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Like everyone else, I was in denial over the severity of the Coronavirus. "more contagious but milder than the 'flu" didn't seem so bad! 98% survival rate seemed good odds to hide behind...

Yes, but it's a little more complicated than that isn't it? It's no longer 98% but less than 97%, the odds are better for the younger and worse for the older and the sick. Besides, just mathematically, the more get infected and the higher the number of casualties.

I've finally acknowledged that not only should I take precautions for myself, but I should also take precautions to protect others from me. This has been made all the easier that I live in Paris, and Paris is now in total lockdown.

Aside from a few queues outside supermarkets, streets are empty. Even the queues outside supermarkets are fast disappearing, they were there on the first day of lockdown in a panicky attempt to stock up on food and essentials, but now they are no longer. Food stores will remain open. Crowding them out to buy bread is finally understood to be the nonsense it is...

At first I thought that I would use this enforced isolation to do the washing, clean the flat, catch up on various chores I had been putting aside for a rainy day. I am trying to put that in practice, honestly I am... But actually what I am doing is searching the internet for news, trying to find out more about the virus, its spread, the countries affected, its means of propagation... I'm a linguist and an English teacher so I'm also collectiong articles which explain everything there is to know about the language of epidemics, pandemics, lockdowns... that's my excuse anyway!

I live on my own, so this is indeed solitary confinement. I live in a flat, so it is very much indoors confinement. I find myself looking out of the window, looking up at the sky, noticing the first leaves appearing on the tree just outside my window. Maybe this is a positive which will emerge: an increased ability to look around us, to see the beauty which is there and to appreciate the warmth of the sun shining down on us.

But that is not all, not by far. I have been increasingly contacting others, first my children, then other family members, then my friends and then my acquaintances. We need each other, we have always needed each other, but now we are finally being made aware of how much we do.

We are learning that life is fleeting and precious. Perhaps that is a good lesson to learn.

We are learning that we are essentially gregarious and that we need each other. Perhaps that is a good lesson to learn.

We are learning that the world outside is beautiful. Perhaps that is a good lesson to learn.

Coronavirus is a good teacher.

We need to protect ourselves and protect others. We need to protect others because we love them and we need them.

When all this is over and we come out the other side, let's also remember how we missed being outside. We will need to be more proactive in protecting our environment because we love it and we need it.

Let's not forget the lessons we will have learnt.


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