Easter break. We are slowly reaching our first month of semi confinement in this strange new normal. As a family, we have grown accustomed to living all together all the time, and I think we are enjoying it in our own ways. Mathias and Emma seem happy to spend more time together, and interact like when we are travelling together, and I love having all my family around me.
Fabienne told me last week that it feels like we’ve been granted an extra slice of family life. Both our children are responsible young adults, and are weaving their own net of relationships and activities, taking decisions on their future among the choices and challenges that face them. This confinement period gave us the opportunity to be together, to discuss, chat and laugh, and tighten our existing bonds. I am grateful to have been granted this chance, and lucky to live through these uncertain times in the best conditions possible. It’s not the case of everyone.
But as the weeks go on, the children are finding it hard to relate to their friends only through a screen. They miss their social network and the freedom to go out and about when they like, and have fun.
We are still waiting to hear from the DIP how Emma will present her Maturity exams. It’s been confirmed that the last years will pass their exams, but when and how remain to be confirmed.
It’s been a series of cancellations for Emma. Closing her 4 years at Collège in this fashion is frustrating. She invested a lot of time and effort and worked hard to get where is she is today, and hearing that the Maturity ceremony and party were cancelled, the end of Collège trip to Florence too, is disheartening. Her friends and herself feel disconnected from the event they all worked hard for. Several of them are registering at University or other high schools, and feel they’ve been warped in another dimension.
The Conseil Fédéral announced they were extending the semi confinement an extra week until April 26th and will present how we will exit the confinement . The curve is flattening and the health structure seems to have withheld the load. At least until now. The weather is glorious with temperatures soaring over 22°C. It’ll be hard to stay in over the Easter break.
During our daily walks around here, we’ve noticed an increasing number of cars these last weeks. More people are driving out of town to walk or picnic in the countryside, to a point it felt like a usual weekend.
Let’s hope people stay home this long weekend, but that isn’t what Google’s latest COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Geneva show: parks are up 41% compared to baseline.
Our local supermarkets seem to be replenishing their stocks a bit faster, even though items like toilet paper are still scarce (see link to article below). We are fortunate to live close to a small to medium size supermarket, and the queue outside never exceeds 10 minutes. That isn’t the case everywhere. Queues at the Chêne-Bourg Migros often exceed 45 minutes, whatever the time of day. Local farmers have organised direct sales, but it isn’t always easy to find out who offers what as they have other worries than updating their website. Facebook seems to be the place to find out what is going on, or word of mouth.
That said, our local Coop was raided today (Easter weekend). Not to the levels of March 13th, but not far off. Fruit and vegetables were scarce, and the dairy products were few and far between. Bread seems to be an ongoing issue. Over the counter meat, poultry or fish is always available. People don’t seem to be going for that. It’s weird.
Work from home
Last week’s screen time increased 28% to reach an average of 10:34 a day. It’s hard to explain. Maybe as my iMac is responsible as it runs from dawn to bed time, even though I’m not always sitting in front of it? My screen time is averaged over 5 devices.
A side effect of the screen time is a slight bruising of my coccyx… the stool I use daily mustn’t designed for extended length of use. I need to exercice harder as my lower back is playing up again. My yoga sessions and long walks aren’t enough. I need a couple of intense workouts a week to maintain my balance. Gee, I’m not twenty anymore…
We’ve been exploring solutions to reduce our commercial rents, as Fabienne and myself can’t use our premises since the beginning of the confinement. We found nothing definitive, but have written to ask for a reduction in light of the recent events. Each case will be treated individually in accordance with the lease contract.
- USPI - COVID-19 : un programme volontaire d’aide à l’attention du propriétaire qui souhaite soutenir son locataire commercial indépendant ou une très petite entreprise ;
- Protocole d’accord tripartite entre l’USPI Genève, la Chambre genevoise immobilière, l’Etat de Genève et l’ASLOCA ;
- COVID-19: formulaire de demande d’exonération totale ou partielle de loyer commercial d’avril 2020 - read the conditions carefully.
A fact little known, is that parents employed or independant who must take care of their children are entitled to a compensation. For more information, check out Allocations pour pertes de gain pour les salariés ou les indépendants.
The Queen gave an inspiring and compassionate speech
We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.
Don’t treat autism like something to feel bad about or be scared of. You can interact normally with people with autism. Don’t judge too quickly – Lory Gil (@appaholik)
- Another brilliant New York Time data visualisation to illustrate a horrific situation;
- What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage by Will Oremus;
- The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting Teens Especially Hard - an insightful article on WIRED by Christopher Null ;
- How to Keep Your Zoom Chats Private and Secure by David Nield for WIRED. Has everybody forgotten FaceTime? It’s rock solid, and can host up to 32 concurrent streams - macOS/iOS only ;
- Museums Scramble to Document the Pandemic, Even as It Unfolds by Lisa Abend for the New York Times.
Wherever you are, stay safe and stay healthy.