The biggest question people are asking this morning, following President Macron’s televised and dramatic speech last night, is “How do I print out my mandatory attestation?” I don’t have a printer at home, neither do a lot of other people. As of noon today, and mandated by government decree, we have been ordered to print out and carry a travel certificate (attestation) with us if we step outside our home. (The document can be downloaded from the Ministry of the Interior website.) We can only step outside our homes for very specific reasons. Cops, apparently, will be roaming the streets and subways, ready to give us a 38 euro fine (soon to go up to 135 euros) if we don’t have said and signed certificate on our person.
As I write this, I can see Parisians scurrying past my building wearing face masks and anxiously pulling their shopping caddy, on their way to the food stores before the noon decree kicks in. Luckily, I did a big food shopping a few days ago and have the essentials: coffee, long-life milk, coconut milk, pasta, tuna, sardines, chick peas to make hummus, almonds to make almond milk, flour and yeast to make bread if I have to. Oh, and a big bottle of Martini Bianco and tonic water.
I don’t know what else to say. I need to wrap my head around this utterly surreal and disturbing situation. Fictional movies and books have been written about plagues and pandemics; but this isn’t fiction.
I’m keeping a diary, a chronicle, while copy-pasting the international online newspaper headlines into a Word document with their dates. So that I can look back to this terrible period years from now and remember what we lived through. (But there will be more pandemics.)
Here’s President Macron looking a lot more grave than he did before. As one commentator wrote: Macron said – “My dear compatriots, do not worry, we will find a solution.” And then five minutes later, “WE ARE AT WAR!”