“Proposing very restrictive measures without a clear long-term strategy can pose a problem”

A At a time when the epidemic dynamic is accelerating, posing a serious threat to certain regions, the difficult question arises of new measures to be taken. Faced with the unpredictability of the evolution of this pandemic, the precautionary principle seems attractive. However, we must guard against the temptation of covido-centrism, which would consist in thinking that absolutely any measure aimed at reducing the circulation of the virus is good to take, regardless of the short and long-term consequences that it risks. have on the whole population.

Basically, each new measure must be taken while respecting the same precautionary principle, which does not only consider the health risk, but also the economic and social risks. It must be ensured that new restrictive measures – in particular the use of new confinement, even partial – do not risk exposing part of the population to greater social precariousness, weakening their state of health and potentially leading to some cases to premature death.

Questionable measures

It was strikingly observed during the great confinement that the different social classes were not equally affected by the restrictive measures: the most precarious suffered the full consequences. It is a paradox, but health measures aimed at preserving the lives of some can, through their social impact, overexpose the most precarious fringe of the population.

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Even with the hope of an available and effective vaccination in the next six months, it seems certain that the Covid-19 is here to last, and we must accept that this disease is now part of our world.

The scientific council recently stressed that the government will have to make difficult decisions. Some measures already implemented are effective and have been well followed: the limitations of mass gatherings, the wearing of masks in closed places, hand washing and the test-isolation-tracing strategy were reasonable and essential measures. They allowed the resumption of the epidemic to be much slower than the first wave, and to limit contamination of people at risk.

But other decisions, such as the obligation to wear a mask outdoors, are scientifically questionable. They risk generating doubt and limiting the adherence of part of the population to health recommendations in general, including those which, however, remain indisputable.

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