Vaccination against Covid-19 broadens its audience but the progression of variants prevents any relaxation.
Vaccination does not mean the end of restrictions. While the government currently favors the the state, the progression of English variant raises the threat of re-containment. But the Brazilian variant he too is wreaking havoc, especially in Manaus in the Amazon where he sows doubt on collective immunity. A certainty in France, the excess mortality in 2020 is “beyond measure” and thelife expectancy had not recorded such a decline since 1945. Enough to increase the impatience of the French to get vaccinated. The vaccine doses still need to be available. In short, we will still have to keep our masks for many months, but not just any. The craft masks are in the crosshairs. And again, even with the masks students are deprived of amphis. Result, they are in the street.
Camille Lestienne, journalist at Figaro
1. The coronavirus variants worry the world
Faced with variants, reconfinement. With 26,784 new Covid-19 contaminations detected in 24 hours, a record since November, and 2,839 people hospitalized in intensive care, the epidemic situation remains very fragile. It could have stabilized if the English variant, which progresses at an exponential dynamic, had not destroyed this optimistic scenario. According to models, the number of hospitalizations will exceed the peak of the second wave in March if no additional measures are taken. Containment in the UK and Ireland has managed to reverse the incidence curve. After a defense council yesterday, the executive maintains the the state on restrictive measures but the French are ready. Three quarters of them are already resigned to be re-defined according to a survey. In reality, three variants frighten the world. They come to us from England, South Africa and Brazil. If it seems certain that the English variant is more contagious, the evolutions of the South African and Brazilian variants are more uncertain. The latter is suspected in the new disaster that hits the city of Manaus. Its greater contagiousness would be the only explanation for the surge in cases and deaths that is wreaking havoc in this city located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Manaus has already been badly affected in the spring with perhaps 76% of the population infected. What to call into question the strategy of collective immunity.
Mortality on the rise, marriages on the decline: the Covid harvest in 2020. During this year marked by the Covid 19 epidemic, the increase in deaths is “Beyond measure”, notes INSEE in its annual demographic report. 667,400 deaths from all causes were recorded in 2020 in France, or 9% more than in 2018 or 2019, notes the publication of the statistical institute, even if we do not know the exact proportion of deaths linked to Covid. One thing is certain: 93% of Covid victims are over 65, according to Public Health France (SpF), while the average age of Covid victims is 82 and half of the dead are over 85. Another bad news is that life expectancy has dropped slightly, by 0.4 years for women and 0.5 years for men. It could even, for the latter, be 0.6 years taking into account the latest death figures. This is the biggest loss of life expectancy since 1945 for men. “You have to go back to World War II to record such a decline, underlines Michel Guillot, researcher at the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED). And the pandemic is also taking its part in marriages which show a historic decline of -34.1% compared to 2019.
2. Vaccination and masks under debate
A vaccine, and fast! «With the acceleration of the vaccination campaign in nursing homes. We will have largely reached the million French people vaccinated by the end of the month», Declared Olivier Véran the Minister of Health whereas yesterday there were 692,777 French people vaccinated with a first dose. On Monday, the vaccination campaign was extended to people over 75 years old and to those with pathologies likely to cause serious forms of Covid-19. According to the ministry, nearly 500,000 vaccinations are scheduled this week. Quirks and controversies accompanied this new phase: difficulty in making an appointment, delay in delivery of doses, logistical failures denounced by mayors. The problem according to a general practitioner interviewed by Le Figaro is that “the authorities have made eligible population segments larger than the first orders“. However, the French are now mostly in favor of the vaccine, which was not the case before the holidays. Faced with the impatience of populations to be vaccinated, the delay in production announced by Pfizer is therefore putting European governments under pressure. Italy intends to take legal action against the American laboratory.
New debate on masks. Entangled in the controversy over vaccines, we would have forgotten our masks. They remind us of this week with the latest advice from the High Council of Public Health (HSCP) which recommends avoiding category 2 fabric masks just like homemade ones. Not sufficiently filtering, they would not be effective against the new variants of the more contagious coronavirus. The Ministry of Health has not yet decided. In fabric, surgical, FFP2, which masks to trust, one wonders? Le Figaro make the point. Wearing the FFP2 mask, the most filtering, is not however recommended for everyday life. A downside, judge journalist Anne-Laure Frémont, who recalls the month of March 2020 when the mask was not considered useful in order to preserve stocks for caregivers.
3. University in peril, winter sports too
The students crack. They were a few hundred, surrounded by many journalists. The students demonstrated yesterday afternoon in the Latin Quarter, in Paris, to proclaim their despair at the closed universities. For young people, it is the great depression. The announcement of a resumption of tutorials and half-group from January 25 for first year students only had the effect of a Scottish shower. “I am disappointed, but not surprised. Schoolchildren, college students, high school students, preparatory and BTS students can go to class, but students do not have access to lecture halls, where they are nevertheless seated all day at two meters distance ”, comments a student. The president’s response will not reassure them: “I’m telling you frankly: we’ll have to hold on“, He wrote to a young student who had challenged him on social networks. Those who regretted that we talk more about ski resorts than students can be reassured. They did not succeed. The ski lifts will remain closed on February 1 and most likely throughout the season. The announcement was made yesterday by the Secretary of State for Tourism.
4. Curfew, instructions for use
Partly deconfined, France is under curfew since December 15. It is possible to move around freely during the day but leaving your home is prohibited between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., under penalty of a fine of 135 euros. A schedule imposed on the entire metropolitan area since January 16.
There are exceptional reasons for which a certificate must be presented.
- Business trips.
- Consultations and care
- Travel for compelling family reasons.
- Travel for people with disabilities and their companions.
- Judicial or administrative summons.
- Participation in missions of general interest
- Travel related to transit
- Short trips for the needs of pets.
5. Reflexes to keep
A few simple actions can limit the spread of the virus. Here they are :
- Wash your hands every hour or use hydroalcoholic gel
- Cough or sneeze into the crease of your elbow
- Use disposable tissues
- Avoid kissing or shaking hands
- Wear a mask in public spaces when respect for physical distances is not guaranteed.
Covid-19 is transmitted through droplets (respiratory secretions), by close contact with an infected person, especially when the latter coughs or sneezes. But it can also be transmitted through the air. The virus also remains viable for a few hours on different surfaces.
The disease manifests itself in several symptoms. In 9 out of 10 cases, this results in a fever below 39 ° C. According to the World Health Organization, this fever is most often accompanied by fatigue, signs of shortness of breath and a dry cough. Often a loss of smell and taste.
6. What to do in case of symptoms?
The most important thing is to get tested. According to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, you should, in case of symptoms, stay at home and contact your doctor who will order a test. While waiting for the result, you must isolate yourself, wear a mask and prepare a list of people you could have infected.
If the test is positive, the Primary Health Insurance Fund will contact people likely to be infected. You must then remain isolated for at least 8 days, taking care not to infect your loved ones. Watch your health. In case of fever, take paracetamol. If necessary, schedule a follow-up remote consultation with your doctor. If you feel that you are having difficulty breathing, call 15.
If the test is negative, contact your doctor and follow his instructions.
See you next week.