France has honoured nurses, supermarket cashiers, ambulance drivers, and other virus heroes on Bastille Day.
The stars of the biggest national holiday in France, Bastille Day, were medics in white coats. France’s Bastille Day ceremonies usually have a grandiose military parade in Paris with uniformed soldiers as the stars of the show. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony honoured medics, supermarket cashiers, postal workers and others who died fighting the battle against the infectious disease.
Bastille Day protests against Presidents mishandling the virus
On the other hand thousands of protesters marched against the French President Emmanuel Macron’s mistakes and missteps before and during the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read– The Black Players for Change protest during Miami-Orlando City SC match
In France, more than 30,000 people lost their lives to the coronavirus.
Medics and other virus heroes stood silently as applause rang out in their honour over the Place de la Concorde in central Paris from Macron, the head of the World Health Organization and 2,000 other guests. The military choir sang the Marseillaise national anthem.
Guests included nurses, doctors, nursing home workers, lab technicians, supermarket workers, undertakers and many others who kept the country going during its strict country wide lockdown.
“We are enormously short of personnel,” said protester Sylvie Pecard, a nurse at the Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris who described colleagues falling ill with the virus as COVID-19 patients filled its wards. “It’s because we haven’t recruited nurses. I came here 20 years ago and there were no empty positions. Now all the services are short of personnel, and it’s getting worse and worse.”
Protesters chanted slogans against police violence, racial injustice, and against Macron’s policies favouring the wealthy. Some protesters wore yellow vests and masks to represent their movement against economic injustice.