Living through a pandemic
in the south of France
428 days in Carcassonne since
1st lockdown in March 2020
DAILY AND WEEKLY STATISTICS HERE
Stéphane Bancel, the French CEO of Moderna, told the Journal du dimanche about his strategy for fighting Covid-19 in the coming months. On the one hand, he wants to vaccinate teenagers this summer and administer a third dose to people at risk in the autumn.
▫️ INCIDENCE RATE
Last evening, the incidence rate in the Aude departement was 69,22. Let us hope this long bank holiday weekend and the thousands of tourists which have invaded the town will not reverse the situation.
▫️ Blue Flag Award 2021
Occitanie first region in France for the quality of its beaches and ports
With 109 beaches and 21 marinas, Occitania is the first region in France in terms of the number of beaches and marinas with the Blue Flag label. These continental and coastal beaches and harbours meet the 60 criteria required by the label.
The Blue Flag is a sustainable tourism label awarded each year to marinas and municipalities for their beaches, which implement, on a permanent basis, a tourism policy that respects the environment and human beings.
Once again, the Blue Flag has achieved a record number of awards with 525 sites in France, including 410 beaches in 196 municipalities and 115 marinas. In 2021, 34 new laureates, 24 municipalities and 10 marinas, will enter the list.
With 109 beaches and 21 marinas, Occitania is the leading region in France in terms of the number of beaches and marinas awarded the Blue Flag. With a special mention for the Hérault, which has the highest number of Blue Flag sites in the region, with 44 sites in total. Then comes the Pyrénnées-Orientales with 30.
The Blue Flag is for the inhabitants of a municipality, and for tourists, the assurance of being able to spend a summer with their feet in clean water, or in an environmentally friendly port. Each year, the municipalities that apply for the label must meet specific criteria of cleanliness, facilities, reception and information for the public, and respect for biodiversity to receive the label.
Last year, the municipality of Marseillan lost its Pavillon Bleu due to technical problems, particularly with the first aid posts. This year, it has been awarded the label and is delighted.
▫️ TRAVEL (🔸 = NEW)
🔸 21/05: Spain has announced that it will let in all vaccinated people, regardless of their country of origin, from 7 June. It is not yet clear whether this means that vaccinated people will be able to enter without a PCR test.
🔸 21/05: US land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed until at least 21 June.
🔸 21/05: Panama temporarily closes its land border with Colombia.
🔸 21/05: Belize will reopen its land and sea borders with Guatemala and Mexico on 31 May.
🔸 21/05: France is now considered a risk country by Zambia, which implies an additional test on arrival and a 14-day quarantine.
🔸 21/05: MEPs and Member States reached an agreement on the European Health Pass, which should come into force from 1 July. The document will contain a QR code indicating that the holder has been vaccinated, has had a negative PCR or rapid antigen test or is immune after being infected with Covid-19. It will be available on smartphones as well as in paper form.
🔸 20/05 : All flights to Sri Lanka are suspended from 21 to 31 May.
🔸 20/05: Colombia has reopened its land borders.
🔸 20/05: Flights to Bangladesh have resumed, but a fourteen-day stay in a government-approved hotel is required.
🔸 20/05 : Vaccines are effective against all variants of the virus according to WHO.
🔸 20/05 : Since 19 May, you no longer need a compelling reason to travel to Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon. However, a PCR test less than 72 hours old and a 7-day quarantine are still required.
20/05: As of 9 June, you will no longer need a compelling reason to travel to Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Martin. For Reunion, Mayotte and Polynesia, the lifting of compelling reasons only concerns people vaccinated with two doses.
20/05: In French Guiana, the lifting of compelling reasons is not on the agenda. For New Caledonia, the local government has decided to limit regular flights and to maintain the compelling reasons at least until 30 October.
19/05: Denmark has reopened its borders.
19/05 : Thailand: Phuket confirms it will reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists on 1 July.
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: 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.
14/05: France’s border reopening strategy has been published:
“Within the European Union, travel facilitated by the health pass To travel within the European Union, it is currently not necessary to justify the reason for travel, but prior testing obligations (-72h) are required.
The government is working with the other Member States on a “green pass” to support the resumption of tourism and facilitate border crossings through common standards.
