The year in the syringe: July – BX1

Downpours. Uninterrupted rain 3 days in a row. On July 14, 15 and 16, record rainfall hit eastern Belgium. In 48 hours we measure 271.5 mm of water at the weather station of Jalhay ; 217.1 mm to that of Spa. The streams overflow and emerge from their beds. A total of 209 municipalities will be flooded or partially flooded. Cities like Rochefort, Verviers, Theux, Pepinster, Chaudfontaine find themselves cut off from the world, at least 40,000 people without electricity. In Pepinster and Verviers houses are collapsing. Dozens of people are forced to take refuge on the roofs and will have to wait long hours before help can intervene. The Belgian rescue services are powerless, their equipment unsuitable, it will be necessary to bring in reinforcements from other European nations. Many road infrastructures, including the tunnel under Cointe, are unusable and rail traffic cut off on several lines. In total these floods will have made 38 victims. Belgium was not the only one to be hit: the death toll rises to 190 in Germany.

In the following days solidarity getting organized: many Brussels and Flemish people go there to bring food or take part in the clearing work. The damage was considerable: in the province of Liège alone 10,000 people found themselves homeless. We have to wait many months before being able to return to the homes. At the end of the year, the Walloon Region was able to rehouse 3,000 people, but there are still at least 1,500 households without a permanent housing solution.

July 7 the Delta variant, which has wreaked havoc in the UK, is becoming dominant in the kingdom. Contamination is more numerous in the Brussels Region than in the rest of the country. It must be said that vaccination is also marking time: the Brussels Region is in the process of stalling and the phenomenon will increase in the following months. On July 8, the Cocom (common community commission) launches the pilot project of vacci-bus (Photo). At the end of July 52% of Brussels residents over 18 were fully vaccinated, while the proportion rose to 68% in Wallonia and 72% in Flanders.

July 12 kicks off vaccination of 12-15 year olds.

July 19 the consultation committee meets again and reiterates the precautionary instructions for indoor spaces (wearing a mask and ventilation). It specifies the rules for the future use of the “Covid Safe Ticket”: it will be used for events of 1,500 people or more, from August 13 for external events, and from 1er September for indoor events. These events will not be subject to the obligation to wear a mask, but the ventilation rules will be maintained. On the cultural side, we protest: these rules (especially the dates of entry into force) seem tailor-made to allow the organization of Pukkelpop and Tommorowland. Finally these two festivals will be canceled, while the Ronquières Festival will take place.

July 21 undocumented migrants stop their hunger and thirst strike. After 60 days of conflict a neutral zone has been set up to allow the examination of individual files but there is no collective regularization.

Internationally, the former South African president Jacob Zuma was arrested on July 8 for contempt of justice (he refused to go to trial), the riots that followed left 117 dead.

The 20 Jeff Bezoz and 3 other passengers enjoy an orbital flight aboard the New Shepard rocket, a trip that is the launch of the space tourism.

At the Cannes film festival the Franco-Belgian film Titanium wins the Palme d’Or.

On July 23, the division 1A football championship resumes, with two Brussels clubs within it. Union Saint-Gilloise created a first surprise by going to win on Sporting Anderlecht, from the first day with a score of 1-3.

Fabrice Grosfilley

We would love to say thanks to the author of this post for this incredible content

The year in the syringe: July – BX1