Thursday 24th of June 2021

confinement, social distancing, camembert!


The French suspend their Liberty

by Thierry Meyssan

France is this strange country that never stopped collaborating with various invaders before revolting with honour; a country that was at first cowardly, then always brave. Without thinking about it, as usual, she has just abandoned the motto of her ancestors, which she will no doubt soon regain with glory.


All political regimes, whatever they may be, have no other function than to protect their subjects or citizens from aggressions from which they cannot protect themselves. They can, in turn, limit the freedoms of their constituents, which some regimes believe they must do more than others.

Thomas Hobbes of Britain tolerated to all crimes of the state as long as it protected its subjects from the torments of the civil war he had experienced. Breaking with him, the Frenchman Montesquieu devised mechanisms to control the national interest. With him, all the builders of modern regimes considered freedoms to be the ultimate goal of democracies.

During deadly epidemics, some regimes felt it necessary to limit or even deprive some of their constituents of their freedoms. It was accepted, until the Covid-19 epidemic, that democracies could exceptionally limit the rights of those infected, or suspected of being infected, in order to protect the healthy. It is now accepted that they may also limit the freedoms of the latter, or even place almost the entire population under house arrest.

This new standard has never been democratically discussed. It was imposed on governments in an emergency and was accepted by their constituents as a lesser evil. In doing so, they have brought about a temporary change of political regime, since in a democracy political decisions are only legitimate if they have been debated in representative assemblies. In the light of this momentum, the exceptional regimes are now working on the design of compulsory protective clothing, which until recently prohibited the burkha. As well as mobile applications that can warn their citizens of the presence of an infected person in their vicinity.

This is not an apocalyptic fiction, but the reality in which we are now living. This development is based exclusively on two sources of information. According to Professor Neil Ferguson in the European Union and the United Kingdom and Professor Anthony Fauci in the United States, the Covid-19 epidemic is expected to kill a total of at least 55 million people worldwide. So far there have been 170,000, more than 300 times fewer.

The fear of epidemics is ingrained in us. We know that at certain times, in certain places, they have carried away civilizations. We also know that medical progress will not help us in the face of new viruses, precisely because it has not yet been able to study them. However, we also know that the worst viral epidemics, such as smallpox in the Americas, have not been able to destroy civilizations. Pre-Colombian states were only destroyed because smallpox helped the conquistadores to do so. Plagues, such as Justinian’s plague in the 6th century or the Black Death of the 14th century, are bacterial diseases that can be fought with hygiene and defeated with antibiotics.

From the beginning of modern democracies, Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a "brother" of Voltaire, declared: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety"; a maxim that undoubtedly also applies to epidemics .

We must take note of this: the house arrest of healthy populations "for their own good" is incompatible with the democratic ideal. It is not a question of lamenting certain setbacks of our democracy, in the face of terrorism for example. They concerned only some of us and did not bother the majority. But to note that we have just, temporarily at least, put an end to democracy simultaneously in many countries. A decision that affects us all and imprisons us at home for an indefinite period of time.

Opposing good President Macron, who protects the health of his fellow citizens, to bad President Trump, who favours the economy, is just a smokescreen. The sad reality is that we have just successively abandoned the use of our Freedom, then our entire Freedom.

It is neither an economic crisis nor a war that caused this upheaval. Covid-19 is a far less deadly epidemic than many of its predecessors. The Hong Kong flu in 1968-70 killed more than a million people, while AIDS, over a period of 40 years, killed more than 32 million people. These viruses have not changed anything politically speaking. It is therefore likely that our political response to the current epidemic is a reflection of a prior evolution to this reality.

Widespread containment has been justified in all countries where it is practised as a response to the fragility of the hospital system. Even if this is not true, the use of this obvious argument that we consider our Health to be more important than our Freedom when our forefathers always claimed that their Lives were less important than their Freedom.

By suspending democracy until further notice, we have given up following in the footsteps of our heroes.

Thierry Meyssan

Roger Lagassé


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poster of the revolution...


Liberty, Equality, Fraternity or Death...

macronavirus gets the police to stop french satire...

A French woman was reprimanded by police for displaying a banner with the words “Macronavirus, when is the end?” outside of her home as social tensions grow amid a strict Covid-19 lockdown.

The woman complied with a police order to remove the banner on April 21, but officers returned a day later with a summons for a hearing on April 23. When she showed up, she was taken into custody for “contempt.”  She was released after four hours, local media reports said. 

