Chancellor Merkel’s final wishes under the banner of “difficult times”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s New Year’s greetings were eagerly awaited on Thursday, December 31, across the Rhine. If it was indeed a speech to invite his fellow citizens to welcome the New Year, they also had the color of twilight for the current Chancellor, still young – she is 66 years old – but who will step down in the fall of 2021, at the end of her third term (she became Chancellor in 2005).

“Winter remains difficult”

The “Historical crisis” of the coronavirus is expected to continue in 2021, even if the vaccine provides“Hope”, wished to warn Angela Merkel from the outset, dressed for the occasion in a bronze blouse, the German and European flags on her left, an image of the night front of the Bundestag behind her. “These days and weeks (…) are difficult times for our country. And it will last a long time ”, said the Chancellor in her speech in the dark tone, referring to “Something that happens once every hundred years”. “Winter remains difficult”, she added.

→ REPORT. Covid-19: Germany between hope of vaccination and call for patience

Unlike what happened in the spring, in fact, Germany is hit first and foremost, and for the time being more than its European neighbors, by the second wave of the coronavirus, so that the government had to decree a new partial confinement at least until January 10.

In total, 33,791 people succumbed to the virus in Germany in 2020, or just over half of France (64,632), but these figures are currently soaring, according to the latest figures from the Robert health watch institute. Koch (RKI). And Germany, for the first time on Tuesday, December 29, crossed the symbolic threshold of a thousand deaths recorded in a single day (1,122), although with, no doubt, a catch-up effect, the regional health authorities having previously sent incomplete data due to Christmas holidays.

“Cynical and cruel” conspiracy theories

“The challenges posed to us by the pandemic remain immense”, nonetheless insisted Angela Merkel, thanking the vast majority of Germans for having respected the instructions for reducing contacts aimed at combating the spread of the virus, and the front-line staff, who “Surpassed” since the beginning of the crisis.

The Chancellor castigated the movement of “corona-skeptics” in the country, which stood out in 2020 by several major demonstrations, partly accompanied by violence. “I can only imagine the bitterness felt by those who mourn a loved one because of the coronavirus, or those who continue to suffer from after-effects, when the existence of the virus is contested or denied by some”, she said, denouncing in passing the ” conspiracy theories “ : “Not only false and dangerous, they are also cynical and cruel towards these people”.

Angela Merkel still wanted to give hope to her fellow citizens, by evoking the start of vaccinations in the country and in Europe, in retirement homes and nursing staff. “We have never, despite the concerns, been so eager to enter a new year”, she judged.

A year which, for itself, will end with a goodbye tune. Angela Merkel will step aside after the legislative elections on September 26, in circumstances which, for the time being, resemble an immense fog: no one, at this stage, can say who will deliver this speech in her place, on December 31, 2021 Nor what will be the color of this speech …


Dakar Barreda saves a difficult day and Sainz loses minutes again

Joan Barreda, on a motorcycle, saved a difficult day in the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally. The Valencian, who started the day just 15 seconds behind the leader of the general, lost almost 20 minutes yesterday and is now 14 minutes behind the leader, the Argentine Kevin Benavides. In cars, Carlos Sainz -in the photo- is third in the general 48 minutes from the first, the Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel.


how to implement change when reality makes it difficult

Receiving the new year is usually accompanied by lists with good intentions. But the consequences of the pandemic weigh when it comes to changing the course in everyday life. However, the will to improve in the field of health (physical and emotional) is an aspect on which negotiations do not fit, especially after long months of uncertainty, limitations and radical transformations.

“Just as memory is congruent with our state of mind, with regard to the future the same thing happens. If now I feel discouraged, sad, negative, tired … it is possible that I anticipate a less positive future“shares Cristina Mae Wood, a European doctor in Psychology, specialized in anxiety and stress, and a health psychologist at the Madrid Human Area Center.

Although not everyone was affected by the pandemic with the same severity, states of anxiety, stress and depression are also part of the new normal. And, precisely these tables can be an obstacle in the achievement of certain goals. But are not the only ones. Being deprived of freedom of movement or with cut income are other reasons that stop certain transformations in the routine.

