L’état d’urgence

November 14, 2015

At around 8pm this evening I went out to bring home dinner for a night in.

Around 10pm I get a message from a friend in the US asking if I’m okay.

A few seconds later I become aware of a chorus of sirens from outside my building and really in every direction I can hear.

At 10:30pm I am calling my mom to tell her that I’m safe, inside, away from any explosions or shootings.

A sea of messages, emails, and texts follow as I watch on BFMTV, a French news station, the events currently taking place in Paris.

From what I understand, there have been at least six attacks in the 10th and 11th arrondissements of Paris. I live in the 12th arrondissement. At least 60 are dead, dozens are injured, as many as 100 people are being held hostage at a concert hall. Three bombs went off at the Stade de France where France was playing Germany in a soccer match and President Hollande has declared a state of emergency in France, closed the borders, and urges everyone to remain indoors for the next however many hours.

Everyone I know in Paris is safe.

I’ve never quite felt this level of uneasiness, being totally helpless and feeling ever uninformed on the situation. I’ve never been in a country on lockdown, knowing I couldn’t leave its borders even if I wanted to, knowing I don’t have the freedom to go outside my building right now. I feel very trapped though I know it’s for my own safety, but either way I won’t be leaving my apartment tomorrow. When I look at a map of the attacks and realize how close I am, it’s even more terrifying.

Three hours later the sirens continue, at least 112 are dead, 70 of which were the hostages at the concert hall “Le Bataclan.”

For someone who wants to dedicate their life to chasing news, it’s quite something else to be in the middle of it. My thoughts are with the victims, their families and all my dear friends in France.

Please stay safe, Paris!!

Follow me on Twitter: @madelyne_ash

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