April 21st 2020

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Day 36

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Time flies, today is the 1st day of our 6th confinement week. I personally have not been out of the house for just over 4 weeks and unfortunately the weather during the past few days has not allowed me to enjoy the garden either.

Talking about the weather and according to the official site for real-time measurement of river levels, Vigicrues, the three sectors concerned (The catchment areas of the Haute-Vallée de l’Aude from the source to Carcassonne, the Orbieu and Berre basins) have been experiencing a continuous rise in the three rivers since the middle of the day on Monday 20 April. Nothing alarming for the moment but to be watched. More and more yellow showing.

I know where I would rather be today. The hills of Carcassonne’s golf course appear tobe so far away.

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The daily DB

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Information & News

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▶︎ Tax office

On line reporting

The online reporting service is opened since yesterday Monday April 20 and until the deadlines established by department and zone (see below). To declare your income simply, simply go to your personal space on impots.gouv.fr and let yourself be guided. You will be glad to know that I finally managed to get in the system (it does help to use the correct password) and I finished my tax return declaration for 2019. This would have never been possible without the confinment.

Reporting deadlines for all three areas

  • Zone 1: departments n°01 to 19  and non-residents (that is us in Carcassonne) Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 11:59 pm
  • Zone 2: departments n°20 to 54 Monday, June 8, 2020 at 11:59 pm
  • Zone 3: departments n°55 to 974/976 Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm

Paper declaration: if it is not possible to make it online

This year, only taxpayers who reported their income on paper in 2019 will receive a paper return from April 20, 2020 until mid-May. The deadline for filing the declarations is Friday 12 June at 11.59 pm (including for French citizens living abroad), as evidenced by the postmark.

You can declare your income on paper if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • your main residence is not equipped with internet access
  • it is equipped with internet access but you are not able to make your declaration online.

In the particular circumstances of the current health crisis, the Directorate General of Public Finance invites all users who are able to do so to declare their income online.

▶︎ Corona Virus tests

Screen Shot 2020-04-21 at 07.09.27.pngThere is a fair amount of confusion on the matter. I tried to find some relevant articles / explanations which I have translated. What prompted this you may ask: Well I read that Emirates has begun carrying out Covid-19 blood tests on passengers at the airport prior to flights. On the other hand we keep reading about the non availability of tests and the time it takes to obtain results. So here is what I found.

Types of tests for coronavirus detection

PCR test
This is the screening test used in France since the beginning of the epidemic. The diagnostic test known as “PCR” (“polymerase chain reaction”) consists of a nasopharyngeal swab (throat, nose, nasopharynx) which is taken using a small swab (a bottle brush) inserted into the nose. It must be done by a doctor or nurse. Coronavirus screening can also be associated with a sample taken from the lower respiratory tract. The sample is then analysed by a specialised laboratory to look for the presence of the genetic material of the coronavirus and thus confirm the diagnosis of the infection. This is an easy to perform test, non-invasive but unpleasant for the patient.

Rapid test
New rapid and ultra-rapid (45 and 15 minutes respectively) molecular tests are being evaluated by the National Reference Centre for Respiratory Infection Viruses. These are referred to as “rapid diagnostic orientation tests” or “RDTs”. They are presented in a unit format, detecting antibodies from a single drop of blood in a few minutes. Their analytical performance (sensitivity and specificity) is not yet known.

Saliva test
Coronavirus saliva testSaliva test for the diagnosis of EasyCov-CoV-2 SARS with a closed 0.5 mL tube containing all the agents necessary to reveal the presence of the virus.
On 10 April, the CNRS announced in a press release the launch of a clinical study to test the performance of the EasyCov screening test from 11 April 2020. “At the same time, the development, production and distribution chain is being organized for a rapid and massive deployment of the test to healthcare personnel from May onwards”, the laboratory states. This new test aims to be simple to use and not require the use of heavy equipment. It has already been tested and validated with viral RNA isolated at the Sys2Diag laboratory (CNRS/Alcen) and with active virus at the Centre for the Study of Infectious Diseases and Anti-Infectious Pharmacology (CNRS/University of Montpellier). The clinical study will make it possible to confirm or refute its performance in real conditions. The study will be carried out on 180 people from the University Hospital of Montpellier, with patients testing positive for COVID-19 and hospital nursing staff presumed to be negative. It consists of taking saliva, one of the main vectors of the virus, and placing it with the reagents at 65°C for 30 minutes. The health care staff can then read the result with the naked eye. Researchers are aiming to develop a consumer version of Easycov.

