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Lockdown for All, Hardship for Some. Insights from the First Wave of the CoCo Project

Recchi, Ettore; Ferragina, Emanuele; Helmeid, Emily; Pauly, Stefan; Safi, Mirna; Sauger, Nicolas; Schradie, Jen

How disruptive is Covid-19 to everyday life? How is the French population experiencing the lockdown? Is it
magnifying existing inequalities and affecting social cohesion? The CoCo project sheds light on these pressing
questions by comparing living conditions in France before and after the lockdown. This is the first of a
series of research briefs that we will publish in the forthcoming weeks. We will explore this new experience
of “sheltering-in-place” and its impact on family life, schooling, work, health and well-being. This brief explores
how French society has coped with the first two weeks of the lockdown. We find that the virus has
rapidly become a tangible threat, as more than forty percent of the population knows someone who has
been infected. Despite this, three out of four persons say that they do not feel overly stressed out. In certain
cases, the reaction has been almost philosophical -- long hours spent at home allow people to slow down
and think about the meaning of life. More than anything else, it is having access to green spaces and nature
which provides some relief to those attempting to cope with this home-based social organization. Still, some
cracks have appeared. Women, foreign-born residents, and individuals facing financial hardship are subject
to greater emotional strain than the rest of the population. Gender inequalities have been particularly reinforced
during the lockdown: women have been spending even more time than usual cleaning and taking
care of others. Although the Covid-19 virus tends to disproportionately strike men, the consequences of the
lockdown more intensely affect women.

Project "Coping with Covid-19: Social distancing, cohesion and inequality in 2020 France" – Policy Brief n° 1. Funded by ANR (Agence nationale de la recherche), Call Flash Covid-19.
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