Living through a pandemic
in the south of France
469 days in Carcassonne since
1st lockdown in March 2020
DAILY STATISTICS HERE
Not in a productive mood today and I must admit have not been in the past few weeks. My doc called me yesterday after having received my blood test, of the same day, results and confirmed what I suspected: an extremely low haemoglobin count… Why, we need to find out. He gave me the option to go straight to emergency at the hospital or ride it out till Monday when he hopefully will have secured an appointment with a specialist. I decided to stay home, pack a bag in case and if things worsen a quick call to the emergency number “15” will do the trick.
Funny enough, I have felt slightly out of sorts and in this lethargic kind of state since my anti-Covid 19 injections. Coincidence I suppose.
Anyway, the real news of the day is that where-ever you look, TV, papers etc) the 4th wave is upon us which does not appear to be as dramatic as everyone wants to make you believe. For sure the number of new cases are on the increase again but on the other hand the number of hospitalisations and ICU patients are still decreasing. This is the proof that the vaccinations are working and prevent serious cases.
There is quite n interesting article in today’s “Le Monde” newspaper on the subject and entitled “Covid-19: Vaccinated people account for 40% of new cases in Israel (and this is good news)”. Here is the link to the article in French. If I find the energy, I shall translate it later today.
I took the time and translated it, see below:
Article © Le Monde – Translation © J2S 2021
Covid-19: Vaccinated people account for 40% of new cases in Israel
(And that’s good news)
BEHIND THE NUMBERS – In countries where vaccination is very advanced, a proportion of new infections occur among the vaccinated, which may seem counterintuitive. But this is normal and expected.
In Israel, where the Delta variant is causing a slow rise in the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, the former Director General of Health stated that 40% to 50% of these new cases were among fully vaccinated people. At first glance, this information is surprising and even worrying as to the real effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which benefited the Israeli population. However, the phenomenon was completely foreseeable, and it confirms in reality the capacity of vaccines to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 infection, and especially against the serious forms of Covid-19.
Currently available vaccines, however effective they may be in preventing severe forms of Covid-19 (hospitalisations, deaths), cannot protect 100% of those vaccinated against infection. A large study of the Israeli population, conducted from the end of January 2021 to the beginning of April and published in The Lancet, estimated the effectiveness of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine at 95.3% against the risk of infection for fully vaccinated people (two doses). This means that just under 5% of those vaccinated can still be infected with SARS-CoV-2. The figure could even increase in the case of the Delta variant, which is thought to be more contagious than the Alpha variant, which was dominant at the time of the study.
Spontaneously, after reading this information, one would expect that the proportion of vaccinated people among the new infections observed would not exceed 5 to 10%. From this point of view, a figure of between 40 and 50% can be seen as very high.
But this reasoning only holds when the two groups being compared (the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated) are of equivalent size. In Israel, the proportion of vaccinated adults was estimated at the beginning of July to be around 85%.
The rest is quite simple to understand: if the vaccinated are overwhelmingly in the majority, even the small fraction of those who do not escape infection represent a significant number in absolute terms. They can therefore account for a large proportion of infections when the virus is circulating only weakly, as is the case in Israel today. The diagram below shows the proportions of vaccination mentioned. Among the infected are one vaccinated and one non-vaccinated (each counting for 50%, therefore). Thus, the “infected blue” represents only 4% of all those vaccinated, while the “infected red” alone accounts for a quarter (25%) of all those not vaccinated.
If we look at the actual figures for Israel:
As of 1 July, there were about 5.17 million fully vaccinated adults out of the 6 million adults in the Hebrew state and 442,000 partially vaccinated. This leaves about half a million unvaccinated adults.
On 30 June, there were 291 new cases, of which about 40% had been fully vaccinated. This means that there were approximately 116 cases from vaccinated adults (or 2.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants) and 175 cases from unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults (or 19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants).
Proportionally, there are about 8.5 times more infections in people who are not fully vaccinated: this gives an effectiveness of about 90%.
The reasoning can be taken to its logical conclusion: if 100% of Israelis were vaccinated, all new infections would come from vaccinated people. Their share of new cases in Israel thus only reflects the fact that they are now in the vast majority. But this in no way undermines the effectiveness of vaccines in containing the epidemic. Since 1 June, Israel has recorded “only” 21 deaths from Covid-19 and none since 25 June.
▫️ PURCHASES ABROAD (non EU)
Since 1 July 2021, following a new European directive, VAT has been applied to all imported goods from outside the European Union and destined for mainland France and the French overseas departments, in addition to any customs duties.
