The sunny days are setting in, the numbers for the Covid-19 epidemic are improving, and for some health authorities, it is time to think about removing the mask outside. "If all goes well, a number of constraints will be lifted on June 30, if conditions allow," said Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon on Monday morning. A week earlier, Professor Delfraissy, member of the Scientific Council, made similar comments. "We will see during the summer," for his part tempered the Minister of Health Olivier Véran on Tuesday. Whether the rule changes at the end of June, or in July, some French people have already decided to keep the mask outside during the summer period, or even more.
This is the case of Frédéric, a 56-year-old computer scientist. Since the start of the pandemic, the inhabitant of Neuilly-sur-Seine has regularly monitored Covid-19 data on a dedicated site. Hospitalizations, cases, death… He observes everything, and makes his decisions accordingly. “I prefer to listen to the numbers rather than the statements. I will continue to wear the mask until the numbers are level zero. From the moment there are people, it makes sense to wear it, "says the man who also manages a Facebook group called" Masks for all ", dating from the time when masks were made at home, for lack of stocks.
For Frédéric, a possible lifting of the obligation at the end of June will just give him "a little flexibility".
"If I'm all alone in the forest, I don't wear it", but at the "Parc des Princes, in the stadiums, the concerts", or even the frequented outdoor places, he knows that he will cover his mouth and nose.
Frédéric "prefers to listen to figures rather than statements".
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Supporters of wearing masks outdoors repeat that they fear a resumption of the epidemic if it relaxes too suddenly.
"When the incidence will go up as in England (
Editor's note: the last stage of deconfinement across the Channel has been postponed due to an increase in cases linked to the Delta variant
), it will be necessary to gauge if we want to take the mask again", advance Frédéric.
"The vaccine protects less well if you have only one dose"
Julie, a 25-year-old Bordelaise, agrees: "it's far too early" to talk about letting go of the mask this summer, according to her. “Even if the situation is improving, even if hospitalizations are falling, we can already see that there are overflows,” notes the young data entry operator, referring to the wild parties that have taken place in recent days. "The government would send the wrong message, people will no longer pay attention," she said.
"We can see that the relaxation of the curfew has led to a drop in vigilance especially among 18-30 year olds," abounds Chloe (
the first name has been changed
), 25 years old. "I fully understand the general fatigue caused by the pandemic, but it would be a bad idea to relax completely over the next two months, when we risk a fourth wave at the end of the summer, or the beginning of the fall. and that the Delta variant is pointing the tip of its nose, ”judges the Francilienne, employed in an engineering company.
Even the current vaccination figures do not reassure the two young women.
"The vaccine is less effective if you have only one dose, but for the moment, only 21% of the population has had two injections", testifies Julie.
She therefore decided to wait "for a majority of people to have received their second dose" to drop the mask outside.
At "the start of September," she hopes.
"In love with my FFP2"
If all the people questioned understand the need to discover the nose and mouth, especially in periods of strong heat, they recall that the mask is "a lesser evil". “Individual responsibility must prevail over personal comfort,” insists Stéphanie, 32 years old. Since her 10-year-old son caught the Covid-19 at school, the young Bordeaux woman has even "fallen in love with her FFP2". “At home, everyone wore them and no one was infected. It proves that the mask is useful, ”she congratulates herself.
In more than a year of use, Stéphanie has not fallen ill and is keen to maintain this good health.
Especially since she saw some of her employees develop a long Covid, "with heart inflammation".
"I don't want to rub myself against that at all!"
»Says the business manager.
“I'm an entrepreneur, so if I catch a long-lasting illness, I won't have a second chance,” she explains.
Stéphanie, 32, sees fewer and fewer people wearing the mask in downtown Bordeaux.
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At the very least, Stéphanie hopes that the obligation to wear the mask will be maintained in places with a significant mixing of the population.
But "people are going to have a hard time hearing what a high or low density area is," she fears.
And the young woman sighed: "Already today many of them no longer wear it in the city center ..."
"We protect ourselves and others"
For Camille, 50, the mask has become a necessity: "I am being treated for a tumor and there is no question of me catching this damn Covid, even vaccinated," she explains.
This 3D animation designer for websites lost her sister to illness last year.
“She was contaminated by aerosols within her company, so I believe in the virtues of the mask,” she explains.
She will continue to wear the mask wherever people meet, "even if it means being taken for a UFO", smiles the Girondine.
The only flexibility: the beach, "if the distance allows it".
Camille, 50, lived for five years in Japan, where the mask is a reflex.
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This measure "has never been a burden" for her and her three children. The family lived in Japan for five years. “There, we put on the mask as soon as we left our home. It is a reflex, a mark of respect, we protect ourselves and others. "To those who complain of suffocating under their mask, she slips a piece of advice:" You have to breathe through your nose, it generates less heat than through your mouth.
Camille even thinks that the habit will continue after the pandemic, at home of course, but also in the general population. This will be the case for Marco, a 22-year-old student in Haute-Savoie, who will now “automatically” cover his nose or mouth when he is sick, “Covid epidemic or not”, to “protect the people that (he) rubs shoulders on a daily basis ”. “Thanks to the masks and, more broadly, to the barrier gestures, we have been able to note a drop in cases of influenza or gastro during the winter, underlines the young man. So I will also wear it on public transport, in winter and summer. "