Living through a pandemic in the south of France
329 days in Carcassonne since the 1st lockdown in March 2020
▫️ News and titbits
▫️The head of the infectious diseases department at the Tenon hospital in Paris believes again this Wednesday that the health situation makes a new confinement inevitable, which he has been announcing since mid-December.
Contrary to some of his colleagues, we can say that Professor Gilles Pialoux shows consistency in his media interventions. He who already called for the implementation of strict measures such as a confinement that he saw planned for mid-January in mid-December, has done it again this Wednesday morning on BFMTV.
“We’re going into the wall”
He says he sees “an incredible surge” of the English variant in the Ile-de-France region. All the more so as the carers are “being laminated by a second wave that has never stopped”.
▫️ Covid: seven diseases particularly at risk ( © Les Echos – Translation © J2S)
46 chronic diseases studied are linked to a high risk of being hospitalised and dying from coronavirus, according to the largest study on the subject. However, age remains by far the most important risk. Women’s better resistance to the Covid is confirmed.
The study, of unprecedented scale, was carried out by the scientific interest group Epi-Phare, which brings together the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) and the French National Health Insurance (Cnam). It covers almost the entire French population, i.e. more than 66 million people. The results made public on Tuesday 9 February establish a link between various factors and increased risks from the coronavirus.
Starting with age. “Older people are by far the most vulnerable to Covid-19,” the report confirms. For example, the risk of being hospitalised for a person aged 70-74 is three times higher than for those aged 40-44, and the risk of death is 30 times higher. For 80-84 year olds, these risks are respectively 6 times and 100 times higher than for 40-44 year olds.
The study confirms another disparity already raised by other studies. “Men are more at risk of hospitalisation and death for Covid-19 than women, multiplied respectively by 1.4 and 2.1”, the study notes. A study published in November 2020 in the Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism suggested, notably through the analysis of data concerning pregnant women, that female sex hormones could play a positive role against the coronavirus. They could play an anti-inflammatory role and strengthen the immune response of women with Covid.
The study also covers 47 chronic diseases, once again the largest field of study. Only dyslipidemia (excess fat in the blood) does not appear to be a particular risk factor. On the other hand, seven diseases increase the risk of coronavirus by more than 2 times the risk of being hospitalised and by more than 4 times the risk of dying: cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, trisomy 21, mental retardation, kidney failure, kidney transplant and lung transplant.
Other conditions are related to increased risks. Obesity increases the risk of being hospitalized by 64% and the risk of dying by 56%, while diabetes increases the risk of hospitalization by 64% and the risk of death by 75% (not very reassuring in my case). A stronger correlation between these two pathologies and the risks associated with Covid-19 has been noted in the under-80s. To a lesser extent, hypertension, heart failure, stroke and other cancers have also been established as risk factors.
Finally, the study investigated the link between coronavirus and social level. It used the social deprivation index based at the level of the person’s city of residence on median household income, the percentage of secondary school graduates, the share of blue-collar workers and the unemployment rate. Among the under-80s, the study notes “a risk of death multiplied by two among the most disadvantaged compared to the most advantaged”.
▫️ The theory of a leak from a Chinese lab is “highly improbable”.
According to the head of the WHO mission in Wuhan, transmission of the virus to humans by an intermediary animal is the “most likely” hypothesis, even if the animal has yet to be identified. His delegation also found no evidence of the virus in Wuhan before December 2019.
▫️ Daily and weekly Corona virus statistics are visible here .
▫️ MISSED SPORT EVENT
With my fixation of the Super Bowl last weekend, I completely missed the start of the Rugby “Tournoi des 6 Nations”. Now that’s real sport. Twice 40 minutes without interruption and no commercials.
Every team played and the result for France against Italy is simply impressive.
▫️ FORTHCOMING SPORT EVENT
I am not a fan of NASCAR and I am certainly not a fan of oval racing tracks.
However the Daytona 500 this coming Sunday is certainly an iconic event which cannot be ignored and I shall try and get some motivation to watch some of it.
