Confinement Chronicles: Discovering silent Paris

Anne Aufort, who was raised in Chicago, has been a Parisian since 1984.

My life in Paris right now has two faces: one street side and the other courtyard. Street side is amazingly quiet; the noise of traffic has disappeared, leaving only the sound of birds and the swish-swish of Deliveroo bikes. The courtyard is full of the noise of children’s scooters and screams as they try to burn off their accumulated confinement energy.

In this period of confinement, we are authorized to go for a walk for one hour within one kilometer of our address. During my walk this morning, I discovered Notre Dame du Travail, a church I’ve walked past for years without entering. Our Lady of Work is a blend of Eiffel construction and delicate Art Nouveau accents, all to the glory of carpenters, blacksmiths, wood and stone workers who built this city. Though no mass could be held, the church was open to the public. There were four of us in the church, admiring the light and soaking in the peace and amazing quiet of this silent Paris we’ve all just discovered these last few weeks.

“Confinement Chronicles” is a journal of how we are experiencing daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.

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