It is recommended to pay the 20% VAT on the e.commerce site of the retailer at the time of purchase in order to avoid additional customs clearance fees.
My recommendation of course is to buy French or from the EU.
▫️ STORK NEWS
I posted yesterday that “Lorraine” flew out of the nest round lunch time. She did not return to the nest at all and everybody was worried about it’s whereabout.
I posted yesterday that “Lorraine” flew out of the nest round lunch time. She did not return to the nest at all and everybody was worried. Well, it landed in a yard and was unable to take off again. The vet from the group keeping an eye on the birds said: ” Lorraine had the bodywork, engine but was missing gasoline, fuel and energy to take off the ground.”
They will feed her for a couple of days till she regains enough strength to try and fly again
▫️ TRAVEL NEWS – From France’s point of view. (🔸 =New since previous post)
02/07: South Korea has decided to grant a quarantine exemption to people fully vaccinated against covid who wish to enter the country for commercial, academic, public, humanitarian or family visit purposes. Tourists are not yet allowed to enter. 🔸
02/07: Australia has unveiled plans to reopen its borders from 2022. 🔸
02/07: New health restrictions on Java and Bali in Indonesia from 3 to 20 July. Source. Bali postpones opening its borders to international tourists. 🔸
02/07 : Hungary now allows entry of persons holding the European Covid Digital Certificate. 🔸
02/07: Vaccinated people no longer need to be tested on arrival in Iceland.🔸
02/07: Portugal reinstates curfew in 45 municipalities, including Lisbon and Porto. People who have been vaccinated or who have already had the covid no longer have to present a test. 🔸
01/07: Vaccinated people can now travel to Phuket Island in Thailand without quarantine. It is possible to visit the rest of Thailand after spending at least 14 days in Phuket.
01/07: Testing or vaccination is no longer required for travel to Cyprus. However, it is still necessary to complete the CyprusFlightPass beforehand.
29/06: Lithuania no longer requires quarantine on arrival. 29/06: Latvia no longer imposes quarantine on arrival.
29/06: From 1 July, Tunisia requires a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old, even for vaccinated travellers. The country will be under curfew from 8pm to 5am.
29/06 : Sweden no longer requires a test for Europeans who have been vaccinated or who have already had the covid.
29/06: Denmark no longer imposes a quarantine on travellers from most EU countries including France.
28/06: Mauritius will reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers on 15 July in “resort bubbles” limited to resorts (including pool and beach).
28/06: UK may soon let in vaccinated travellers without quarantine.
28/06: Trinidad and Tobago to reopen its borders on 17 July.
28/06: Uganda’s land borders are now closed to passenger vehicles.
28/06: The National Academy of Medicine recommends that non-vaccinated people pay for travel tests.
28/06: Switzerland: travel quarantine requirement lifted for people coming from the Schengen area.
28/06: Egypt no longer requires PCR tests for vaccinated people.
28/06: Thailand applies new restrictions.
24/06: People who have been vaccinated or who have already had covid can now enter Norway without quarantine. .
24/06: The US says restarting international tourism is a priority, but has not yet announced a date for reopening borders to Europeans. . 24/06: From 1 July, vaccinated people will no longer need to be tested on arrival in Iceland or quarantined while waiting for the results.
24/06: The Netherlands no longer requires a test for travellers from France.
24/06: Israel postpones the opening of its borders to tourists until 1 August.
23/06: Russia, Namibia and Seychelles have been added to the red list 🔴 of countries for which a compelling reason is required to travel from France, even for vaccinated people.
23/06: By plane or by boat, travellers who wanted to travel between Guadeloupe and Martinique will no longer be isolated on arrival.
23/06: Australia begins to reopen its borders to vaccinated students.
22/06: The islands of Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan in Thailand could reopen to vaccinated people as early as July 15, shortly after Phuket opens on July 1.
22/06: Travellers, even unvaccinated, can now enter Montenegro without a test.
22/06: People who have been vaccinated or who have already had covid are now exempt from PCR testing to enter Italy.
22/06: Hong Kong to reduce quarantine time to 7 days for vaccinated people.
22/06: As of July 5, fully vaccinated travellers who are allowed to enter Canada will no longer be required to quarantine or test on the 8th day after arrival. In addition, fully vaccinated air travellers will not be required to stay in a government-approved hotel. However, tourists are still not allowed in until at least 21 July.
21/06: Estonia no longer imposes a quarantine on travellers from France.
21/06: The land border between Guinea and Senegal will be reopened very soon.
21/06: Niger has reopened its land borders.
