No one appeared to be violating health restrictions, but the compact crowd gathered around department stores on Saturday afternoon for Christmas shopping left many visitors bewildered about physical distancing. “This is the first time that I see so many people queuing to enter this store,” says Belkacem, 44, from the sidewalk of Boulevard Haussmann. “I was coming to do a fast race, like a lot of people I suppose, but I did not expect that”, he continues, worrying “of the backlash” that there might be after the holidays.
In this last weekend before Christmas, many buyers are looking for the last gifts “and in the countryside there is nothing, so here we are …”, explains Sacha who is not really surprised by the scale of the crowd, “it’s also the first weekend of the holidays. I wear the mask, I put on hydroalcoholic gel every 30 minutes, I am careful because I will be reuniting with my family in a few days, ”she says.
The fear of an outbreak of contaminations
Some prefer to turn back. “We’re going to capitulate,” breathes Anne, in her sixties. “There are too many people and that bothers me,” she whispers, quickly walking away from the coveted spot of the day.
“Next week there will be 60,000 cases of Covid-19 and we will find out why,” says disillusioned Georgia. “I’m a little hypocritical because I find that there are too many people, but I’m there too…”, continues the young woman of 20 years who admits to having difficulty knowing what to do in this so special period. “You can also stay at home and order the gifts on the Internet,” she says a bit fatalistic.