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LES ECHOS

Why The World Still Needs Love Letters - And Not Just On Valentine's Day

Has technology made love letters obsolete? Not quite. Old-fashioned epistles take time to write and send. But in these days of nearly instantaneous communication, that “delightful delay” – and the thought that goes into it – may be just the thing to set h

A street artist's adaptation of a 'love letter box' in Paris (Daquella manera)
A street artist's adaptation of a "love letter box" in Paris (Daquella manera)
Mélina Gazsi

PARIS -- On March 7, 1833, a young woman received a note from a man she had met a few months before: "I love you, my poor angel, you know it well, and yet you want me to write it. But you are right: One has to love, and then one has to say it, and then write it ... "The young woman in question was Juliette Drouet. The man who wrote the letter was Victor Hugo, who would go on to shower his mistress, a young French actress, with hundreds of such epistles.

Anne-Sophie Moutier, 23, is not yet that prolific a writer. But since this past November, when her boyfriend first went off to military school, she too has discovered the joys of "letter" writing. Granted, many of her correspondences involve e-mails and text messages. Not all, however. Anne-Sophie and her boyfriend sometimes write real, handwritten letters. The old-fashioned kind. "Nothing can replace a love letter," she says. "The phone is not enough and when you write, you can say things that may sound a little cheesy when said aloud."

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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