Putting your sentimental life in order, achieving a better work-life balance and more balance at work, integrating a healthy diet or finding a better distribution in the face of family burdens are some of the most pressing objectives to start 2021 in order.

“It is important to bear in mind that, although the desire to do something helps, it is not the determining part. What is relevant is the decision to carry out a review of our objectives and values”, explains Joselin Miranda Gómez, health psychologist and member of the team at the Center for Clinical Psychology.

And, explain the psychologists consulted, this is the way to make changes in life when reality makes it difficult.

The quarantine triggered terminal crises in many couples. Photo Shutterstock.

In the couple: materialize a break (even without money)

Confinement tested each and every relationship that lives under one roof. In some cases, it resulted in a strengthening of the couple. But, in many others, the result was the opposite. “Many couples have been brought together by quarantine, and about half realized they weren’t working,” shares Wood.

Given this circumstance, starting a life alone is the most logical consequence. However, the job insecurity derived from the crisis made this movement impossible for many people. “Those who thought to put an end to the relationship and, due to the economic situation, have not been able to carry it out, can reach a minimum agreement in which the privacy of the other is respected, an individual space is allowed, distribute the domestic responsibilities and the care of the children, and maintain a balance in the economic part “, recommends Miranda.

According to the experts, be aware of the situation It is the first step. From there, if you do not have enough money to become independent, it is important to make numbers and start saving or looking for work if you do not have it. “You may not be able to leave in a month, but you may in six months. The important thing is to have a goal,” Wood suggests.

In 2019, the WHO recognized burnout as a disease.  Illustrative image Shutterstock.

In 2019, the WHO recognized burnout as a disease. Illustrative image Shutterstock.

Professionally: managing the ‘burn-out’ (in full crisis)

The layoffs were the general trend in the labor market. The teams were reduced and, as a consequence, the workload increased. Those who already suffered from burn-out (burned worker syndrome) in their workplace, saw this situation increased. But both these profiles and others who had proposed a change of professional sign saw their intentions slowed down by the general situation.

“If you realize that you are not passionate about your work, if you do not learn, if you suffer burn-out, if the relationship with your boss is disastrous or if you are bored, the important thing is to search. This is something that happens to 80% of the population“shares the anxiety specialist.

Despite the complexity of the moment, it is important to do an analysis on where it would be desirable to focus the race, without giving up or creating limitations to it. “You have to keep in mind that the only solution is not to quit your job. It is important to be flexible, in the beginning you can request a reduced shift or, if you are very stressed or depressed, take a leave of absence and give yourself time, ”continues Wood.

Likewise, taking advantage of the free time to investigate those topics in which you want to grow, even outside of work, is beneficial. Also, improve profiles on LinkedIn and start inform the network of contacts about our objective, to be aware of the opportunities that may arise.

On the other hand, the physical exercise It is another tool to reduce work stress. “It is much more effective against depression and stress than any pill. Sport helps release cortisol, increases oxytocin levels and that reduces anger. All of this is very important for us to be calmer, sleep better and let’s not think so much negative“, Adds the doctor in psychology.

Eating better, a goal that many set at the beginning of the year.  Photo Archive.

Eating better, a goal that many set at the beginning of the year. Photo Archive.

Break away from emotional food

Among the most recurrent resolutions at the beginning of the year is the review of the relationship that is maintained with food. In 2021, this topic may concern more people than usual. We spend more time at home than ever and this circumstance, coupled with a framework of uncertainty and anxiety, unleashed unhealthy eating patterns.

“Food, like any other addiction, never fixes the underlying problem. If I have anxiety, stress and I use food to calm those unpleasant emotions, all I am going to do is create a new problem, “Wood shares. Again, being aware that there is a mismatch in the relationship with food is the first step to handle the situation.

