Covid-19: a diary of lockdown in a small French village

By Jean-Louis Le Touzet

The introduction by the French government last week of a lockdown on people’s movements  amid the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic saw some city dwellers head for more pleasant surrounds in which to be confined. Sports journalist Jean-Louis Le Touzet was one of them, arriving just before the restrictions entered into force in a small village on the Channel coast, where he immediately began keeping this diary. In Audresselles, the health crisis is an economic catastrophe as businesses go to the wall in what Le Touzet’s British and Brexit-supporting neighbour, now confined in Europe, warns will be “worse than the crash in 2008”.

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Monday, March 16th 2020. Arrived at 00h30 in Audresselles, a small municipality in the Pas-de-Calais département [Edior's note: an administrative region equivalent to a county] where I have family ties and which lies ten kilometres from Boulogne-sur-Mer: nine restaurants here are now closed, there are 649 inhabitants but 682 registered voters – because numerous “holidaymakers” prefer to vote here.