Paris COVID-19 Quarantine – Prelude

The picture is of the line into Monoprix that can be seen on the left. There usually isn’t a line…..

We left New Zealand on the 10th of March on QR921. Two adults and a three month old (Mr Wiggles) not looking forward to a long flight. We knew about the outbreaks but were heading home to Paris anyway as maternity leave was over and it was time to go back to work….for some of us anyway. As an added precaution we wiped down all the seats, screens and trays with disinfectant wipes before starting on our eighteen hour journey to Doha. There we had a seven hour layover which we spent in a family room in the Qatar business lounge before boarding QR039 from Doha to Paris.

All in all it was a good trip. The baby was extremely well behaved…to the point where you could say he quite likes flying…and if the flights were long then it was good to be somewhere slightly cooler than New Zealand. That night Angelynn had a dinner to attend to so I was on baby sitting duties with a welcome-home glass of Margaux and the dread of my apparently inescapable jet lag to come. I think I slept OK that night which was lucky as I was looking after Mr Wiggles on Thursday. That was probably about when it started to go downhill.

On Thursday I dropped off some honey to my cousin and a kiwi down the road. By that night I had a runny nose and a bit of a sore throat. Nothing to worry about and I chalked it up to jet lag and something that chicken soup could fix. Then President Macron gave his speech closing down the schools and limiting social interactions. Slightly more serious.

On Friday I was looking after Mr Wiggles again but I really wasn’t feeling well. As well as a sore throat I now had a cough and headache. I would perk up for a while and then crash. I basically made it through the day by drinking honey and lemon drinks and eating the last of some honey and propolis lozenges we found. We did manage to go for a walk through the Luxembourg Gardens but kept our distance from others. By this point everybody was.

On Saturday bars, restaurants and social establishments closed. I didn’t really know because I was asleep. Angelynn tried to go shopping at Monoprix and I think it was when she saw the lines that it became real. She did manage to get enough food for a week although she said somethings were just completely out of stock. Most of the people shopping seemed to be elderly.

That night I made it about halfway through a glass of wine and then gave up. Not a good sign.

On Sunday I read a news report that the plane on which we had left New Zealand had arrived in NZ with a person who was now confirmed to have the virus. Sent a message to my cousin telling him to wipe down the honey containers. Angelynn went to the pharmacy and stocked up on baby formula.

Later we heard a rumor that Paris would be shut down and that the next day was the last opportunity to get out. This led to a lot of discussion and searching for flights, rental cars etc…. We could go to the States but none of us is insured and as I might have it, well, that just seems a bastard thing to do. We could rent a car and get out to the country side but again, if I have it then it would risk increasing the spread. Eventually it was a circular conversation and we decided to stay because if I have Corona virus then she does too, as does Mr Wiggles.

My temperature is 36.5 though. The low end of normal.

Monday I don’t really remember. Basically I slept from nine on Sunday night till two on Tuesday morning. My temperature was up but only to 37.2 which is still normal. Probably just have the flu but as we can’t tell it really doesn’t matter. Even spreading the flu would be a bad idea. Two infections at once would really suck.

Sometime on Monday night President Macron made a speech shutting down Paris from midday the next day for at least 15 days. All non essential movement is banned with five exceptions.

  • Traveling to work if essential.
  • Shopping for food.
  • Imperative family reasons.
  • Small outings for exercise, pet walking.
  • Health-related appointments.

Chicken soup

Ingredients

Chicken
Curry
Chicken Stock
Carrots
Onion
Olive Oil
Any additional vegetables…

Method

Add a curry powder to oil and heat to activate and then fry the onions a little bit in it. The point is to set off the curry powder. Add some water and the chicken and simmer until chicken falling apart. Let cool, for safety’s sake, and then remove the chicken and put aside to cool so you can get the meat off it.

Meanwhile, add the rest of the vegetables and water but not more than covering the vegetables. It is quite easy to add water and quite hard to get rid of it. Pepper and salt to taste and simmer slowly.

Add the chicken when it has cooled, add stock if it needs more flavor and pepper and salt if needed as well. For vegetarians/vegans leave out the chicken and chicken stock and you should be right.

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