Week #2 of semi confinement 

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Our little back garden with flowers and plants

We have { already | at last } reached the end of week #2 of semi confinement. The whole situation still feels surreal.

As a family, we are settling into a daily routine, each of us organising our space and time.


I get an hour more sleep while still ‘getting to work’ around the same time. Early morning has always been special to me since we are a family. It’s quiet and peaceful, and lets me get started in my own time. This is particularly true since we are all four of us at home all day. Mathias and Emma have their own space, but I have claimed a corner of your sitting room as my ‘office’ which isn’t always optimal.

I’m running late on my podcasts and audio books as I don’t commute anymore. I wear headphones during the day to signal I’m not available, or wish not to be disturbed, but I don’t listen to podcasts or audio books while I work. I am trying to invent spaces and times during which I can be alone with my audio material, while living alongside with my family.

Apple Watch displaying last week's screen time
119% Screen Time increase

As a family, we have synchronised our activities to avoid coming and going continuously, and that is a brand new experience. The only time we use to all eat together at lunchtime was during our travels.

The children find it hard sometimes to not connect #irl with their friends. They fully understand the situation and have limited their social meets to their sole partners. As bizarre as these times are, I hope we are at a crossing and will look back at them as the turning point of our society and way of life.

Physical exercise is an issue when you don’t leave home. Emma goes running first thing in the morning before tackling her classes, Mathias goes biking daily, and rides for Factotum once a week, while Fabienne and I try to go for daily walks and practice yoga at home, but it doesn’t feel the same. It’s still work in progress.

The food stores are slowly being replenished, despite certain articles remaining hard to find such as cleaning and sanitary products, dairy produces, pasta and tomato sauce. You need to be lucky. Access is restricted on a square footage basis. Hand sanitisers are available at the door. Overall, people queue up respecting the safety distance, but only few people use the hand sanitisers on their way in and out… and once they are in, they mostly behave as usual, pushing their trolley and disregarding the personal distances. We try to shop infrequently, and be as efficient as possible.

Social distancing

A great use of type to convey an important message : respect social distancing.

New York Times
New York Times
Hindu Times
Hindu Times

Local support group

To date, our local young support group has grown to over 30 volunteers serving 25 people. They have organised their trips to the grocery store and pharmacy accordingly. They have also solved the lack of cash issue of certain people by contacting the Mairie which has granted them a loan until the end of the crisis. Thank you Amanda, Dejan, Myriam and all the others!

Online meetings

Like many of us, I’ve spent a lot of time in online meetings this last week. I followed Andy Clarke’s Smashing Webinar, spent time in Cisco Meetings, Zooms, Whereby, Skype and Facetime.

Emma's bedroom Do Not Disturb sign
Mathias' bedroom Do Not Disturb sign

Like many people, I find that Zoom is the best video collaboration tool available. It’s simple to use, powerful and reliable, especially on poor internet connections. Cisco Meetings of Skype calls are just not as reliable. Austin Mann points to a great source of Zoom tips in his newsletter.

I also like Whereby.com which is perfect for casual chats, simple to use, no login, no fuss.


In the middle of this global pandemic and economy downturn, Apple has shipped new iPads Pro and relased iPad OS 13.4. I am very impressed by the quality of the trackpad and mouse support it offers and well it integrates with existing applications.

Disney+ is available in Switzerland and we have started to enjoy the free trial. The service is strait-forward and very elegantly designed. I’m impressed by the quality of the streams and the multilingual support which is unrivalled by any other online streaming services.

Stay at home notice
Stay at home notice

Wherever you are, stay safe and stay healthy.

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