While the test is already an element of proof used, this “green pass” will enable travellers to show that they have been fully vaccinated at border controls.
For travellers entering France from outside the European Union, tourist flows will be reopened from 9 June depending on the health situation in these countries. France will have a policy of controlling entry to its territory that is proportionate to the health situation in each third country, in accordance with a vision shared with the other Member States of the European Union.
- For countries in which the virus is not actively circulating, and in which no variants of concern have been identified (“green countries”), flows may be resumed under much more flexible arrangements.
- For countries where the virus is actively circulating but in controlled proportions, and without the spread of variants of concern (“orange countries”), the conditions for entry into France will be more restrictive, particularly for unvaccinated travellers.
- Finally, a European emergency mechanism will aim to establish a list of “red countries” for which drastic measures will be implemented, in view of the epidemic circulation in these countries, as well as the presence of variants of concern: strict limitation of people authorised to travel, tests on boarding and arrival, strictly controlled isolation and quarantine measures.
Pending European harmonisation of the criteria for classifying “red countries”, and in order to protect the French without delay, France has already put in place these drastic measures for incoming flows from the following countries: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (list as of 10 May 2021).
For EU citizens wishing to travel outside the European Union, it is necessary to find out in advance about the entry restrictions and health situation in the destination country.
- Travel conditions will depend on the entry restrictions applied by each country.
- It is still not advisable to travel to “orange countries” and it is strongly recommended not to travel to “red countries”.
12/05: Reopening of borders: France expects reciprocity from the United States.
12/05 : The suspension of international flights to and from Nepal is extended at least until 31 May.
12/05: Self-tests are now accepted to enter the United States. However, you still need to have spent at least 14 days outside the Schengen area to enter the country.
11/05: Thailand may fully reopen its borders by 1 January 2022.
10/05: Fully vaccinated persons are now exempt from PCR testing to enter Cyprus.
10/05: Morocco has extended the state of health emergency until 10 June.
10/05: Travellers from 12 countries will be able to travel to England without quarantine from 17 May, but France is not one of them.
10/05: French Polynesia will not open to travellers from mainland France without compelling reasons until July.
10/05: Tunisia has put in place a new general lockdown from 9 to 16 May.
07/05: The quarantine requirement for entry into France has been extended to seven additional countries: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Qatar. For these countries, a PCR test of 36 hours (instead of 72 hours) or a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours accompanied by a negative antigen test of less than 24 hours is now required.
07/05: Australia‘s borders may not fully reopen until mid to late 2022.
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND 🇺🇸
I have one again managed to avoid watching this yearly horror show. I simply loathe that program.
No further comment
🎶 / 🎶 / 🎶
▫️ FOOD & DRINKS
Four of us went to “Florida Blanca” yesterday for lunch. I have to say it was excellent yet again. What a pleasure it is to be able to go restaurants again.
▫️ THE FABULOUS FRIDAY (FUNNIES) GROANS from Paul
G’day from a new vantage point this week…
◼︎ A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks they’re, stand up!” After a few seconds, Little Larry stood up. The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Larry?” “No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!”
◼︎ She hurried to the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, “I don’t know how to use this.” She bowed her head and asked God to send her some HELP. Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag. He got off of his cycle and asked if he could help. She said: “Yes, my daughter is sick. I’ve locked my keys in my car. I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?” He said, “Sure.” He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute the car was open. She hugged the man and through tears said, “Thank You SO Much! You are a very nice man.” The man replied, “Lady, I am NOT a nice man. I just got out of PRISON yesterday; I was in prison for car theft. The woman hugged the man again sobbing, “Oh, thank you, God! You even sent me a Professional!”
◼︎ Q: What do you give a pony with a cold?
A: Cough Stirrup!
(Is that because it’s a little hoarse?)
◼︎ I have a response to one of the jokes.
