CASE. “It was a happy time”: 4 years after the first confinement linked to Covid-19, the “nostalgic” testify

CASE. “It was a happy time”: 4 years after the first confinement linked to Covid-19, the “nostalgic” testify

On March 17, 2020, the first confinement, life stopped and everyone refocused on themselves. Midi Libre – JEAN MICHEL MART

Four years after the State's decision to impose a first confinement, on March 17, 2020, a section of the population remembers the beautiful moments spent in the adversity of forced isolation facing to the virus. Testimonials.

"I almost don't dare say it… But it was a really pleasant time, I spent unexpected moments with my daughter, confesses Cathy, a fifty-year-old from Aude.
Four years already.

On March 17, 2020, a new, unknown and anxiety-provoking world opened up when the government took the heavy decision to strictly contain France, following a global movement in the face of the Covid virus 19. What remains of it today? Nostalgia for some.

Also read: CASE. "Working with each other", "I gained in comfort of life" : teleworking born from confinement divides

Even if, regretting a wasted time when the deaths were counted daily, sometimes in the thousands, could appear out of place in the eyes of the victims' families or the caregivers who gave so much in the face of the pandemic. But here they talk about their accommodation to this unprecedented and ultra-constraining situation – with, in particular, this very short exit hour – become an Eden.

As for Cathy then, whose daughter returned to their little village "constraint" by situation when she was studying and had left the family unit four years ago: "I had her all to myself, she was cocooned , we talked about it again recently and she agrees", continues the mother.

"We were good, I miss it"

"This period of confinement left its mark on me, it was a happy time, I was alone with my daughter before she took off… We were good, really, I miss it", also assumes Fred, a fifty-year-old from Hérault. And there are many testimonies from those who ultimately have good memories of it.

Gilles Dejean, writer from Gigean (Hérault), once digested the "stab"  of the non-promotion of his first book published at the time of this first confinement, has, like many, appreciated the tranquility of solitude.

"Never have my walks in the scrubland been so pleasant. I spent four or five hours there – my character is to circumvent authoritarian obligations – without ever seeing a living soul, what a joy to feel nature without human parasites, he explains.

"Honestly, this time has been a blessing for me."

Also read: "A shortage in essential professions" : four years after confinements and the Covid crisis, a sociologist is worried

For Nadia Alami, storage and organization coach, eager to testify, resilience makes her opt for the glass half full.

Because the initial fear – "it was very sudden, new, stressful with these questions: are we going to die ? And our elderly parents ?" – the disease was transplanted for her and her partner.

"I had the biggest fear of my life", she recalls, recalling three weeks on the verge of suffocation.

But she therefore prefers to be positive: "We took the opportunity to tidy up the house and do activities with our children, they were little, 2 and 4 years old, so time with them, I had never had any, and I’ I really appreciated this rhythm, my rhythm", she explains.

Also evoking the new solidarity between neighbors, "to go shopping for the sick, to help out with flour or PQ, it strengthened our friendships" .

Look at the daisies and crosswords

Antoine, Cévenol, French teacher in Milan, was confined just before France, in his apartment.

There was sometimes the heavy loneliness and the distrust of people, but he especially remembers rare moments:"Read, listen to a record, play music, enjoy the silence while I live next to an airport, watch the daisies grow", he lists. "It was finding the time to do things and the feeling of no longer running for nothing."

"My first reaction was: finally it's stopping!"

Julie, from Hérault, also shares this observation: "It’was a time when I was on the verge of an explosion because of a busy schedule, my first reaction was: “Finally, it’s stopping”.

 She remembers with "a certain nostalgia" of those peaceful days when she took up crosswords and those minutes of applause, in the evening, with the neighbors, to support the caregivers.

And then there was also this indirect, budgetary consequence, with these "two, three restaurants"& nbsp;per month less, no going out, obviously, these small savings of a few hundred euros, having allowed him to "pay for air conditioning’"  the’next year.

"It’was crazy though!"

But don't talk about nostalgia to Candice, a lawyer from Montpellier, who embodies, in part, what a majority of students experienced in spring 2020, that's i.e. hell.

"In my year, we all cried once…I’I was in masters, we had to start an internship and we found ourselves locked in with a lot of work", states the one who remembers sedentary days "with 5 steps counted by the smartphone" and shopping "in an apocalyptic atmosphere after checking a box on the sworn certificate. It was crazy though!"

And yet, here again, happy days are evoked… For his companion: "He made cooking recipes, played video games online with his friends, ah him, he has a great memory, he has nostalgia!"

The streaming industry, a big beneficiary of confinement and beyond

Among the major beneficiaries of periods of confinement, the streaming industry has undeniably featured prominently.

The most reliable studies then cited spectacular growth figures. The global consumption time for streaming programs even increased by 44% during the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the equivalent period in 2019 (according to the research firm Conviva).

The offers then multiplied and two big winners very quickly emerged: Netflix, of course, precursor and undisputed leader in the field, and Disney +, just launched in 2019, and which had benefited from ;rsquo;an incomparable booster effect, from the first containment measures, reaching one hundred million subscribers with a speed that would have been unthinkable in other circumstances.

In the process, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus or HBO Max also emerged (backed by the Warner studio whose gigantic catalog of films it holds, this platform is not yet available in France), among other new streaming giants .

To the point of threatening exploitation in cinemas, the latter even fearing at a given period of never recovering from the long sequences of closures (total or partial) imposed during the Covid crisis -19.

Today, if the situation has not returned to the same as the world before Covid, spectators have found their way back to theaters (180 million in 2023 in France, but there were more than 200 million in 2019). And platforms no longer record systematically exponential subscription curves. The fact remains: since this upheaval, fiction has been consumed more than ever on the couch.
Vincent Coste

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