“I feel much freer”


For this new Friday of “Little Voices”, on Europe 1, Hortense, who has lived in Beijing for 14 years, tells his daily life of deconfinite to Sacha, 9 years old, Marius, 10 years old, Violette and Rosalie, 11 years old.

Sacha in New York, Marius and Violette in the Paris region, Rosalie in Berlin … For the past few weeks, children have been telling us about their daily lives on Europe 1. This time, they question Hortense, 14, who lives in Beijing. China was the first confined country because of the Covid-19… but also unconfined. So the girl has a lot to tell her comrades all over the world, who do not yet know how the “after” will happen.

“What is the best thing you have done with deconfinement?”

“Going out with my girlfriend was the best thing. […] Being able to see our friends is much better, I feel much more free, “Hortense explains straight away.

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Sacha, in New York, wonders if she was able to take advantage of the stores. “In Beijing, 90% of all stores are open: clothes, libraries, museums … almost everything,” details the girl. “I don’t really like shopping but everything I can do, I do. I take the opportunity because you never know what can happen.”

“Is it the same life as before?”

On the other hand even if she feels freer than confined, she also notes that life is not at all the same. “Wherever you go, you have to take the temperature. You take the temperature 9 times a day, and everywhere it’s different. At the supermarket, you take the temperature with a small electric thermometer, either on your head or on your arm. In large shopping malls, a large scanner is above your head. ”

And then there are the masks, which must be worn. “Here it is compulsory, super strict. You have to distance yourself even if you can go out. At the restaurant, you can’t be more than three or four at a table, so it’s not at all the same life as ‘before”.

“Do you have the right to leave Beijing?”

Being able to get out of your city also worries young listeners. In Beijing, residents have the right to go out … but under conditions. “We have the right, but when you come back you have to do three weeks of quarantine,” says Hortense. “So I don’t think we’re going out!”.


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In addition, she adds, “all adults over the age of 18 have an application on their phone that shows that the person has not been out of Beijing for at least a month. When you return to a residence or a big public place, you have to show that on your phone. […] It’s been geolocating since January 23. Our phone follows us everywhere, it records everything we do. ”

“It’s like spying, in fact,” says Rosalie.

Does tracking “help for the coronavirus”, or not?

A follow-up of the people who makes Marius and Sacha wonder, who find it disturbing. “It scared me at first,” says Hortense herself, “because everywhere we go they have all our data.” She also says that once, her family was called by the police: “They told us, ‘you went there, and there’. It scared me: how they know we did it exactly this hour ?”

But the girl also believes that it was a good idea against the coronavirus “because you know if someone has left the city. Now I’m used to it, I understand why they do this: it’s for everything the world.” An opinion that little Parisians do not share: “I would not like to have it, because you can no longer have a private life”!

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But Hortense concludes by reassuring them: after 90 days of confinement in Beijing, she has found a certain freedom. “I can go out, see friends, but we waited three months before we started to deconfinate. I think you will, it will happen: it will end one day! Don’t stress.”


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