50 days, seven weeks of an ongoing conversation… I can’t really see if things are back to normal in Geneva, it sure it doesn’t sound like it when you meet people and have to stay away from them in awkward movements we keep apologising for.

The good news first, my little cousin had a beautiful daughter today, long live Lily Rose, her sister Leia and Anne-Elizabeth and David !

Today I met a neighbour who was obviously extremely perturbed. I know she lives with her family but she was half her usual size which was already very tiny and she didn’t seem to be completely there. It might just be Alzheimer’s but she did blame it on the confinement. There wasn’t much I could do but I still was a little bit shocked as this woman who isn’t much older than I am and I was wondering if she was trying to tell me something. She anyhow seemed devastated to be confined.

Yet I look at myself in the mirror and I see another old lady, I see my grandmother. But I’m lucky enough to have so much going on in my life that I don’t really have time to “self-pitify” . And why would I? The whole world is in turmoil, I have a beautiful home, two beautiful kids, a job I adore, awesome friends and above all a man I love and who is waiting for me in Paris. At least in Geneva we can go out within reason, we don’t have one or 100 km limit to where we go but so far we still have to stay in Switzerland.

I worked a lot on Labor Day actually! I had that first teleconference call at 9 am then had to start preparing the exams we finally were told about yesterday, I had to contact my students, go to the bank, send two birthday cards, read two more papers, send assessments of the eight papers I corrected this week and finally enjoyed a wonderful conference about Michelangelos David. Véronique who presented it by putting him back within the historical period of turmoil, following Savanarola. She compared Michelangelo’s David to Donatello’s David and for 1 1/2 hour I simply lived in the quattrocento. It was marvellous.

Then after a couple of emails and WhatsApp messages, Facebook messages and Instagram, I baked my halah bread before enjoying a zoom meeting with my family in Paris and Vienna. It becomes very precious, and I know it means a lot to my parents. It means a lot actually to all of us and we realise how much we love and miss each other. I also talked to Marc earlier than usual because he called me from an overcrowded Paris saying that obviously most people are now considering that confinement is over. Among my numerous messages, I received a strange video I am going to share with you although I really have my doubts but as much as I hate participating or spreading any rumours I think it is worth mentioning that this is the kind of thing we were hearing at the time we were locked down.It’s a guy called Jean-Dominique Michel...

Yet I prefer the beautiful letter I received from the French consulate in Geneva to these sarcastic criticism from backseat drivers. After giving details regarding the end of the confinement for the consular affairs, he literally brought tears to my eyes in his conclusion you can read below. This is the esprit Francais we love and the feeling of shared solidarity, not just words but facts. The guy has been working non-stop in this rather intense transborder region and it’s worth remembering his name.

Cette épidémie de Covid19, nous en avons conscience, a bouleversé nos vies. Certains de nos proches ont été atteints de façon sévère et douloureuse, parfois même emportés, alors qu’ils nourrissaient nos vies familiales en apportant tant de joies. Cette pandémie créera durablement des traumatismes, parfois profonds pour nous-mêmes, nos enfants, nos parents, grands-parents et nos proches. Elle nous a déjà toutes et tous touchés à des niveaux différents et ne laissera personne totalement indemne, même ceux qui ont eu la chance d’échapper au virus. Dans ce contexte difficile et pour nous inédit où la solidarité n’est pas un vain mot, nous devons plus que jamais prendre soin les uns des autres. Prendre soin de vous, dans le champ de nos compétences, est l’un des aspects les plus nobles et gratifiants de notre mission.

Mon équipe et moi-même sommes fiers d’être à votre écoute et d’investir le meilleur de notre énergie à vous apporter l’aide et les services que vous pouvez attendre. Nous poursuivons, croyez-le bien, cette mission première avec empathie et le souci de vous être toujours utiles.

Mes Chers Compatriotes, restons solidaires et bienveillants les uns et les autres, dans un esprit d’unité dont nous avons tant besoin. Prenons soin de nos familles et de nous-mêmes.

Avec tout mon respect

Patrick Lachaussée
Consul général de France à Genève

I’d also like to share the photos Jean shared with me regarding an abandoned God:

Les religions monothéiste en temps de pandémie

Dieu privé de fidèles

Temps de la Pâques 2020

Jean F. Freymond

I believe the pictures speak for themselves, indeed.

Alright people I think it’s enough for tonight I need to rest and to restore my hope and energy. Let’s smile a bit with the irresistible goodies of the day, quite crop! among the reasons to laugh, no matter how bitterly, there was today the release of the map of the French regions in different colours and even for something as simple as that which was supposed to reflect the danger of COVID-19 according to each region, the French Government managed to issue an inaccurate map. I understand that they might be overworked but I don’t understand how this is even possible to reach such a level of incompetence.

This is one of the best, not just because it’s linguistic… but it helps!

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