Confluxed – Week 3, Lockdown 3
It’s the end of week three of lockdown. Or is it?
I’ve lost my grasp of the flow of time. I’ll count the hours and then I’ll lose count, much like a string that’s pulling away which I try to grab, but can’t quite get a hold of. Despite over 15 months of this business I’m not used to it, and still have days where I surprise myself with the revelation that we’re in a Pandemic. I remember feeling some of that when we lived in the RV, back in the day. We’d be walking towards “the beast” and I’d catch myself feeling amazed at how big she was and thinking “do we really live in that thing??”. Somehow the wonder of it never really seemed to cease, and in a very strange (yet much more tragic) way this Pandemic feels the same.
It’s been a confluxing week, on top of it all (and yes, I just made that word up)
Last week I noticed Polly had some excess gum inflammation which didn’t look quite right. A quick vet visit on Monday revealed a cracked tooth, plus one more that needed to be extracted. Of course, the poor old girl had to go under anesthesia for the process and for an elderly dog that’s a big deal. She went in the very next morning and obviously I was a nervous wreck having barely slept for worry. Thankfully our girl made it through just fine, but she’s on antibiotics and soft food for a week, and I won’t be able to fully relax until all that is done and her mouth is healed again. Old age and anxiety, both are a bitch….
Oh and my vax plan fell through, or rather there were no excess doses this week at our local vaccine center where I’m on the waiting list (my age-group is still not officially eligible in France). So Plan C is launching tomorrow, which may or may not succeed. It’s based on a rumor I heard through the grapevine of a spot where I might get lucky…in the vaccine sense. It’ll take me a few hours to get there and back, and it’s a bit of a long-shot, but I figure it’s worth a jab?
As you can see, I’m really on a roll here LOL….
Ah yes, confluxing is definitely the right word for this week and we’ve got another 7 days of it to go before our lockdown (apparently) eases up.
At least the weather’s still good, the Pyrénées are keeping us company and the garden is springing enough weeds to keep us both physically occupied and distracted from the world at large.
The End Of April Is Nigh
I can hardly believe a third of 2021 is already gone. It’s whipped by, and I’d likely have missed it altogether if it weren’t for the joy of tax season (as US citizens we still have to file, even if we live abroad) and the garden frenzy of Spring.
This week has actually given us hints of summer with a warm dry wind that swept across the fields sucking all the moisture in the earth with it. In truth it’s far too early for such things, and and bodes ominously for a really hot and dry summer, a trend that seems to be getting worse each year, or so the local farmers tell me. Our garden plants are already looking a little thirsty, and the fields down by the local village are already getting their first dousings of water. Not a good sign.
Water is going to be the oil-currency of the future IMO….
The prospect of a hot summer and our (possible, hopeful) travel plans means I’m only planting a modest veggie garden this year. We’ve got a selection of herbs (most of which come back by themselves every year), a bunch of salad and some tomato plants and that’ll probably be the lot. My laziness in seeding (i.e. the fact that I didn’t) means I bought all the latter from the local garden store which I actually find to be a total bargain. The salads only cost a few euros for 24 or so, and the tomato plants are all 90 centimes each, so for ~$10 I got everything I wanted.
How can you beat that?
Vaccine Passports Are Coming
As the virus rages on, vaccines are our future and IMO soon vaccine passports will be too.
They’re all the talk at the moment in Europe, and for nomads like us (and Americans wanting to come to Europe) they’ll be the key to travel freedom. The pass will allow for easy border crossings and, perhaps more importantly, the abolishment of testing & quarantine requirements for those who have proof of vaccination.
Denmark has already launched the program, integrating a new feature called “Coronapas” into their smartphone app MinSundhed (MyHealth) which is linked to the Danish ID system. The app stores everything (including negative COVID tests) and is already required for entry into restaurants, bars, museums and other public venues.
France is surprisingly not far behind, and will use the app TousAntiCovid (which we already use for exposure & contact tracing, as well as the forms we have to fill out during lockdown) to store test & vaccine information.
On an EU-level, they’ve proposed a “Digital Green Certificate” that will do the same thing.
Personally I have zero issues with this and can’t wait to get mine sorted.
I’ve carried a vaccine passport since I was a kid, when a long list of vaccines were required for travel to/from Asia. And I’ve updated it multiple times since, when traveling to countries in South America and Africa where jabs such as Yellow Fever are still required today. Even my immigrant visa for USA, when I first got there years ago, required me to have proof of a slew of vaccines including Polio, Hepatitis, MMR and a few more (that is still the law today, by the way…). So yeah, I’m A-OK with vax passports
By this summer I expect EU borders to be open, and digital vaccine passports to be the key to easy passage. Get ready, my friends.
France Is Still On-Track To Re-Open In May (Despite The Data)
Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead….at least that seems to be the current French COVID strategy.
Week 3 of the lockdown is done and the virus numbers have only budged slightly, with ICU’s still hovering at critical levels. Despite all this, the government did a very nice speech this week to assure everyone that the peak of the third wave is now behind us and the plan to re-open next month is on track. Huh? The whole happy re-launch starts on Monday with schools first, followed by release of the 10km rule 3rd May (night-time curfew remains in force, go figure) and restaurant & café terraces in mid-May. By summer, everything will be more or less “back to normal”, or so we’re told.
I’m happy for the businesses who desperately need this, but I’m deeply concerned for the hospitals who are struggling to keep up, especially since the national vaccine program is (still) lagging. On-going supply issues, worsened by the recent AstraZeneca and J&J “pauses” have made slow plans even slower. So although Pfizer & Moderna vaccines finally opened up to 60+ last week, the next major “age-tranche” isn’t expected until middle of June. At this rate it’ll be Christmas by the time everyone is done!
I’m Confluxed, But Remain Focused
All of this admittedly has me confluxed, which I describe as a rolling state of confusion that likely requires some kind of capacitor to correct it in time and space. See, the word makes sense…
The numbers tell us we’re still in the heat of the 3rd wave of the Pandemic, yet we’re re-opening like nobody’s watching. Everyone is just so very, very tired and they all want out, so much so that it seems the wanting of it has gotten the upper hand. In many ways I can’t say I blame them. All I can do is focus on what I have control over; get vaccinated by any means necessary, focus on Polly-girl healing, and stay healthy so that we can all…hopefully…feel a touch of that open road again.
With a bit of luck, I won’t remain confluxed for long.
Those of you that are travelers, would you like to head abroad once you have the vaccine? Or will you stay in your home country for now? What would change it for you? DO share your thoughts and feels below….