Likewise, it is essential to draw up routines that stop the act of being carried away by food when something emotionally fails. “Even if there is a situation that we do not like and that limits us to a certain extent, it is possible to maintain and take care of a routine adjusted to our interests. It will help us to organize and face day-to-day difficulties in a more adaptive way”, explains Miranda.

If the probability of success in changing habits is to be increased, the way in which we conceive the situation should be transformed or, what is the same, the assessment of threat by that of challenge.

In the first case, it is negative thoughts that direct a certain situation (which can last for months), resulting in feelings such as anxiety, frustration, insecurity, fear, sadness, anger. “Those emotions accumulated over time, especially when there is a lot of uncertainty, are going to have negative consequences on behavior,” warns Wood.

However, when establishing a challenge assessment, the focus is on what we want to happen. “It’s very easy: What would I like to see happen? See how my body changes, feel good in my own skin. You visualize it and feel those positive emotions, which in that case would be illusion, excitement, excitement. They will always have positive consequences, “he continues.

Physical activity is key to physical and mental well-being.  Photo Shutterstock.

Physical activity is key to physical and mental well-being. Photo Shutterstock.

Maintain the sports routine

Before the first confinement, going to the gym, cardio class or even the treadmill at home became a must. As the months passed, the will to continue training from home fell.

“The problem for most people is that they wait to be motivated to play sports, and that is a trap, a deception. To feel like it you have to create the habit, little by little. We are animals of habit and, when we repeat a behavior, approximately at 21 days it becomes a routine and it doesn’t cost that much anymore, “reveals Wood.

If the problem is given because the exercise pattern that was followed cannot be maintained due to the restrictions, maintaining an open attitude is the key so that the sporting intention does not decline. “It is advisable to focus on what we can do now to get as close as possible to our objectives. To do this, we must be realistic and act in the short term,” advises Miranda.

The pandemic distorted the boundaries between family, work and school life.  Photo Shutterstock.

The pandemic distorted the boundaries between family, work and school life. Photo Shutterstock.

Coping with family burdens

Another situation that worsened the health crisis is the weight that certain people bear due to the caring for relatives or loved ones. Those who are in charge of the elderly or those with delicate health and had external help were sometimes deprived of it, for fear of contagion or quarantines, or because of the crisis. Something similar happens in the case of childcare.

“Each person has to value the resources they have, value them and set limits, also in terms of the energy that is offered,” says Wood. If it is about children, the psychologist insists that it is necessary to share with them that parents also get tired and establish moments of disconnection.

Introducing activities that generate well-being is a useful tool in these cases. “Activities such as taking a short walk, doing some relaxation exercise, maintaining social activity even through a video call, trying to organize times and daily routines (sleep, food, physical exercise) or simply stop and get distracted a few minutes a day can help release tension, “recommends Miranda.

When time is short, Wood proposes to review habits, such as time spent on mobile applications. “If we do a cell phone or television fast, we will gain a lot of time to invest in our psychological well-being. Exercise, read in bed, draw, sew or do meditation. With investing 15-20 minutes a day it is enough “, concludes the specialist in anxiety and stress.

By Rocío Navarro Macías, for La Vanguardia.


The countdown begins: Lionel Messi will have to decide whether to leave or stay at Barcelona

Began the countdown. As of January 1, 2021, Lionel Messi has the future of his football career in his hands. Still far from retirement, he is torn between two options that he rarely faced in his professional life: continue betting on the club that formed him and continue to command a Barcelona in transition or pack his suitcases to bet on something totally new after 20 years. Your contract ends in six months, but from this date you have the legal possibility to close a deal with another entity without any reprimand.

The truth is that whatever the decision may be, it will not be easy at all and its future will not be resolved today, tomorrow, or next week, as he himself explained in his last interview with journalist Jordi Évole: “I’m going to wait for the season to end. “

“I do not know if I will leave or not, and if I do, I would like to leave in the best way, always speaking hypothetically.” In that tone he handled himself during the hour that the conversation with the Spanish presenter lasted and surely from today, and until June, he will begin to put things in the balance.