 Serological tests

With the search for coronavirus-related antibodies in the blood should arrive during the third week of April and automated serological tests of the ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) type at the end of April, according to the Scientific Council. They will make it possible to show who is immune, who has encountered the virus, and who is not immune and therefore has not encountered the virus. The carrying out of a serological diagnosis allows the detection of the humoral post-infection immune response (detection of IgM, IgG and possibly IgA antibodies). The presence of these antibodies means that immune protection has developed after recovery from a symptomatic or asymptomatic infection. Some preliminary data suggest that these antibodies may appear late (D30), especially in pauci/asymptomatic infections. Therefore, detection of antibodies by a serological test in a symptomatic or asymptomatic individual can confirm a recent infection with CoV-2-SARS.

I welcome anyone with a medical or scientific background to comment on this  and correct if necessary

▶︎ Message from ORIGIN’Elles

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“Hey, y’all!
Want to combine your new talents as a confined cook with your favourite bottles?

  • Malek will be pleased to welcome you at the bar, by appointment, to satisfy your desires and your boredom during a good meal (or not).
  • Natali is offering you a delivery service from Tuesday to Saturday afternoon for certain references, for a minimum of 6 bottles ordered.

All orders must be placed the day before before before 6pm! In this period, all our bottles are at the price closest to the winemaker. You can place an order and/or make an appointment by contacting us via SMS and/or call 0769750529.
The paiment will be done in cash or by check as in kind it seems compromised !!! 🤣

PS: the list will be communicated to you in a future post.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.
We miss you terribly…”

▶︎ 🌷🌺 Message from Muriel 💐🌾

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Muriel BAILET, delivers bouquets as well as French flowers from the French Riviera. You can also “Drive & Pick-up”.

It has to be ordered first.





Food & Drinks

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Something about Gins


One of the quintessential London Dry gins, Tanqueray is endlessly useful — as well suited to complex fruity or herbal cocktails as it is a Negroni, Gin & Tonic, or a martini. Juniper-focused, using only four botanicals, it’s a classic for a reason; there’s no wrong way to use it.   Drink it in: Just about anything; start with a G&T Find it:


Similarly classic. If you like bold juniper and bright citrus—and if you’re a fan of London Dry gin, you do—Beefeater is the benchmark to measure against. Up at 94 proof (that’s 47 percent ABV), it’s a strong spirit in more ways than one—proud and assertive; a gin-drinker’s gin.  Drink it in: Just about anything; start with a Negroni Find it: Anywhere Courtesy of Beefeater Gin


Ask ten mixologists how they make their ideal martini; I’d bet they all choose gin over vodka, and I bet more name Plymouth as their gin of choice than any other. All on its own, it’s a beautifully balanced spirit that has a real weight to it, with both earthy and citrus elements alongside a strong through-line of juniper.   Drink it in: Anything; start with a 2:1 gin-vermouth martini, with dash of orange bitters and a lemon twist Find it: Anywhere Courtesy of Plymouth Gin


We’ve got to hand it to the marketing geniuses at Hendrick’s, who practically reinvented the G&T with the simple addition of a cucumber slice. These days, it’s one of the most recognizable bottles on any bar, and has a committed fan following. Here’s a gin for people who like their juniper toned back a bit, accompanied by pleasant flavors of cucumber and rose. Drink it in: A G&T with Fever Tree tonic and a big slice of cucumber Find it: Almost anywhere Courtesy of Hendrick’s Gin

NOLET’S Silver

Looking for a gin that’s a little lighter and more floral and a little less junipery? Nolet’s is for you. Its strong, perfume-like aromas of rose and raspberry leap out, with more classic botanicals as supporting players. Ideal anytime you want to bring out the fruity or floral elements in a cocktail.  Drink it in: A French ’75 Find it: At many high-end spirit shops Courtesy of NOLET’S Gin

