The outbreak of the Coronavirus has sparked local panic in Nice France – in the region as well. This is only 100 miles from me – yippes! We must understand that is just one case and the reaction is overdone – a bit of a local panic has ensued. Nevertheless, people are reacting and starting to act at a very personal level. It is the talk of the town and is on everyone’s minds. Here is a report on the ground as I see it.
Here are some local reports (in French but I translated the headlines) concerning the Coronavirus:
- Nice Matin -The first case of Coronavirus reported today in Nice France – a traveler coming from the Milan Italy area, a 4-hour drive away.
- Huffington Post FR – Masks to prevent the contraction of the Coronavirus was stolen from a local French Hospital.
- Nouvel Obs – Local carnival event closed, due to potential Coronavirus infections. Other events face the same fate.
- Lindependant – The Nice France Coronavirus case comes after a case already reported in Montpellier France – 300 miles west of Nice France.
- Ladepeche – France of this date is reporting 57 cases of Coronavirus – two dead.
- France Monde – Six new cases in Annecy France. Le Salon International du Tourisme in Berlin, scheduled for 4 to 8th of March mars, has been canceled by authorities.
Some local anecdotal issues that have arisen concerning the Coronavirus:
- A Vietnamese neighbor’s restaurant (just below where I live) revenue is down 25%, no one wants to eat Asian food. He indicated that his Asian restauranteur friends are experiencing the same phenomenon.
- A friend tried to buy masks at two pharmacies, but they refuse to sell them. She was told that all masks have been reserved for the local hospitals and the French government does not want to see people on the street wearing a mask, to not spark panic.
- I have seen a few folks wearing plastic gloves, in lieu of not having masks. Oddly enough, it was Asian folks doing this mostly, as perhaps their fear has more clarity for them.
- Some local bus drivers and taxis are refusing to go into Nice for fear of passengers infected by Coronavirus in the area.
- Local authorities have said, that on a voluntary basis, that it may be wise to only travel to Nice France on a need-to basis. So far no French government restrictions are in place, unlike in 10 towns in Italy.
- Perhaps it is just me, or perhaps it is February and children are on school break, but there are noticeably fewer people in the local hypermarket – less contact with other people.
- From the comment section: The French Secretary of State for Health suggested avoiding handshakes as to slow the propagation of Coronavirus.
Are people overreacting to Coronavirus? I think so, but I am not a doctor to know. It is amazing to watch people react. It is and will have an effect on the local economy, but an assessment is underway on its global effect. Economists have forecast global growth will slip to 2.4% this year, the slowest since the Great Recession in 2009, and down from earlier expectations closer to 3%. Fed Chairman Powel says, “Coronavirus poses evolving risks’ to U.S. economy.” So this is getting serious.
Everyone you talk to has their own home remedies to prevent the spread. The World Health Organisation has put out a post entitled: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Myth busters. In any event, do watch your local reports and listen to local authorities with discernment if you have an outbreak near you.
Some have politically weaponized this Black Swan event for their own benefit. You guessed it, some say it’s Trump’s fault. However, if the economy does falter, it will affect the 2020 presidential election. Of course, these Trump accusations are all nonsense – but people will political profit where they can. The Right Wire Report will have more on this as the situation evolves.