Living through a pandemic
in the south of France
600 days since
1st lockdown in March 2020
DAILY STATISTICS HERE
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✏️ Today represents the 600th day since the 1st lockdown in France as a result of Covid-19. For the first 300 days I more or less reported daily but I think the time has come to slow down even if we are far from normal times. It is clear that a 5th wave is hitting us and the number of new daily cases is increasing everywhere and in some countries like the UK or Germany even more. Let us hope it remains under control and that the year end festivities will not be too affected.
✏️ Health situation update
France as of Tuesday Novembre 9th
This Tuesday 9 November, 12,476 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in 24 hours, according to figures from Santé publique France, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic to 7,232,157.
The rate of positive tests was 3%, compared to 2.9% the previous day.
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised stands at 6,851 (-14 in 24 hours), including 1,140 in intensive care units (-1 in 24 hours).
In 24 hours, 49 people died in hospital due to Covid. The total number of deaths since the beginning of the epidemic is 118,023, including 91,126 in hospital.
Since the beginning of the vaccination campaign in France, 51,405,775 people have received at least one dose of vaccine.
✏️ Carcassonne. The town has said goodbye to Norbert Serres, its emblematic restaurateur
The emblematic restaurateur Norbert Serres, a pillar of two Carcassonne institutions, is no more. Yesterday morning, at the Saint-Nazaine basilica in the town, family, friends and customers came in their hundreds to attend his funeral.
Norbert was a friend of many Carcassonnais. Starting with Gérard Larrat, the mayor of Carcassonne, who, during his speech, exchanged his status of mayor for that of a friend. “I was one of those to whom he spoke, to whom he confided. I used to go to his house to celebrate my victories and to soak up fear and sadness. He always had the right word. He was a Rabelaisian man. You will understand that my tribute is not conventional because Norbert was not conventional. Norbert made his life a show of which he was the author, the director improvising at every moment. He was an incredible man with a complex personality who let himself be dethroned by his character. Norbert was Norbert.
✏️ Speech from the president on Novembre 9th (Summary) © Le Monde – © Translation J2S
For the ninth time since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, Emmanuel Macron solemnly addressed the French on Tuesday 9 November, with a multiple objective: to boost the vaccine recall in the face of the rebound of the epidemic, to boast about his achievements and to evoke the priorities of the end of the five-year term.
✒︎ Towards a third dose for the over-50s
The Head of State announced that a third dose of vaccine will be required for the over-65s if they want to keep their health pass beyond 15 December. While the number of daily cases is rising and studies show a drop in vaccine effectiveness after a few months, this category is the most at risk. According to the Ministry of Health, half of the patients hospitalised in critical care are currently over 65, compared to one third at the end of August.
“People under 65 are also seeing the protection provided by the vaccine decrease over time. In fact, as I speak, more than 80% of people in intensive care are over 50,” he added. This is why a booster campaign will be launched from the beginning of December for our compatriots aged between 50 and 64.
The mere announcement on Friday of the presidential address gave a boost to requests for vaccination appointments. On Monday, more than 97,000 slots were booked for a third dose on Doctolib, more than double the average for the last few weeks.
✒︎ A new law for internal security
In addition to the announcements on the health pass, Emmanuel Macron announced that a programming law for internal security will be presented in the first quarter of 2022. According to the Head of State, this text should give more means to the police and reduce their bureaucratic constraints.
✒︎ Emmanuel Macron defends his vision for pension reform
If the conditions “are not met to relaunch today” the pension reform project, Emmanuel Macron said that it would be necessary, from next year, to take “clear” decisions on pensions “to preserve the pensions of retirees and solidarity between our generations”. “They will legitimately be the subject of indispensable democratic debates, but they will have to follow simple principles: working longer by pushing back the legal age, moving towards a fairer system by abolishing special schemes, harmonising the rules between the public and private sectors and ensuring that at the end of a full career, no pension can be less than 1,000 euros,” he added.
He also announced that from 1 December onwards it will be necessary to have worked for at least six months in the last two years in order to be compensated by unemployment insurance.
✒︎ Towards the construction of new nuclear reactors
The Head of State also announced that France would “develop renewable energies” and build new nuclear reactors “for the first time in decades”. This is “to guarantee France’s energy independence, to guarantee our country’s electricity supply and to achieve our objectives, in particular carbon neutrality in 2050”, he argued.
France, which gets most of its electricity from nuclear power, is currently building only one new-generation nuclear reactor, the EPR in Flamanville (EDF), whose construction started in 2007 and is still not completed. It was due to be commissioned in 2012 and cost 3.3 billion euros. Its start-up is now planned for 2023 and should cost, according to EDF, 12.4 billion euros. The Court of Auditors estimates that the total bill would be rather 19.1 billion.
