Coronavirus Around the World – France

Coronavirus in France – Airplanes and Alerts

OTL City Guides are designed to be the go-to for all kinds of lifestyle information. However, we never thought we’d be sharing stories about life during a global pandemic like the effects of the Coronavirus in France.

Unfortunately, lifestyle these days seems to completely revolve around the Coronavirus COV-19 crisis. While so many of us are cooped up at home, it can be easy to forget that we’re not the only ones going through this, so we’ve asked writers from around the globe to share their experiences.

This story really hits home personally. It’s by a young writer/student named Soha Sherwani. Her family moved from the US to France about a year ago. So, she’s able to compare the way that each country has been handling the lockdown and Coronavirus crisis. Soha shares some interesting stories about airplanes looking for social distancing violators, and a cautionary tale about food delivery protection.

For stories from other locations, be sure to visit our Coronavirus blog, as we’re gathering global perspectives. We’ve also located a few places that will ship a face mask to you within a week or two.

empty streets France, social distancing France, coronavirus France

Coronavirus in France

By Soha Sherwani

It brings me great pleasure to write in the hopes that other countries may read these words. These days, it feels as if the outside world no longer exists, and it is only my family and me in our house. It is a sensation I have never experienced before and don’t wish to experience it again.

France – America

To me (a teen girl named Soha Sherwani), the coronavirus seems to reveal quite a bit about the differences between France and America. See, I used to live in America for my entire life, and this is my first year living in France thus far.

When I see the social media accounts of my friends living in America, I am shocked by how the COVID-19 situation is being handled and regarded there versus here in France.

Some of my friends in the US are meeting up with each other (breaking the rules of social distancing). They’re ordering food just for fun. And, funnily enough, even though they are the country with the most cases in the world, I get the impression that most Americans don’t take it as seriously as the French do.

Side Note: Tracking Coronavirus cases in France

Food restrictions

Here, my family is trying to limit our grocery runs as much as they can and are eating only things that we have prepared ourselves.

Our family avoids ordering foods or even groceries online. That’s because we saw a horrific report about a family that caught the virus due to food delivery. The deliveryman was infected and then spread it to the whole family via the food/packaging.

Lockdown update

Here in France, our President, Macron, has recently announced that we will continue to be on lockdown until the 11th of May.

Doctors aren’t seeing regular patients (except for those with diseases or special cases). Everything is closed except for places where you can buy food (grocery stores and ​boulangeries ​(bakeries that offer croissants, pastries, and bread).

Someone from my family recently went to the doctor, and she commented that the receptionist was not wearing a mask or gloves. Other than that, people here seem to be taking precautions by wearing masks, gloves, and staying far away from each other.

Why planes are flying low during the Coronavirus in France

One very interesting thing that France has done to ensure that people are not hosting gatherings or meeting people is flying over in airplanes. For the past week or so, my family and I have been hearing planes flying extremely low. They were very loud and sometimes flew above our house at odd parts in the night.

After hearing a particularly loud one, my uncle decided to do some research. He found out that the airplanes search for people who are meeting up with others or otherwise breaking the rules of social distancing.

If they do see people violating the rules, they contact the police on land and tell them the location. The police then go and find the people and present them with a gift, a hefty fine.

Critical patients only

Another way my life has been affected by COVID-19 is that I have to wear my braces for longer. I was supposed to get my braces off in June, but my orthodontist canceled my last two appointment due to the virus. I do have an appointment in May on the 13th after the lockdown is lifted.

My orthodontists have sent me an email asking me to provide a picture of my braces. That way, they can at least advise me whether to continue to wear my bands or not. They have been very apologetic about canceled appointments and reminded us to take special care of our teeth.

​Showing love

One thing I find very endearing about France and other European countries is the appreciation for the front line medical professionals during this outbreak.

I have seen a news article about people in Paris apartments leaning out of their windows to clap for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

In my neighborhood, last Thursday, we started clapping, cheering, and playing music for about a minute or two. I hope it happens again this week as it lifted my spirits. It reminds me how beautiful people can be even during a horrible pandemic.

Effects on teens and kids

My friends from my school here in France have come up with fun ways to keep themselves entertained. They have created accounts on Snapchat dedicated to keeping girls busy and away from boredom during the quarantine. The accounts post things like recipes, makeup tutorials, and host debates.

The coronavirus here in France has separated me from my cousin, whom I regard as a sister. She lives only a couple of minutes from my house. However, I have not been able to see her for about a month. We miss each other terribly, and it does not even feel like we live in the same country.

Overall, the coronavirus experience in France seems to be very similar to other European countries, but very different from the Western world. I can’t wait for life to resume as it normally was; I will take pleasure in even the simplest of things (grocery shopping, waiting in line for food, and yes, even school.)