Coronavirus days: France

IMG_20200725_080843 We went on holiday to France at the end of July / beginning of August. This isn't about the holiday, but about the Covid aspects. Nothing dramatic, but it may be of interest.

We drove, via Eurotunnel. That probably involves the least human contact. For fans of CO2 accounting, it was about three tanks of diesel, about 240 litres or a little less. For Covid reasons, Eurotunnel doesn't let you out of your car on the trip, and for bonus points someone wanders around during the transit cleaning the sides of the carriage that you can't touch cos you can't get out... Before you go, Eurotunnel solemnly tells you on the website that you need to fill out a form for the French govt solemnly swearing that you haven't got Covid, and so on. We solemnly did this, and it was a total waste of time, as absolutely no-one looked at them. 

The French mountain huts website told us to fill out a similar form, and it too was a total waste of time. Somewhat more annoyingly, the sites told us that due to Covid there would be no blankets and we needed to bring up our own sleeping bag. That turned out to be nonsense too but cost us 1 kg each. As it happened, it was a fairly warm period, and I just slept in my sheet liner anyway.

Within the refuges, the sense was of having rules, but not really caring about them. Here are the Glacier Blanc's. They carefully have a "circulation system" that makes no sense at all, because there is only one staircase, and only one entrance. People tended to wear a mask when they first went in, realise no-one else was, and then stop. They did make some attempt to enforce "only 10 people in the lobby" but although it is a fairly expansive boot-room, you can barely fit more than 10 even if you try.


In practice, we were outdoors by ourselves almost all day most days; or in the valley in our own apartment (which I chose slightly at random but was better for lack of human contact than a hotel). In the evening the huts did group meals as usual and as usual made no attempt to use all of the tables.

Supermarkets tended to have hand-san. Restaurants, supermarkets, cathedrals, buildings in general were mask-obligatoire indoors, and everyone did that. Since it was mostly rather warm, eating outdoors was hardly a restriction. On the drive back it was so hot in Dijon that it would have been quite nice to go inside into the air-conned restos, but we decided not to. Here's a pic of Vallouise's weekly outdoor market.

We may have got out just in time. The papers tell me that the govt is considering adding France to the quarantine list; not that it is clear that the UK quarantine means anything. But, we can all sleep better knowing that "Matt Hancock [is] closely monitoring [the] situation". Update: it's happened.

I think that's it. I leave you with a pic: walking up to Les Bans.



* What’s Destroying Our Culture?
* You Will Not Stampede Me by Bryan Caplan
* A blurb too far - Kerry Emanuel on Schellenburger.
* The new McCarthyism by Scott Sumner


Tom said...

Welcome back.


Nice bergschrund!

Not so nice, but bigger and with 4-wheel bridge on NP:


William M. Connolley said...

Not a bergschrund, this is but a humble snow bridge. Another view. We walked on it, because they told us not to :-). Nice bridge though, would be exciting.

Phil said...

The Blob strikes!


William M. Connolley said...

It's hard for me to say intelligent things about that. I'm dubious about "hose warming surface waters are likely migrating down into the blob", since "the blob" seems to mean the comparatively warm but dense because saline subsurface waters, and it isn't clear how such a "migration" could occur. And the linked article doesn't say "blob", at least in abstract.

Speaking of not saying intelligent things, USAnian scientists really ought to know better than to say "bummed", since it has a somewhat different meaning outside of the colonies.

Tom said...

To which a proper USAnian such as myself is forced to reply, 'there's a world outside of the colonies?'


About thiry years ago, a wannabe Reinhold Messner took his American fiancée on a short walk up the Raikot glacier on NP.

He fell into a fatally deep crevasse, but she did not, and after unsuccessfrl attempts to recover his remains returned stateside, having offered the locals a lavish reward should they ever recover him from the ice .

Sure enough, he popped out of the bergshrund a decade or so later, and the locals sent her his recovered wallet in earnest, asking for further instructions. The wallet alas, contained an unsent letter to his other fiancée" in the Tirol, announcing his intention to cash in his prenup as soon as he got hitched to the fiancée of the first part, and return to Austria to live solvently ever fter with his Tirolian squeeze.

Suddenly undisrought, the American gal cabled the Raikoti's their reward money, and told them to chuck her ex-swain into a fresh crevasse as far up the glacier as convenient.