The situation in which he finds himself now is totally different from that of four months ago, in which he was determined to get out by using his release clause. With the board of directors that damaged him so much in the last time outside the club, and on the eve of the presidential elections agreed for January 24, La Pulga begins to face the most decisive straight of his career.

“I want to be in Barcelona as much as I can, but I do not want to have a long contract and stay for that, but because I know that I will be physically well, be important and see that there is a winning project,” Messi considered in 2019 in an interview with Sport.

After these statements, the 2019-20 season ended up being one of the worst in recent years, losing a league to Real Madrid, being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey with Bilbao and closing the cycle with a historic defeat against Bayern Munich 8-2 ​​in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Seeing that said “winning project” failed not only on the field but also abroad, with frustrated signings (Neymar), institutional scandals (“Barçagate”) and mismanagement of the leadership, the Rosario was about to put an end to a long history of love to which he was practically forced to continue living so as not to involve judges and lawyers involved.

Today, although the football situation remains the same, the resignation of president Josep Maria Bartomeu and the restructuring of the squad seems to have given him a bit of strength to continue trying as a Barça player, however, everything will be tied to what happens in the last five months, within which a new president will take office, after the elections in the coming days, and in which the team will play up to four titles (Spanish Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Champions League and League).

Lionel Messi seems to have it clear: without a competitive project he leaves. It will be there where the squad (with Ronald Koeman at the helm) and the presidential candidates will have to convince him, not with words but with deeds, if they really want him to continue.

In principle, the arrival of the Dutch coach added a lot to that scale that will finally tip one way or the other in the future of Rosario: “I think that with Koeman he was given a seriousness and an idea of ​​what he wants and what he wants for his team and what he wants for the club. I think yes, it was a great success and that he is doing things very well and that at the beginning it is difficult because there are many new people, many young people but the team is growing little by little ” .

January 24 will be another key date. There he will meet the new president of Barcelona, ​​who will have a very difficult task both at an institutional and sports level: “It will not be easy in the situation that is going to be found, because of how the club is, because of the issue of the pandemic, and it will not be easy to turn all this around. But hopefully whoever wins will do things well to put the club back, how great it is, in the position where it deserves, which is not there today “, remarked the Barcelona captain in dialogue with Évole.

In total, there will be nine candidates so far who will try to convince Messi with his little project book under his arm. One would even facilitate the arrival of Xavi Hernández (as General Manager or coach, if Koeman does not continue). The Argentine star, however, and knowing that what the next leader can present will be decisive for him, he does not take sides for anyone: “I have not spoken with anyone. First they have to pass the elections, he has to win and when he is president start to work. Then we will see that we finish the year well that we can get a title and in June it will be seen.

True to his style, Lionel Messi wants to face the last years of his career at the highest level and fighting for the main international titles. That is why, if Barcelona cannot meet their expectations, they will have no choice but to seek new horizons. Although almost all the clubs in the world would like to have him among their ranks, Manchester City of England (with Pep Guardiola), PSG of France (with Neymar) or Inter of Italy (today a little further back in the fight) They would be the main candidates on a list in which he recently completely ruled out the eternal rival, Real Madrid, and Atlético de Diego Simeone and Luis Suárez.

Despite the great unknown that surrounds the short-term future of the best player in recent times, and whatever his decision (with MLS also hovering in his head), Leo is clear that his love story with the Barça institution is not It will end in June: “I would like to return one day, I would like to return to the city, to work at the club. I don’t see myself as a coach, perhaps as a sports director to bring in players that I want or that I think the club needs, we’ll see”.


Photo 1: Hard goodbye! The moving message of Jaime Camil after the death of his father

The businessman Jaime Camil Garza died last Sunday apparently due to catastrophic septicemia

Actor Jaime Camil dedicated a message to him on social media as a tribute to his father, Jaime Camil Garza, who died last Sunday apparently due to catastrophic septicemia.


