• With several hundred thousand daily contaminations, Covid-19 is omnipresent.

  • Difficult not to be a contact case or to escape infection by the highly contagious but less virulent Omicron variant.

  • So, for some, there is no question of isolating themselves despite their contamination.

    But it is not without risk. 

It's hard to escape him.

Not a week or so without being in contact, contaminated, or even reinfected by the coronavirus.

Blame it on the very contagious and ubiquitous Omicron variant, which caused more than 500,000 contaminations on Tuesday.

But after two years of pandemic and daily constraints, for some, the cup is full and despite their contamination, they decide not to observe the isolation prescribed by the health authorities.

Others choose not to have their child tested when he is in contact, and write false sworn statements, even if it means sending him to school with symptoms.

A choice against the recommendations of the health authorities, which they assume and explain to 

20 Minutes


“If caregivers can continue to work, why not me?


“Containment, curfew, third dose of vaccine and barrier gestures: since the start of the pandemic, I have applied all government instructions to the letter, plant Wilfried *, 27 years old.

But today positive for Covid-19, I will not isolate myself.

I work with my father in a bodywork and painting small business, where I am the only painter.

If I stop, the business cannot function properly, explains the young man.

I therefore choose to continue working, but with an FFP2 mask and taking all precautions.

After all, if caregivers can keep working, why can't I?


Like him, Mélanie *, 27, vaccinated, refuses that the virus has an impact on her work. “I am responsible for a logistics warehouse, where Covid-19 cases and contact cases are multiplying at breakneck speed, she describes. We are short of personnel, whom we can no longer replace. So when I'm in contact, I don't do a test, I can't afford to be absent. On the other hand, there is no question of relaxing on barrier gestures ”.

This feeling of not being able to stop, Marcel*, a 20-year-old student, also experienced it.

“Last year, I did not validate my first year, but I was admitted to second year.

My only chance of being drafted was to validate this third semester, but I tested positive when I had lots of exams and assignments to submit.

I couldn't skip it because my grades were already limited, so I preferred to go to class and exams,” he says.

“It's unfortunate, but I can understand it, sympathizes Rodrigo Arenas, representative of the FCPE.

It's complicated to isolate yourself in the face of such issues.

The problem here is that we do not offer them an appropriate protocol to pass their examinations even if they are little or not symptomatic ”.

“If there are no means to ensure distance schooling, it is impossible”

Because health protocols can put nerves to the test. When Mathieu* had his two children aged 4 and 6 tested, contact case, “I decided to let them go to school despite the positive result, says the 36-year-old father. They were asymptomatic, I considered that I was not putting anyone at risk, since people at risk are vaccinated. And then, I couldn't see myself keeping my children at home for a week while teleworking. It's impossible to concentrate, I have to put them in front of screens and for them, this translates into a learning delay”.

“This reflects the lack of resources allocated for an effective distance school, where parents have to watch their children, because it is complicated to connect or the teacher is sick and not replaced, comments Rodrigo Arenas.

We wouldn't be here if there were more teachers, masks distributed free of charge to everyone to prevent students and teachers from keeping the same one for several days in a row, that we had servers that hold up for the distance learning or even the ability to accommodate children with little or no symptoms in dedicated rooms to ensure educational continuity”.

“I will no longer test my child, he was screaming in pain”

Before that, you still have to be able to screen your offspring. “I will no longer test my child, says Marina*, 32 years old and vaccinated. It's been three weeks that he has been in contact all the time. The first time he was screaming in pain, I had to hold him down, it was torture! I told myself never again. From now on, when he is in contact, he returns to school the next day, with a false certificate. “Parents are massively vaccinated, they have been making efforts for two years and there they tell themselves that enough is enough, especially since the government wants to be reassuring, notes Dr Jean-Paul Hamon, general practitioner and honorary president of the Federation of Doctors of France (FMF). But even less virulent, Omicron is not insignificant, there is no zero risk in contracting Covid”.

In practice, “the nasal swab is often painful for children and parents.

The solution, given that with Omicron the nasal swab is less effective than saliva in detecting the virus early, would be to follow the example of our German neighbors and organize twice a week saliva test campaigns in schools, recommends he.

This would relieve the parents, avoid all-out contamination and false certificates ”.

“We say to ourselves “what good is it”?

“, “it advances herd immunity”

Misrepresentations, many live with Omicron.

“Ten days ago, I had mild symptoms, says Sébastien*, 41 years old.

My employer asked me to get tested which I didn't, I told him I was negative.

Four days later, my children had mild symptoms, I did not test them and they went to school.

A few days later, students in their class had the Covid ”.

But no guilt for Sébastien: "In the end, it improves collective immunity".

A reasoning shared by Paul *, 49, vaccinated, who had “very mild symptoms, he justifies. The fact that it is a less virulent variant played a role: by not isolating myself, I told myself that it was contributing to herd immunity. But I would have acted differently with Delta, he says. And there is also a certain weariness at the idea of ​​isolating yourself when everyone around you is already in contact or sick: you say to yourself "what's the point"? “Because” people are fed up, observes Dr. Hamon We discuss with the patients, but we understand the weariness. The Minister of Health Olivier Véran speaks of the last wave, of a stable situation in the hospital, so many mistakenly see it as a sign that we can relax on barrier gestures. Failing to reach the peak of the epidemic, we have reached a peak of weariness ”.

“I saw my friends, I went to the restaurant and to the cinema”

Thus, between isolation and her social life, Sandra *, 23, did not hesitate.

“Contaminated despite my three doses, I didn't want to stop living.

I had several evenings planned with friends who came from afar, I told them and it didn't bother anyone that we see each other!

And I don't regret it: I was on sick leave, I took advantage of this free time to go to the restaurant and to the cinema, with the mask, ”she specifies.

Ditto for Esteban *, 40 years old, infected despite “a complete vaccination schedule.

I continued tennis and cycling.

Some of my cycling comrades did not wish to be vaccinated, so I said to myself, too bad for them”.

But “if Omicron is less virulent and contributes to this general feeling of relaxation, we must remain extremely careful, insists Dr. Hamon.

I had a 50-year-old patient in consultation, who always refused the vaccine, even though he lives with his 90-year-old mother.

He has just tested positive, and even if his mother is vaccinated, with the significant comorbidities she has, even a mild Covid could have serious consequences”.


Coronavirus: Are saliva tests more effective for detecting infections early?


Coronavirus: In the midst of the Omicron wave, is it really useful to vaccinate children?

* All names have been changed.

  • Covid vaccine

  • Variant Omicron

  • epidemic

  • Covid-19

  • Health

  • Coronavirus

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