After months of health crisis, France regains morale

Editorial of the “World”. In recent days, the expression has flourished: France is experiencing its “covida”. This neologism plays on the fusion of the words “covid” and “movida”, in reference to the movement which seized Spain at the beginning of the years 1980, during the democratic transition, after the death of Franco, and which was synonymous with creative euphoria and unbridled fun. In fact, since the partial lifting of restrictive health measures on May 19, the country has gone in a flash from neurasthenia to a form of lightness that we had ended up forgetting.

With the return of sunny days and the spectacular improvement in the health situation, life before the pandemic is resuming its rights, despite the heavy human toll. The café terraces overflow onto the sidewalks, conviviality has finally replaced the furtive glances which exchanged above the masks. The end of the tunnel has never felt so close. Let us not sulk our pleasure, even if we must be careful not to fall into bliss: prudence remains in order, both in terms of health and economics.

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The change of mood is particularly glaring with regard to the report of the French to vaccination. As of December 2020, only four in ten were ready to be vaccinated. Six months later, the proportion has reversed. This reversal of opinion is saving. As the experience of summer 2020 has shown, which led to a second wave of contamination, barrier measures will not be enough to stop the pandemic. Only vaccination will be able to really help turn the page. It is an opportunity that must be seized. It would be irresponsible to spoil it with selfish behavior or neglect.

Each vaccinated arm counts

The challenge remains immense. After a disastrous start, the doses are finally available, the vaccination campaign is in full swing. Its expansion to the entire adult population since May 31 will further accelerate. But collective immunity, which the Pasteur Institute estimates must be achieved with more than 80% of adults vaccinated, is far from being achieved.

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The more the weeks go by, the more the candidates will be rare. The next few weeks will therefore be crucial. The summer transhumance of part of the population will complicate an equation that was already not simple, while the recklessness of the holidays may weaken the feeling of the need to protect oneself. So that the current dynamic does not fall, it is necessary to consider now the opening of vaccination to under 18 years. More generally, it is not a question of convincing the antivax, but of inciting to take action the people who hesitate for lack of information. Each vaccinated arm counts.

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The “covida” is also an economy which is regaining its dynamism in close connection with the rate of vaccination and the reflux of contaminations. The morale of European businesses and consumers has never been so high since the financial crisis of 2008. The fear of unemployment, even if it remains present, is no longer as strong as at the height of the crisis.

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At the start of the year, France is doing rather well. Its economy, thanks to more flexible containment measures, has cushioned the impact better than those of most of its neighbors. The rebound will be even more dynamic. Even if the return to the economic level before the pandemic will still take time, even if it will be necessary to ensure that no one is left by the wayside, France, one of the most pessimistic countries in the world, can savor its “Covida”.

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