In Britain, it is now a year since the Coronavirus pandemic reached our shores. And to mark the first anniversary of lockdown, we are having another lockdown. I would be tempted to say it’s like Groundhog Day, but I said that yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. So, in case you missed any of it, here is a round-up of the highlights of the past twelve months.
A bunch of posh gits returning home from a skiing holiday to Italy bring a virus into the country which then goes on to kill countless thousands of people, most of whom could never have afforded to go on a skiing trip in their lives. Half of them are also returning home with broken limbs, putting more pressure on an already beleaguered NHS. Boris Johnson says there is no cause for pubs to shut and that the Government is committed to getting to the bottom of the toilet roll crisis.
Boris Johnson decides there is a cause for pubs to shut, but promises to ‘send coronavirus packing in 12 weeks’. The public is encouraged to stand on street corners on freezing cold evenings, and give a weekly round of applause for health workers. This means the government do not need to give nurses a pay rise. However, it does lead to a rise in road traffic accidents and cases of hypothermia, thereby, loading even more pressure on the NHS.
Boris Johnson’s pledge to increase funding for the NHS, written on the side of a bus four years previously, is partially fulfilled due to a 100-year-old man walking around his garden every day.
In April, having failed to send coronavirus packing, Boris Johnson decides the best way out of getting any blame is to pretend to have caught the virus himself. A spokesperson for the NHS states that it is impossible to say whether or not the prime minister has COVID as he is permanently sweaty, breathless and lacking any sense of taste.
Having tested positive for the virus, Dominic Cummings, drives his car on a busy motorway to test his eyesight. When asked if he ever did the same thing, former Home Secretary David Blunkett is unavailable for comment.
In June, with COVID-related deaths reaching forty thousand, Boris Johnson decides it is time to re-open pubs in England, while enough potential customers are still alive. In an unprecedented showing of joined-up thinking, Chancellor, Rishsi Sunak, doles out limitless £10 meal vouchers to encourage people to pack into restaurants and kick-start a second wave of Coronavirus.
In September, Boris Johnson decides that pubs are exceedingly dangerous unless food is available, thereby, sparking a debate in cabinet about what constitutes a ‘substantial meal’. One minister suggests a pasty, but Matt Hancock is firm that it must be a pasty and chips. This gives rise to a widespread misconception that chips help prevent the spread of the virus.
Boris Johnson insists it is essential that universities must re-open, on condition that all students remain locked-up in halls of residence and that no teaching is allowed. Boris Johnson promises students that the pubs will definitely still be open by the time they are allowed out of their rooms to go home for Christmas.
In December, the vaccine is rolled out, although some people are worried about potential side effects, in particular memory loss, infertility and incontinence. As all of the first wave of recipients are over eighty-five, it is too early to tell. Batshit conspiracy theories abound on the internet, including that the vaccine includes a chip. Matt Hancock claims this proves that the vaccine is not only effective but also be considered ‘a substantial meal’.
In addition to the vaccine rollout, the NHS appeals to young, fit volunteers to take part in COVID Exposure Trials, where they are intentionally infected with the virus. It is suggested that places on the trials should be handed out in place of fixed penalty notices for lockdown violations, until an expert points out that most cases of COVID start at illegal house parties so it would be a waste of resources infecting people who are already infected.
In February, there are revelations in the press that COVID-related Government contracts were handed out to friends of Dominic Cummings. The only thing that anyone finds surprising is the revelation that Cummings has friends.
As the vaccine rollout brings a lowering in cases, many Tory MPs insist that lockdown should be ended before April. However, health experts advise Boris Johnson ‘not to move too quickly’. This is because if he did move too quickly, he would probably have a heart attack due to being fat and out-of-shape.
As we enter March in lockdown, many people are tempted to say it is all a bit like Groundhog Day. But then they remember that they said that twelve months ago.
Vladimir McTavish is one of the regular contributors on ‘The Thursday Show’, broadcast on YouTube, Twitch and Facebook every Thursday at 8pm