From the front line - what's happening elsewhere: rural Alsace, France
marlborough.news brings you the first of a series of articles where we hear personal accounts from different people around the world about how they are coping in the current crisis.
Today’s reflections are from Ed, a Brit who lives in a small village in the Alsace, France just over the border from Basel, Switzerland. The Alsace is currently the worst hit area of France for the Coronavirus. The schools have been shut for four weeks and rules about movement and social contact have also been in place for this length of time.
Tuesday March 24 2020
Cool and sunny here. We are supposedly restricted to an hour’s exercise outside but not allowed to venture more than 1 km from home and on our permission form we must put the times. We have an erasable pen so we can change the date and time on the paper form rather than printing it out each time which you are supposed to do.
I am getting 2 walks a day and I've seen a load of interesting wildlife; cranes, hen harrier, hares. A French military helicopter was patrolling the quiet border crossings in the woods again this morning. It made me very nervous the first time I saw it but not today as I've realised what it's doing. Many of our neighbours are still being forced to go to work by their Swiss employers. They carry a permission but the main crossing points that are open are really busy so I think people are slipping along country roads. The one by Landskron Castle seemed to be drawing a lot of attention from what I could make out and I think the copter people are taking photos.
Alsace has been given limited access to German and Swiss hospital beds for seriously ill people. Two doctors in Mulhouse have died.(5 have since died) Full-on curfew there now. The Swiss from what I hear are still not taking things seriously enough. Lots of people out for walks and shopping.
Work is still talking about us being back on April 20th but I can't see that myself.
Anyway. Stay home. Keep watching for wildlife. It's a great entertainment.
Ed's wife, Cathy is a keen gardener. Their garden is not extensive and more like an English country garden in an Alsace setting. It is, as she says "flowers and vegetables and wild bits and birds: not very big, but to me it is very beautiful." She writes a regular gardening blog which can be accessed here.