The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has led many countries to quarantine their populations. Although it is strongly recommended to stay at home and practise social distancing, this has not prevented the emergence of a real surge of solidarity, both to support those who act on a daily basis, particularly medical personnel, but also to support the most vulnerable people and those sectors that are likely to suffer greatly from the very strong economic downturn. Everyone, in his or her own way, can help, provided that they always respect the instructions of the authorities to curb the spread of the coronavirus

Supporting the medical profession

Healthcare staff are on the front lines every day to care for the sick and to receive cases that require hospitalization. Today there are many ways to show solidarity with the medical profession. Nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, young retired volunteers or care assistants can join the health reserve, managed by Santé Publique France. More and more people who have registered can then join hospitals or EHPADs to lend a hand.

In Paris, the Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris AP-HP, which groups together 39 hospitals, is in the front line in welcoming and caring for the many coronavirus patients. The Ile-de-France region currently has the highest number of cases, which is why the AP-HP has created an emergency fund. Everyone has the possibility to make a donation online to support the teams who will be able to buy equipment, furnish premises or reinforce the teams with staff. It is also possible to make a donation to support all the hospitals in France by visiting the website of the Fondation des Hôpitaux de Paris - Hôpitaux de France

Always in connection with the medical, all persons and companies who have masks and hydro-alcoholic gels at home or in their premises are invited to bring them to the nearest pharmacy so that they can be redistributed in hospitals. Finally, and even if the French are asked to stay at home and to reduce their movements to a strict minimum, blood collections are continuing in order to ensure reserves. To reach the collection points, all that is needed is the certificate of derogatory travel on the grounds of assistance to vulnerable persons

Solidarity with confined residents

For the most fragile people, the elderly, the sick or those who do not master the French language, the social distancing imposed by confinement proves difficult. Here and there, many people volunteer to help these people. This involves printing travel certificates for people who do not have a printer and placing them in the halls of buildings or in letterboxes. It is also a matter of offering to do the shopping for people who cannot get around. So, in rural villages, but also in cities, do not hesitate to leave a note in the mailboxes with a telephone number so that people who cannot do their shopping alone can contact you. Of course, if you have to do the shopping for an isolated neighbour, it is important to respect the barrier gestures in the shop, during the journey and to leave the shopping in front of the door of the person concerned.

The government also opened on Sunday 22 March a platform dedicated to the census of volunteers who wish to help the elderly, isolated or destitute. Young people in civic service, in compulsory national service and all persons under 70 years of age can thus register to help local associations in the following four areas: food and emergency aid, exceptional childcare for carers' children, links with fragile isolated people and local solidarity (races between neighbours)

Solidarity with sectors affected by the economic slowdown

In this time of containment when many businesses and other sectors are at a standstill, everyone can also help to support the SMEs which, as you can guess, will be the ones that will suffer most from this severe economic downturn. For example, by finding out about restaurants that offer gift cards for later use, for yourself or for friends' birthdays. The same goes for small local shops where you usually go to buy clothes, decorations or even jewellery, you should take the time to look at websites and social network pages to see what measures have been put in place to keep things going a little bit. For example, some shops sometimes offer delivery during confinement, with all the necessary hygiene measures, you are put in a warm place while waiting for the end of the quarantine.

As far as the tourism sector is concerned, it seems obvious that when everyone can resume a normal life and the pandemic is defeated, travel bookings will most certainly explode, especially as the summer season is fast approaching. With the time we have in front of us, it's time to surf the Internet and consult the pages of charming small accommodation facilities, in France and abroad, to book your transport tickets and to tell yourself that when the time comes, a trip will be the best way to relax and do yourself good