The difficult task of giving medicines to pets

Pelusa had just come out of the vet clinic and still drowsy she was making small grunts that sounded like pain. The day before, she had been sterilized. In a few more hours, Samantha López, the owner of the dog, had to comply with medical indications and give him the medicines.

It seemed like a simple task. Fluff had always been a docile pet, so her owner thought first of convincing her by putting a little of the antibiotic in a nutritional drink of those that she always devoured. He took a little and didn’t want more. He went back to bed.

He had to then give her a pill and this time he wanted to trick her, putting the pill in the middle of a piece of bread. Ate almost everything, minus the piece that had the medicine.

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How did he convince her? He thought the best thing would be to grab her, open her snout and put the pill in her. He did it, but he earned a bite.

The veterinary doctor Paúl Rivadeneira Macías reminds that it is important to guarantee a good response from the patients, therefore must consume properly and in its entirety the medicine that is prescribed.

“In the case of tablets, capsules or pills, they can be ground, cut or diluted with water, juices, patés or hide them in fruits, chicken or meat and even in an edible treat that is pleasant for our pets, avoiding sausages or spicy foods ”, he explains.

If what you must give is a liquid remedy, there are options such as freezing the dose that would be due and administering it “camouflaged” with a product. You can also put it on the corner of the lip with the help of a syringe, keeping the muzzle always slightly upwards. The most important thing is not to force them, he says.

Gabriela Alvear, who is dedicated to volunteering in animal foundations, also apply some tricks, that vary depending on the case.

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“In dogs, I open their trumpets with one hand and with the other I put the pill at the back of their throat for them to swallow,” he says. What if they spit it out? Do the same process, trying not to hurt them, repeat.

And although there are some who are more reluctant to take their medicine, giving it to them is not that complicated like when it comes to cats.

The effort is a bit longer. He takes them by the back and with the other hand pushes the pill into the trunk. “There are some who do not allow themselves, who are sullen. I have had to wrap them in sheets and make them like a block to immobilize their legs, I calm them down and then give them the medicine “, Explain.

Professionals Recommend that the pet owner is calm, otherwise it will be more difficult to give the medicine.


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Dr. Angela Rodríguez says for cats, when they cannot be fooled with food, the pill can be given with some devices that are used for it or, if it is not at hand, with an eyebrow tweezer. The pill is inserted as much as possible, without sticking your fingers. Then you may be given some food or water to get the pill into your body.

If what you need to give is a suspension, to hide the taste can you put some honey to hide the bitter taste.

You will have to test everything as appropriate, pues, as in humans, it is necessary to supply the entire prescribed dose.


According to the WHO, a Christmas without the family is “the safest option” in these times of pandemic: “It’s incredibly difficult”

“It’s incredibly difficult because, especially during the holiday season, we really want to be with our family. But in some cases, not having a family reunion is the safest option, ”insisted Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO pandemic management officer.

The American scientist probably had not only Christmas in mind but also Thanksgiving, the family holiday par excellence in the United States, which will be celebrated on Thursday. Specialists fear a new peak of infection in the country already most affected by Covid-19, with almost 260,000 dead.

For her, a joint celebration by videoconference could be the solution. “Even though you can’t celebrate together this year, you can find ways to celebrate when this is all over,” she said.

“We do that in my family and we will have a hell of a party when it’s over,” said Maria Van Kerkhove.

His colleague Michael Ryan, in charge of emergency situations at the UN agency, stressed for his part that the number of infections increased in Canada after Thanksgiving, celebrated on November 12.

“The question is: are you in enough control of the disease and can you give people a little more freedom for the Christmas season, which can generate confidence and give joy, which people really need, without allow the virus to break loose? “, He launched.

For Michael Ryan, it is up to the authorities to find the right balance between “the health risks, and the social and economic risks” linked to the restrictions during the holiday season, able to “generate a lot of frustration, le-bol and a lot of criticism ”.


