The good results notoriously sceptical French are getting by taking a leap of faith in the fight against COVID shows the necessity of trust within democratic life, Peter Stockland writes.
A photo in Monday’s public prints brought the good news of people dancing in La Grande Motte, France as evidence la République appears on its way out of its COVID crisis.
Alas, the photo was taken last July, which seems a lifetime in pandemic days, one month before the French government went all-in on efforts to get control of this interminable pestilence.
Still, the picture caught my eye a) because a young man of my closest acquaintance works in La Grande Motte and b) because this young man had told me only the day before that “disruptive sociopaths” are to blame worldwide for good people being hoodwinked into vaccine hesitancy.
I’m not sure I put any more faith in the population mobilizing power of global sociopathy than I do in the mystical power of Davos Billionaire-QR Coding-Deep State-Conspirators to alter human history and human nature. But reporting from France suggests the notoriously sceptical gusting to cynical French have a taken a leap of faith in President Emmanuel Macron and his plan to at least get COVID under control.
Sharp-eyed semanticists will interject that the leap was far more of push propelled by a forceful appeal to self-interest. Macron’s key, uh, inducement, after all, was a stringent vaccine passport edict that made social life in France all-but impossible without proof of vaccination status. The outcome? It has reportedly gone from one of the highest vaccine hesitancy rates in the world last January to one of the highest vaccination rates among world powers this September.
More than 14 million people in France have received their first dose of vaccine in the 11 weeks since the passport was announced. About 88 per cent of those over 12 have had at least one jab. Infection rates have dropped staggeringly...