Happy Easter and Joyeuse Pâques! My Easter update this year looks eerily similar to the one I posted last year.
This time last year, France announced the extension of the first lockdown to May 11. Today, the entire country officially enters the third lockdown until May 2.
It’s hard to comprehend what is happening in France, especially after experiencing some normalcy while we spent two wonderful weeks in Georgia.
In these two weeks, we were able to experience life again without restrictions.
We dined at restaurants, caught up with friends, went to trivia, enjoyed live music, and received our one-shot Johnson&Johnson vaccine. We could walk outside without a mask on, which arguably was one of the best parts. I even traveled to my new employer’s headquarters and met the team I work with in person. It was so nice to finally see the people I have had countless video calls with in “real life.”
In France, none of this would be possible. Restaurants have been closed since October, and events have been canceled indefinitely. The vaccination rollout is slow and is currently only available to those 70+. It’s an entirely different world.
Our two-week trip to Georgia has quickly come to an end, and our flight back to France leaves tonight.
But how could one willingly leave a life of normalcy for a world of restrictions?
And so I didn’t leave.
I cannot go through a third lockdown, even if the government is rebranding it as a “limited-lockdown.”
We are no longer allowed to travel within regions and departments of France. The shops and restaurants continue to stay closed. After the French government received continued criticism, schools have closed. A mask, whenever we leave the apartment, is still mandatory unless we want a fine.
Here’s where the “limited-lockdown” comes into play. We are allowed within a 10-kilometer range from our apartment with the new confinement. Whereas the two previous lockdowns only allowed us out within 1-kilometer. The French government no longer requires an attestation letter to leave our apartment within the 10-kilometer range. We are allowed outside for more than one hour of exercise a day, and our curfew is now 7:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm. While these may seem like positive changes to the previous two lockdowns, it is still very much a restrictive situation.
The restrictions even in a “limited-lockdown” are still tough, and at some point “staying positive” doesn’t cut it. I’m worn down, and I need a mental reset.
Unfortunately, Jordan didn’t have a choice as I did. He got on the plane to Lyon.
After what felt like pulling teeth to get his employer’s HR even to agree that we could travel back to the US, they would not allow him to stay longer. His entire office is currently “100% télétravail”, which is 100% working from home, but they are not letting him work remotely from the US. It doesn’t make sense, and it’s not fair, but there’s nothing we can do. If Jordan were to stay in the US, our expat contract would be over.
Fun fact: I have now been in my employer’s office as many times as Jordan has been in his office in 2021.
There is no right decision, and deciding to stay wasn’t easy. Even after the flight has already departed, I don’t feel like I made the right decision. I feel selfish for leaving Jordan alone in our apartment for the third lockdown, but he doesn’t see it that way. I will be staying in Georgia for another month, and hopefully, I’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter with friends and family! Talk to you soon.