France: living in a pandemic

Lapina N.Yu.


France, like other rich countries of the world, was not ready for the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the spring of 2020. The authorities lacked the necessary medical materials, and there was no well-thought-out strategy to combat the new virus. At the first stage (March 2020 – June 2021), the French authorities mainly copied the experience of European countries that were the first to encounter the disease. Self-isolation became the main means of combating the pandemic. It was introduced in France three times, was accompanied by an almost complete or partial «shutdown» of the economy and had severe social and economic consequences. At the second stage (from June 2021 up until the present), with the appearance of a sufficient number of imported vaccines, universal vaccination of the population became the main direction of sanitary policy. The introduction of a sanitary pass necessary for visiting public places and, from January 2022, a certificate of vaccination was aimed towards making people get vaccinated. The sanitary policy of the French authorities was not consistent: harsh measures, such as the self-isolation regime and the almost complete «closure» of the economy, were relaxed, which was expected by businesses and citizens, yet not always justified. Despite the strict sanitary measures of the authorities, a movement of opponents of vaccination has emerged in France represented by 20% of the country's population according to surveys. Based on their social profile, the opponents of vaccination are close to the participants of the «yellow vests» movement. These are representatives of the working class (laborers, employees) or the lower strata of the middle class, people who have largely lost their social orientations and with no sense of belonging to the nation. They suffer from a lack of social recognition and want to be heard by the authorities and society. The new phenomenon of «critical citizenship» is becoming more and more noticeable in the sociopolitical life of France.


France; the COVID-19 pandemic; anomie; politics; society; the phenomenon of «critical citizenship».

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2022.02.07

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