Week #7 of semi confinement 

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White tulips in a vase on our table

The weather changed all together this week. The temperature dropped along with gray skies, wind and much needed rain.

There were long queues at the garden centres and DIY . Mathias popped down to the Migros Brico to stock up on wood for his frames and noticed that most of the people were buying plants and flowers. Flashes of colours and smiling faces.

Fabienne’s protection equipment finally arrived on Tuesday, just in time for her reopening. She’s managing okay for the time being, scheduling more time between services to disinfect her tools and workplace and instructing her clients to come on time, not early, not late. The attitudes with regards to wearing a mask tend to vary from one client to the other, independently of their age or risk group, but she’s slowly finding a balance, despite the additional stress and workload.

She was controlled on Thursday by a couple of inspectors checking if the security prescriptions were correctly followed. Fabienne had thought it through ahead of time, and was well prepared, which is not the case of fellow hair dressers and barbers in the same street.

COVID-19 protection measures
A bird on a swing in Fabienne's window

Wednesday press conference

The highlight of the week was Wednesday’s long awaited press conference of the Conseil Fédéral. The restaurants, bars and sport centres were hoping for an early reopening, and the last year collège students were eagerly waiting for a decision on their end of cursus exams.

The oral exams had already been cancelled, but nothing had been decided with regards to the written exams. As the validity of the certificate is federal, the decision had to come from the government, not the cantons.There was a great divide between cantons heavily touched by the pandemic (mostly latin and French speaking cantons) and the others, on maintaining the exams of not, and if so when, and in what conditions could they be held.

The Conseil Fédéral announced they would leave the cantons decide for themselves, according to the current situation. Shortly after, Mme Anne Emery-Torracinta announced the cancellation exams in Geneva. The first semester marks would be the final marks that count towards the Maturité Fédérale and a special catchup session would be put into place for those with insufficient marks.

This came as a big relief to Emma and her friends who were anxious after 6 weeks at home, trying to prepare and imagine how and when exams could take place.

Nevertheless, it still feels weird having been deprived of all the small rituals that come with this important step in their life. No formal ‘last day of school’, or ‘last exam’, or living and breathing the pressure in the air of the written exams, studying for hours on end, repeating mathematical demonstrations, no waiting for the results with your friends, no final release.

A big relief, but they still feel stuck in limbo. High schools should reopen the 8th of June, I hope something will be organised to mark the event.

The pratice of sports will slowly reopen, but the swimming pools will be limited to swimmers only, no tanning or laying about. Like for all the other activities, you’ll have to plan 10m2 per person, with 2 metres between them. Same for the restaurants and shops.

Appel du 4 mai – Call of May 4

The parlement will resume its activities on , and the Appel du 4 mai petition has gathered close to 45’000 signatures at the time of writing. Let’s see if we can make out voice heared for a better world. I’ll certainly be out at the window on Monday at 12:00…

Call of May 4 banner for «For a local and sustainable humanist revival»
« For a local and sustainable humanist revival »
Apple Mobility Trends for May 2nd 2020
Apple Mobility Trends for May 2nd 2020
COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Geneva - April 26th
COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Geneva - April 26th
COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Geneva - April 26th
COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for Geneva - April 26th

Work at home

I’m still working at home. University will slowly open up as from May 11th, and most shops and businesses resume their activities, but working from home will still be encouraged. I guess I’ll be doing a mix of both, between home, my office and Uni. I’ll probably be keeping my home setup for the upcoming months.

High CPU

Mail.app on my Mac played up this week, displaying near continuous high CPU activity(100-200%), triggering the fans to speed up. I have no idea what was going on, but to cut a long story short, it appears that disabling my Exchange and GMail accounts for a day did the trick.

This lead me to notice the ‘photolibraryd’ process is continuously running at 28%, day in, day out. Here again, I have no idea what it’s doing.

Dropbox kicks in occasionally, as does Chrome, but the two former were constant.

Me in my new t-shirt : « Il faut agir aussi vite que possible, mais aussi lentement que nécessaire »
« Il faut agir aussi vite que possible, mais aussi lentement que nécessaire »


I’m about to start my 8th, and probably final, week at home. It looks like Monday 11th May will be the big back to work day in Switzerland.

Wherever you are, stay safe and stay healthy.

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