I was surprised when I checked the Windy web site yesterday to find that it looks as though there might be an extended period of quiet weather next week that could be ideal for flying my ex-pat X-air over from the UK. Winds could be very light over the whole of France while although they are forecast to be brisker in the south of England and the Channel (to the point of being above acceptable limits from time to time), there could be a couple of windows during the week to do the Channel crossing.
So in normal times I’d be booking my ferry and heading across to the UK. But these are not normal times, are they. Although France as a whole is on the by now well-known upward Coronavirus trajectory of infections, I think that we in the south-west are in a relatively favourable area being sheltered by the fact that there is no ‘big’ industry here aside from farming and at this time of year not many people are entering and leaving. That will change if the usual summer influx of tourists begins in a few weeks time but it remains to be seen if that will happen this year.
I was at Périgueux hospital on Tuesday where the general attitude was laid-back to say the least and where, incidentally, I was given the excellent news that as I’m now over 2 years since the end of chemo and in complete remission, the chance of my being re-affected is negligible. People were making good use of the provided hand sanitizers but my oncologist greeted me, as she did all the others before me, with a smile and a hand-shake just as usual.
So my impression is that if I returned to the UK to pick up the X-air, I’d be leaving an area of relative safety and entering a much more dangerous one where, my family have told me, there have been reports of a number of local Coronavirus infections. I’ve made a decision of what my strategy will be here in France as I regard myself as a member of an ‘at-risk’ group. I’ve built up stocks of food and other essentials, not to a siege level admittedly, but to one that will enable me to avoid leaving home as much as I usually do and going to the shops and other ‘high-risk’ places where there will be groups of people, some of whom may be infected.
If I go to the UK, not only will I be going to a ‘higher-risk’ area, but while there I’ll also unavoidably expose myself to exactly the risks that I am trying to avoid here in France. Simple things will do it, like buying fuel, getting any spare parts or other items that I might need and so on. So I’m wondering if I should make the trip next week.
A secondary factor is that the possible ‘window’ if it does materialise is earlier in the year than I’d both anticipated and allowed for, although it could equally be argued that if I miss it and the Coronavirus situation gets materially worse, who knows when I might get another chance to bring the X-air over?
It’s something that I’ve only got a day or two to ponder over as if I do decide to go, I’d need to book a ferry for Sunday. This is a tricky one as quite a lot more could be at stake than just an aircraft. Much, much more 😳
Late addition I’ve just read that Mr Macron has shut down all schools in France and is considering closing the borders. I think that if there’s any chance of that happening, preventing me from bringing the X-air in and forcing me to remain in the UK, I should definitely stay where I now am and see how things play out over the coming days, or more likely, weeks.