I had to laugh when I saw Marksgran's comment of "and breathe" on yesterday's post! Sorry about that epic rant folks but better out than in as they say!
So where were we? Oh yes, all over France today people are protesting peacefully against the proposed pass sanitaire amongst other things. What is really interesting is that the protesters are from all walks of life and from across the political spectrum as there is pretty much rock solid opposition to what Napoleon (affectionately known as "Nappy") is trying to do! I learned last night that apparently the U.N. has already pulled ole Nappy up and reminded him that France signed the Declaration of Human Rights years ago. The E.U. has also apparently reminded him that France signed E.U. Directive No. XXXXX in January of this year to the effect that people will in no way, shape or form be pressured into accepting vaccines against their wishes, and there shall be no legal, political or workplace comeback! I'm paraphrasing of course but .... Now Napoleon is a banker (that spelling's only off by one letter!), but you'd think he might have access to a lawyer or two somewhere in the building who could have pointed all this out to him wouldn't you! Then later I heard the Senator for Haute Savoie, who has already indicated that he will vote against this draft law on Wednesday, saying that he will also not authorize police to verify people's pass status at all, so good on you Mr. Hervé!
Apparently Macron originally wanted the police to come under the "must vaccinate" umbrella also, but when they told him where to shove it they were exempted on the grounds that "they do not come into contact with vulnerable people" (that was the best they could come up with?), so now you have the incongruous situation of having firefighters and police attending the same incident where the firefighter must be vaccinated and the police officer doesn't have to be! Jen says the excuse that they "do not come into contact with vulnerable people" is complete crap because when they have a violent event in her psychiatric unit (about once a week), it's the police that come and remove the patient to secure facilities! Even more farcical, as one restaurant owner said today on TV, is that he will be put in a position of having clients in his restaurant and when the police try to come in and check their passes he will have to tell them to get out because they are not in possession of such passes themselves! It's getting less and less coherent by the minute - and is making the pompous little peacock in the Elysée Palace look more and more stupid, if that's possible! Moreover the truckers' union has warned that if this law goes through, they will be blocking roads up and down France as from 15 August, and if there's one union you don't want to piss off it's the truckers' union! And I really must point out here that people are NOT necessarily against the vaccination - they are against this pass as an infringement of their civil liberties, because once you accept losing one element of your civil rights, how long before they come chipping away at the next one? Many of the protesters are indeed vaccinated anyway. People are still working from home when they can, they are routinely wearing masks and they are social distancing, and since they have toed the line right from the start of this pandemic, they are not willing to accept further infringements of their rights under the guise of authoritarianism dressed up as necessity!
When it comes to spreading the virus, apparently, these guys aren't the problem!
|Macron at the Bastille Day celebrations!|
|The Cannes film festival!|
|The Tour de France!|
It's these guys!
The irony is, there's all this hoohah about these old guys sitting outside having a drink - do they have their pass? How can we check? - and yet when I had lunch with my friends in Switzerland on Wednesday and I mentioned it to the waiter he said "no problem, what would you like to drink"?
For the record, since I have to put this somewhere, years ago I had a violent reaction to a hepatitis vaccine that landed me in hospital 24 hours later covered in scabs all over my face and arms! Ever since then I've stayed away from vaccines where possible - never got the annual flu jab, you get the idea. More importantly though, my friend retired not so long ago from the vaccines unit of the World Health Organization. At the beginning of the pandemic she asked me what I thought about getting "the new vaccine" and I told her I didn't think anything as I simply didn't know. She said she was worried because new vaccines, i.e. being newly rolled out to the public, take around two to three years for their side effects to become apparent. So with that thought in mind I decided I wanted to wait. I'm not a gun-toting right winger. I don't think I'll be micro-chipped if I get the vaccine, nor do I think my arms will become magnetized or aliens come down to whisk me away for experimental purposes. I hope it really is a safe vaccine because for it to turn out to be otherwise just doesn't bear thinking about!
If the situation were really dire, and we truly were "all in it together", then fine, but as you guys in the U.K. know all too well, "in it together" means entirely different things to the rich than it does to the poor. Viz That Twat Cummings who drove over 100 miles to a beauty spot during lockdown "because he thought his eyes were playing up and he wanted to check them out". Or the equally twatty married Health Minister, Matt Hancock, who not only didn't social distance but was caught on camera being waayyy too "handy" with his equally married mistress (and who he employed in his office to work "two hours a week for £15,000 a year")! Or how about bug-eye Michael Gove, who had to fly to Portugal on "urgent government business" (to watch the football match), but did not have to self-isolate upon returning to the U.K. because he suddenly became part of a hitherto unheard of trial group of people who no longer had to isolate! Yeah right, do as I say, not as I do eh!
