So we are out of the dark period to enter, in principle, a more cheerful period. We were expecting it in fever, undisguised impatience and anxious recrimination over what was to come. We judged from the top of our personal Aventine (each Frenchman has one at his disposal, from which he writes everything that is above him, supposed to represent unbearable authority). For some, it was far too early and therefore dangerous, for others it was already too late given the ruin of the economy.
Now we know. However, we are not more gay. Our relief is sad, our “rediscovered freedom” is tense, tapped by the fear of misbehaving or that the others so numerous to meet you, put you in danger.
Why do the French have little confidence in their government?
France does not have the cheerful and airy deconfinement that we expect, it sour and even vindictive. “We will have to learn the lessons from this crisis and its calamitous management” and “be accountable”, we hear from left to right. Petitions are circulating on the Internet asking that members of the executive be tried as soon as possible, for incompetence, for endangering the lives of others. And why not genocide while we are at it?
► Bad faith
While everyone has them, controversies are back in force on the nagging question of masks. As if it were not enough to wear it at every turn of the clock, we see the trials of the beginning of the tragedy when pious lies clumsily concealed the shortage in the face of the unpredictable.
Bad faith, which was already a massive feature of the pre-Covid era, quickly resumed coloring quickly after the just-started poop or verdigris colors began. A tenacious bad faith that stands as a universal vigilante. We saw, a few days ago, gazettes, also called “reference” (we wonder why) publish headlines on the “destruction of mask stocks by France”. It was shocking in the rarefied kiosks still open to learn that we had destroyed millions of these much-desired masks. But one could not in the headlines qualify the accusation by specifying that they were expired masks therefore unusable. What wouldn’t have been said if the government, far from destroying them, had kept and distributed them to the good people? One can imagine the trial in crime against humanity which would have imposed itself in the famous reference newspapers: “Macron and Philippe distribute ineffective and dangerous masks! “
→ INVESTIGATION. Coronavirus: French screening strategy raises questions
If there was “fiasco”, another term which was opposed to the executive at the very moment when we learned, however, that confinement had saved the lives of sixty thousand French people, it was the media fiasco (except the Cross!) Who drove us all crazy, and stupid by their insistence on warning us against any action or decision by the executive. Not a day without a new controversy linked by pundits of medicine who have become subscribers to the BFMTV genre loop television platforms. We were left wondering who stayed in the hospital to treat the sick people they were talking about and who were welcomed with arm (stretcher bearers) and who were exhausted by nurses. Bad faith it will be said. Of course, but how can you resist the urge to use the same weapons sometimes as others?
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So the confused are a little confused. They were delighted with what turns out to be dull and banal: the noise invading the cities, the line at the cash desks of the shopping centers, the rain returned, the more or less exciting conversations of the hairdressing salons, the school accompaniments for children who have had the privilege of coming back. And the return to the space of public debate of the same. Unchanging characters, who in insult and caricature, who in systematic and hateful opposition. Murder polls are also coming back in force with their ability to grind the national mind. Unfavorable to the executive, as before. The unverified assumptions about the divisions at the top of the state between the “cautious” supporter and the go-getter illustrate this return to politics. It is not the most interesting thing about this “after” that we were dangled as exciting, freed from old passions and ancient fights. Everyone has resumed their posture and their place at the forefront while trying to surf the last controversy: on the opening of restaurants, on access to beaches, on the hundred kilometers around the home, on tests, cycle paths, culture, industry and, always, the use or not of hydrochloroquine.
One of the elements that explain this feeling of “deja vu” that we sensed but that we would have dreamed of avoiding is the amount of invariants that we find at the heart of the species human. There are always these traces of “universal barbarism” detected by Barbey d’Aurevilly, in the middle of the nineteenth century, but also, fortunately, these treasures of humanity and altruism which, in the worst disasters appear including where we don’t expect them.
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The memory of this pandemic, if it is loyal, must contain that of the thousand and one gestures of solidarity and courage, kindness and dedication, sharing and exchanges of those who, confined and unable to directly contribute to care , demonstrated between them and those who were on the “front line”, a Macronian formula stolen by all from the president.
A beautiful film by Zabou Breitman, already quoted here, was entitled, in the early 2000s, “Let us remember beautiful things”. We should be able to remember the best things that the management by the French of this unpredictable soap opera that will have kept us, for once disciplined, in our uneven housing, will have revealed to us. It will be necessary to remember this discipline rather than the imbecility of the picnickers of the channel Saint-Martin, in Paris (and besides) which, hardly the virus had it seemed to turn the heels, defy care and persistence of the disease.
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Under the pretext of being free, they were chained to one of the oldest French passions: alcoholic hedonism and the childishness of I don’t give a damn about libertarianism for everything that is of the order of rigor or of duty. We would have liked this frankly frondé stifled permanently by the virus. But no, she is still there, this fool, lurking at the bottom of society. Like a virus precisely.
In spite of everything, good deconfinement to all! Take care of others.