Since we didn't know what the summer would hold, we decided to plan for at least one summer occupation. Ordering it was a challenge since as soon as hot weather arrived, everyone else had the same idea. Our first order was cancelled by the company since it was out of stock, but the second arrived yesterday, and today, Frédéric and Benjamin got busy setting it up (despite the cold front that came in this week).
Noah went back to school this week, and he's not very happy with us about that. The government decided that returning to the classroom was optional, so many parents are choosing to keep their kids home.
The school sent us a five-page document with the new protocol. The kids have to wear masks all day, use the hand sanitizer provided, be accompanied to the restrooms to be sure they wash their hands before and after using the toilet, and sit on "dots" at recess (to ensure social distancing).
Their schedules have changed, so they have some different teachers than usual, and only four classes a day, each almost two hours long, and no class on Wednesdays.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, Health and Solidarity Minister Olivier Véran, and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer spoke this evening to tell us what the second phase of deconfinement, June 2nd to June 22nd, will look like.
On May 7th, the country was split into red and green zones, with the northeast quarter being red. Today, Paris and the surrounding area, along with French Guyana and Mayotte, are still yellow, and the rest of the country is green, including our region. The colors indicate that while the virus is still circulating, hospitalizations and ICU usage are at a level that the country can handle, though things are more tenuous in the yellow zones.
We were thrilled - well, Frédéric and I were - the boys a bit less so - to hear that middle schools will re-open June 2nd. The school year runs until July 3rd, so that still gives them a month of classes. We're waiting to hear from their middle school about how things will be organized. Returning to school is voluntary, and masks will be required. Students who don't return are expected to continue distance learning from home through the end of the school year.
Swimming pools are also allowed to re-open June 2nd. We'll be watching for information from the boys' swim coach, too, to see whether practice will start up again this year at all or not.
As of June 2nd, we will no longer be limited to traveling within only 100 km of home, but the government still encourages prudence, of course. By June 15th, we hope to have a clearer idea about what the summer will look like for borders in general, and June 22nd will mark phase 3 of deconfinement.
Summer camps are also allowed to open after June 22nd. The one the boys go to is waiting to see what the hygiene measures required will be, over and above the usual, before they decide whether they'll open or not.
And we don't know what the rest of the summer holds yet. If nothing else, this pandemic is teaching us to live in the moment.