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Have a nice Christmas, but if you do it’ll probably be granny’s last – that’s all for now, folks

Tom Peck
·3-min read
Boris Johnson addresses a Downing Street press conference (PA)
Boris Johnson addresses a Downing Street press conference (PA)

Another Boris Johnson press conference, and all becomes clear, yet again.

Lockdown has been a success, the virus has been brought back under control, which is why it will end next week, and when it does, a mere 28 million people, in England alone, will be living under more severe restrictions than when it started.

We are now living back under the old tiers again, with the slight tweak that tier 1 used to have around 29 million people in it, and now its 750,000. Kent’s gone all the way from tier 1 to tier 3, which is apparently to do with soaring rates of Covid there, but is probably just the government trying to get the public on side before they turn it into a lorry park.

The prime minister also explained that if these new tiers don’t work, there could very easily be another national lockdown in January.

“Now is not the time to take our foot off the throat of the beast,” the prime minister explained, while also explaining that everyone’s going to have a week off their restrictions, which are tougher than they were before, despite their success, for Christmas. So it is not the the time to take our foot off the throat of the beast. But, well, it’s Christmas so we’ve got no choice. The beast will understand.

And if people do precisely as they’ve been told then they’ll only have themselves to blame.

We live, as always, in a sort of dystopian theme park world. “Your tier is not your destiny, you can escape.” The prime minister actually said those words, looking never more like one of those tension-building video packages played on monitors above the lengthy queues for death-themed rollercoaster rides.

At one point, the prime minister breezily explained that he had no choice but to abandon the rules at Christmas because everyone will just break them anyway. So quite what you choose to do, in these moments of national terror, is basically up to you. Don’t expect any help from anyone but yourself, but if you get it wrong, well, there’ll be consequences.

This is a global pandemic. Almost every country in the world is going through it. Is there anywhere else, where the prime minister stands there and tells you it’s fine to get together with the grandparents at Christmas, and the chief medical officer, standing right next to him, says: “Would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their elderly relatives? No, I would not. Not if you want them to survive to be hugged again.”

But that is where we are. Lockdown’s over. Everything’s great, but it’s also going very badly. Keep doing what you’re doing, even though it didn’t work. Have a nice Christmas, but if you do it’ll probably be granny’s last.

See you next year for more of the same, plus a bit of economic ruin. Oh yeah, and it looks like there’s one or two problems with the vaccine but that’s all for now, folks. That’s all for now.

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