The Covid Chronicles

The first Covid Chronicle appeared by chance, but was a long time in the making, much like the virus itself.

Even before our return flight to Boston was cancelled on April 3 of the Covid year 2020, we had decided to weather the pandemic in Paris. My wife, Isabelle, and I have a small apartment — a pied-à-terre — in the seventh district (arrondissement), so there is no rent coming due. When we planned the trip, we thought we would be in Paris for the month of March. Then the dominoes started to fall. We ended up staying in France until mid-October.

Earlier in the year, I had enrolled in a series of memoir writing classes in Cambridge, Mass. I expected to miss the last of the classes when I left Boston. Then, with most everyone locked down on both sides of the Atlantic, the class migrated to Zoom. I could attend after all, albeit at 11:30 at night Paris time. It was a natural to write for the class about life in confinement in Paris. I’ve been coming here, off and on, since 1971, so it was an opportunity nearly 50 years in the making.

I wrote Chronicle No. 1, and when it was well received in class, I started thinking about No. 2. And then… well, why not continue?

Since October 2020, I’ve been writing from our condo in Somerville, Massachusetts.

The first four Chronicles appeared weekly. Going forward, I plan to post twice a month.

Be well. Stay connected.

Thank-You Page: I’m no longer attending the writing class, but will always be grateful to my fellow writers for their comments — and to our teacher, Daniel Gewertz. Their comments are instrumental. And to Judah Lablang, Boston-based teacher and writing coach, and trusty guide since 2016.

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An American Francophile reports from both sides of the pond


Retiree, after 30 years of self-employment in the graphic arts. Frequent traveler to France. Student of the art of memoir writing and sometime poet.