Putting things in perspective: STAY HOME

Here’s the message I sent family this week. I wanted to share it here if anyone else is struggling to convince friends and family to STAY HOME.

STAY HOME + let’s hop on a call soon :)

The long version:

Hello family (and practically family)!

A quick note to say hello from week 2 of lockdown in Paris. I haven’t left the house since Friday (and it was a few days before that), and I don’t expect to leave until Friday (or later) when I need new provisions. In order to leave the house I have to have an attestation (permission slip—I hand write mine, but they can be printed). The fine is up to 135€ if you’re caught without one.

I haven’t seen any friends in person since my birthday (which I decided to postpone and only saw a few that day). But that doesn’t keep us from having fun on video calls—coffees, happy hours, meals, and just to chat and keep each other sane. Overall we laugh A LOT! I’ve caught up with new friends, and old ones, and joined virtual co-working sessions with strangers around the world. The great thing about all being in the same situation is I can just say, “Are you free for coffee or lunch tomorrow?” and we know it’s online. I’m easily amused. 😂

My “new normal” social life became so busy, I even became social-ed out by Saturday! Thankfully I have a couple puzzles lying around to slow things down. I even attend gym classes on Facebook Live! Today I used milk cartons as my weights. It’s a time to get creative and be resourceful.

My favorite tradition has become 8pm when we all go to our windows for a standing ovation for hospital workers for a minute. (Perk of Paris living, you’re all very close to hear each other!) It’s quite touching and all the neighbors do it (alas, half my neighborhood seems to have escaped to the French countryside). By the end of this my goal is to be friends with my neighbor across the street.

I know this isn’t a fun time to be inside, but as a country on the front end I know it’s so important. Reports from hospital workers are terrifying, and the lack of supplies (no masks or gels) is a worldwide phenomenon. Thankfully, people/companies/industries are starting to step up (LVMH is converting perfume factories to make gel, and also will be producing masks; Evian has produced bottles for gel, etc. Tim Ferriss has other ideas of what companies can do).

I write you this as an update, but also a request to please STAY HOME (and to share with anyone who may need the reminder). I know it’s not fun. I know people with the virus (ironically the first one was in the US) and that’s even less fun.

Really this is about looking out for the health care systems that were not designed to handle a WORLDWIDE pandemic, and the medical professionals who are risking their own lives to save the lives of others. I have friends with cancer and auto-immune disorders who are at higher risk going into this situation. In Italy they’ve had to make decisions about who lives, and who does not. There aren’t enough ventilators to go around is another part of the problem.

But it’s also grocery store workers who are risking their lives for minimum wage. The moment it all hit me was my last trip to the grocery story, where the sign outside read, “A huge thank you, you are heros!” which is so true. The simple act of going to the grocery store is more anxiety inducing for me than staying inside all day.

In Paris, we’re currently on lockdown for 15 days, but if I’m honest I think it will be more like 45. I’ve started journaling to document the experience, and challenge myself to think like a traveler during this unprecedented time. I take online art classes for kids, and attend online story time where authors read books. The creativity is endless!

I do envy people with larger homes, backyards, and views that include trees or nature, but I’m making do with my wee 34m2 / 365sf apartment. (If you want to spice up your own quarantine experience, you can stay in one room of your home for the next week 😉 ).

Finally, this is all to say, I’m home ALL THE TIME NOW. While my days are surprisingly full, I’m here and it’d be fun to hop on a call and catch up in the not too distant future. (There are also platforms for games + having Netflix parties FYI too! Happy to advise on any and all).
Please remind others to STAY HOME!

Big [virtual] hugs!

P.S. If You still need convincing I have loads of resources I’m happy to send your way. This will not come to an end until we’re all in it together.
P.S.S. When you do need to go out for a grocery one, keep at least 1 meter distance from others, and ideally don’t go more than once a week. Wash your hands as soon as you get home + frequently. (I have friends who are disinfecting purchases from the outside, but I have not reached that level.)


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