Lockdown in Paris: Day 4

Waiting on line at the store, in the sun.

A gorgeous day for a lockdown here in Paris. The sun is out; it’s warm. I have my windows open. Such a mood-booster. You have to embrace the good stuff when it comes.

This morning, I had to go to the pharmacy to refill my asthma meds, so I completed my “Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire”—a government form that gives us permission to venture outside for “approved” reasons—popped on a mask and rubber gloves (I know they’re probably useless, but pharmacy), and stepped out into the fresh air for the first time since Monday. Oh, that felt good.

My neighborhood streets were deserted. Peaceful like a bank holiday. Like during the August vacations.

A busy main avenue is completely deserted during lockdown. The upside, or “good” in this: fewer cars polluting the air. ©Lisa Anselmo

The markets and pharmacies have procedures in place to enforce social distancing. Only a certain number of customers are allowed in at a time, so we queue up outside, spaced apart. My pharmacy is very small, so we can’t wait around for our orders inside. You go in, give your prescription or order, then go back outside to wait. They call you in to pay. This was the one time I actually enjoyed waiting on line; I was in no hurry to go back home. The sun and fresh spring air felt rejuvenating, and this dose of normality, however brief, did my heart good. It totally reset my brain.

For those of you in confinement, or about to be, it can make you crazy. Cabin fever is bad enough, but add fear and despair to that? Insufferable. You can’t control the lockdown, or the virus, but you can control your mind. What I learned today? If you focus on what’s good, what you do have, right now, you will be stronger mentally to deal with whatever comes. For me, the good for today is the weather. I’m going to take it and make a meal out of it.

What’s your good for the day? Share it in the comments.

Start from the beginning
Read Day 3


Tip for the day: Staying present can make you happier

The only way through something like this? It isn’t even living day to day—it’s living moment to moment. I’ve talked about this before. My first post of this year, in fact. If you focus on the world at large, the enormity of the problem, all the possible outcomes, death tolls, you will drown in overwhelm and despair. You can’t help with world. You can’t control your governments. And you sure as hell can’t control the future, which doesn’t even exist yet. The only thing that is real is right now this moment. Here. Now.

Ask yourself: “Is anything wrong right now?” I mean with you personally, your family. Is anything really wrong in this moment? More than likely, the answer is: “No. We’re okay right now.” So do this constantly. All day long. Encourage your families to do the same. You’ll see. When you live in the moment, fear drops away, and a more peaceful version of you emerges. 


Make the most the moment (more shameless plugs)

A dose of Paris. Click book to buy

All about “the Now.” Click book to buy

Julia, because, Julia. Click book to buy

31 responses to “Lockdown in Paris: Day 4

  1. Thank you, Lisa for a first hand look at life in Paris. I have more respect for the news from people who are actually living it than from the media who doesn’t know the half of it. Your messages help build strength and hope. Keep them coming! A Lover of all things Parisienne.

  2. “Make a meal out of it” ❤️

    On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 8:19 AM My (Parttime) Paris Life wrote:

    > Lisa Anselmo posted: ” A gorgeous day for a lockdown here in Paris. The > sun is out; it’s warm. I have my windows open. Such a mood-booster. You > have to embrace the good stuff when it comes. This morning, I had to go to > the pharmacy to refill my asthma meds, so I complete” >

  3. Bonjour Lisa
    So happy you enjoyed the warm sun today we have the same sunny conditions here in Canada although not warm !! A walk in the local park will be wonderful away from people it really lifts your spirits. I love the image of the building as I have been to Paris a number of times I can imagine being there. Are the blossom trees in bloom maybe a little early . Have a nice weekend

  4. I’m in Texas and the birds are going crazy, singing, flying around. It’s lovely to be outside. I’m wondering, in Paris, is there still mail being delivered?

  5. Enjoying your blog. In California we have just been placed on “A Stay at Home” order, except for essentials like exercise, food and certain types of work. My good thing for the day is enjoying the peace and beauty of Spring out my backdoor.

  6. Hi Lisa,
    I love the thought/attitude of a moment at a time. Glad you enjoyed getting out into the sunshine. It’s raining where I live , but that’s okay.
    I had a thought about the Paris Cafes and know you are working on “save the cafe”. Do you think this lockdown will affect that issue at all, in terms of appreciation for gathering, way of life, sharing time together, etc and working harder to maintain those benefits of the French way of life/culture?
    Lynn H

    • I am is decidedly less “together” than than my posts make me sound. This is me talking to myself. Keeping myself sane and sharing what I’m learning with you who are in the same boat. Stay well, Lynn.

  7. My husband and I were in Paris less than three weeks ago (visiting from California). It’s hard to believe how much the world has changed in such a short amount of time. Thank you so much Lisa for your daily posts and upbeat suggestions. My good thing for the day is my lockdown is shared at home with my husband and our two dogs, and I’m going to try making homemade French onion soup tonight! Take care and stay well.

  8. Hey Lisa – thank you for sharing your feelings and even details about your trip to the pharmacy. It’s comforting to know we are just normal people trying to get by day-to-day.

  9. Bon jour from Los Angeles.

    We are under stay at home orders, here in LA. At first, just seniors, now it’s everyone. I finally ‘escaped’ yesterday and went for a lengthy walk around a man-made lake in the neighborhood. After days of rain, the weather was glorious. Sunny and crisp.

    There were a few people out, not many. I had a great time on the walk.

    Small pleasures. Take them where you can find them.

  10. It’s very interesting reading about what is going on abroad and I always enjoy reading about my beloved Paris. I feel as though the Canadian government is learning from what’s going on abroad but only time will tell. I am also going to try and get back into blogging and use the extra time to document life during these unprecedented times for most people on Earth.

      • You too. I’ll keep following your posts. I have a lot of friends over in Paris so I have reflected a lot on how life might be over there right now. I would have been going insane in my old vingt-metre-carre apartment. Hope you continue to find joyful moments each day.

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