Thursday, April 2, 2020

the concern of French people returning from "risk areas"

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Adrien is about to enter his third quarantine period in less than six weeks. Employed by a large French company in Shanghai, expatriated in China for almost ten years, he first remained confined for around twenty days on the spot, at the end of January, when the first wave of spread of the coronavirus been announced in the country.

Repatriated to France on the proposal of his employer, Adrien then decided to stay in "fortnight" by remaining confined to his home when he arrived in Paris on February 10. By March 6, he is expected to return to Shanghai, again accompanied by his company, to resume work. Upon his return to China, he will have to observe a third period of home isolation before he can go to the office.

A succession of precautionary measures which translates the management of the epidemic in the different parts of the world where it is spreading. "Views of China, France and Italy are now considered to be risk areas", says the thirty-something on the phone. Wednesday, March 3, the report reported 52 fifty-two dead in Italy and three dead in France, two countries considered to be the main sources of coronavirus in Europe.

Lack of clear instructions

If Adrien has increased the periods of isolation according to his comings and goings, other French nationals, who have returned to France after stays in China or Italy, express, in response to a call for testimony from the World, their feeling of having to fend for themselves in the face of the absence of clear instructions when they arrive on the territory.

On the government website dedicated to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the authorities' instructions no longer ask, as was the case before 1st March, travelers returning from an area considered "at risk" to stay in confinement for fourteen days, considering this measure unnecessary since the virus is now circulating in France.

However, they encourage certain precautionary measures: "Avoid going to places where there are fragile people (hospitals, maternity hospitals, accommodation structures for the elderly, etc.); avoid any non-essential outing (large gatherings, restaurants, cinema…) ”, the authorities say, before adding that workers and students of all ages can go to work and school.

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It is still necessary to undertake the process of being informed. Returning to Lyon on February 27 from a vacation in Venice, Patricia Deboevere was surprised to receive no recommendation from the authorities. "Passing the customs service at the airport, I thought:" They will succeed in telling us that the virus has not crossed the border" ", she worried, regretting that she had to, by herself, estimate the risk of spreading the disease to those close to her.

Ms. Deboevere has since made the decision limit his trips outside his home. She also refused to babysit her grandchildren and welcomes any guest into her home of a surgical mask. "I do it out of responsibility, for the people around me, but in fact everyone can cheerfully do what they want", she laments.

An academic from eastern France, also back from Venice, also regrets the authorities' lack of clarity:

"I consider myself to be well informed, but the recommendations of the Public Health France site remain subject to interpretation. Should we strictly stay at home? Can we go shopping, go to the pharmacy, can I go to the office if I don't meet anyone? Can I go out of my house, out of town, without contact, for example for a stroll or sport? Above all, why have I not been subjected to restrictive measures ? "

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"We feel safer here than anywhere else"

Sarah, 28, preferred to leave Lombardy, where she has been working for three years, and advance her vacation in France facing the "Anxiety-provoking climate" caused by the coronavirus in this region of northern Italy. “All the bars, restaurants, cinemas were closed. The plane, which was almost full at the time of booking, was empty and the few passengers were all wearing masks ", she remembers. Since her return to Paris on February 28, she has taken the initiative not to limit her outings but only "Not the kiss or the hug" to his relatives.

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Compared to the increase in contamination in Europe and the recent implementation of precautions, the situation in China today seems more secure to some French people. “The situation in China is complex, stressful, but in a very clear improvement phase. We feel safer here than anywhere else ", testifies Théo, who works as Adrien for a French company in Shanghai. "I come home (in France) for professional reasons, and I hope to return to China quickly ", he adds, stating that you have already made a "Quatorzaine" in Shanghai and having decided to start it himself news on his arrival in France, Monday March 2.

"Faced with the coronavirus, I think it is better today to be in China if the virus is present all over the world, says Adrien. The country already has six or seven weeks of experience. The hard life constraints imposed could not be applied in France, or the culture of freedom is different. However, living in China during a pandemic is reassuring. "

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