It’s official, we enter the next phase of deconfinement as the virus stays under control. Borders are now open with the EU, UK and Schengen and international borders will open to countries with the virus under control starting on July 1, in line with other EU nations. There are voluntary 2 week quarantines for anyone arriving from the UK or Spain because they have put in place 2 week quarantines for the French. School, except high school, will fully reopen on June 22. And all of the hexagon (mainland France) is now rated green so restaurants, pools and cinemas can reopen everywhere.
We have still not gone out to a restaurant as we’re finding it difficult to get comfortable with the thought of sitting next to people we don’t know for so long. Many, including our favorite, Chez Serge, seem not to have distanced tables very much. The rain didn’t help last week because we want to eat outside which means we need a good weather forecast. We are also missing being spontaneous as most restaurants require reservations these days. I don’t blame them but it makes it difficult to just go for a drive to explore a new area. But these are white first world problems.
I continue to watch the race issue closely both in the USA and in France. There have been demonstrations in Paris that are not only supporting the protests in the USA but are also continuing a protest that has been going on since the death of Adama Traore in police custody on the outskirts of Paris in 2016. In a way, things are farther behind in France because in general, no one wants to talk about race here. In fact, it’s enshrined in law that France can’t collect any information on race because once you are French, you are French. While this sounds like a noble idea, in fact it makes it really difficult to find out if the ideal is true.
This week, I found hope in the following stories:
June 8: Democrat’s in congress took a knee for 8 min and 46 sec
June 9: in a NY Times editorial I read that there is already a training program to help police do the right thing
Also on June 9: in an Opinion in the Washington Post, a descendant of Robert E. Lee argued that we should take down his statue and let his cause be lost.
June 11: General Miley apologizes for walking with Trump to church. The military seems to have woken up to what the population wants and acknowledged that they work for the constitution and therefore the people. General Miley was just the latest of several to comment.
I am also seeing various stories that make me hope that real change will happen in the USA this time.
For me, the following are really good illustrations of what blacks in the US are going through and are an important read/listen for all non-blacks.
Kimberly Jones uses a monopoly analogy:
And a white women finally had an aha moment after driving around with her black poodle:
On the blog front, I am excited to say that I am now all caught up and this is being posted simultaneously to facebook and wordpress. I share some pictures of the lavender fields that we discovered last year thanks to a farmer who saw us taking pictures of a field near him. He invited us to follow him back to his fields which he assured us were much nicer than the ones we were at. I must say, I do agree with him!