In the United States, the number of cases of Covid-19 explodes

Demonstration against the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces, in Henderson, Nevada, July 8.

Difficult to be more explicit. "I am American and I feel that I should be able to do what I want. I pay my taxes, I live free and I want to be free. " The talking man is not one of those young Covid-chuckers hugging at Florida beach parties. He's in his sixties, a little overweight, a cowboy hat – straw, it's summer – and, of course, no mask. He came on this national holiday of July 4 to attend the traditional rodeo of Giddings, a town of 5,000 inhabitants in the middle of Texas.

No physical distance on the stands, no masks, despite the injunction of the state governor. "It is against our constitutional rights. The government should not be able to dictate what I wear ”, adds another spectator, according to the images shown by the public channel PBS.

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In Florida or Texas, hospitals on the brink of rupture

We could not better illustrate the strangeness of the situation in the United States, five months after the outbreak of a pandemic that killed more than 133,000 people and placed the country in the first world rank for victims (but seventh, behind France, reported to the population). While 37 of the 50 states are again experiencing an increase in contamination cases (3 million nationally) and, in Florida or Texas, hospitals are on the brink of rupture, part of the population thinks that fighting a highly infectious disease is a matter of individual freedom.

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A fraction that is certainly a minority, but representative of a current rooted in national history – in 1918, during the "Spanish" flu, an anti-mask league was formed in San Francisco. Beyond economic interests, the anti-containment feeling is part of traditional American individualism (the “border” spirit), but also of the no less traditional religious fatalism. " I am not afraid, explains a young woman in the same PBS report. What must happen will happen. If my time has come, the good Lord will take me away. "

Governments have had to – and still must – deal with this state of mind, knowing that going too far in restricting Americans' freedom is out of the question. Recently, while California, the former good containment student, was faced with a resurgence of cases, barely less than the Republican States who had done as they wished, a hospital doctor University of San Francisco was envious of the measures taken in France: authorizations to go out, he explained admiringly; fines if citizens exceed the authorized perimeter!

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