21/06: Tunisia announces a general lockdown in four regions.
21/06: Norway to reopen its borders on 24 June.
21/06: The Czech Republic has reopened its borders.
21/06: Finland has reopened its borders to people who have been vaccinated or who have already had the covid.
21/06: Canada extends the closure of the land border with the United States until at least July 21.
19/06: Following Germany’s classification of Namibia as a country with a variant of concern, as of midnight Saturday 19, French nationals not resident in Germany are no longer allowed to board a flight to Europe via Germany.
18/06: In contrast to the easing of health restrictions in several European countries, Portugal has decided to ban entry to and exit from the Lisbon area over the weekend.
18/06: France is now placed in a green zone by Romania. Travellers arriving from France are exempt from quarantine and no longer need to present a PCR test on arrival in Romania.
18/06: Germany has removed France from its list of travel risk areas. There is therefore no longer a quarantine.
17/06: Indonesia may start to reopen its borders in July, but it is not clear how.
17/06: The UK is considering re-allowing vaccinated Britons to travel. It is not yet known whether vaccinated Europeans will be able to enter the kingdom without quarantine.
17/06: Ireland to reopen its borders without quarantine on 19 July.
17/06: Latvia has reopened its borders.
17/06: Hungary will reopen its borders on 24 June.
17/06: The list of green, orange and red countries for entry to and exit from France has been updated:
▸ Canada, USA move to green list (but these countries do not yet allow travellers from Europe)
▸ Turkey moves to orange list
▸ Afghanistan, Maldives and Paraguay move to red list
17/06: Unvaccinated people without compelling reasons can now travel to French Polynesia if they have been in the US for at least 15 days (previously 1 month) even if they are not American.
16/06: Thailand gives itself 120 days to fully reopen its borders. Source
16/06: Malawi closes land and sea borders. Source : Email from Malawi Tourism Council
15/06: Morocco has reopened its air and sea borders.
15/06: The launch of the health pass in the European Union is scheduled for 1 July, but Member States retain the possibility of reintroducing certain travel restrictions, particularly in the case of variants. States agreed to harmonise the validity periods of PCR tests (no more than 72 hours before arrival at destination) and antigenic tests (no more than 48 hours). They also agreed that travelling children under 12 years of age should be exempt from testing and that minors travelling with their parents or an accompanying adult should not be required to undergo quarantine if the accompanying adult is not subject to it. However, the implementation of these decisions is not binding.
14/06: Vaccinated travellers will no longer need a PCR test to enter Kyrgyzstan from 19 June.
14/06: Vaccinated people no longer need to be tested to enter Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12/06: The first phase of the reopening of the borders of Mauritius will start on 15 July, provided you are vaccinated and test negative. A 14-day quarantine will be imposed. Unrestricted travel to Mauritius will not be possible until 1 October.
11/06: France is now placed by the Romanian authorities in the “yellow zone”, with reduced entry conditions. Travellers arriving from France are exempt from quarantine.
11/06: Vaccinated people no longer need to be tested to enter Honduras.
10/06: As of 21 June, it will be possible to download a certificate of vaccination, certified in accordance with European standards, with English subtitles, from the Health Insurance teleservice. This certificate will be part of the authorised proof for travelling within the European Union as of 1 July.
09/06: The United States on Tuesday took the first measured steps towards a return to international travel, easing its warning to people wishing to travel to several countries, including France, and announcing the creation of working groups with key partners to prepare for this resumption.
09/06: Vaccinated people can now travel outside the EU directly from France without compelling reasons. Non-vaccinated tourists can only leave Europe from a country other than France. See the rules for entering / leaving France
09/06 : Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint-Martin : End of the compelling reason. PCR test less than 72 hours old, even for vaccinated persons. Self-isolation of 7 days for non-vaccinated persons.
09/06 : Reunion and Mayotte : End of the urgent reason only for vaccinated persons. PCR test of less than 72 hours.
09/06: French Polynesia: End of urgent reason only for vaccinated persons. PCR test less than 72 hours old.
09/06: French Guiana, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna: Compelling reason maintained
09/06: Canada may begin to gradually open its border with the United States to vaccinated people from 22 June.
Every month I receive a summary of the music I listened to the previous month via Deezer. The email for June arrived a short while ago. I thought it might have been a King Crimson month, obviously not.
▫️ NEWS FROM ACROSS THE POND 🇺🇸
▫️ THE FABULOUS FRIDAY (FUNNIES) GROANS from Paul
▫️ ADDITIONAL READS FOR TODAY
Study shows mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines generates strong immune response against COVID-19