On the Beach, On the Balcony

In the April edition of New English Review, the good doctor discourses on the Wuhan coronavirus and some of the virus-related social and cultural changes he has observed in France.

I dislike such gestures which seem to me empty and shallow. They are supposed to be gestures of gratitude and encouragement, but all that I have seen (which of course may not be representative of anything except of all that I have seen) suggests that doctors and nurses are more irritated than pleased by them. Often they have to work in poor conditions, with essential equipment lacking despite the vast expenditure on the health service in France. It costs nothing, financially or in any other way, to make this gesture. It is, as I have said, empty and shallow.

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