The banner that was critical of President Emmanuel Macron had been hung on the woman’s garden wall in Toulouse – and the word “Macronavirus” was a reference to a cover of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine from January.

The incident follows several others since early April in which residents in Paris, Marseille and other cities who have displayed banners with “political overtones” have been visited by the police, according to Mediapart.

The woman’s lawyer, Claire Dujardin, said French people were living in a context in which they could “no longer demonstrate” and were dealing with “political police.”

The local branch of the far-left New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) condemned the police action as “political repression,” and said it was a “serious case” of freedom of expression being denied. 

Hanging banners containing political opinions is “one of the rare means” that people have left to express their feelings about the government’s handling of the crisis, NPA said, calling for the “repressive practices” to stop and be condemned by the government.


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Here is the cover of Charlie Hebdo from January




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avoiding a river of victims...

The following is from the Italian Newspaper "il giornale", machine-translated into English [reworked by Martino Vigneroni]. So even if the prevention method that loico has proposed is not followed, COVID-19 is "actually" nothing anyone needs to die of, if one just catches it by its specific character as a disease (which is also the basis of what we have proposed). By the way, just as we have predicted back in March - in contrast to the gentleman at the Imperial College —, Italy's ICUs are by now very rapidly emptying themselves with just over 1100 ICU patients remaining in all of Italy ... 

"Coronavirus, the method that avoids the massacre: "No patient died." 
Piacenza flooded with contagion. The first deaths. Then Dr. Luigi Cavanna's idea: house to house care. "That's how patients heal”.

Giuseppe De Lorenzo Andrea Indini - Fri, 08/05/2020 - 07:55 

"I remember a late afternoon in the emergency room. I was talking to my colleagues. "We had masks, helmets, the hissing of oxygen coming into my ear. It was like seeing a curtain of smoke. It was scary." Piacenza, February 2020. If we close our eyes and go back to those days, memories can get confusing. Everything was so frenetic: the first infections, the coronavirus alarm, the closure, the reopening, the full hospitals, the coffins. 

In the region of the Emilian province on the border with Lombardy, the most affected in Italy in proportion to the inhabitants, health workers are fighting an unequal battle at gunpoint. The wards are transformed into Covid areas, the operating theatres into intensive care. Hospitals in peripheral areas have to be converted. There are hundreds of hospitalizations. While the victims are falling one after the other, a doctor from Piacenza has an idea: why do we continue to crowd patients into the hospital, why do we let them go to the emergency room when they are running out of air, instead of attacking the disease first? 

The coffins in the crematorium in Piacenza 
Luigi Cavanna, head of Oncology, today is known as the father of the "Piacenza method". Quiet voice, ordered speech. He also manages to make clear what seems obscure to many. "At first it was thought to be a viral infection, perhaps uglier than the flu, but nothing so relevant. Then we realized it was a dramatically serious illness.” 
In a nutshell, his revolutionary approach to the coronavirus can be summed up as follows: "The patients must be treated promptly, and that means they must be treated at home". Simple, yet rather complex. Especially if you have to invent it when, in the early moments of the epidemic, medical science is heading in the opposite direction en masse. 
If we go back in time, you will remember that all the television stations, national or local, made this recommendation to Italians: stay at home and don't go to the ER. The problem is that several people followed the advice by taking only Tachipirin and in the end they couldn't breathe, called 118 and rushed to the hospital". At that point, the doctors were faced with a patient who was now almost irrecoverable. "The virus — Cavanna explains — at first multiplies, then triggers an immune response of the organism that starts an inflammation that destroys the alveoli of the lungs". In a short time the organs tear forever. "When the damage is done, it is difficult to recover. That's why so many people didn't make it.” 

The pages of the newspapers in Piacenza are full of obituaries. 
Especially in the first two weeks. "I work in oncology and hematology, departments accustomed to dealing with suffering and death — says Cavanna — But in those days I had the impression we were facing something never seen before. It was scary, there were so many sick people in those makeshift beds. The ambulances would arrive in line to bring other patients, I would look around and cross my colleagues' eyes. We had the perception that we couldn't make it.” 
It was in that state of helplessness that the idea of changing approach blossomed. "In meetings we were always trying to increase places in emergencies and resuscitations, but then we realized that this is a viral infection that gives you time to intervene. It's not a stroke, a heart attack or a cardiac arrest that affects you in minutes or seconds: it leaves you a week or even 10-15 days". So there is room to act before the clinical picture worsens. 
The reasoning is logical: if the patient in hospital undergoes treatment based on an antiviral and hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malarial drug), all of which are taken orally, what prevents us from starting treatment when the first symptoms appear? "We said to ourselves: let's try to go to homes, not just to visit the patients, but with everything we need to treat the disease promptly". 

