Our French Life

The Covid Contradictions

wacky races

I have written a few times about living with Covid here in France (you can read about them here and here) but I have tended to avoid it.  This is because it chops and changes every day or if not every day, it certainly feels like it. As I have said to my friends, when we have tried to arrange seeing each other, I have not seen my friends for nearly 2 years and most of my family for over a year, “A lot can change in Covidland!”

And yes it does, does it not? One minute the borders are open and it’s wacky races, the next it’s enter quarantine for some countries and not for others. Oh hang on.. no actually put that country back on the list and so on.  I’m referring to the UK government’s policy mainly on this. Why I hear you say? When you live in France? Well, it does affect me and I’m British (just about) after all. It affects whether I can go back and visit my family or if they can come here. Someone said to me “why are you even bothered with UK news and politics, it doesn’t concern you, you don’t live there.” That’s like saying why take an interest in what’s going on it the world. It’s a typical comment made to people who left the UK. It’s like you’re some kind of traitor.  Well in answer to the question – I’ve always been keen on politics/current affairs irrespective of the country and that ain’t changing anytime soon. Irrespective of where I live in the world. Naturally, I take more of a keener interest in what’s going on in France but yarp, I’m reading all the other stuff too. 

Going back to Covidland. My word, when the boarders were open, it was like wacky races here in Normandy. Of course, Britain was invited a tad late to the party and who can blame the French in this regard? The UK did, after all, have the most deaths and yet they were still welcome. Not so bitter are they the Europeans as The Daily Mail would have you believe.

There were tourists from all over France running around Normandy. It was good fun spotting the various different number plates. In addition, there were Belgiums (is that what you call them? Belgiques? I can never figure out what you call a person from Belgium edit Belgian although I prefer my word), Dutch, Brits, Spanish and Germans all whizzing around either on motorbikes, mobile homes (camping car as they say here), cars with bikes, cars with roof top boxes and cars with everything except the kitchen sink. 

It was wacky races, in much the same way the Brits who rushed to Bournemouth on a hot day. They all, however, got lambasted in the press for having the audacity to go to the beach when they were let out of lockdown. How very dare they. What? They were allowed to go out, they were allowed to go the beach and they went? String them up. How very selfish of them. Really?!

bournemouth
They all went to the beach so they did – Bournemouth after lockdown

They weren’t allowed to leave the country at this time. They had spent many months not going out, seeing friends or family.  Is it their fault that the South of England is heavily populated? That traffic is a nightmare and commerce is located in the South of England – more jobs, opportunities etc than many areas in the UK. Was it their fault that the town had decided to close all the toilets so people had to do their business behind beach huts? What did they do that was so unreasonable?

finger pointing

But that’s just it. Covid is one big finger pointing merry-go-round at the ‘irresponsible’ group by the ‘sensible’ group. It’s like Brexit all over. It’s a class divide. It’s a young versus old. It’s the conspirators re the common sense. It’s the snowflakes, bleeding heart liberals versus bring back the death penalty and it’s fine to go around shooting people if they don’t do what they’re told. It is divide and conquer that’s what it is. The oldest trick in the book. Are you pointing the finger at me now or nodding your head? Do I much care? Not really. It’s my opinion.

1984 tories

Then take the residents of Leicester who not only had to endure one lockdown, they were put into another one. I think the UK handling of the ‘pandemic’ has been well documented in funny memes and the like. Let’s just say, if Monty Python were around, they could make a film about it – there’s plenty enough material. In fact, are they actually in charge of the government? I mean it really is Panto season and France has had it’s fair share of panto moments too – more of which later. 

Then everyone was told off you go to Spain. Treat yourself. Have a blast. Knock back that sangria and fill your boots with tapas and a full English. However, whilst Brits were lapping this up and enjoying their new found freedom, Spain decides to lock down certain areas. Fine if you’re not in that area but then the UK government be like “Oh actually shall we whack Spain on the quarantine list?  Oh yes!”  I enjoyed this Daily Mash article on a spoof Leicester man on holiday in Spain – he was all out of all options. 

Then the UK toils with the idea of having a quarantine with France. Just, incidentally, as I’m trying to arrange meeting my friends/sisters in Nice. They take this decision (although there has to be a week or two of rumours to add a sense of excitement to the whole will they/won’t they game show) after all the Brits have rushed over to visit their overgrown holiday homes. Cue a whole load of Brits rushing back, mass exodus to every port in Normandy and Euro tunnel being fully booked twice over. Just when the French bars and tourist spots are trying to recover and be open for business. It would seem Boris thinks their euros could be better spent in the skydiving British economy. Flights from Paris suddenly go up by 450 euros. How convenient. Someone is making a killing aren’t they in all this. But not the vast majority of people that’s for sure. 