The Botanist

The island of Islay, off the Scottish coast, makes some of the world’s best Scotch: Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bowmore. It also makes one of the world’s best gins. With 22 botanicals, all foraged locally, it’s ridiculously complex, with so many aromas of roots, barks and spices it’s hard to pinpoint them all. But there’s no need to overthink it.   Drink it: On the rocks with a twist, to appreciate its character, before you move on to cocktails Find it: At many high-end spirit shops Courtesy of The Botanist

Brooklyn Gin

We’ve seen hundreds of American gin distilleries pop up over the last decade or so, but very few with the success of Brooklyn Gin. While many gins contain some citrus peels in their botanical blend, Brooklyn Gin distinguishes itself by using only fresh peels—not dried peels or extracted oils—from five different fruits. While there’s still a strong hit of juniper, this gin’s fresh citrus aroma is what sets it apart.  Drink it in: Bright, lively cocktails such as a gimlet, French ’75, or Bee’s Knees Find it: At boutique spirit shops Courtesy of Brooklyn Gin

Dorothy Parker American Gin

The New York Distilling Company, headquartered in Brooklyn, set out to make spirits intended for cocktails; and for many bartenders in New York and beyond, Dorothy Parker American Gin is where it’s at. A contemporary gin with the unusual botanicals of elderberry and dried hibiscus, it’s a smooth, balanced spirit that proves a delight in any mixed drink, from the simplest G&T to the most complex mixologist’s creation.  Drink it in:  Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails.  Find it: At boutique spirit shops Courtesy of New York Distilling Company

St. George Gin

It’s hard to choose one standout from this California spirit line, so we won’t even try. All three gins have a sense of place: primarily the Terroir Gin, of course, with Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and coastal sage among its local botanicals. You’ll find 19 diverse, balanced botanicals in the aptly named Botanivore. And the Dry Rye Gin is something else entirely; with a base of 100 percent pot-distilled rye, it has a rye whiskey’s spice but a standard gin’s juniper.  How to drink it: Try each one neat before mixing. Find it: At boutique spirit shops Courtesy of St. George Spirits

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin

A super-premium German gin made from soft spring water and an eye-popping 47 botanicals—don’t even try to guess them all—this amazing spirit manages to be fruity and spicy, robust and delicate all at once. It’s pricey, but any true gin fan should take it upon themselves to try it at least once.  Drink it in: Something powerful, like a martini or Negroni Find it: At boutique spirit shops Courtesy of Monkey 47

Gin Mare 

When we say that many gins taste herbal, we don’t literally mean that they taste of fresh herbs like basil and thyme. But that’s what you get with Gin Mare, made just outside Barcelona. It’s an intensely savory gin with a strong taste of rosemary and olive—such a departure from a traditional gin, but a delight in its own way.  Drink it: On the rocks with a twist, or even (and this is a bit unorthodox) in a dirty martini  Find it: At boutique spirit shops Courtesy of Gin Mare

Ransom Old Tom

Once upon a time, Old Tom was the most popular gin style out there, and Ransom has made an excellent re-creation, deliberately fashioned off the bottles of the mid-19th century. Their Old Tom has a malted barley base and an infusion of botanicals; it’s also barrel-aged, the first American-made barrel-aged gin since Prohibition. The resulting spirit has a very faint sweetness and real weight, at its best in cocktails like the Martinez, the predecessor to the martini.  Drink it in: A perfect Tom Collins, or Martinez Find it: At boutique spirit shops Michael Ingram


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The daily toons

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The dreaded Statistics

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1. International Statistics: Top 10 countries according to the deaths count

Monday April 21st 2020

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2. International Statistics: Percentage increase of deaths from one day to the other: 

Monday April 20th 2020

To satisfy the  ingenieur mind of one of our friend in the group, I am showing today percentage numbers in a more scientific format.

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3. International Statistics: Cases by country v population (1.000 cases or more only)

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4. National Statistics: France

See also Dashboard at the top of the post

(Daily evolution curve will follow after a week’s worth of data)

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5.  Regional Statistics: Occitanie & Aude

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