les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Monday, April 06, 2020

France and the coronavirus

Here's the situation as I see it.

We're entering our third week in confinement. We're lucky, we have a light and airy flat with nice views and a big balcony. Others we are close to are in a variety of situations, some very good and some not so good, but everyone seems OK. The two families in the church with small children have gardens, thankfully.

Bordeaux is quiet. Very quiet. The bordelais are staying at home. From our balcony we occasionally see perhaps three or four different folk. People walk their dogs. Brothers kick a ball around. Families loiter while their toddlers totter and puddlejump. The front of our building has lots of balconies opening onto a courtyard and there a DJ runs a "balconnade" two evenings a week - a balcony party. So paradoxically isolation is bringing people together.

We can get what we need from our local supermarket. We can't always get everything we want, but one secret of contentment in life is to want what you can get, so we're OK. We've discovered the delights of long-proved bread making, so we have lots of fresh bread.

We're allowed out to exercise for an hour a day within 1km of our home. We can cycle to work or to the shops, but not for fun or exercise. Running is discouraged. People are encouraged to follow exercise routines at home.

As for France, Paris is hard hit. A February week of prayer and fasting in a mega-church in Mulhouse drew a crowd of 2500 from all over francophone Europe and proved to be a focus for infection to spread. This led to an early wave of illness in the area but this has since subsided and been taken over by the big cities like Lille, Lyon and Marseille. Our region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine is still only lightly affected, despite Bordeaux being twinned with Wuhan and many of our Chinese students being from there.

In the church several people have lost family members and nobody can travel to be with their folk to grieve. The internet is proving to be a huge boon to people, with online classes, teleworking and, of course, all the usual diversions and amusements.

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