La Croix: How will the departure of the first returnees be organized?
Marc Zyltman: We have been working on it for several days, through our two daily calibration meetings. First from a logistical point of view, since there are 180 of them leaving the site. It was therefore necessary to organize a noria of buses and shuttles to enable them to reach the Aix-en-Provence station, Marseille Saint-Charles station and Marseille-Provence airport at the requested times. They are ready to go. Everyone knows where they are going and what time they are getting on their bus. The first leaves the site at 7 am this Friday.
In addition, around thirty people are fortunate to have relatives who come to pick them up. Their cars will be parked in a parking lot below the site’s hill. We will accompany returnees by minibus to their families, so that people outside the site do not mix with those who live there. Confined people will return to their homes or those of their families, in almost all French regions.
What arrangements are made for their medical follow-up?
Mr. Z. : The incubation time of 14 days has passed and these people show no signs of contamination. No case is suspect. Since their arrival, the returnees from the site are followed daily by the health reserve of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) composed of doctors, nurses and psychologists. We also had to manage the daily sores: you imagine that out of 227 residents, some had a cold! Once they leave the site, they will remain in telephone contact with this team. In particular, if they show the need, to ensure their psychological well-being, because even if they have been very supervised, the experience of confinement is particular.
What state of mind are they in?
M. Z.: They are calm people. Supporting them and making their stay as human as possible is, moreover, the main mission of the Red Cross in this unique arrangement. It should be remembered that no containment order for health reasons had been taken in France since a cholera epidemic in the XIXe century… This is a complex and stressful crisis situation that these people, including 51 children, have to face.
→ INFOGRAPHY. Coronavirus, the epidemic figures
Our goal of making them live this moment with humanity is fulfilled. For this we have set up a form of daily routine which makes life as “normal” as possible. With, for example, a nursery class for toddlers in the morning, whose lessons were provided by two repatriated teachers; but also sports activities for adults and teenagers, in the afternoon, or volleyball, pétanque or table football tournaments, the only peculiarity of which is to play with a mask, since residents wear one. permanently.
We have also trained 68 people in life saving actions. During this forced stay, the twenty Red Cross volunteers present night and day on the site ensure, finally, a form of concierge. The returnees cannot leave the site, so we will go shopping for them. A newspaper, tobacco, candies or slippers … These are often small things but whose function is eminently symbolic, since it also represents this vital link with the outside.