So on March 1st Cavanna and a nurse started their home visits. These expeditions were different from those carried out by other Special Units (Usca) in Italy. They didn't just go to visit the patients at home or to swab them, they were there to treat them as if they were in a hospital. With them they bring the Dpi, a thermometer, handhelds to carry out the ultrasound on site, a saturimeter, the swab and a kit of medicines ready to use, including hydroxychloroquine, already used against Sars and malaria. 
"If the chest ultrasound is doubtful and shows interstitial pneumonia — says the oncologist — after asking the patients' consent, we deliver the drugs and tell them: 'You start the therapy, while waiting for the result of the swab'. We also leave oxygen for people with severe pneumonia. Then every day the patients give us their saturation data so that we can monitor them from the hospital". 

Virus, the silent slaughter in Emilia: "Why doesn't anyone talk about us?” 
The first Cavanna experiments were carried out (almost) alone. Then from March 15th, the Ausl piacentina organised and placed in full some Usca dedicated to this purpose. "The first one was an oncological patient, a lady who lives alone", Cavanna recalls. "She had entered the emergency room with fever, the CT scan had shown interstitial pneumonia, but she had waited there for ten hours. "Then she signed her own discharge, called a cab and went home. The next day she called me and said, "I'm here, alone, I'm sick. Either you visit me at home or I die. What would I do?
Rhetorical question. "The tragedy of this infection is that it has accustomed the Italians to dying alone. Seeing two doctors arrive with drugs, leaving a phone number to call, a satrimeter and explain what to do, became half a salvation for them. To me this has put me in crisis, because the sick in an evolved country should never have the perception of feeling abandoned". In Italy, unfortunately, this is how it happened. 

The "early" and "at home" treatment proved to be very effective right away. 
"People do not get worse, they heal first and above all they do not die". Soon the results of studies on the "Piacenza method" will be published in a journal to give information to the scientific community. But the analyses that Cavanna anticipates at the end of April at are extraordinary: "Out of 250 patients treated at home, I can tell you that none of them died. Neither at home nor in hospital. 
Of these, less than 5% were hospitalized and all returned home, half of them within a few days". These are "true", "relevant" and "heartening" data, on which we will have to reflect. "For a long time there has been discussion about increasing the number of places in intensive care, a strategy that can be criticized — says Cavanna — But when a patient goes to resuscitation we have to see it as the failure of treatment. It should be the last resort: the viral disease must be attacked early". This is the only way to defeat Sars-Cov-2, "reduce access to the emergency room" and "block the natural history" of the disease. Avoiding a river of victims.

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This link came via AAAS member community discussion.

france-covid-19 downgrades...

Circulation of the virus among the elderly, number of outbreaks and now even number of deaths: the Covid-19 epidemic does indeed seem to be worsening, according to Public Health France, which sees it as a signal inviting more vigilance. "For the first time since the lifting of confinement, we have observed an increase in deaths for Covid-19", with a doubling to 265 deaths, after 129 the previous week, underlines on September 18 the health agency Public Health France, in its last weekly point.


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no wind, no nuclear...

With a nuclear fleet weakened by the shutdown of 24 reactors and wind power plants hardly productive due to lack of wind, France has been forced to resort to coal and imports to meet its electricity needs.

Of the 56 French nuclear reactors, 24 are currently shut down, Les Echos noted on September 18, citing multiple causes including the closure of the Fessenheim plant. According to data from the operator of the RTE electricity transmission network cited by the economic daily, the very low availability of EDF's nuclear reactor fleet, to which is added the weather that is not very favorable to the productivity of wind turbines, pushed France in the last few weeks to turn on its coal-fired power stations.

"This Thursday, September 17, they provided 2% of the national electricity mix, or 824 megawatts, at midday," said the newspaper, citing a relatively low figure on the scale of the country's consumption. It remains “no less striking in the middle of September, when temperatures are abnormally high and the radiators are not yet on”.

Increase in electricity imports from Germany Still according to Les Echos, even having started to draw prematurely from fossil fuels at this time of the year, France would not have succeeded in meeting the electricity needs in France. nationwide.

In this context, the country has generally been an importer in recent days. “These imports come mainly from Germany where electricity production generates more CO2 emissions than in France. This context pulls electricity prices up, ”notes the article.

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