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Bravo, Manu!

That was a class act. It really was. Announcing a new lockdown.

But, you know, it's gone noon. You forgot to say "ha ha, fooled ya!".

It was an April Fool, right?


Oh crap. Here we go again...


Actually, it doesn't really bother me that much, as I live my life in a way that isn't overly affected by these lockdowns. Not a lot changes.
I'm just mildly miffed that it is not possible to travel into a different region. You see, I live near where a bunch of départements (counties) meet. All of the others are in a different region, La Pays de La Loire. Me? I'm in Brittany. When I go shopping in Châteaubriant, it's over the border in a different region.

Another thing... the 10km restriction. This might make sense in big towns and the associated dormitory towns, but it doesn't make a lot of sense in the countryside. Let's put it like this, if the distance is 10km as travelled by road, I don't actually have a shop that is within range. Because out here in the back of beyond, things are that much further apart. My poor little Playmobil car racks up seven or eight thousand miles per year simply going to work. And I live pretty close (it's about 13km down the road).

I plan to shop in the local Super U. Because the closer shop is... I think it calls itself an Intermarché Contact. It's basically a 7-Eleven. And accordingly inflated prices.
The Contact is about seven miles as the unladen swallow flies, or ten and a half by road (country roads don't tend to go in straight lines).
The U, on the other hand, is pretty much exactly ten as the flapping creature moves, or about twelve by road. So if it's straight lines, I'm okay. If it is by road, I'm not. But tough crap, I work in that town, I drive past it pretty much every day. To not go shopping there would be an insanity.


Schools are closing. There's a two week holiday (Easter), with an extra week added either side. I can imagine a lot of the children now will be a little disturbed by this. I mean, in the beginning it was probably fun (no school, whee!), but as time goes on it's not only the potential impact to education (especially the older ones who would normally be doing all the exam stuff), but lockdown isn't like a summer holiday. You meet up with Zoom. You hang an online game. You text message. People were already starting to go stir crazy by the end of the first lockdown. Now it's the third.

That said, the rules are different this time around. It's a curfew as usual from 7pm to 6am. But you don't need the annoying bits of paper this time around. You can go shopping, exercise, and so on up to 10km from your home. If the Flics stop and check, your address is usually on the driving licence. As I don't have one, I've stuck an electricity bill in with my passport.
So, for me, except for going to Big Town, it's life as normal.

Oh well... they still haven't built Burger King yet, so I'm not really losing anything. Actually, I'm probably gaining by not buying crap I don't need from Action or... oooh, Playmobil... ☺

Oh, and yay for the government for recognising that book shops should be considered essential. At least it will give people who can't go anywhere something to do.



The government, being frightfully optimistic, reckon that they will be able to open up vaccination to everybody as of June. Which probably means September or October maybe in reality.

A little later on, I'll get in touch with my doctor to find out what I need to do in order to get the Moderna vaccine. Even if I have to pay for it. I'm not worried about the blood clot issue that everybody is screaming about. It's 9 people dead (and about 30 incidents) in tens of millions of doses. Those kinds of odds are like winning a life-changing amount of money on the lottery. Trust me, those odds are never in my favour. I won the lottery on Tuesday... €4.

I just have more confidence in the mRNA vaccine, I believe it to be better at what it does, and more effective than the AstraZenica's modified-virus. After a recent rebuke over misleading and outdated data, AstraZenica admitted that in a trial of 32,000 participants in the US and South America, the efficacy of the vaccine was 76% as reported on March 24th...which is three percent lower than the press release they gave out on March 22nd!
Pfizer, on the other hand, claims that their vaccine was 95% effective in preventing catching Covid, and 100% effective in preventing severe cases in those few who did still catch it. Moderna is just behind with a 94% efficacy.
The reason that I pick Moderna over Pfizer is that it can be stored in a refrigerator for about a month, it doesn't require end-to-end extreme cold. AstraZenica can be kept for up to six months in a regular fridge.
I don't yet have information on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, other than knowing that it is a modified virus akin to the AstraZenica one.

