‘Mother May I?’ In Paris: Stopped By the French Police

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Photo by Jane Rosenstein

Today, March 26, 2020, about 1 p.m. I was stopped by two police officers.. A lady police officer asked me for my attestation (permission letter explaining why you need to be out of your home.) I told her I was a journalist and she asked me which media outlet I worked for.  I replied, ” Veterans Today.”  I showed her my attestation from Gordon Duff, which had the stamp of Veterans Today. She did not seem to be impressed and informed me that I had to sign an attestation and the attestation she put before me clearly stated that it is for people whose employers do not give them attestations; At this point, who was more confused? The police person or me?

The new rules are that we have to put the time that we leave our residences on the forms.

Maybe soon there will be no police giving fines because the union of police wrote to the Minister of the Interior today that if they do not have sufficient masks they will stop controlling the people. Last night several unions criticized the decision of the Minister of the Interior to give the supplies of FFP2 masks to health care workers without giving the police any other kind of masks; The police like the gendarmes have surgical masks and do not have a sufficient quantity of them.

The police have stated that if they do not get masks, they will take care of urgent jobs and will not control the confinement.

We are being told in France to not to wear masks unless we are ill but many people are wearing them thinking they protect them. I do not know where they buy them since the pharmacies are not selling them. Maybe they ordered them weeks ago online. Perhaps they heard a voice telling them to order the masks because we would be under pandemic conditions.

I noticed a store, selling motorcycles and spoke to the manager, Frederic, of Absolute Scooters who told me garages are open and that he repaired motorcycles belonging to nurses and doctors a few days ago. While I was there a man came to have his motorcycle repaired.

photo by Jane Rosenstein

The buses now have tape, similar to police tape, that prevents riders from entering the front of the buses. Parisians have to enter in the back where there aren’t any machines to validate our transportation passes. Public transportation now stops at 10 p.m.

When I arrived at the post office today to buy a stamped envelope the lady there controlling the line of people waiting to go in told me that there is no mail leaving or arriving. I bought my envelope but am waiting to send it. I ordered vitamins a week ago and they were sent with a special delivery service of the post office. As they did not arrive today which forced me to find another vitamin C to purchase at the pharmacy

Some good news that is helpful. Now the pharmacy honors all prescriptions that are renewable even if there are no more renewals left; People cannot visit many physicians who closed their offices due to the Coronavirus 19 and there are no medical consultations at hospitals.

Buying groceries is good now. We have lots of toilet paper and paper towels!  At some times there are lines to enter the supermarkets; I read people are buying eggs as that is a good inexpensive source of protein and maybe there are shortages.

New rules limit going out for exercise to 1 km from a person’s residence and for only one hour a day. I have a friend who goes out twice in a day.I hope they do not catch her.  Who knows what they might do to her.

Food delivery services such as Huber Eats are delivering meals.  There are take out restaurants near my place and people can buy kebabs and other foods.

Let us hope that the situation will get better soon in France and in the world. It is very sad to see all the stores, bars and restaurants closed and people living in fear. Protect yourselves if you go out, wash your hands  and stay at least 2 meters away from other people.

 

Author Details
Jane Rosenstein is a U.S. citizen living in Paris, France. She is a professional translator/interpreter. She is the owner of The International Connection which does international marketing consultation including sales of wine, interpretation, and translation. She enjoys the cultural life that living in Paris offers and has talents in organizing events. She speaks English, French, and Spanish. She has a B.S. degree in mathematics from University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
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