Upon reading of the article, which is necessary to understand better what is being said, one can arrive at the conclusion that this personal image on the model of Von Metternich's quote is used somewhat in the spirit of that quote, but, however, the point is that in this particular case, Emmanuel Macron's cold is not tantamount to France having a fit of caughing; let it be said for now that "France" is perhaps not what one might think, and that there is in this image no strict parallel of the elements with those in the quote.
The meaning of that quote, of which I find an explicit explanation nowhere, seems to be that the ties between an important element of a system and elements
more or less dependent on this central component but of less importance, will lead to the situation that failure experienced by this main element will have repercussions on the system in a similarly negative way.
Sommes-nous vraiment en dictature ? Chronique Isabelle de Gaulmyn
Macron's cold is figuratively the label apposed to his apparent failure, or rather lack of popular success as regards the latest social reform in France. Alongside this political state of affairs came into being another one, on a parallel level, although one of much more importance as it concerns the would-be failure of the political institutions, which a significant part of the political class is presently denouncing as showing defects, defects incidentally made salient in the proceedings concerning this very social reform: some would pretend that institutions are ill-conceived as far as their role in preserving democracy is concerned and that they are to be held responsible for the new social laws having been imposed on the people in a dictatorial fashion, or so they say. The author is then saying that when Macron « fails », a certain political consensus tends to make of that failure a shortcoming of the system; she, the author, says it is not true, the democratic process is far from giving way to dictatorial practices. It follows that "France" is not to be taken as "the French people" but instead as "France's political institutions", and so, the image is perhaps not quite satisfactory.