The tube was exceptionally quiet. An almost scary state. A sunny Wednesday morning Central Line tube into town. Beginning of August should be busy; school holidays, days out, summer in the city. Yet this pandemic has created many an issue across the globe. I can’t authoritatively talk about the places I’ve not been to; reports are either second-hand response-bias drivel or pumped up news from a media source that will have ulterior motives.
I had to fill out a form declaring I’ve not been, knowingly, in the presence of any Covid-19 victim. To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t been in the presence of any Covid-19 victim (in the last 14 days, according to the declaration that Eurostar asked me to sign). I filled out the form accordingly.
One thing that I feel I should be addressing is the movement of people. If people move, the coronavirus moves. Let me explain. If I’ve bought my Eurostar ticket, it means I want to go, in this instance, to Paris. I’m going to Paris regardless of whether I’ve been in the presence of any Covid-19 victim or not. If I’m unwell, that’s different, I would possibly stay at home. But if money is tight, I won’t want to waste the money spent on travel and accommodation. Nor would I be prepared to lose any annual leave I’d planned on taking from work. If I can get through without showing signs of any Covid-19 symptoms, I’m going.
I have my passport, my ticket, my piece of paper and my word of honour. I’m still on the train and not one person has looked at my wrongly-dated, ill-signed declaration to which I hold the only copy.
Okay, morals aside, what if I had lied, and they caught me, interrogated me or did whatever they’d planned on doing to find out how the virus has spread? Yes, I’ll be facing a fine, a prison sentence, have my passport confiscated or some equally boring and inconvenient punishment. But it wouldn’t have stopped me from spreading my germs – my mask comes off when I eat, I could also sneeze into my sleeve; two fine examples. This is whole contact and trace is simply horses, bolts and stable doors. There is no way of stopping the spread if people are moving around.
It simply relies on the good nature of mankind; as well the unfortunate common-sense approach. I know this is a blog about me and my beloved Paris, but this is something that needs to be documented. Not like Samuel Pepys, granted. But in my own way, my own observations and how this visit to the French Capital differs from prior and future trips. Although I’ve not actually written about them properly. Whilst retrospect is a nice thought, it doesn’t bode well with accuracy. Not that it will stop me. For be my own hand, I am mastering creative nonfiction.
As such, I’ll have to have a quick read over what I’ve previously written and see if I can edit anything in. Or simply write retrospectively. Which if I actually edit in an artistic chronological order would be retrospective. But unknown to the reader. I think I’ll try and grab a coffee and a moment to ponder once I am ready to rest. And ponder. With a coffee.