The Pandemic and I (13) – positive cases and a new lockdown

President Macron of France has just announced we are going into our second lockdown of this year.

It’s been 4 long months since my last ‘Covid’ report in June of this year when I wrote about how I was looking forward to a week off work and my first socially-distanced coffee at a café terrace following the lifting of national lockdown measures.

As a reminder, I work in a multi-disciplinary team at a private French medical retirement home for 80+ elderly people with a range of pathologies.

But back to the coffee on the terrace in June, and dare I say ‘happier times’… this was the pic back then:

Infection, hospital admission and death rate figures were down in June, and the holiday season was beginning in earnest. And for me back then at work, no positive cases for the residents or staff. Indeed, throughout all of my pandemic posts to that point, I was both proud and relieved to report no cases where I work.

And then after June? The figures in France continued to drop, and the holiday season went into full swing in the heavily touristic region I live in. And still, no cases at work.

Until now.

I’m sorry to report that since last week we now have 7 positive cases of Covid-19 among our current residents. No staff confirmed positive – we were tested the week prior and came back negative, but we still has to take a retest in light of the confirmation of cases.

I’m happy to report all staff again tested negative. To say I was anxious for myself and my colleagues is an understatement. Now I can only hope we stay virus free and offer the best for our residents who are sick, and keep the healthy ones healthy.

Two of the confirmed cases are residents on my unit. Working with these residents prior to their Covid state I was wearing my normal protective equipment of uniform, mask and gloves.

Like this:

Since last week I have been working like this:

Forgive me my selfies. I’m not a ‘selfie person’ and these are only to illustrate what a typical health care worker might have to do to protect themselves and others in a clinical environment with Covid cases.

Question: if all staff were tested the week before the discovery of Covid cases, and then retested the same week – and both time frame results came back negative, then who brought the infection in? Visitors… for who visiting frequencies and times had been increased over the latter part of summer? Outside agencies such as doctors, drug deliveries, maintenance, oxygen, medical equipment and food deliveries? Meh. Who can say.

My nostrils were smarting for ages when the doctor took my tests. A nose swab is no fun. Then there is the soreness to face and ears from having to wear the upgraded masks issued recently. And the heat and discomfort of having to wear all that protective clothing. But you know, I’ll happily put up with all of that if it means no more residents are infected and no staff return positive. To be honest, it’s been somewhat a miracle we’ve gone all year without a case up to now – like angels were looking down on us; or Rhiannon the Celtic Goddess was our protector; or Superman, Wonder Woman, Judge Anderson and Sister Night each had our backs …

One of the themes of my pandemic posts is to stay upbeat. So even if I one day soon catch our dear Covid-19 (and that likelihood is now a one-step-closer risk than ever it was before) you can be sure your humble editor will remain as chirpy as chirpy can be as he scrambles to stay alive and kicking.

Pandemic humour is not so different than gallows humour, non?

Let us go to a quick commercial break to see how your TVTA editor is doing during the pandemic…

TVTA editor current health status VS anticipated worst case scenario health status as seen in this handy flow picture chart!

Chart N°01

TVTA editor health status – as seen in September 2020 in a photoshoot for the Spira/Ford art project. Chart shows Ford healthy, relatively fit, and able to look at picture books and concentrate for short periods; can answer simple questions.


Chart shows Ford haunted by Halloween-inspired hallucinations, attention span impaired by delusions of apocalyptic holocaust survival. Has pair of fake scissors sticking from head.


Chart shows Ford and art-partner-in-crime Spira holding  a conference call to discuss their latest project; and proving once again that socially-distanced art collaborations can be undertaken successfully in a pandemic situation. Ford is in good spirits, though looking pale and more dishevelled than normal. Spira, too, is not looking his usual self… best get some medical attention, mate! PS – an email coming your way soon.


Chart shows Ford in state of near death and unable to work efficiently and successfully as editor of TVTA [many would argue this has always been the case since TVTA began]. All editorial duties handed over to office cat Wooof – who himself is showing symptoms but bravely cat-soldiering on. Mrs Coldkettle the TVTA tea lady appointed as new chairperson of the board, and immediately orders new tea urn and designates scanning room 2 as a canteen for light refreshments.


Chart shows Ford and now Wooof in advanced state of death and unable to work. Mrs Coldkettle becomes new editor of TVTA and announces the site will become a part pop-culture part cooking blog.


Chart shows Ford and Wooof reanimated by means of advances in science and medical technology involving time travel, bowls of spaghetti, French cheese, tea and chocolate biscuits. Mrs Coldkettle hails their cure as a miracle of vintage advertising and announces the pair will soon be able to resume their TVTA duties [once replacement organs, skin and fur etc has been sourced]. Great news for TVTA’s vintage mates everywhere!!.

I’m LOL-ing now, yes, but later? Better to have LOL-ed and lost than not LOL-ed at all?

