Coping with (De)confinement

Unfortuntely, as a top health official has warned, La Belle France is far from its goal of reducing the number of new Covid-19 infections to under 5,000 a day. This could have grave consequences for everyone’s Christmas, or not if like us you were not planning on spending it with anyone else.

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Jérôme Salomon, Chief of Santé Publique France. (Image: AFP)

President Emmanuel Macron had promised to end the current partial-lockdown on 15th December, but only if the second wave of coronavirus infections is brought within the 5,000 cases mark. His goal of lifting the travel restrictions in time for the Festive Season appeared in jeopardy this week, with senior health official Jérôme Salomon saying the government’s targets would be very hard to meet. He told a press conference:

Despite all our efforts, we are still faced with a high risk of a rebound in the epidemic and France was still a long way off from its objective of getting under the threshold of 5,000 new Covid-19 cases a day.

From a high of 50,000-60,000 cases a day in late October the number of infections has fallen to on average 10,000 a day over the past week but that now appears to have tapered off. This might well be due to the actions of 60% of the French public who claim not to be strictly observing the rules. I’m part of the 40% who are observing both the spirit and the letter.

The chart below from Our World in Data shows how the drop in cases in France has stagnated.

On Sunday, France recorded 11,022 new infections over the previous 24 hours. On Monday, the number was 3,198, but there is usually a weekend lag in reporting resulting in numbers dropping on Mondays.

In hospital intensive care wards, the number of patients stood at 3,210 – above the target of 3,000 maximum, although that number was continuing its steady decrease from nearly 5,000 mid-November to the current level. Intensive care numbers lag around two-to-three weeks behind case numbers due to the incubation time of the virus.

France entered a second lockdown on 30th October. The restrictions were eased somewhat on 28th November, when businesses selling “non-essential” goods and services, such as bookshops and hairdressers, were allowed to reopen. On the couple of occasions I have ventured out to buy food, it has felt as if everyone and his dog was out, much like last minute shopping on Christmas Eve. Of course, everyone in France still has to fill out attestations (permission forms) whenever they leave their home.

Bars and restaurants remain closed and will not reopen on 15th December even if the government does decide to ahead with lifting the partial-lockdown. Macron has outlined a later reopening for these on 20th January, but once again only if the number of new cases remains below 5,000 per day.

Let’s hope numbers start to move in the right direction again so that those who want to can spend Christms with some of their relatives.

22 Comments on “Coping with (De)confinement

  1. It’s SO frustrating, if everyone stuck to the rules we could get on top of this virus until we have the vaccine. They say in England that we can mix over Christmas! It beggars belief, just watch the rise in cases. We are staying at home because it’s just not worth the risk. Keep safe Sheree ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A very informative piece, Sheree.

    People have been calling me a doomsayer but I am sadly convinced we shall be having this exact conversation if we all live to see Xmas 2021. This damned virus is not going to go away and I am in the bunker and not going anywhere. Since late February I have been no further than my local hospital (once in an ambulance!), the Doctors, the pharmacy and my local supermarket 500 yards away. I have given up any hope of seeing this being over for years so I might as well just sit here and go slowly insane. Not much else for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Many people want the government to fix this Covid problem–make it go away. But they resist any government restrictions that might help make it, if not go away, at least diminish. Why can’t the morons understand that they can’t have it both ways? The conspiracy theories about Covid and mask wearing show how gullible many folks are.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for this informative piece Sheree. You don’t say how many people are dying on a daily basis and France.I’m just curious about the percentage compared to the US. also can you say more about the permission slips, what that is?.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s getting maddening! So many are battling depression now because of this pandemic and I pray for not only those who are inflected but those who are battling the depressions too. Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

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