Regarding covid death figures going up, I have been checking the official figures for Haute Savoie for ages and I would say it's been about a month since we had even one death registered here. Bed occupation rates in ICU units are fairly static at about 10%, and that despite Macron's administration having closed over 4,000 hospital beds since they came to power, with 1,200 beds being closed in the first three months of this year during a pandemic! Jen has a friend who works in ICU at the CHAL hospital near here (the second biggest hospital in Haute Savoie) and she was telling Jen they haven't had a covid patient in ICU for months, so they could easily take in patients from elsewhere if necessary, but nope, nothing for a couple of months!
As for Jen, I stopped in to see them yesterday and she had a big smile on her face. When I asked what that was about she read out an email that had been sent by the director of the hospital where she works saying that while she strongly recommended people get vaccinated she, the director, would not be stopping anybody's pay or firing anyone for not being vaccinated. Under Macron's master plan, anyone who is not fully vaccinated after three months would be fired for faute grave, but that again has been contradicted by legal advice that says he simply cannot do that. He can't make the frickin' rules up as he goes along (although I'm sure he'd love to). The irony is that Jen's unit is supposed to have 12 nurses and they are only eight so they are already understaffed. Given that at least three have already said they will resign (and potentially others - Jen doesn't know), I guess this lady knows where her loyalties have to lie if she wants her unit to stay open! But then as Jen said, vaccinated or not vaccinated, it's not like we walk onto the unit with cow shit on our boots having just cleaned out the barn is it! We're bloody nurses, we wear protective gear and we are on a psychiatric ward, not a sick-patient ward! So things are looking more positive on that front too, I'm pleased to say!
On a different note, a friend and I went out to the lake at Passy today, this being the first day of decent weather in months. It was glorious to see all the little kids in the water and people having fun after such a long hard slog. We did two circuits and then stopped for a lovely lunch, thus allowing us to catch up after not seeing each other for ages (and I guess allowing me to blow off steam right)! When I got home my sister called for a chat and as is the norm these days, we got off on the vax question. I never brought it up as we both know what the other's position is, but I did hear my BIL say "well I think you're a bloody idiot" (we never speak to each other like that), so I just replied "your opinion of me is noted, but I have to disagree"! At which point my sister said to drop it because he and I can get into it if we need to. Next thing I hear (again from BIL) is "I see the bloody French are at it again, protesting, that's all they ever do"! So I told him they were also protesting against reforms to unemployment legislation (which I know nothing about) and pension reform (about which I know a little). I'm not getting this totally straight but apparently under the current French system, your pension is calculated based on the last five (or maybe 10?) years' salary of your working life. Napoleon has now drafted a reform whereby your pension will be calculated using your salary from the day you started work and over your entire working life, so from 15 years of age in my BIL's case (he's now 73). So I asked him what it would do to his pension, and didn't he think he might, just might, be a little inclined to protest too! He had to admit that he would so I'm glad I pulled him up on that. Not everything is black and white ya know! And you're welcome!
Anyway, in other news, Charlie started at the crèche last week and it is going really well. He isn't one to look at toys but seemingly prefers people watching. So apart from when he's sleeping and eating, he gets to people watch to his heart's content and is totally unperturbed by his new surroundings. Jen said he is the youngest one there and there are four very nice assistants for 12 children who are really good with him! He's still a happy baby so that's obviously true and I think she's relieved to be able to start back to work next week knowing he's ok, with me taking care of him on Fridays starting this week! He's a little doll and is so used to being around people that it really doesn't seem to phase him!
|The "cowboy look" he's got going there is due |
to all the dribbling!
I heard this week too that a niece in Denmark has also just given birth. We have nothing to do with that side of the family sadly (my "Danish" sister's choice, not ours), so I had a peep on FB and he is another little doll. I didn't even know this niece had gotten married and when I saw her husband I have to admit he's a handsome guy. But then I looked again, and while he is indeed a handsome guy, one of his main pictures is of the actor Paul Walker, so I guess he obviously thinks he looks like Paul Walker. I mentioned this to my "English" sister and how another "acquaintance" had done the same thing and put a picture of herself next to a picture of Sharon Stone. Maybe it's me, but I think this is really weird - "hey, look at me, don't you think I look like Sharon Stone"? I also know someone who swears her 80+ something sister looks "just like Elizabeth Taylor". When I had a look, frankly, she looks more like Minnie Mouse meets Tammy Faye Bakker, but then maybe I'm not very good at this stuff! I told my sister I was going to post a picture of Sarah Millican on my FB page to see if anyone noticed. But you know what, I'd rather spend an evening with Sarah Millican than all the gorgeous Hollywood stars in the world, 'cos she's just magic!