What I really wanted to write about is the inconsistencies with this ‘pandemic’. The pandemic where currently no one is dying. The one that has not killed 50 million people. What would we do if we had a ‘pandemic’ of this proportion? I mean they literally were dragging the dead out into the streets. 

mask
These are 30 euros for 50 in Super U or 20 euros for 20 in my pharmacy. How is this okay? They should be free.

When deaths were high and the numbers were being relayed on live television conferences, we didn’t have to wear masks. Yes, that’s right, when covid was at its peak no masks were required. Now, where there is approx 13 deaths in France, we must all wear masks. We had to carry a piece of paper (attestation) for the reason we were out during the peak, but no masks were required. In fact, even at it’s peak it was 50/50 whether people were wearing them doing their weekly shop. Now, there are hardly any deaths, we must all wear masks.  Explain that to me? Oh it could rise again. It could and it could not. And see above. 

We are constantly told on a daily basis the number of cases. Why? Why do we need to be given constant data? By the way, why is their radio silence from China? Anyone heard how China is doing recently apart from a big pool party? No. Me neither. What’s that all about?

These numbers are banded about. A bit like the deaths, except that’s just it, the number of cases are not equating to the number of deaths or admittance into intensive care. But keep the worry and fear factor cranked up to the max for people. 

And why are children under 11 now exempt?  We were told they were the super carriers. They were the new terrorists in effect. So much so schools had to be closed. Now, it’s all good. They are no longer the super carriers. There is no mention of such and they don’t have to wear masks anymore. Bit odd don’t you think?

Let us not forget not being able to see your family/friends for months on end but now 5,000 can all be out and about.  Much more than 5,000 if you so happen to be a top tourist attraction like Puy du Fou.

Take the Tour de France. Why is that going ahead? Crowds gathering to watch all hunched up at the finish line and along the routes. Doesn’t make sense to hold a huge sporting event such as this. Oh yes it does. The Tour de France is watched by over 3 billion people. The revenue in the television rights is immense. There is not a cat in hells chance that this was being cancelled. Pandemic or no pandemic. 

However, if the enemy of the state, aka the youth (talk of a curfew for them was banded about for a while) are having a rave…well that just won’t do at all. I mean the absurdity of the obvious contradictions are…. I don’t know what it is it is…. criminal? That’s what it is. Certainly laws seem to be there for changing as and when governments see fit. At a drop of a hat.

Speaking of which, a young lady who travelled from one part of Australia to the other (so not even another country) and purposely avoided the quarantine rule has been jailed for 6 months. One person on Facebook commented “it should have been a year”. Now there will be plenty thinking well serves her right and others thinking this sentence does not fit the ‘crime’.

When are we all going to stand up and say enough is enough? When are we going to STOP accepting that this is okay? This is extremely disturbing. It is reminiscent of the 40s were people just did what they were told after being fed so much propaganda. After the war they said that this should never be allowed to happen again and yet it did – in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I remember sitting in my history lesson at secondary school thinking how an earth did people let the Jews be sentenced to their death? Why didn’t people stop it? I now know. That it is scarily easy to get the masses to be compliant. To just accept what they are told by governments with their own agendas. 

It is my view, that governments are imposing draconian measures on its people and we are accepting it without too much questioning.  They just introduce laws without consultation (under a state of emergency as they did in France) and say you have to have piece of paper to leave your house. You can’t go to the beach, you can’t ride your bike etc etc. This is a tad worrying and could be the start of more and more draconian measures where our freedoms are very limited. 

I accept this is a virus. A deadly one for people who are in a certain demographic, however, for the vast majority of people this is not deadly. The damage to society is immense. Children who’s safe place is sadly school and not home, people stuck at home with abusive partners, depression, drinking, suicides, money worries and the list goes on. Already you can see the aggression in people spilling out.  

I have to agree with Tony Benn when he said, referring to the mobilisation of the miners, that it took a long time to get to that point. The point where people came together and fought for their rights. He said nowadays it is so much easier and quicker to mobilise people because of social media and to call out governments. And they want to shut that down. Prior to Covid there was a lot of civil unrest in America, you had the Gilet Jaunes (yellow vests) in France and people were mobilising about what they perceived to be injustices. And it was moving fast. Too fast?

Now, thankfully, we do have people on television here in France (before there was no such discussion) discussing these very points I have raised. That is a good thing. Asking given the numbers of deaths are tiny, no re admissions to hospitals are the draconian measures justifiable or are governments using it as an excuse to keep their people in their place.

A hot topic and one where no one is sitting on the fence anytime soon. I welcome your comments whether you agree or disagree whilst we still can express them!

You have been reading Our Normandy Life! 

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