In France, bakeries remain essential: NPR

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Tony Doré wears a facial mask while the baguettes cool off in his bakery in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

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Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Tony Doré wears a facial mask while the baguettes cool off in his bakery in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

Parisian baker Tony Doré takes a grid of toasted golden baguettes from the oven. He says he cooks them all day to keep his customers supplied.

“Many people thank me every day for staying open,” he says. “If the bakeries started to close, people would be upset. In France, we eat bread with each meal. It’s a tradition. You can’t do without good bread. “

As the world faces coronavirus, millions of people are confined to their homes. In most places, the only people going to work are those whose jobs are considered essential. In the United States, this includes supermarket workers, pharmacists and postal workers. In France, it also includes bakers, or bakers.

Maintaining the production of the country’s favorite bread, the baguette, is essential to help the French survive the crisis.

People stand several yards apart, lining up in front of Boulangerie Faubourg Saint-Charles. Only one person at a time is allowed inside the bakery.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

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Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

People stand several yards apart, lining up in front of Boulangerie Faubourg Saint-Charles. Only one person at a time is allowed inside the bakery.

Eleanor Beardsley / NPR

France has more than 30,000 independent bakeries and the French consume around 10 billion baguettes per year.

At Boulangerie Faubourg Saint-Charles, Doré says that certain things have changed with the coronavirus pandemic. The smell of bread still floats in the back ovens, but Doré has now hung a plastic sheet in front of his bakery to separate customers’ pastries and sandwiches displays. Each employee now wears a mask and gloves, and only one person is allowed to enter the hot, fragrant bakery at a time.

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