More than half of French people have broken the rules for the second coronavirus lock-in, a survey showed on Thursday, halfway through the new prison term, and as figures confirm, France now has the largest number of Covid-19 cases in Europe.
The Ifop survey confirmed that the French take the second nationwide suspension much less seriously than the first in March-April.
It showed that 60 percent had broken the rules at least once, either by giving a false reason to go out on their self-signed license or by meeting family and friends.
The figure was much higher than during the first lock-in, when the proportion of breaches was below 40 per cent during the first six weeks.
The most common violation (24 percent of those surveyed) was to state a false reason for charging the permit fees that all citizens must download and complete before leaving home.
Others violated the rules by visiting family or visiting family (24 percent) or meeting friends (20 percent).
Nine percent of those surveyed said they dared to meet a current or future sex partner, 3 percentage points more than during the first containment period.
Over one in four – 28 percent – of those surveyed said they felt blue, compared to one in five in March-April.
The survey also confirmed that the second shutdown, which comes in the heart of winter, takes a higher toll on public morale than the first, a trend supported by other psychiatric staff.
In an interview with Jowharearlier this month, Dr Astrid Chevance, a psychiatrist and epidemiologist at the Paris-based Research Center for Epidemiology and Statistics (CRESS), said that the mental health consequences of the second suspension could potentially be greater because of the seasonal depressive effects of winter and a lockdown fatigue among the population.
“Unlike the first lock-in, mental health examinations – such as the one carried out by Santé Publique France [the French national health agency] – show that the population today is particularly tired, “says Dr Chevance. Depressive symptoms are already very marked and may increase rapidly in the future. “
“People have become aware that we are facing a phenomenon that is not completely controllable and whose results we do not know.
“In addition, we already had to change our habits during the first shutdown, which may have been a trial for many. Despite these efforts, we now see that they were not enough. So there is a general mental wear and tear because we do not see the end of this health crisis. ”
A growing sense of fatigue is already evident, especially in larger cities, including the capital.
In Paris and Bordeaux, residents told Jowharthat they had been frustrated by the lock-in rules, which include that they must have a signed permit stating the reason for leaving the home.
“I forgot this morning that it annoys me,” said one man when asked if he had a permit. “What’s the point of needing a form just to go out?”
In Bordeaux, people said they were similarly tired of paperwork. “I do not want to fill out a form just to say I’m having a burger on the dock,” said one woman.
French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has ordered police to step up controls to counter French concerns.
After seeing a calm in Covid-19 cases over the summer, France now has the most cases in Europe with 1,914,919 on November 12, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
France, which has lost more than 42,000 people to Covid-19, went back into lockdown on October 30 to try to tame a second wave of infections that experts warn could be more deadly than the first.
On Monday, the country registered 551 deaths due to the virus, the highest daily figure since the first wave in March and April.
France’s health director Jérôme Salomon told a news conference on November 9 that the peak of the coronavirus pandemic was yet to come.
“We are in a crucial moment,” warned Salomon.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Jean Castex will address journalists on the modest progress made in slowing down the spread of the virus over the past two weeks.
Small merchants fighting for survival had hoped he would take the opportunity to announce that all stores selling non-essential items, such as books and flowers, could be reopened.
But Health Minister Olivier Véran warned that it was “too early” to start easing the restrictions, which was repeated by Castex.
“This is certainly not the moment to release our guard,” the prime minister told Le Monde newspaper.
( Jowharwith AFP)