Thanks for reading!

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Astronomers, astronauts, Hopper’s letter and the banality of life

In an old French movie we hear :

  • “Deux intellectuels assis vont moins loin qu’une brute qui marche”.
  • (“two sitting intellectuals don’t get as far as a walking brute”)

I read this and I smiled, because, darn it, I’m one of the two sitting guys!

So, well, listen : I went to my mother’s house this week-end and I helped her in her gardening activities : I weed-eatered a big part of the garden to prepare it for tillage.

Happily, her string-trimmer was on batteries, and lasted like 15 minutes before I had to stop. Phewww.

I hate to “do” these things. I hate DIY and odd jobs. It’s awful! I feel sad, and dirty, I’m bored. I am terribly bored. I want to be after. I want to go home.

In a garden, I want to read a book, to have a conversation, to take photos, or watch the buzzing world & butterflies.

I’m a cat person – in MBTI I’m INTFJ and my enneagram is 5 : The Observer – I’m perceptive, I watch and think, instead of… doing things.

Reading, writing (in the morning), eating, sex (evenings), taking photos – my entertainment thing is NOT linked to displacement – which, for me, is a dumb way to kill the banality of life.

And but yeah, Hopper’s letter :

…how life works. It’s moving. Always moving, whether you like it or not. And, yeah, sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s sad. And sometimes… it’s surprising.

Maybe I fear surprises? Why is that? Always moving? Nope.

Make mistakes, learn from ’em, and when life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave.

Mmmmh I think I prefer the cave, now. Hurt not good. I’m OK!

Have a nice day!

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The Rilke Syndrome – Premature #INTJ Familiarity Problem

You’ve been there before, I’m sure : you meet someone who listens, or seems to understand your preoccupations, and you realize you can maybe really talk with this person… and then you scare this person with your intensity (or your long emails).

I found this paragraph in a 1903 letter from Rainer Maria Rilke to Lou Andreas-Salomé. I did my best and tried a poor English translation :

… I always fall straightway, with all the weight of my passion, at the bottom, and I scare people, as would make a premature (almost unseemly) familiarity, by approaching at once the most secret and deepest layers; It is a fault, not to say a coarseness, of which they wonder, and to me a fault, a mania which excludes all real contact (that is to say, useful and fertile) with them;

So I decided to call this the Rilke Syndrome.

It triggers questions, right?

  • What happens when you realize that? Embarrassment?
  • How to avoid it without becoming a “thinker on an island”?
  • What happens when the other person clicks?
  • How to link this syndrome to sapiosexuality? (Sapiosexual : a person who is sexually attracted to intelligence or the human mind before appearance.)
  • What are the signs you are doing it?
  • You INTJ or Enneagram 5, should you ask about your partner before deep talking, before revealing yourself as a fool?
  • What energy pushes you to think-vent like that in front of someone? A kind of relief? Why?

 

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Sipping moods in summer nights, the “outside the party” Type…

You’re a teen, you’re a young adult, it’s summer. Let’s party! Of course, let’s party! Let’s have fun!

This is the moment to study territories and moods. Mmhh?

One is to be inside the party. Next to the others. Energy and fun. Music, dance, paper lanterns, long tanned legs, laughs and short skirts, right?

Two is to be beside the party. Night is warm, hands are very slowly brushing over, kisses are delicate (or French). Lovers!

But there’s a third one.

Debussy : Nocturnes

Three is : you’re lonely and you walk around, outside of the party. You can be sad, you can be happy. You may just be in this delicious melancholy of being there… Air smells harvest, lightning bugs draw flickering sinuous lines in obscurity. You just smile because you hear echoes of the party, brought by the wind, or slightly hidden by trees. The party is there, but not too close. You turn around it, or you lie alone in one nocturnal wheat field (there’s a sky above to stare at, right?).

One could study the Lines.

Frontiers between the Party and the Night. No man’s lands and in-betweens. People coming in. People leaving. Places from where you can see. Or hear echoes of voices and laughs.

The Paths between them. A night wanderer coming back from the trees and the sky to the dancers in the light. Two lonely souls out of the party meeting along a coast path and beginning to walk together under the moon. Quietly chatting. People in need of the night to reassemble themselves, to breathe, to think, to appreciate. People of the night in need of the party to check something, or to dance a little, to gather some electricity before coming back into sweet darkness and loneliness. Sipping moods.

Dial :

It reminds you something? What type are you? Where are introvert people? How do they move? How do they sip? What kind of people do you wanna meet? Where do you stand? In the light with loud music or in the night with stars and shy crickets? Or Both?…

 

#Park #bench

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