Turning. On this humid Tuesday, October 27, the atmosphere is heavy at the Elysée. Early in the morning, the members of the scientific council come to the floor in the presence, once is not customary, of Emmanuel Macron. The situation is serious. The “second wave” of the Covid-19 epidemic is a tidal wave. Not the replica of the spring episode. “A massive wave falls on our backs,” confides a source at the heart of the matter. It affects all of Europe. Even Germany, the good student. The situation is critical. “
The unexpected acceleration of the epidemic, since the end of last week, leaves specialists speechless. Overcrowding in intensive care units, number of patients, hospitalizations: the figures are terrifying. In Lyon, 90% of sheave beds are occupied. “We are experiencing a moment of change,” slips an adviser to the executive. At 10 am, the scientists leave the palace. Make way for policies. A Defense Council is held at the Murat salon to “sweep up the situation and agree on the diagnosis”. Around the Head of State, Prime Minister Jean Castex and a handful of ministers discuss. Some are in videoconference. National and local projections are analyzed. We compare with neighboring countries (Belgium, Italy, United Kingdom, etc.).
Given the situation, the option that the executive wanted to rule out is coming back to the fore: reconfinement. A scenario of “four weeks” is mentioned, without being definitively recorded. This new confinement would however be arranged, leaving the schools partly open so as not to paralyze the economy. “The start of the school year will be next Monday, but it is unlikely that the school will not be affected by all these changes,” says one in the executive.
Many unanswered questions
On the economic front, activities which are not in contact with the public and require the presence of employees (therefore industry, agriculture, construction, etc.) would remain open. Non-essential businesses would, on the other hand, be closed, to allow effective compliance with containment. Another option discussed, but with less conviction by the participants, that of confinement on weekends and a more restrictive curfew the rest of the week, from 7 p.m. In this case, travel from one department to another should not be prohibited, because “the virus is now circulating everywhere”, Emmanuel Macron noted in recent days.
Many questions remain unresolved at this stage. What about colleges and high schools? Which businesses would remain open? These points will be decided at a new defense council on Wednesday. It will be followed by a council of ministers extended exceptionally to all members of the government. Universities could remain closed after the holidays. “Young people are a reservoir of viruses,” sighs a government source. The fate of high school students, whose behavior is judged to be similar to that of their senior faculty, is the subject of intense reflection.
“One must keep”
In the afternoon, Jean Castex takes the hand. After a lunch with the President of the Senate Gérard Larcher, the Prime Minister receives the party leaders in Matignon for a consultation. The atmosphere is stormy. The hypothesis of a general reconfinement and / or a closing of the schools crisps the assistance. A debate with vote is announced in Parliament on Thursday. “Everything is decided without us, we are consulted after the announcements of Macron”, exasperated participants. The Head of State will speak on television Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. He will reveal his arbitrations. In private, he repeats: “We must hold on”.
But in the hospital, the situation is straining day after day. At the Lille University Hospital (North), patients are already more numerous than in the first wave, because “the virus has circulated much more”, explains Patrick Goldstein, the emergency manager. Unlike spring, where we tested little, those who arrive are indeed all positive. With 160 hospitalized patients, there are only 17 sheave places out of 92. “Except the deniers who said It’s over on the TV shows, we all knew that the epidemic was going to start again. What surprises us is the intensity of this rebound, ”says the doctor, pointing to the staggering figures, more than 800 new people infected in one week out of 100,000 in Lille and 1,300 in Roubaix. “On Monday, we see the grandfather in the hospital, on Tuesday, the grandmother, the next day, the parents and, at the end of the week, the children. We must stop saying that it is an old man’s disease! “This Sunday alone, which he calls” Dirty Sunday “, the average age of Covid patients was 48 years old. “The right message now, watch out! “
Same observation at Samu 93, in Seine-Saint-Denis, where Jean-Marc Agostinucci, emergency physician with a solid career, is witnessing a rising tide. “As I speak to you, three transfers are pending, to hospitals in the west of Ile-de-France. Among them, a 42-year-old woman, ”he describes. Is there an urgent need to reconfine? For infectious disease specialist Yazdan Yazdanpanah, member of the scientific council, the choice is not easy. “The question is, should we slow down the epidemic quickly or bring it down slowly?” “. But is the current outbreak giving us this time? He sighs. ” I agree. We have to stick together, this virus is crap, he blurted out, evoking a curfew effect reduced by the arrival of the cold. “Yes, we have to reconfigure, we no longer have a choice, proclaims his colleague Gilles Pialoux of the Tenon hospital in Paris, very worried about a saturation in sheave. We’re going back to hell ”.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr