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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