Daily Post – May 21st

Living through a pandemic

in the south of France

427 days in Carcassonne since

1st lockdown in March 2020



The situation of the epidemic in the Aude, the Pyrénées-Orientales and in the region on Thursday according to the figures of Santé publique France.

In the Aude, this Thursday evening, 97 patients are hospitalised (-2 in 24 hours): 45 in conventional hospitalisation (as much as Wednesday), 10 in intensive care (a stable number compared to Wednesday), 45 in follow-up care or long-term care and 1 in other structures. One additional death was recorded on Thursday. In total, 357 people have died from Covid in the department.

In the Pyrénées-Orientales, 133 patients are hospitalised this Thursday evening (-3 in 24 hours): 61 in conventional hospitalisation (-4), 17 in intensive care (+1 compared to Wednesday), 53 in follow-up or long-term care and 2 in other structures. No additional deaths are to be reported in the Pyrénées-Orientales on Thursday. The department counts 313 victims of Covid.

In the Occitanie region, this Thursday evening, 1,148 people are hospitalised because of Covid (-55 in 24 hours): 506 in conventional hospitalisation (-45), 219 in intensive care (7 less than Wednesday), 411 in follow-up or long-term care (9 less than Wednesday) and 12 in other sectors. In total, 4,432 inhabitants of the Occitanie region have died from Covid-19, including 8 in the last 24 hours.


Another significant drop of the Incidence Rate in the Aude departement.

It now stands at 76,2


In this period of tax declarations, the Directorate General of Public Finances (DGFiP) is warning people to beware of identity theft scams. Beware, these are phishing attempts. Be careful, these e-mails do not come from the DGFiP and you should not respond to them under any circumstances.

Most of these attempts concern :

▪︎ bank card fraud with the promise of a tax refund (example of a fraudulent e-mail: “we announce that you are eligible to receive a refund of €490 from the Direction générale des Finances publiques on the card registered in your customer area” – a reference number beginning with GOUV is even indicated;
▪︎ calls to overtaxed numbers (some websites refer to overtaxed numbers such as 0 899… or 0 891… to reach public finance centres);
▪︎ fake transfer order scams carried out by mail, telephone or e-mail, sometimes with fake forms attached and usurping the DGFiP’s e-mail addresses (companies are particularly targeted, by getting an employee to make a bank transfer to a fraudulent account, by usurping the identity of the real creditor);

These are fraudulent manoeuvres to induce you to provide personal data (bank details, proof of identity or residence). In general, beware when you receive an e-mail message where the sender :

▪︎ asks you for money or offers to pay you back a sum of money ;
▪︎ seeks to collect personal information (bank details, civil status, etc.).

The services of the Directorate-General of Public Finances never ask for bank details or personal information by e-mail or telephone.

If you have any doubts about the origin of the messages you receive, do not reply to the e-mails and destroy them immediately. If you have already responded to a fraudulent message by giving your bank details, you should first contact your bank to stop the transaction.

For any information or to report an attempted scam:

by internet on ” internet-signalement.gouv.fr ” ;
by telephone via the freephone number set up by the government: 0 805 805 817.

▫️ TRAVEL (🔸 = NEW) – From France point of view.

🔸 19/05 As of 9 June, you will no longer need a compelling reason to travel to Guadeloupe, Martinique or Reunion.
🔸 19/05 Denmark has reopened its borders.
🔸 19/05 Thailand: Phuket confirms its reopening to vaccinated foreign tourists on July 1st
🔸 18/05 Austria to lift quarantine requirement on 19 May.
16/05 Algeria to gradually reopen its borders from early June.
16/05 Italy has ended its quarantine for European tourists.
16/05 From Monday 17 May, people coming from France will no longer have to undergo quarantine when arriving in Portugal.
14/05 Compulsory quarantine for entering France extended to Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Bahrain.
14/05 Vaccinated people no longer need a PCR test to enter Greece.
14/05 People who have been vaccinated or have had covid no longer need a PCR test to enter Germany.


▫️ FUN



  • You can’t find anything on Earth much hardier than an insect. Insects have managed to survive all five mass extinctions occurring in the last 500 years that wiped out many other species. The Permian-Triassic — the “Great Dying”  that occurred some 252 million years ago — is the only mass extinction that wiped out large numbers of insect species. Dinosaurs appeared after that, about 240 million years ago. They ruled the earth until the most recent extinction event 65 million years ago wiped all of them out except the bird-like ones. The earliest known mammals appeared about 210 million years ago. 
  • Yet before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and the first mammals appeared, a plant was growing in Gondwana, a huge continent in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost  280 million years later — in what is now Brazil — scientists have identified the fossil remains  of that plant. It’s an early member of a lineage called cycads, or cycadales, that continues to this day. Cycadales are seed plants, typically with a palmlike crown of large, stiff evergreen leaves and a stout, woody trunk. They’re not real palms, because they don’t produce flowers or fruit. Their fossil history is much older than that of flowering plants. 
  • The discovery of a 280 million year old fossil cycadale is significant because it expands scientific understanding of the resilience of these plants, which we now know persisted through two mass extinctions when most life was killed off the planet. “The vegetative anatomy of this plant is remarkably similar to the ones that live today,” said the lead author of a paper describing the fossil in the journal Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. “If you cut with a machete a cycadale today you will see the same anatomical pattern that you can see in our fossil.” 
  • Cycadales are often called “living fossils,” much like present-day coelacanth fish, which retain many of the same characteristics as ancestral fish from hundreds of millions of years ago. Some 350 species of cycadales exist today, including the lovely Sago palm, an ornamental plant that looks like a small palm tree. It’s good to know cycadales weren’t just dinosaur food. (National Geographic, NYT, Science Direct)


Very pleasant despite a few clouds. Will lounge by the pool I guess/


🔸  Solar Orbiter mission spots eruption from the sun

🔸 Twenty firms produce 55% of world’s plastic waste, report reveals

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