The pandemic takes its toll on the city. A café run by a charming couple has not survived, but they have survived and they both have good jobs. When you walk around the city you especially notice the empty squares where there once were café and restaurant tables. Then the closed up places - not everyone can do takeaway.
What you don't see is the knock-on effect of that on students. Lots of students work in cafés and bars, so they have lost their income. The government has a scheme to provide students with meals twice a day at 1€ to help them to be able to eat, even if paying their rent is still complicated.
Friends who work in music are also stuck. Schemes exist to mitigate the financial impact, but that doesn't solve everything. Some students at the conservatoire can study in place, some classes are held online. It's the same at the university - a mix of online and in person.
Teachers feel vulnerable. Schools are meant to social distance and pupils are masked, but in the playground and in the street the kids rough and tumble and share their bugs. Still, clusters of infection in schools are rare.
Shops are quite busy - after all, it's sale time and where else can you go just now? I decided I had to do something to support our favourite cafés, so I went to buy coffee pods from Jimmy. I thought I could go and buy something each week. He had some coffee pods upstairs. Boxes of 100. I won't be buying one of them each week, that's for sure. We're reluctant to use UberEats or Deliveroo or similar because they take quite a big cut, though I suppose it's better than nothing.
Then at 5 the mad dash home begins. Shops generally close at about 5:30, though some push it till 6.