Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Squeaking by

I went out for groceries today. I went during the day, since I have to be indoors again by 6 PM. I bought potato chips, cereal, and milk. I also bought a pack of masks, since the Reich requires that I wear a mask everywhere. And some paracetamol and aspirin, for chronic headaches.

Orsay Museum snack bar … in 2017
I rested on a bench for a short while  when I went out. Not for long, since it was only 90 minutes until curfew. I didn't feel as exhausted as I usually have lately, but my legs felt weak. I tried to remember when freedom of movement still existed, and the days when I could go for long walks and could afford to eat each time I felt hungry.

I tried to file for unemployment. I've never had to do it before, so I had to figure it out. I think it worked. It should prolong my survival before I run out of money. Of course, ideally I'll find something before then. Or maybe I'll find a winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk.

As always, the rules continue to change concerning the Deadly Virus. Apparently vaccination won't be sufficient to end the masks ad curfews and distancing. Now there are new and terrifying mutant strains that spread more quickly. The end of the world is nigh, if you believe the government and the media. Or at least the end of the free world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Coping with hysteria

The hysteria continues. There doesn’t seem to be any way to call people to reason. It is truly a slow-motion train wreck. It afflicts a substantial chunk of the world’s population, and Paris and Parisians are not immune (no pun intended).

I actually went outside today, during the day, and for something other than groceries. My smartphone tells me that I walked 5.1 kilometers, which isn’t bad after ten months of inactivity—although it would have scarcely qualified as even a warm-up in the old days (e.g., a year ago). It was scary because my balance is very poor and I constantly feel that I’m going to fall.

I went to the post office and collected my mail. I went to Decathlon, my go-to destination for practical clothing, and bought some cheap shoes (€17) with Velcro fastenings, because I’m having a lot of trouble tying shoelaces these days. Then I went to Darty, my go-to destination for appliances, and bought some clippers with a gift certificate from my ex-employer, in order to remove the fur on my face that has accumulated over the past several months.

I wore a mask the whole time, in accordance with the Reichskommandment to do so. The mask got wet over time because it was cold and my breath condensed inside it. It’s a useless measure. The post office had a sign asking customers to temporarily remove their masks for identification purposes—which would destroy the effectiveness of masks, if they had any to begin with. And I used the elevators at the stores, musing over the fact that masks are especially useless in such circumstances.

Coming up on the to-do list are a trip to the barber (I haven’t had my hair cut in almost two years, due to all the problems with virus hysteria, strikes, demonstrations, etc.), a trip to the laundromat (I had months of clean laundry, but I’m running low), and a trip to the bank to deposit the reimbursement of a transit pass that the RATP sent me after the strikes in 2019. Plus, I still have to find a job, after the virus hysteria put me out of  work.

Less than two years ago, I could afford to buy food, and I had a job, and I didn’t have to wear a useless mask everywhere, and I could stand without falling over, and I could move about freely without being fined or arrested, and shops and restaurants were open and thriving. Things sure changed quickly. Now I understand the old Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times.”

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