The temperature right here right now:

  • Last week – France extended its curfews as cases surged – 47 departments were under orders to stay at home between 9pm and 6am for six weeks because of rapid spreading of the virus across the country. These curfews affected 46 million people: two-thirds of the French population.
  • Tonight, 20 heures, France – President Macron announces a national lockdown for the duration of one month.
  • The second wave is not coming – it’s already here.
  • And still my next-door neighbour is insisting the entire thing is a hoax and a nefarious plan by world governments to control the population.
  • It’s a mad world…

Tang MAD offer. 1997.

  • Yes, it’s a mad world and 2020 has been one heck of a long and ever-changing year.
  • I hope all of you stay safe and healthy out there, and can navigate successfully through these extraordinary times we live in.
  • A final word… and a new feature here at TVTA which Wooof is calling “TVTA Thinks”

TVTA Thinks:

Disclaimer. This report is meant to offer an overview of the fluid impact upon a care worker in the French medical system. No names of any persons or institutions are given, and the reportage here concerns decisions made at a French national level which is available to the public at any time. No breach of confidentiality or professional workplace standards is made or implied. Any health advice stated here is exactly the same as that given by the World Health Organization public advice pages 

Skeleton images by Biodicac and Revealing Paws. Telephone images from Dawn of the Dead and Halloween.

22 thoughts on “The Pandemic and I (13) – positive cases and a new lockdown

  1. I had a scare a couple of weeks ago. Sniffles, low energy, confusion. Went home and got a test and it was negative. CVS had me do a self-administered test, which came back in about 1 day. Glad yours was as well. Stay safe out there. It might get crazy again, but I’m hoping not.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just to echo everyone else in wishing you, your colleagues and residents well. If there’s one good thing to come from this pandemic, it’s that health workers are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

    I did have a laugh at the picture chart – think I’m a No.4 at the best of times, tbh. Love the scissors in the head, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to hear your test result was negative. That must’ve been a relief. The pandemic is on the rise in the UK as well sadly, hopefully things get back under control soon for us all. Take care, stay safe, and well.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t be surprised, a month maybe like here, then see if the numbers come down. Here the big difference this time in the lockdown is that they’re keeping the schools open, which is a risk. Just have to wait and see if the figures drop in December.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Keeping schools open is a risk, the same thing has been done here in UK. Just heard there is going to be an announcement today at 5PM, so I’m guessing we are going to move into some kind of lockdown as well. Sad that after everything we went through earlier in the year that it feel like we are back at square one again.

        Liked by 1 person

    • It’s super crazy hot. All those outer layers are plastic, plus normal uniform, head and feet coverings, mask, gloves, visor… I think I drank 3 litres of water Tuesday when I was on duty.
      Thanks for your words, stay healthy and safe too 🙂


  4. Hey there my friend, yourself and all other care home and key workers are heroes right up there with Wondy and Sister Knight, my mum recently moved into a care home and I must say the staff are brilliant, dedicated and really just bloody lovely! Keep on keeping on my friend. The numbers are bad in the UK, as you’ve probably heard most of the midlands and the north are in tier 3 lockdown, I am lucky to live in the southwest where we are much lower in tier 1, but how long that lasts with these clowns we have in charge over here who knows!! Take care and stay safe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the good words, Arcane. I’m sure your mum is going to get the most excellent care and reassurance during these tough times. Tell her I said ‘hi’ from France.

      Yep, I’m keeping up with UK news and agree with what you say about ‘clowns’. It’s a bit better planned here, but still with its share of ‘clown’ moments.

      Take care and stay safe too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sculp…arghhh…ture😂😂😂
    Mate I’m literally crying from the laughs!!

    You can only do your best…the rest is out of our control.
    I am so glad you are able to decompress amidst the prolonged situation we all are facing .
    And yes, humour the pandemic to death (hopefully Covid’s not ours).

    Keep your spirits and your guard up mate.

    (PS: anxiously waiting)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi TVTA, yeah man stay safe. I gotta say chart no.1 made me think i was looking at a photo from a Wham video, then I saw chart no.2 and saw a Halloween version of Mr Blobby in the picture so I knew I was experiencing flashbacks of some sort!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, FT., you stay safe too!
      Lol at the Wham video comparison – happy and sunny days! You know recently I very nearly posted the promo music video of my old band in England. Very professionally shot – and with one of the Harry Potter makeup artists in the crew, and professional actors, but a bit cringeworthy seeing yourself again. Okay with a photo of me, but a moving image… hmm!
      Lol too at Mr Blobby! Your ‘flashback’ circuits are working fine my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi again, I’m not sure the flashback circuits working is such a good thing! And the cabaret act I worked in never had a promo video – you must have been big time entertainers. (And as The Emperor would say “You would post a pop video? DO IT!”)
        Well, stay well and safe, till next time…Blobby…Blobby….BLOBBEEEEEE!

        Liked by 1 person

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