Time is running out and the second big battle against the virus is being played out in the coming days.
While the first curfews were introduced, more than a week ago, in eight metropolises and Ile-de-France, the epidemic counter is panicking, tormenting more than ever doctors and the government.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, two defense councils devoted to Covid will be held, during which each figure of contagions, positive tests, of the occupancy rate in sheaves, will be scrutinized with extreme attention.
Second wave of Covid-19: all indicators turn bright red
Should we step up measures as quickly as possible or be patient, without rushing?
The dilemma turns out to be difficult.
"The question we are going to ask ourselves is: does the curfew help to curb the spread of the Covid and reverse the curve or is the impact not convincing enough ?, the Ministry of Health tells us, explaining its method: we do not set measures and we look, we look at the situation and we make decisions.
For the moment, none, we are told, is excluded.
Not even that of re-containment.
What action to take?
Even for specialists, the question remains difficult.
Back to school at a distance?
This is the proposal of the epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, who advocates maintaining the primary class, with wearing a mask from 6 years old and the closure of colleges, high schools and universities.
While children transmit the virus little, adolescents and students do not.
"At this age, they are as contagious as adults," says this public health specialist.
We must now reduce risky social contacts and these establishments are one of them.
In these crowded, closed, poorly ventilated places where wearing a mask as social distance is difficult, the virus circulates a lot, education must therefore be done as far as possible from a distance.
In addition to this measure, the period is not for intergenerational holidays, no more family reunions, birthdays and "it's sad," concedes Antoine Flahault.
“But if we want to stop the epidemic, everyone must do their part”.
Confining only our deans?
Today, those over 65 alone account for 65% of intensive care admissions.
Protecting them, without shutting down the country, is this the right compromise?
Not at all, answer the experts, unanimously.
“I am personally not convinced by this measure, first for legal reasons, loose Antoine Flahault.
We cannot discriminate against responsible adults.
In addition, this confinement would not have any consequence on the spread of the epidemic.
"It is not the elderly who introduce and spread the virus."
And the first wave, during which our elders were deprived of visits to nursing homes, served as a lesson.
“We lost them with other pathologies such as depressive syndromes,” blows Jean Rottner, LR president of the Grand Est region, also emergency doctor.
This is called slip syndrome.
"To cut them off from their families is to kill them, they will die of boredom and sadness, we saw it in March," warns Frédéric Adnet, emergency manager at the Avicenne hospital, in Bobigny (Seine- Saint-Denis) and who tells in Les Fantassins de la République, his “spring in hell” facing the Covid.
A more drastic curfew?
For Jean-François Mattei, president of the National Academy of Medicine, other gradual measures can be taken to "fill in the few weaknesses of our system".
Of course, today, 46 million French people, living in 54 departments, must already be at home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., but this curfew may be insufficient.
“This may allow a downward thrill, but the rise of the epidemic is so spectacular that it will be able to slow its progression but not reach a plateau.
So what to do?
“We can be more drastic on the curfew, in some countries, it starts at 7 pm,” says the former Minister of Health, who is also in favor of confinement on weekends.
"I am for, of course".
Beyond the injunctions to stay at home, limiting travel or reconfiguring locally could be “useful”, according to Jean-François Mattei, encouraging “tailor-made”.
"We must do everything not to reconfine the whole country," he warns.
It would mean choosing between starving or dying of the virus ”.
"A total closure of the country would be catastrophic," rebounds the president of the Grand Est region.
For him, there is no longer any question of waiting for the effects of the curfew, “it should not be enough”.
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So, a local reconfinement seems to him an adapted solution while "preserving a form of economic activity". Stagger working hours, leave schools open, impose teleworking ... "Let's get ahead, do not run after the epidemic and especially discuss it", he urges, calling on the government to rely on its local players. He experienced the first wave in the Grand-Est. And he said, the scars are still very strong. “I do not wish anyone to face the viral wall that we have known. "