Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'

By Caroline Pailliez PARIS (Reuters) - Solene Tissot, a 19-year-old student in Paris, will obey the curfew imposed to fight COVID-19, but she has one request for her country's leaders: don't blame young people for the second wave of the virus. 'There's been this kind of assigning guilt to young people,' she said on Friday, hours before the new curfew was to come into force in Paris and major French cities. 'I reject that.' After a lull over the summer, the rates of transmission of coronavirus are going up in many parts of Europe and officials have identified social interactions between young people as a source of the resurgence.

Reuters October 17, 2020 00:11:33 IST
Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'

COVID-19 '" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/10-2020/17/2020-10-16T170853Z_1_LYNXMPEG9F1M1_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-FRANCE-YOUTH.jpg" alt="Young people in France Dont make us scapegoats for COVID19" width="300" height="225" />

By Caroline Pailliez

PARIS (Reuters) - Solene Tissot, a 19-year-old student in Paris, will obey the curfew imposed to fight COVID-19 , but she has one request for her country's leaders: don't blame young people for the second wave of the virus.

"There's been this kind of assigning guilt to young people," she said on Friday, hours before the new curfew was to come into force in Paris and major French cities. "I reject that."

After a lull over the summer, the rates of transmission of coronavirus are going up in many parts of Europe and officials have identified social interactions between young people as a source of the resurgence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday: "We must call especially on young people to do without a few parties now."

French President Emmanuel Macron also this week urged young people to rein in their partying.

About 25% of the virus clusters under investigation in France are in educational establishments, the public health agency said.

But students who spoke to Reuters in the French capital on Friday said that they and their peers had been sticking to social distancing guidelines.

The virus was being spread, they said, because of other factors, including a lack of preparedness on the part of the government and people mixing in workplaces. Blaming young peoples' parties, they said, was too simplistic.

"We get blamed because it's very easy to make us into a scapegoat," said Zoe, a 21-year-old student at the Sorbonne University in Paris who declined to give her family name.

She said authorities should do a better job of managing social distancing inside universities, before pointing the figure at youngsters' parties.

Nicolas Litaudon, a 19-year-old studying at Sciences-Po university, said instead of blaming young people, he said, France's rulers need to look at themselves.

"Did the government do enough to anticipate, to plan?" he asked. "You should not moralise about this, by trying to blame one part of the population," he said.

(Additional reporting by Maxime Lahuppe in PARIS and Maria Sheahan in BERLIN; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Giles Elgood)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.