“If there is no rescue soon, I find it difficult for La Mirona to continue next year”

«If there is no rescue for concert halls soon, I see difficult for La Mirona to continue next year. Aid prolongs the agony for a few months, but to continue we need a rescue. If it doesn’t arrive before January, we will have just over a month left … », alert Quim Marcé, the person in charge of the Salt concert hall, one of the great referents of live music in the Girona region. And like them, there are many locals who are in one critical situation after eight months of closure. The legislation encompasses the concert halls within nightlife and not with the rest of the cultural facilities, such as theaters, auditoriums or cinemas, which is why many were not even able to reopen during the summer escalation.

La Mirona, which was able to offer outdoor performances during the summer for about 200 people thanks to the outdoor terrace, accumulates more than 200,000 euros in losses for deferred and suspended concerts since March, to which must be added the deficit for those expenses “of minimums, but which for the large rooms are enormous: we must continue to pay the bills, part of the ERTOs, the rent of the devices …”.

“Everything happens for the rescue and to freeze expenses, once we have solved this, we must talk about a minimum to continue making the activity viable: capacity, aid if it can not be consumed in the bars … Opening is complex and with current conditions it is more expensive than being closed”Explains Marcé.

“Opening because it’s useless, measures must be found so that we do not lose more. And at the very least that this does not generate more losses, we will be there, because there needs to be activity, that the live music chain does not break completely. When it was possible to do it in the summer, we did it, even if it was for a very small audience, until our schedule was cut “, laments the person in charge of the room, who remarks that it is so important to the subsistence of such premises the sale of tickets as what happens during and after the concert, i.e. the bar and the club.

Marcé explains that they have already received some help from the Department of Culture and that “although we have felt very mistreated by the administration”, they now have “the feeling that the council is listening to them, but it is precisely the one that has no resources, because it does not reach even 2% of the budget”.

He welcomed the measure proposed by the Minister of consider cultural shows an exception to weekend confinements: “There must be a minimum of traffic, we don’t just live in Salt, people must be able to come from all over.”

The last concert

To denounce a situation that is “unsustainable” for the sector and demand measures, a hundred concert halls in the state have joined in a joint campaign, “The last concert». They report that in recent months nearly 25,000 concerts have been canceled, and the losses that will accumulate the premises until the end of the year will add up to about 120 million euros.

Rooms such as Apolo, Razzmatazz, Luz de Gas, Meteoro, and in the Girona region La Mirona, l’Alternativa de la Bisbal d’Empordà, Mariscal de l’Estartit, Sunset Jazz Club or Yeah! of Girona, have joined forces to organize a free concert and online tomorrow at 8 p.m., which “could be the last concert”, and which can be seen on the web

Albert Pla, the Friends of the Arts, Stay Homas, El Pot Petit, the Black Music Choir and Les Anxovetes are some of the artists who have responded to La Mirona’s call to take part in the vindication, “an atypical concert that will include surprises”, says Marcé, who has sought a wide and very diverse representation of the music scene in the Girona region, because what what is happening affects us all ».


Majdi Kamel’s son: “My life is difficult … and I felt death.”

Adel Kamel, son of artist Magdy Kamel and actress Maha Ahmed, revealed that he had gone through a severe health and psychological crisis some time ago.

Adel posted a picture of him in front of the Kaaba, on his personal page on “Instagram”, and commented on it, saying: “I write these words, my hands are trembling, and they are really tired and not able, and I do not know what I have, and I do not know what I am talking to because I don’t want to let someone else disturb me.”

Adel confirmed: “I will write the words I want to write because I don’t know what is going on nor will it happen. My life is awful. He said it 4 months from June 15 until today October 15,” indicating that this period was one of the worst periods of his life, when he went through Problems affected him.

He continued: “The four months are the most brutal countries. 4 months I went back to me in my life. From the day I came to the world in order to have needs that hurt and exhausted me and affected my psyche, the first of which was the first love in my life that lived for a year and a half and its end was on June 15, after which the death of Hafnawi, my friend and brother, can be We were not close to each other, but just as we did not talk to some or see some, we still knew some of the nursery, and it was in sweet memories that we were so relieved with each other.

