Mar 31st, 2021, 06:25 PM

Paris's “Lockdown Light” in the Third COVID-19 Wave

By Avery Harle and Sofia Quintero
Image credit: Flickr/Laure Boutteau
Analyzing the efficacy of Paris's loosened restrictions among AUP students before President Macron's speech tonight.

Two weeks ago, French Prime Minister Jean Castex addressed the nation from the Elysée Palace to announce new restrictions that would only affect certain regions of France, including Paris and its suburbs. In his speech, Castex announced that, “Paris, Nice, and more than a dozen other French areas will move to a full lockdown for a month amid rising COVID-19 infections and hospital saturation in several regions."

The areas subject to the "light" lockdown would be able to keep schools and universities open. Residents are allowed outdoors without an attestation, as long as they remain within 10 kilometers of their homes. Parisian life has stayed the same except for the closing of non-essential shops and the extension of curfew from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

However, these newly imposed restrictions were not met without confusion amongst the AUP student body. Paulina Kudevita, a 22-year-old junior majoring in International Business and minoring in International Law, believes that, "there should've been a more solid lockdown in the first and second confinements." 

Image credit: Avery Caroline Harle

"It feels like things are repeating now, and one can sense the government is not really being as transparent as they should be," Kudevita continues. "I feel there's a lack of leadership, and we're not really being given a lot of information on how the future is going to turn out. The vaccines haven't been distributed fast enough at all. I feel as if people are willing to follow restrictions, but if the government is not providing the public with tangible information regarding the future, people will stop paying attention and let their guards down." Regarding what Macron will announce tonight, Kudevita believes he will focus on speeding up vaccinations. "A new strategy and an increase in leadership, accountability paired with rapid vaccine distribution is the only way out at this point," Kudevita says.

20-year-old Wiley Becker majoring in Global Communications shares Kudevita's frustrations. "I feel confused about the new restrictions and I think this lockdown is going nowhere. Everyone is outside and not staying in. We need a severe lockdown for cases to go down,” Becker says. 19-year-old Baz Baker, who is majoring in Marketing and minoring in Fashion Studies, disagrees. 

"Lockdowns clearly do not work, especially now with the warmer weather. People have a desire to leave the house and should be allowed to do so. We are past the lockdown phase, the only solution now is to vaccinate at a rate which is on par with the United States," states Baker. 

Image credit: Unsplash/Sam Moqadam 

Tonight, news outlets have confirmed that French President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation at 8 pm Paris time (CET) to announce even tighter restrictions on a national scale. The most pressing concern for the AUP community is that schools and universities are subject to close entirely for up to three to four weeks, which would force students and staff to finish their semester online for the third time since the beginning of the pandemic.

Although nothing is confirmed until Macron speaks tonight, French citizens and residents are anxious to discover what April holds.