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The fear factor

France is on its fifth wave of this pandemic that started in Wuhan, China. There’s this new variant but nothing is much known about it, except that it’s not as fierce as the Delta which is making the numbers of Covid cases in Europe soar.

Norway, which has one of the strictest rules in trying to control the virus, is now suffering from a fast spreading contamination with high hospital occupancy. We have a nurse friend who’s breaking down from stress and fatigue. The cause of their new wave, most cases are unvaccinated patients!

At least, I was able to enjoy a couple of months, going around Paris without a mask and enjoying the cafés and bars in my neighborhood. Just this Monday, our Prime Minister declared all nightclubs to be closed for the next four weeks and encouraging working from home if possible, in order to stop the surge of infections.

Ledesma relative Ica Manalo Sebastian with her family (l-r) Pål Larsen, Metrobank’s bigwig Francis Sebastian and daughter Mia, Ica, Nonoy Campos and ELG; right, our Scandi inspired table setting at home*
Chicken tinola Nonoy Campos’ style; right, fried super lean pork chops topped w shallots and lemon peel*
Vegetables for Nonoy’s tinola; right, cook-in and potluck weekend dinner at home (l-r) Nonoy Campos, Ramon Bilbao just in from St. Tropez, Pål Larsen and ELG*
From left, the old and the new light moods for dinner; museau de bœuf brought by Ramon from his Neuilly ritzy butcher; Coquille St. Jacques w cream sauce in its giant shell; my monastical shelter from the worldly chaos*

So, here I am, cocooning after 2 weeks of a bad cough I suspect our trio con brio caught from an American visiting the City of Lights. I tried riding it out with a very good over the counter cough medicine. But I just had to go to my doctor after this weekend. I was spitting out thick phlegm and he put me on a strong antibiotic regime which cured me right away. Unfortunately, I must follow the protocol for eight days.

Which brings me to the most ironic realization that I had to go to Paris in order to learn how to cook chicken tinola and pork sinigang! At my age, when I could afford going to the most fancy and fashionable restaurants, here I am enclosed in my flat afraid to eat out especially during the weekends since my neighborhood is the most visited place in Paris during this time.

If you see the crowded streets that have already been declared pedestrians-only, I panic at the sight of the hordes who are wearing masks, which further aggravates my fear. If they’re wearing masks, it must be that bad!

I arrived in September and everyone was smiling unmasked and everything seemed to be under control. Now, it’s just all touch and go. But I’m grateful that the churches are now full on Sundays and the sanitary pass is being enforced strictly in restaurants and stores, offices and museums. No vaccine pass means no entry!

And it really is most efficient in contact tracing as it is installed in your smartphone. So, what good is happening in the City of Smiles?

MY PRAYER: And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 1 8:7– 8, NIV*

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May 2022
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