Podcast: Sick with coronavirus in France, new markets for asparagus, the first photo of the sun

Audio 22:07
Spotlight on France episode 36
Spotlight on France episode 36 © RFI

It's possible that most coronavirus cases in France are not counted. We hear from one person who was diagnosed over the phone, and who waited out the quarantine at home, alone, with little official intervention. Also, an asparagus farmer is forced to find new ways to distribute after restaurants and markets are shuttered. And the French physicists who took the first-ever photo of the sun.


Covid-19 statistics in France are so far limited to deaths in hospitals and official tested cases, which raises the question of the real number of people infected and the actual death count. We speak to freelance journalist Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel (@FabienJ), who came down with symptoms and was diagnosed as having the virus by a GP, but who does not count in the official statistics because he was never tested. He talks about what it's like to make your way through the non-emergency world of coronavirus in France. (Listen @3'50)

Agriculture in France has been hit by the lockdown and restrictions on movement brought in to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. With restaurants and markets closed, farmers are worried about where to sell their harvests. The government has called on people to go work in the fields, and on supermarkets to sell French-grown produce, but farmer Thibault de Vulpillieres, who grows and sells asparagus at the Cueillette Laverons, near Toulouse, says the prices being offered are absurdly low. He talks about how the lockdown has completely disrupted his supply chain, but that it is also an opportunity to develop contact with local customers - a silver living in a crisis. (Listen @13'30)

The French physicists who took the first photo of the sun on 2 April 1845. (Listen @11'00)


Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on iTunes (link here)Google podcasts (link here), or your favourite podcast app.

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