Adel added that the third worst problem that happened to him is the sinking of their house, who does not yet know how that happened, pointing out that the last problem is his sudden feeling of extreme fatigue, and the doctors do not yet know a reason for what he is suffering: “Our house sank all of it and did not know how or what It happened, the last of which was just 3 days ago, very suddenly I got tired, I got tired, not normal, and I don’t know what or the doctors, and I don’t know any improvement. I write this now and I don’t like that. Gets”.

And he concluded his post: “If something happened, I would have written all the things I was going and relaxed, so that you would know that laughter, shouting, going out and taking pictures is not the real life. The real life is what I have been telling me right now. All, I see you in pictures and videos that are not real..Our Lord conceal what is coming and infect a good one, God willing, for this time. I really felt death, if I returned to the good of someone’s life, you will change completely in every need, even in the pictures and videos. Sorry, I longed for you. O Lord, you are the Healer, the Exalted.


the difficult prioritization of tests

Test less, but more efficiently. At a time when the circulation of the virus is accelerating, the urgency is no longer to increase screening capacities, but to prioritize access, explained Minister Olivier Véran during a press conference. , Thursday September 17. Priority targets: symptomatic people, contact cases but also caregivers and home helpers.

“This prioritization doctrine is not new since these instructions were communicated to us as early as the third week of August”, recalls Lionel Barrand, president of the National Union of Young Medical Biologists. « In addition, we did not wait for the instructions from the ministry to prioritize the requests within our laboratories, as we normally do for other analyzes ”, he adds.

→ DEBATE. Should I get tested for Covid-19?

But in terms of coronavirus, the criteria for prioritization remain too vague according to him. ” We are asked to base ourselves on symptoms, yet symptoms are subjective. Is it up to our secretaries to check that such and such a person has a temperature? Not only do they not have the time to do it, but they are not authorized to do so ”, argues the biologist.

The medical prescription, the only objective criterion

Like many of his colleagues, Lionel Barrand pleads so that a “Objective criterion” trumps all others. In this case, the prescription of a doctor who, in view of the symptoms or the situation of his patient, will have judged a useful screening. “Business leaders who have the whole company screened because there is a positive case, it is no longer possible”, believes the biologist.

In the meantime, part of the profession has its eyes on the other screening methods under study, in the hope that they will help relieve laboratories. If the High Authority for Health (HAS) plans to issue an opinion on the antigenic tests this week – also carried out by nasal swab but the results of which are obtained in less than 30 minutes and without the intervention of a machine – it has already partly ruled on saliva tests.

→ READ. Coronavirus: will saliva tests be able to unclog laboratories?

Unfortunately, the verdict is mixed to say the least. Based on the intermediate results of the Covisal study, conducted in Guyana on more than 700 people, its opinion considers that the reliability of this test, carried out from a sputum, is only comparable to that of the nasopharyngeal test. condition that the person is showing symptoms.

Increase the number of screening centers dedicated to Covid

On the other hand, its performance is very poor for asymptomatic cases, which fall largely between the cracks. “We would miss three out of four positive people, an error rate of over 75% », signals Dominique le Guludec, president of the HAS. Which therefore recommends the use and reimbursement of these tests for “Symptomatic patients for whom the nasopharyngeal test is difficult or impossible to do, for example children, the very old and those with mental disorders. “

These tests will have the advantage “To bring in people who are afraid of the nasopharyngeal swab, but they will not put an end to the traffic jams in the laboratories”, reacts Laurent Kbaier, biologist at Biogroup. In the Var, his laboratory, “Calibrated to make between 130 and 150 patients per day”, now receives up to 350.

The only remedy for congestion, according to him, is to open coronavirus screening centers. A track already explored by the Minister of Health, who announced the upcoming opening of twenty centers of this type in Ile-de-France, where priority people will benefit from reserved time slots. “Today a grandma with diabetes has to stand in line behind a hundred people, that’s not normal, assures Doctor Kbaier. It is only by increasing the number of these dedicated places that our laboratories will be able to resume a more or less classic activity. “