As they look ahead to the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for the Spring and early summer of 2022, the French are not happy.

Covid-19 has taken its toll not just on the elderly and the vulnerable but across the national psyche. There is little obvious optimism left in the public square. The feeling is that the nation is bumping along the bottom of an endless trough, waiting for a recovery that may never arrive.

The people are wrong, of course. They usually are. France is not done anymore than Italy was “done” in 2019 or Greece in 2008. Countries, like individuals, like families, bounce back from disaster. All that is needed is an acceptance that the past cannot be changed, only built upon, and that the future may require both sacrifice and steadfastness of purpose.