News of the week:
- Coronavirus: outbreak becomes pandemic [spp-timestamp time="00:00:42″]
- Italy first to place entire population under quarantine [spp-timestamp time="00:01:18″]
- Clashes in Italian prisons [spp-timestamp time="00:02:26″]
- Coronavirus: an update on the situation in Europe [spp-timestamp time="00:02:52″]
- Trump bans Europeans from entering the U.S. [spp-timestamp time="00:03:59″]
- Explanation of the week's vocabulary [spp-timestamp time=”00:04:34″]
Quiz: did you understand everything?
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Welcome to HelloFrench's press review, the podcast that immerses you in the news of the week, to help you improve your French.
On the front page for this week of March 8-14, 2020:
- The coronavirus epidemic is becoming a pandemic.
- Italy, the first country to place its entire population under quarantine.
- Clashes in Italian prisons: 7 prisoners lost their lives and dozens escaped.
- Still on the coronavirus, the situation in Europe.
- In the United States, Trump bans Europeans from entering the country.
It is official, the [tooltips keyword="epidemic" content="epidemic"] of coronavirus has become a [tooltips keyword="pandemic" content="pandemic"]. The virus is now a global problem [tooltips keyword="sanitary" content="sanitary"]. To date, more than 150,000 people have been [tooltips keyword="contaminated" content="contaminated"] in 137 countries. The virus has killed nearly 5,800 people worldwide. Apart from China, the most affected country is Italy with 1,441 deaths, followed by Iran with 611 deaths, Spain with 183 deaths and France with 91 deaths.
An update on the situation in Italy. The health crisis caused by the coronavirus has only worsened this week. On Sunday, March 8, the government first decided to quarantine only some northern regions, including Milan and Venice. Other measures had also been taken to try to [tooltips keyword="slow down" content="to slow down"] the contaminations as the closure of museums, theaters, cinemas, schools and libraries on the whole Italian territory. A little over 24 hours later, a new decision was made: the 60 million Italians are now [tooltips keyword="quarantined" content="quarantined"] until April 3. Italians can only travel to work, go to the pharmacy or buy food. No other [tooltips keyword="displacement" content="displacement"] is allowed under penalty of 206 euros fine and 3 months in prison. The streets are now deserted in Italy and the Vatican has just announced that the [tooltips keyword="Pope" content="pope"] will celebrate Easter without any [tooltips keyword="faithful" content="worshipper"]. A first.
In this context of the coronavirus epidemic, [tooltips keyword="mutinies" content="rebellion"] have broken out in 27 Italian [tooltips keyword="prisons" content="jail"]. These riots began after the decision to suspend family visits, to avoid bringing the virus into the prisons. These mutinies caused the death of at least ten [tooltips keyword="inmates" content="inmate"] and dozens have [tooltips keyword="escape" content="escape"] including 50 from the prison of Foggia. If some have been caught, other prisoners are still [tooltips keyword="on the run" content="on the run"].
Elsewhere in Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have closed their borders to virtually all [tooltips keyword="foreigners" content="foreigners"]. Spain, the second most affected country in Europe, announced on Saturday that the country had been placed under virtual quarantine. Spaniards can now only go out to buy food, work or go to the pharmacy. France is also slowly going down the same path. At the beginning of the week, gatherings of up to 1,000 people were banned, before being reduced to those of more than 100 people. The government then decided to close nurseries, schools and universities. The president, in a speech on Thursday night, encouraged those who could do so to [tooltips keyword="telework" content="remote"] to avoid displacement. A decision more [tooltips keyword="radical" content="radical solution"] finally fell on Saturday night: at midnight, bars, restaurants, theaters [tooltips keyword="close their doors" content="close"] [tooltips keyword="until further notice" content="until further notice"]. Only supermarkets, pharmacies and tobacconists can now open. The first round of municipal elections on Sunday has been maintained.
In the United States, Donald Trump has decided to [tooltips keyword="close its borders" content="to close its border"] to the Europeans. The president has suspended all flights between Europe and the United States for 30 days. Only Americans staying in Europe and the British are not affected by the measure. So some travelers [tooltips keyword="rush" content="to rush"] to get on a plane before the ban went into effect at 5 a.m. Saturday.
Vocabulary of the week
Enrich your French vocabulary, download our list of key words for the week of March 8-14, 2020.
■ Epidemic: is a contagious disease, which can be caught, that spreads through the population, among people, usually in an area.
■ Pandemic: this is an epidemic that affects a very large number of people. The disease has begun to spread around the world.
■ The virus: it is a disease that spreads, spreads.
■ Sanitary (adjective): it is related to the health of people, the health of humans.
■ To contaminate/be contaminated: to transmit a disease to someone, to have caught a disease.
■ Contamination: this is the act of having caught a disease.
■ Quarantine: separating people from other people, preventing them from going to other places. Usually, this is to prevent a disease from spreading.
■ To slow down (verb): to make slower, to make it go slower.
■ Moving: going from one place to another, moving around.
■ Deserted (adjective): without people, empty.
■ Celebrate: to celebrate an event, a date, a birthday.
■ The Pope: the leader of Catholics. He heads the state of the Vatican.
■ The faithful: a person who believes in a religion, practices a religion, believes in God.
■ Mutiny: a riot, revolt, rebellion.
■ Prison: this is an institution where people who have been found guilty are locked up.
■ Inmate: is a prisoner, someone who is in jail, a person in custody.
■ Escape: to take flight, to leave, to escape.
■ To be on the run: to run away, to escape from prison.
■ Closing its borders: preventing some or all nationalities from entering a country.
■ Foreigner: someone who is not of our nationality, a person who comes from another country than ours.
■ Telecommuting: working remotely instead of at your company. Working from home on an ad hoc basis instead of going to the office.
■ Radical (adjective): harder than normal, more effective.
■ Close its doors: to stop permanently or for a long time the activity of a company.
■ Until further notice: until there is a new decision, until the person with authority gives us a new indication.
■ To suspend (verb): to stop, interrupt for a while.
■ To rush (verb): to hurry to do something or go somewhere, to act quickly.