PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged students to look out for one another to help cope with stress and depression caused by COVID-19 restrictions which he said weren’t going away soon.
Macron was meeting students at the Paris Saclay university, to hear concerns over issues raised by the COVID restrictions, such as feelings of loneliness and hits to the economy that have impacted job prospects.
Students, like everyone else, are subject to a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew.
“You need to take care of each other,” he said, recognising that many students were deprived of the chance to make new friends and establish relationships.
“We will have a second semester that will have the virus and a lot of constraints,” added Macron.
Macron said he would look to ensure universities provide daily meals priced at a euro a day and to see if they could allow students a day a week on campus.
There have been cases of suicides at universities in France and around the world, blamed on loneliness caused by lockdowns.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Macfie)