France Report

Homecare workers fear virus crisis ahead in rural France

As the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic accelerates across France, the country was officially placed in lockdown at midday on Tuesday, with the population required by law to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as buying food, attending medical appointments, or travelling to work for those with no alternative. Attention has been focused on the bizarre atmosphere taking over Paris and major cities as streets empty of pedestrians and vehicles. But the crisis ahead is nowhere more acute than for the dependent elderly and handicapped in rural areas who already rely on homecare workers to survive in normal times, and now more than ever. Jordan Pouille reports from the Sologne region in north-central France.

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Claire Marcins is a homecare worker based in the small town of Lamotte-Beuvron, situated about 50 kilometres south of Orléans in the Sologne region of north-central France. She is employed by a large national organisation that provides domestic assistance to dependent, mostly elderly, people in rural areas, the ADMR (for Aide à domicile en milieu rural), and which is now among agencies at the frontline of the healthcare crisis caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic accelerating across the country.

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