▫️ Paris-Peking Trophy in vintage vehicles – New project
A very good friend of mine (from the old gang) is considering entering this event. He is the proud owner of an old Volvo Amazon 1966 (red) which would qualify. In fact I have a picture of the car in my “Classic Car” page.
I am quite tempted by the whole thing which would be the trip of a life time.
It is probably too late for this year’s edition
The cost might appear prohibitive at 1st glance but when you analyse what is included it is not that much.
I think I shall persue that project. It must not be in a Volvo… a Triumph Stag would do nicely. Nudge, Nudge see what I mean Chris?
- Duration: 36 days
- Date: 11 July – 16 August 2021
- Itinerary: PARIS – CRACOWLAND – MOSCOW – LAKE BAIKAL (RUSSIA) – ULAN BATOR (MONGOLIA) – PEKIN (CHINA)
- Price : 8200 € per person (based on 2 crew members) – additional crew member 3 600 € included: return flight from Beijing to Paris.
This rate includes :
- Return flight Beijing/Paris (or Beijing – Europe)
- The services of a guide during the whole tour
- Mechanical, logistical and medical assistance
- Support vehicles (4X4, workshop truck, flatbed…)
- Living expenses of the organisation (guides, guides, mechanics…)
- The delivery of the travel kit (road book, polo shirt, jacket, GPX tracks, loan of a navigation tool…)
- Services in China: obtaining driving licences, deposit of a deposit at the National Bank of China, civil liability insurance, provisional vehicle registration document, registration plate, Chinese driving licence, etc…
- Accommodation and excursions in China: 4 hotels, 5* hotels with half board (see below):
- ERENHOT – Pacific International Hotel 4 *
- JINING – Blue Horizon Hotel 5 *
- PÉKIN – Grand Metro Park Hotêl 5*
▫️ The Earth is landing on Mars ( © Liberation – Translation © J2S)
I advised a few days ago about the Perseverance Rover. I did not realise it was not alone
An Emirati probe, a Chinese robot on Wednesday and an American rover: the space race is being exported to the red planet, where three countries are arriving this week.
Luckily there are no little green men on the red planet: they would have something to worry about this week when they see not one, not two, but three ships arriving directly from Earth. A hostile invasion? Fortunately not. The Earthlings land in peace, driven by the noblest scientific intentions to understand everything about the Martian atmosphere, its climate, its geology, its past… and why not plant a few flags, by the way.
The first country to cross the finish line of this exceptional convoy to Mars is also the latest to arrive in the space exploration sector: the United Arab Emirates, which set up a space mission in record time to insert a probe, called Al-Amal, into Martian orbit. The Emirati spacecraft arrives at its destination on Tuesday, February 9, and will be joined the next day by its Chinese counterpart Tianwen-1. Tianwen wants to land on the Martian surface to free a small astromobile. And finally, we will wait for next Thursday for the arrival of the elders, the masters of the game: the Americans and their big rover Perseverance.
The almost perfect synchronisation of this space platoon is no coincidence: to travel to the Red Planet with the least amount of fuel possible, you have to adapt to the respective revolutions of Mars and Earth around the Sun, with their position, distance and speed. Every 26 months or so, they are aligned to allow a fast and economical journey from Earth to Mars. “It’s like a football pass: you have to aim where your teammate is going to be” seconds later, compares James O’Donoghue, a planetologist at the Japanese space agency. From Earth, you aim for where Mars will be seven months later. The good shooting window lasts a few weeks. All the countries preparing for a Mars mission therefore find themselves leaving at the same time, and arriving the same week.
▫️ ANCILLARY NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND from our correspondent in Britain
Important News you may have missed
🖊 Man charged with assault and criminal damage after Tesco freezer incident.
A Royston man has been charged with assault, criminal damage and a public order offence, after a freezer was climbed on at the town’s Tesco Extra store last month.
Police attended the store after it was reported that a man had climbed onto a freezer and was behaving aggressively.
Officers attended the scene just after 3pm – and the store was evacuated while they dealt with the incident.
🖊 Inmate threw metal bin at prison officer’s head at HMP Peterborough.
An inmate who hit a prison officer with a bin during a brawl at HMP Peterborough has been jailed.
