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Unlike the first week of confinement, during the second full week I have spent a lot of time thinking about mortality. In the first week, there was all the bustle of adjustment: laying in supplies, figuring out new routines, trying to keep up with official government directives about who could do what/when/where and for how long, a constant stream of confinement-related memes, jokes, and fake news…. The first week fairly flew by.

The second week, on the other hand, has tapped into my mental fat stores, as the reality sinks in that we are in this for the long haul…


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Today wraps up the first week of confinement, as it is called here in France. Eight days ago, the French president Emmanuel Macron announced in a fiery speech that the nation was “at war” against Covid-19, a situation necessitating extraordinary measures to limit the spread of the virus. Macron adopted the posture of an angry father, disappointed at the lack of discipline of the French people, who had not taken seriously directives regarding social distancing. The unruly French populace could perhaps be forgiven for being confused by the mixed messages emanating from the Élysée (the French presidential residence): while on…


As much as we depend on the news media to keep us in touch, we need to know how to avoid losing our bearings amidst the daily maelstrom of events. A healthy dose of skepticism and a variety of sources never hurt anyone.

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It’s time I owned up. I am an addict and can now see it. What was once an occasional pleasure has become an insatiable need, creating erratic mental patterns and inducing emotional instability. Like all addictions, mine is taking a toll on my relationships, as I become ever more emotionally volatile, either arguing vociferously or withdrawing defensively…

Adela Cosijn

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