“How come when you mix water and flour together you get glue… and then you add eggs and sugar and you get cake? Where does the glue go?” — Rita Rudner
Answer: On the hips and thighs
◼︎ I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
◼︎ All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
◼︎ The jockey was riding the favorite at a race meeting, and was well ahead of the field. His horse rounded the final corner, when suddenly the jockey was hit on the head by a turkey and a string of sausages. He managed to keep control of his mount and pulled back into the lead, only to be struck by a box of Christmas crackers and a dozen mince pies as he went over the last fence. With great skill he managed to steer the horse to the front of the field once more when, on the run in, he was struck on the head by a bottle of sherry and a Christmas pudding. Thus distracted, he succeeded in coming only second. He immediately went to the race stewards to complain that he had been seriously hampered.
◼︎ “I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for thirty-six hours. I don’t even want to do anything that feels good for thirty-six hours.” – Rita Rudner
◼︎ If it weren’t for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn’t get any exercise at all.
◼︎ Funniest Quarantine Jokes: topicalFunniest Quarantine Jokes
∙Why did the chicken cross the road? Because the chicken behind it didn’t know how to socially distance properly.
∙Two grandmothers were bragging about their precious darlings. One of them says to the other, “Mine are so good at social distancing, they won’t even call me.”
∙Who’s idea was it to sing “Happy Birthday” while washing your hands? Now every time I go to the bathroom, my kids expect me to walk out with a cake.
∙My husband purchased a world map and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it lands—that’s where I’m taking you when this pandemic ends.” Turns out, we’re spending two weeks behind the fridge.
∙Ran out of toilet paper and started using lettuce leaves. Today was just the tip of the iceberg, tomorrow romaines to be seen.
∙My mom always told me I wouldn’t accomplish anything by lying in bed all day. But look at me now, ma! I’m saving the world!
∙After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my house but lacking the time, this week I discovered that wasn’t the reason.
∙If I keep stress-eating at this level, the buttons on my shirt will start socially distancing from each other.
∙Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pyjamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
∙Yesterday I ran out of soap and body wash and all I could find was dish detergent. Then it Dawned on me.
∙Being quarantined with a talkative child is like having an insane parrot glued to your shoulder
∙I never thought the comment “I wouldn’t touch them with a six-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!
∙The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.
∙Since we’re all in quarantine I guess we’ll be making only inside jokes from now on.
∙I’m not talking to myself, I’m having a parent-teacher conference.
∙This morning I saw a neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog–we laughed a lot.
∙Nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day of being tense on the couch.
∙Pollen still coming out during a global pandemic? Bitch read the room.
∙ Knock knock. Who is there? Seriously, don’t touch my door and get back 6 meters to social distance.
∙ Day 121 at home and the dog is looking at me like, “See? This is why I chew the furniture!
∙”If you bought 144 rolls of toilet paper in preparation for a 14-day quarantine, you probably should have been seeing a doctor long before coronavirus.
∙How did the health experts lie? They said a mask and gloves was enough to go to the grocery store. When I got there, everyone else had clothes on.
∙Quarantine has really put a damper on comedy. For months nobody has walked into a bar.
◼︎ The family of a deceased businessman was awaiting the reading of the will. “To my loving wife Rose,” the lawyer read, “who stood by me in the rough times as well as the good, I leave the house and $2 million”. “To my daughter Jessica, who looked after me in illness and kept the business going, I leave the yacht, the business and $1 million.” “And to my cousin Dan, who hated me and thought I would not remember him in my will, you were wrong: Hello, Dan!”
◼︎ And a few short one to round out the week.
∙ A man in an interrogation room says, “I’m not saying a word without my lawyer present.” One of the cops replies, “You are the lawyer.” The lawyer says, “Exactly, so where’s my present?”
∙I told my niece that I saw a deer on the way to work this morning. She said, “How do you know it was on it’s way to work?”
∙Did you hear about this new restaurant called Karma? There’s no menu. You get what you deserve.
∙My dentist told me, “This might hurt a little bit. Are you ready?” I said, “Yes, I’m ready.” He said, “I’m sleeping with your wife.”
∙My wife dated a clown before she started going out with me.I had some pretty big shoes to fill.
∙My wife said to me this morning, “What would you do if I won the lottery?” I said, “I’d take my half and leave you.” She said, “Great! I won $12 yesterday, here’s your $6. Stay in touch.”
Catch you from the same place next week!
A little too cloudy for my liking
▫️ ADDITIONAL WEEKEND READS