🖊 Driver hospitalised after car crashes into dyke
🖊 Research by leading resource management company, Veolia reveals that Londoners who show love to the environment stand a better chance of finding love.
This Valentine’s Day, Veolia is spreading the love virtually with a series of animated GIFs to help Londoners secure a second date. Based on findings from a recent YouGov survey, these GIFs show how positive attitudes towards the environment really make a difference when looking for love.
Thank Goodness, good news at last!
ANOTHER ONE IN MY TOP 100
In memory of the parties (les Boums) at the time. I can assure you that we did not wear ties and certainly had longer hair.
And also a thought for the singer Mary Wilson, pillar of the Supremes, who died at the age of 76 on Monday February 8th.
▫️ PIC / SATIRE OF THE DAY
▫️ IMPROVE YOUR FRENCH 🇫🇷
DISCOVER THE 20 NEW OFFICIAL WORDS OF 2021
ANTIVAX : Se dit d’un mouvement d’opinion marqué par une opposition à la vaccination en général, dont il remet en cause l’efficacité et l’innocuité.
🇬🇧 A movement of opinion marked by opposition to vaccination in general, questioning its effectiveness and safety.
BLACK BLOC : Groupe de militants radicaux, anarchistes ou autonomes, organisés pour attaquer, souvent avec violence, les symboles de l’État et/ou du capitalisme (forces de l’ordre, banques, etc.) lors de manifestations. Leur nom vient de leur mode de déplacement, en bloc compact, et de leur tenue vestimentaire, noire.
🇬🇧 A group of radical, anarchist or autonomous activists organised to attack, often violently, the symbols of the state and/or capitalism (law enforcement, banks, etc.) during demonstrations. Their name comes from the way they travel, in a compact block, and the way they dress, which is black.
BLOB : Nom courant de Physarum polycephalum, champignon (…) capable de se déplacer et doué d’une forme d’apprentissage fondée sur l’absorption de molécules issues de son environnement ou de la fusion avec un autre blob.
🇬🇧 Common name for Physarum polycephalum, a fungus (…) capable of moving and endowed with a form of learning based on the absorption of molecules from its environment or fusion with another blob.
CHATBOT : Programme informatique basé sur l’intelligence artificielle, capable de répondre en temps réel aux questions d’un internaute, faisant ainsi office de conseiller virtuel.
🇬🇧 Computer programme based on artificial intelligence, capable of responding in real time to questions from an Internet user, thus acting as a virtual adviser.
DÉGAGISME : Attitude d’insoumission et de rejet prônant l’éviction, par la voie des urnes ou la révolte, des détenteurs du pouvoir sans nécessairement vouloir prendre leur place.
🇬🇧 An attitude of insubordination and rejection advocating the ousting, through the ballot box or revolt, of those in power without necessarily wanting to take their place.
EMDR : Psychothérapie utilisant des mouvements oculaires et/ou des stimuli sensoriels en alternance à gauche, puis à droite, pendant l’évocation des souvenirs perturbants.
🇬🇧 Psychotherapy using eye movements and/or sensory stimuli alternately to the left and then to the right while evoking disturbing memories.
FÉMINICIDE : Meurtre d’une femme ou d’une jeune fille, en raison de son appartenance au sexe féminin.
🇬🇧 Murder of a woman or girl because of her gender.
FRUGALISME : Mode de vie consistant à vivre en dessous de ses moyens et à épargner afin de quitter la vie active bien avant l’âge légal de la retraite (à 35 ans environ), avec pour objectif de se soustraire à la société de consommation.
🇬🇧 Lifestyle consisting of living below one’s means and saving in order to leave working life well before the legal retirement age (at around 35), with the aim of escaping from the consumer society.
GRÉVICULTURE : (péjoratif) Tendance à recourir de manière quasi systématique à la grève, lors d’un conflit social, et à instituer ainsi un rapport de force avec le patronat, ou, plus généralement, la direction d’une entreprise, comme préambule à tout dialogue et à toute négociation. (On parle aussi de « culture de la grève ».)
