Daily Post – July 13th

Living through a pandemic

in the south of France

479 days in Carcassonne since

1st lockdown in March 2020




I watched the allocution from the president last night. Quite a few important announcements as well as what could be seen as the start of the election campaign. Quite a lot to absorb which I am not in a position to do right now but will hopefully do tomorrow evening.

✏️ Summer ruined?
We thought we would at least have a quiet summer. Not so. The respite was short-lived. Only two months after the start of the containment, there is once again an emergency. The signs of an epidemic resumption are quite clear. The number of cases is on the rise again and the number of outbreaks is increasing. Only the hospital is still safe. But for how long? Olivier Véran, the Minister of Health, acknowledged it yesterday: “We are at the start of something that looks like an epidemic wave. The cause of these new contaminations is well identified: the Delta variant, 40% more contagious than the Alpha mutant. As a result, Emmanuel Macron will have to speak again tonight at 8pm. Again. It will be his eighth speech since the beginning of the Covid epidemic. The President may be forced to take new restrictions to avoid a repeat of last year’s scenario. At the very least, he should announce mandatory vaccination for health care workers and the extension of the health pass. Will this be enough to stop the spread of the virus? While the time is ripe for relaxation and vaccination coverage remains very imperfect, it will be difficult to curb the progression of this strain without energetic measures.

© Le Parisien (Joffrey Vovos) – Translation © J2S

✏️ 3 departments in Occitania turn red

In the Occitanie region, these three departments have seen their incidence rate exceed the alert threshold set at 50 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Pyrénées-Orientales now has an incidence rate above 100 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, by far the highest rate since the Hérault is at 50.6 and the Haute-Garonne at 57.5. These three departments are among the seven in France to have already exceeded this alert threshold.

Guillaume Crozier, the young Frenchman who created the Covid Tracker tool, even asked publicly on his Twitter account: “What’s going on in the Pyrénées-Orientales (Occitanie), the number of new cases has increased sevenfold in one week, a growth rate of 600% compared to 60% in France. According to our colleagues in Midi Libre, the epidemic situation has also deteriorated very quickly in the Hérault: “The progression is of the order of 158% in one week. The city of Montpellier (shows) 70.6”.

In neighbouring Catalonia, the number of new positive cases is breaking records every week: 4,655 on 24 June, 23,228 on 1 July, 42,604 on 8 July. Hospital admissions rose from 476 to 728 in one week. Only the reproduction rate of the virus, the famous “R”, seems to have slowed down, from 3.06 on 1 July to 1.93 on 8 July. This lull is likely to be temporary, given the high contagiousness of the Delta variant. The Catalan epidemic situation may partly explain the epidemic jump in the border Pyrenees-Orientales, as there are many return trips between the Pyrenees-Orientales and Catalonia during the holiday period.

© L’Independant (Frédérique Michalak)- Translation © J2S



There are new items on the Travel Page.


Chicago soon to be engulfed?

While New York is facing heavy flooding, Chicago is also, more than ever, endangered by rising waters. Bordered by the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan, the city is prey to flooding that threatens its urban development, explains the “New York Times”.

Chicago was built in the heart of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin, trying to control the swamp on which it was built. “For generations, daring engineering projects have struggled to maintain a perilous balance, keeping the water in its place, neither too high nor too low,” the New York Times reports. The newspaper explains how, in recent years, the country’s third largest city and its 9.5 million inhabitants (in the metropolitan area) have seen their situation endangered by the climate crisis.

At first glance, the city seems rather untouched, far from the Californian droughts and threatening oceans. But Lake Michigan is gradually encroaching on the city’s shores and posing a serious threat to neighbouring buildings. “It’s an existential problem for these neighbourhoods and ultimately for the city,” laments Josh Ellis, an 87-year-old Chicagoan and former vice president of the Metropolitan Council.

Abrupt changes
In recent years, there has been one sudden drought and one sudden rise in water levels after another, leaving residents with little respite. “In just seven years, Lake Michigan has moved more than two metres. It’s an ominous sign that the inland sea, which has been attached to its historic shoreline for centuries, is starting to get restless,” the New York daily lamented.
The Chicago authorities are doing their best to prepare for these brutal changes linked to global warming, while knowing “that they will pay a heavy price”.

© Les Echos – Marion Torquebiau © Translation J2S

▫️   MUSIC – Some of the best albums of 1969


Some more gems from crazy USA


✏️ How your DNA might make you more susceptible to COVID-19 

✏️ Rare 4.5 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Could Hold Secrets to Life on Earth

✏️ Giant pandas are no longer endangered, China says 

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