France’s downward spiral of coronavirus repression

In France there is a palpable sense of administrative and political panic in how to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. As I write from Perpignan on the French-Spanish border on the morning of 24 March, France has 19,856 coronavirus cases and 860 deaths; Britain 6,650 and 335. After Italy and Spain, France is the third worst affected country in Europe (Germany has more cases because it tests more, but only 123 deaths), but it has imposed and enforced the most severe lockdown. France went into lockdown on 17 March. The administrative state immediately generated an array of bureaucratic forms: a certificate to leave your house to walk the dog or go shopping; a