All of the vaccines are supposed to be delivered in two doses, however recent studies have indicated that Pfizer and Moderna are extremely effective after one dose. That doesn't mean the second dose can be skipped, it's just that your immune system reacts better with the mRNA.

Of course, there is always the chance of developing flu like symptoms. That runs to about 8%-10% and is fairly normal. You basically have to drop a controlled dose of something that looks like the virus into the body in order to cause the immune system to freak out on purpose. Because it's that reaction that gives your immune system the ability to recognise that the virus is Bad News before it takes hold. The sooner your body can detect and destroy the virus, the better. So all of these vaccines are designed to provide methods of teaching the body what it is.
The most common reaction, however, is a sore arm. That's pretty par for the course, given you're having a needle shoved into you and something "toxic" (as far as the immune system is concerned) squirted in.
Ugh... needles.

So, my personal choice is the Moderna vaccine. It's not a decision made of fear of all the crap spouted by the tabloids and various politicians. I've done the research and made my choice.

And if it should fry my brain and turn me into a drooling zombie... well, that's just me on a Monday morning. Hold my mouth open, stick a funnel down my throat, and toss in a couple of mugs of Tetley (milk, two sugars), I'll be alright...


Hot and Cold

I'm sitting outside to write this. The doors and windows open (with a bug screen for the bedroom window). It's just dropped down from 24°C. I can hear bees, some sort of agricultural thing in the distance, and a tonne of birds. Yay, Chirpy Chaffinch is back.

The girls at work tell me it's supposed to be minus three and snowing by the end of next week.
...the f....?

AccuWeather paints an even more dismal picture...

Cold, cold, bloody cold!
Cold, cold, bloody cold!
You did clock that minus six, right?
There goes all the cherry blossom.
Which, actually, looks like this right now (at half six in the evening).
Cherry blossom
Cherry blossom.
That's the semi-wild self-sown cherry opposite the house. It isn't quite Sakura as only the top half is in blossom. Maybe tomorrow.
The proper Sakura (the pink Japanese cherry), that may be in blossom by Saturday. It's going to get a heck of a shock. I think I ought to see if I have some fleece to wrap it up in. And the flower planters, I'll have to move some of those inside where Marte lives, I think. A couple of days of darkness is probably better than a couple of nights of negatives, given that I live in a dip so whatever the forecast says, it's usually a degree or two less here.


So. Lockdown and a cold snap coming. Ha ha, you fooled me...



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Rick, 1st April 2021, 19:59
My home server says it hit 26.7°C at three o'clock this afternoon. Whoo! 
(and I was at work...)
David Pilling, 1st April 2021, 22:42
Here in the UK they said at the outset there was going to be no private medicine - unlike the annual flu jab where anyone can pay to have it. I've not heard of anyone working the system to get the version they want. That does not mean people have not managed it. The message is that no one knows what is being used in any place on any day in advance. Presumably one can work out that very small centres will not be using the versions that need low temp storage. The Pfizer jab came in batches of around 1000 at the start. 
There has been a mix of how people are contacted, some via local GPs, others via a national system, upon which where you go depends. 
I had the AZ jab - in common with quite a lot of other people I know. Would I have picked it - hard to say - as long as it stops serious symptoms. But as above I did not have a choice. Real world results will be interesting. 
If France does the thing of giving AZ to old people with lower risk of clots, you may get your wish. 
David Pilling, 1st April 2021, 22:45
Sorry to hear about the further lockdown in France. And what it implies. We did not get a picture of how things in the UK compared with France etc after Christmas. We've had three months lockdown from just after Christmas.
David Pilling, 2nd April 2021, 13:48
For the annual flu jab, efficacy is often very low, less than 50%. Sometimes it is later reported as being a waste of time.

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