I should begin this week’s screed by emphasising the very serious implications of Covid-19.

Our Prime Minister has decided that the best plan is to do nothing and let God sort us out. I have to say that I would be listening to the leaders of the other western countries and shutting the whole damn thing down until further notice rather than taking to the television to tell us we are going to lose loved ones and then taking a punt on a strategy not being followed by any other western country, especially as the leaders of those western countries are imploring us to take early and decisive action.

Every disaster movie seems to start with an elected official ignoring a scientist so it should be interesting to see how this one develops. The Premier League is at least doing something right by postponing all football matches; as much as we love it, it is a leisure pursuit and there are far more important things at stake. I am finding the lack of handshaking the most devastating behavioural change. I feel like a damned peasant. And if you see me in the street please note that a ‘namaste’ may result in a jab in the eye with my walking stick.

Luckily, I am self-isolating on my 3,000 acre estate and shall remain there until further notice. I shall be following the governmental advice of washing my hands with soap and water for two rounds of ’49, 49 undefeated’ and avoiding physical closeness. I just imagine I am Mesut Ozil and everyone else is an opposition attacker. Or I find myself imagining what Ainsley Maitland-Niles must feel like at London Colney. Please also do spare a thought for Stoke fans, many of whom have never come into contact with soap before.

I wonder if you are familiar with other pandemics of recent years? Fictional ones, I should emphasise.

TOTTID-61

This ailment originated in Middlesex, only making it to Actual London in 1963, after the passing of the Local Government Act of that year. It is one of the most annoying pandemics of the home counties, and despite preventative measures can still be contracted today. The last outbreak was 1961, in black and white.

SCOUSEPOX

Symptoms include an overinflated sense of ego, delusions of grandeur, and an involuntary verbal outburst shared by all sufferers. You can tell if someone has the Scousepox when they shout “SIX TIMES” for no apparent reason. After a quiet few years, it looks like this one is back and in full effect. One can inoculate oneself from this disease by visiting Liverpool once.

S-ARS

Patient Zero was found in Highbury, north London, in 2016. The disease presents with the patient still spending huge sums of money whilst not acknowledging that the amount of expenditure coming into the household has dropped dramatically. This is known as the Ivanitis stage. This symptom vanishes quite soon when it jumps out of the body and finds another host organism. The cure currently being trialled is a huge dose of Artetrin once per week.

The Josika Virus

This special disease was first recorded in Portugal. Outbreaks have been in west London, Milan, Madrid, west London again, Manchester, and now Middlesex. At first everything seems fine, and one even may feel elated and excited, but that soon gives way to a feeling of rancour and hatred. Patients do not normally present symptoms for two seasons but then the effects are extremely acute. The new strain promised it was going to be different but has immediately leapt ahead by two years. The cure is to throw millions of pounds at it to go away.

Now, please wash your hands.