City of Paris Paris

Paris Confinement Act III

I haven’t blogged much about the pandemic, just a little bit and here, but this 3rd confinement has made me notice a few things that I find interesting and felt I could share with you. I wonder how it is perhaps different in your part of the world? (Let me know in the comments). So, the third confinement in France is a bit different from the second one and a lot different from the first one. A full year later we find ourselves living a lot better than last March and April.

A year ago the Paris streets were nearly empty, the sky was beautiful and we all mostly stayed indoors for fear of the virus, pollution in the city was drastically reduced, we all went on a cooking frenzy or home workout spree and for almost two months lived in a confinement bubble, whether or not that bubble was pleasant varies from on person’s experience to another.

This March, no one is stocking up on toilet paper and there are a lot more vehicles on the Parisian streets. Hair salons are considered essential in France, so you can get your hair washed, cut, styled and dyed. Wine shops and book shops are also now included in the essentials list. (Thank goodness). Also, flower shops are allowed to remain open! This means in lieu of a restaurant, you can have a pretty lovely date night meal at home if you so wish (complete with a hair blowout, flowers and a nice bottle of wine!)

We will not have to sign a paper every time we step outdoors this time around. And there is no time limit to our outdoor activities. But there is a 7pm curfew that is only loosely respected. And masks are in abundance! Last year no one could find a mask in France. Back then I had found some black cotton ones with printed skeleton smiles on them, (it was all I could fine at a reasonable price on Amazon) and we used to get strange looks from people on the street when we dashed out for groceries. Now we have hundreds of mask options. Getting groceries delivered has become the standard now, and working from home has become a habit for many. Zoom meetings are not so funny and exotic as they were 12 months ago.

But it has been a year now and we are all asking ourselves when this pandemic is going to end. March 2020, we all thought it would be over in a few months! I was supposed to fly to the United States in May 2020, and was certain that wouldn’t get cancelled. LOL! Now we are all starting to accept this as a long haul and masks to be in our lives for much longer than we would like. When will art and culture be in our lives in more ways than just digitally ? Will culture die before we can return to a museum, a theater, a galerie or a cinema? I always thought art and culture were essential parts of French life. Now they have been sidelined for months and months. The recent Cesar award ceremony was a star-studded cry for help from the performing arts community. At least books stores are considered important enough to let operate. And hallelujah, the parks remain open. But we are all starting to see the tunnel as a bit too long…

That said, it is important to wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands. We all must act together to keep the virus from spreading. Let’s shorten the tunnel!

What are the essentials that have been allowed to continue to operate in your home country?


  1. We’ve been fortunate in Australia with a move to elimination. The only cases we tend to see are travellers wishing to enter the country. Everyone goes into managed quarantine and people who test positive are managed separately and carefully. This means the country is effectively open for business.

    1. Gary, I’m glad your country has been able to handle things well and allow life to continue. Sadly in France, we have less autonomy because of Europe. But also our leaders can’t bring themselves to make decisions in time. At Least Australia is technically an island and far from everything! That helps for sure.

      1. You’re right, being an island far away has helped enormously. We’ve also been fortunate that our political leaders made a decision early last year to base all decisions on medical advice.

  2. You probably know that in the US, many businesses are open but in a variety of ways… and that things change from state to state. (Apparently it is similar in Germany, which also has “states.”)
    In California, restaurants are now able to have indoor dining, but still not at full capacity. Many, like us, barely even dare eat outdoors (which is more possible in California than in colder areas). We did last week, after getting vaccinated…. oh, was it delicious!

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