🇬🇧 (pejorative) Tendency to resort almost systematically to strike action in the event of a social conflict, and thus to establish a relationship of power with the employers or, more generally, the management of an enterprise, as a preamble to any dialogue and negotiation. (This is also called the “strike culture”).
HYGGE : Sentiment de bien-être et de sérénité caractéristique de l’art de vivre danois, fondé sur les plaisirs authentiques du quotidien ; par extension, cet art de vivre.
🇬🇧 Feeling of well-being and serenity characteristic of the Danish art of living, based on the authentic pleasures of everyday life; by extension, this art of living.
HIPSTÉRISATION : (familier) Transformation d’un lieu (quartier, ville, etc.) populaire par l’arrivée en nombre de hipsters. (On parle aussi de « gentrification », « boboïsation ».)
🇬🇧 (familiar) Transformation of a popular place (neighbourhood, city, etc.) by the arrival of a large number of hipsters. (We also speak of “gentrification”, “boboisation”).
ILLIBÉRAL : Qui est opposé au libéralisme, à ses principaux fondements, tels que la séparation des pouvoirs, l’indépendance de la justice, l’État de droit et les libertés individuelles.
🇬🇧 Who is opposed to liberalism, to its main foundations, such as the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and individual freedoms.
INFLUENCEUR : 1. Personne qui, par sa position sociale, sa notoriété et/ou son exposition médiatique, a un grand pouvoir d’influence sur l’opinion publique, voire sur les décideurs. 2. Spécial. Personne qui, en raison de sa popularité et de son expertise dans un domaine donné (la mode, par exemple), est capable d’influencer les pratiques de consommation des internautes par les idées qu’elle diffuse sur un blog ou tout autre support interactif (forum, réseau social, etc.).
🇬🇧 1. A person who, through his or her social position, notoriety and/or media exposure, has great power to influence public opinion and even decision-makers.
2. Special. A person who, because of his or her popularity and expertise in a given field (e.g. fashion), is able to influence the consumption practices of Internet users through the ideas he or she disseminates on a blog or any other interactive medium (forum, social network, etc.).
QUOTIENT ÉMOTIONNEL (QE) [psychologie] : Capacité, évaluée par des tests, à percevoir ses propres émotions ainsi que celles des autres, à les comprendre et à les utiliser à bon escient (notamment pour atteindre un objectif clairement défini).
🇬🇧 [psychology]: The ability, assessed by tests, to perceive one’s own emotions and those of others, to understand them and to use them wisely (e.g. to achieve a clearly defined goal).
REMONTADA (de l’espagnol, « remontée »). : 1. Sports. Remontée de score inattendue permettant à l’équipe qui perd d’emporter la victoire dans un match de football, alors qu’il y avait un grand écart de points entre les deux équipes ; par extension, victoire inespérée d’une équipe ou d’un joueur lors d’une compétition, quelle qu’elle soit. 2. Fam. Retour au premier plan, victoire spectaculaire d’un parti ou d’un homme politique, après une défaite électorale, une traversée du désert, etc.
🇬🇧 (from Spanish, “ascent”): 1. Sports. Unexpected score lift allowing the losing team to win in a football match, when there was a large difference in points between the two teams; by extension, an unexpected victory for a team or player in any competition.
2. Fam. return to the foreground, a spectacular victory of a party or politician, after an electoral defeat, a crossing of the desert, etc.
ZÈBRE : Personne surdouée. Appellation de la psychologue Jeanne Siaud-Facchin afin de dépasser les représentations attachées aux termes « surdoué », « haut potentiel », « enfant précoce ».
🇬🇧 Gifted person. Name given by the psychologist Jeanne Siaud-Facchin in order to go beyond the representations attached to the terms “gifted”, “high potential”, “precocious child”.
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND
Tomorrow is the day to go out for a long walk.
Still all is quiet as far as floods are concerned in our region.
We are still “Green”.
▫️ VENDEE GLOBE
I would think we can expect the arrival from “La Mie Câline” late today.
No walk yesterday. However I bought what looked like an interesting new book/guide about 48 hikes to do in the Aude Departement.
▫️ SOME LINKS I LIKE TO USE