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Alba Iulia
Sunday, June 7, 2020

Coronavirus panic triggers violence in France as buyers fight

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This is the time when two buyers fight in a large queue in front of a supermarket in France to keep a safe distance while the COVID-19 is locked.

The incident was filmed in front of a supermarket in the commune of Viry-Chatillon, in the southern suburbs of the French capital, Paris, on March 17 and the images were viewed more than 660,000 times on Twitter.

In the video, we see two men fighting in the queue before others intervene and separate the couple.

One man can be seen charging the other after a dispute broke out over maintaining a safe distance amid the coronavirus pandemic in Paris yesterday

One man can be seen charging the other after a dispute broke out over maintaining a safe distance amid the coronavirus pandemic in Paris yesterday

One of the fighters, in a blue hat, can be seen yesterday in the middle of the scrap metal in a Parisian supermarket yesterday

One of the fighters, in a blue hat, can be seen yesterday in the middle of the scrap metal in a Parisian supermarket yesterday

On the right, yesterday we see the two men fighting in the supermarket in the southern suburbs of Paris

On the right, yesterday we see the two men fighting in the supermarket in the southern suburbs of Paris

Other buyers can be seen huddled around the brawlers at the Paris supermarket yesterday

Other buyers can be seen huddled around the brawlers at the Paris supermarket yesterday

The cameraman says, “Seriously man, this is just crazy.”

According to local media, the fight started in a row to keep a safe distance in public places during the locking of the COVID-19 in France.

An eyewitness said the men were in the queue “probably for an hour” because they were moving very slowly.

The witness explained: “Around the queue, people kept saying that the distances had to be respected”.

According to local media, one of the fighters had to be pushed back by two security guards employed by the supermarket to deal with the large queues.

People are photographed queuing outside a bakery in France in the middle of the national closure of the coronavirus implemented by the French government on Wednesday

People are photographed queuing outside a bakery in France in the middle of the national closure of the coronavirus implemented by the French government on Wednesday

In addition, the Evry public prosecutor’s office confirmed that the police had gone to the scene and that no one had filed a complaint.

An office spokesman said, “No casualties have come forward, no injuries have been reported, and no complaints have been made.”

There have been reports of long lines in supermarkets since French President Emmanuel Macron announced a lockout to prevent the spread of COVID-19 which started on March 17.

As worried consumers around the world who store toilet paper and pasta, the French flock to bakeries for baguettes, fearing a shortage of their daily bread as they await the epidemic of coronavirus in confinement.

The country of 67 million inhabitants consumes nine billion long loaves of bread each year, organizes an annual competition for the best baguette in Paris and a special word for the pointed end that they chew on the baker’s way after work: the crouton .

Bakers are among the few essential service companies allowed to stay open in France under strict antivirus containment measures that came into effect on Tuesday.

A baker wearing a mask and protective gloves scans the temperature of a customer wearing a protective mask using a front digital thermometer at the entrance to his bakery the day after the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron of the French imprisonment of Wednesday noon to stem the spread of the coronavirus

A baker wearing a mask and protective gloves scans the temperature of a customer wearing a protective mask using a front digital thermometer at the entrance to his bakery the day after the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron of the French imprisonment of Wednesday noon to stem the spread of the coronavirus

An employee, wearing a protective mask, exhibits some baguettes at the bakery 'Ma Boulangerie' in Vertou near Nantes while France is facing an aggressive progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), yesterday

An employee, wearing a protective mask, exhibits some baguettes at the bakery ‘Ma Boulangerie’ in Vertou near Nantes while France is facing an aggressive progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), yesterday

And they’re thriving, with long queues in cities and countryside.

“Our figures have doubled since Monday,” Addenour Koriche, commercial director of a bakery attached to a large supermarket north of Paris, told AFP on Wednesday.

“We are now on 800 baguettes a day. Yesterday, for example, we no longer had baguettes for sale at 3 p.m. The store closes five hours later.

The bakery had black lines newly applied to the floor, improvised with lengths of tape, to help customers meet the suggested safety distance of one meter (3.3 feet) to limit the spread of the virus that made it sick more than 7,700 people and killed 175 people in France.

A brand new Plexiglas screen protected the seller – wearing latex gloves but no face mask and using atypical tongs to handle bread – from a constant flow of customers.

French baker Sylvain Cabane, wearing a protective mask, takes a tray of baguettes out of the oven at the bakery 'Ma Boulangerie' in Vertou, near Nantes, while France is facing an aggressive progression of coronavirus disease (COVID- 19), yesterday

French baker Sylvain Cabane, wearing a protective mask, takes a tray of baguettes out of the oven at the bakery ‘Ma Boulangerie’ in Vertou, near Nantes, while France is facing an aggressive progression of coronavirus disease (COVID- 19), yesterday

“We have people who normally take half a baguette or a baguette a day, who now take four or five to freeze them in case even stricter containment measures are announced,” said Koriche.

On Tuesday, the French Ministry of Labor approved a special exemption authorizing the opening of bakeries seven days a week instead of the legal limit of six days.

“The exemption will allow the French to buy bread every day without stress,” noted Matthieu Labbe of the Federation of Bakeries.

“We saw people arriving who wanted to buy 50 baguettes at a time. There is something like psychosis in some people.

Labbe said there was no need to worry about the offer, although some bakers decided to limit sales by customer.

“We have flour, yeast and salt. There is no problem in producing bread.

There are 33,000 bakeries in France, one to about 2,000 people on average, but most neighborhoods have several – sometimes even on the same street.

American historian Steven Kaplan, himself a baker by training, said that consumption of French bread had dropped considerably, from around 600 grams per person per day in 1900 to around 80 grams today.

But although bread is no longer considered an essential element, it is anchored in French culture, even its politics – a source of pride and cultural exceptionalism.

“The welfare state is first described in France as a state that provides people with their bread,” said Kaplan, who lives in Paris.

“Bakeries have always been an almost public service,” he added, noting that during the deprivations of the First and Second World Wars, bread again took its place as the main source of nutrition.

“Even in the worst type of crisis, the baker must be open, like the fire station, the pharmacy, the hospital,” said Kaplan.

Monday, President Emmanuel Macron sought to make the French understand that they were engaged in a “war” against the coronavirus, using the word repeatedly in a televised speech to the nation.

“ In a context of war, we are confined, we have an enemy – the enemy is invisible but it is always the enemy – we have to fight it and in this context when people are worried about getting food … the return to bread is in some people feeling an almost instinctive or almost atavistic return to something familiar, “said Kaplan.

Dominique Anract, president of the national confederation of bakeries and pastry shops, said that the industry employed 180,000 people in France.

“Bread is food, but it is also a social bond between people. Some people usually come to the bakery every day to chat.

For the French, “bread is a reassuring staple even if globalization has changed,” he said.

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