France is considering building six additional EPRs, and EDF submitted a file to the government in the spring on the feasibility and conditions of such a programme. President Macron also recently announced investments in a future small reactor project (SMR).
“If we want to pay for our energy at reasonable rates and not depend on foreign countries, we must both continue to save energy and invest in the production of decarbonised energy on our soil,” said Emmanuel Macron, who has already emphasised the advantages of nuclear energy in recent months, particularly from a climate perspective.
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Green tea v Coffee
Caffeine content and health benefits
Generally speaking, coffee provides more than three times the amount of caffeine in green tea, which is why it’s such an invigorating drink to have in the morning or when you’re in a slump.
Caffeine works by stimulating your brain, helping you stay alert and preventing the onset of fatigue. It has also been shown to increase energy levels, quicken reaction time and enhance exercise performance. Additionally, it can improve your memory and your mood. Studies suggest that caffeine also has protective effects on the brain and that it may help reduce the risk of dementia and degenerative brain diseases.
Unfortunately, it’s tough for experts to conclusively narrow down the perks or pitfalls of either beverage mainly because it’s practically impossible to do long-term studies on either coffee or green tea without other confounding factors. So what do we know for sure?
For starters, coffee is healthier than you may realise. It’s packed with antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
Inflammation is implicated in various chronic diseases, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and some types of cancer. Therefore, coffee, being rich in antioxidants that lower inflammation, may help lower your risk of certain chronic diseases.
However, green tea wins when it comes to antioxidant content. Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins that help fight inflammation. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a type of catechin, is particularly effective against inflammation. In fact, EGCG has been associated with a lower risk of cancer and diabetes.
Green tea also contains polyphenols – powerful compounds that help manage blood sugar.
Moreover, coffee and green tea also have weight loss benefits. Coffee contains nutrients that improve digestion, like niacin (vitamin B3), potassium and magnesium. Maintaining healthy digestion or a well-functioning digestive system supports weight loss primarily because the process of digestion burns calories. The caffeine in coffee also boosts the rate at which your body burns calories.
On the other hand, a review published in the journal Obesity Reviews showed that the fat burned by one cup of green tea comes to 5.7 grams (g). The review also indicated that a daily cup of green tea is beneficial for stubborn weight loss, especially if it’s combined with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.
Risks of drinking too much coffee or green tea
The pros and cons of drinking coffee or green tea are associated with caffeine. Therefore, the best one for you will depend on your body’s reaction to this natural stimulant. After all, nobody wants a rapid heart rate or to be kept up all night.
Caffeine’s unsavoury effects are actually why some experts don’t recommend having coffee first thing in the morning. Coffee increases a hormone called cortisol, which is also known as the “stress hormone.”
Cortisol regulates your energy and alertness throughout the day. Cortisol is naturally high in the morning. Therefore, giving yourself an extra dose of cortisol when you wake up by drinking coffee can blunt the production of cortisol and mess with your body’s natural cycle. Moreover, some studies have shown that coffee, when consumed in the morning, can cause your body to produce more cortisol than it actually needs. This may negatively impact weight and hormone levels, as well as ovulation periods in women.
Aside from not drinking coffee first thing in the morning, you also shouldn’t have it on an empty stomach. That is because coffee stimulates acid production in the stomach, which can cause discomfort.
Drinking coffee in excess also has potential downsides, such as reduced bone density, higher cholesterol and an increased risk for heart disease.
Green tea, on the other hand, is easier on the gut than coffee. However, it isn’t the best option for people with a history of kidney stones. Green tea has high levels of oxalates, which are also produced as waste products by the body. Oxalates exit the body through urine, but too many oxalates may cause kidney stones in some people.
Other potential downsides to drinking too much green tea are stained teeth – which coffee can also cause – and poor iron absorption. Green tea contains antioxidants called tannins, which can interfere with and decrease how much iron your body actually absorbs in a meal.
Both coffee and green tea offer amazing health benefits. In most cases, you don’t really need to choose one over the other. You can have both. But if you find that you feel anxious or get jittery after drinking coffee, then switching to green tea might not be such a bad idea.
On the other hand, if the caffeine in green tea isn’t enough to perk you up in the morning, then you’re probably better off drinking coffee. Coffee is also great for when you need to boost athletic performance before a workout.
No matter which beverage you go for, remember to drink it in moderation so as to avoid the health problems excessive consumption can cause.
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