May 6th 2020


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Day 50 in Carcassonne


2nd Day of the 8th week of confinement


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12:30 (from Teresa)

Summary of the press conference by Mr Larrat, Mayor of Carcassonne, on the release from lockdown

  • Masks: 319,300 including 110,000 for the Carcassonnais (entirely FREE) to be collected now in the town hall. Except for the frail, sick or elderly, to whom they will be worn on condition that they call the town’s social services. Two masks per shopkeeper which will be worn for their activity.
  • Employment: 30 contracts of the city’s CCD employees that were ending are being renewed.
  • Associations : Grants will be paid in May 2020. Financial assistance for Carcassonne-Olympique, HBCC in financial difficulty. Help to the GRAPH for its employees.
  • People in extreme poverty: Vouchers. Until May 29th, the Reception Centre for the homeless set up during the crisis at the gymnasium des Serres will be in operation.
  • Economic recovery: Until August 30, shopkeepers will be exempted from the duty of place and terrace. The Tax on outdoor advertising is abolished for 2020.
  • Territorial intervention fund for companies (Agglo, Region, cities). Carcassonne will pay 235,000 euros to this fund.
  • From 1 June, all building and civil engineering works will resume in the municipality, including municipal works.
  • Tourism: Free service of the Tourist Office for professionals (communication, computing, etc). Summer at La Cavayère with more than 2000 children who will not be able to go on holiday is extended.
  • Schooling: State-approved takeover. Out of 4000 children, 1000 are decided to go to school brought by their parents. Twelve schools will be opened. Everything is ready, says the mayor, at the health level but the problem comes from the number of city officials and their ability to return to work. “All the issues related to the safety of the children have been resolved,” says the mayor. The Barbacane school will now take in the children of the caregivers to replace the one in Montredon, at the request of the DASEN director.
  • Culture and heritage :
    • The summer exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts maintained in the conditions of sanitary reception.
    • The Festival de la Cité is cancelled. However, the mayor has asked Mr Dupont to see if he could not organise some animations so as not to leave the city in sadness. He’s not sure it’s possible…


Fifty days, that is quite a landmark and there are too few good news to feel optimistic. In fact in some areas like the UK it seems to get much worse. Indeed Britain has overtaken Italy to report the highest official death toll from coronavirus in Europe with more than 32,000 deaths, figures released on Tuesday showed. This now makes the UK the worst hit place in Europe (see also news / info below).

Despite the assurance last Sunday on his Facebook page from our Mayor Mr Gerard Larrat that he would present his plan for the forthcoming period as well as answer all questions, I have not seen anything on the Mairie’s web page, nor in the on-line newspapers and I am fed up writing to what appears to an incompetent staff at the Mairie. I know that nobody is actually physically there at the moment and that they are all working from home, or at least they should, but that should not stop communicating. Wait until I see Mr Larrat walking down the street on a Saturday morning mixing with the population… I have nevertheless sent an email to his office a few minutes ago.

Below is the revised map on Tuesday May the 5th. The major change is the region “Haut de France” moving from red to orange. Two days to go before we know the final map and the ensuing slight relaxing of the confinement rules.

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The daily Dashboard

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JJ’s prediction

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71 days or July 15 till the end of the lockdown in France

Information & News

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▶︎ ENGLAND’s excess death rate is one of the worst in Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic, new data shows (link from Bryan T.)

Figures from EuroMOMO which monitors official data including from all parts of the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, reveal that England has had the highest level of excess deaths for the past four weeks.

England’s z-score is the highest in Europe

Increases in deaths above the average for the last five years are known as ‘excess deaths’ and include both deaths from Covid-19 and other conditions. And the UK’s number is not dropping like it is in other countries including Italy and Spain. It comes after Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said that excess deaths is the “key measure” in assessing the impact of Covid-19 but argued it will be “some time” before that comparison can be done between countries.

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England’s Chief Medical Office, Prof Chris Whitty has said that the true number of Covid-19-related deaths will be higher, when those caused by the lockdown indirectly, are counted.Experts and leading charities have warned we could see between 18,000 and 50,000 extra deaths from cancer this year, as a result of treatment and operations being postponed.

And Brits suffering life-threatening symptoms of heart attacks and stroke are being reminded that the NHS is open, amid fears people are avoiding hospitals.


The researchers, who are supported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), provide a “z-score” which takes into account factors such as population size and mortality patterns.

The higher the z-score, the higher the number of excess deaths and the countries with the biggest peaks are Belgium, Spain, Italy and England.

However, England is the only country which recorded a z-score over 40 and it has now been at this level for three weeks.

‘Extremely high excess’

EuroMOMO classes a score higher than z15 as “extremely high excess” deaths. England peaked at 44.1 in week 15 and the latest figures from week 17 show a “z-score” of 41.59.Meanwhile, Italy, which has had the highest number of Covid deaths in Europe, peaked at a score of 22.74 in week 14 and has since dropped back to 5.12. Spain hit a peak of 34.74 at the same time and has now dropped to 3.06, the estimates show. And Scotland peaked at a score of 17.25, Wales peaked at 19.25 and Northern Ireland reached a peak of 8.45.

Lasse Skafte Vestergaard, the Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Prevention at the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark and Coordinator of EuroMOMO, told The Telegraph: “When you look at the excess mortality data across Europe it is not going up any more, it appears it is plateauing and maybe in some places it is going down. “I would not say yet that we are for sure past the peak, but it does seem to be plateauing and it may be that that has also happened in England, but the excess deaths rates are still higher.”

It is not known why England has the highest excess death rates, however, the Government has been criticised by scientists for not acting quickly enough to stop the spread of coronavirus. Early on in the UK’s outbreak, the Government suggested one way of beating the deadly bug was by allowing 60 per cent of Brits to get infected to build ‘herd immunity’.

Mr Vestergaard, said that differences in death rates “may be down to how quickly different countries started to put in place interventions and controls”. He added: “The first few days and weeks in a pandemic are critical because that is when the spread starts to develop exponentially, thus a matter of a few days or weeks can make a difference.” Denmark and Norway’s death rates have been consistent with what is expected in a normal year, the data shows.

▶︎ Post office

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 10.09.48.pngI have been receiving emails from the Poste Office to say the full complement of hygienic products, masks, tissues, gel is available on their on-line shop.

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A short sample of the products offered

Food & Drinks

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From yours truly and because it is the season

Cream of asparagus soup with scallops

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The daily selection


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The dreaded Statistics

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

Tuesday May 5th 2020

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The UK figures are taken as of 6pm yesterday are lower than the official ones.

Monday May 4th 2020

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

Tuesday May 5th 2020

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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 follow-up

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5.  Regional Statistics: Occitanie & Aude

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3 Responses to May 6th 2020

  1. Tony says:

    The Festival is completely cancelled though☹️

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