The Unexpected Effects of Quarantine on French Kids

“It’s really weird that everyone is wearing masks, always washing their hands… usually there are a lot of people outside.”

On May 11, France began the complicated process of emerging from the COVID-19 quarantine. This month, they are entering phase 2, meaning that many restaurants, shops, parks, businesses, and schools will reopen. But it isn’t just adults who have had a difficult time adjusting to life under quarantine. This France 24 video takes a look inside the minds of France’s youth, who have been entirely plucked from carefree childhood and thrust into a new reality. From their own mouths, we get a lesson in the difficulties of homeschooling, understanding the purpose of social distancing measures, and what they miss most about normal life.

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Child psychologist Hélène Romano weighs in on the mental health impact of confinement, and the effect of the crisis on relationships between children and their parents, grandparents, and siblings. One thing is for certain, which is that French children today have experienced something unlike any of their predecessors in the history of France.