‘Twas the fright before Christmas, when Chris Whitty told us that seeing granny was the same as driving at 70mph on black ice…

Last night Boris assumed his familiar position alongside Chief Medical Officer and genuine plague doctor Professor Chris Whitty and sternly told us that we really need to take it easy this Christmas and stay at home. After, er, changing the law to allow for a total free-for-all this Christmas and encouraging everyone to scatter the virus to all four corners of Great Britain.

Here’s the new new new new guidance…

Are we really writing another explainer about covid rules?


Like, seriously, how many have we written now?

Think it’s approaching a dozen. But to be fair to the government, that’s what ‘following the science’ looks like, adapting as the data changes.

And it sounds like they’ve adapted Christmas now…

Yes. So last month the government, along with the Scottish and Welsh administrations, all came together to announce they’d join forces in super spreading coronavirus by relaxing rules to allow families to gather this Christmas. It’s basically the plot of The Purge… but with more killing.

Then (you still with me?) this week two medical journals, the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal, unusually joined forces like a dry version of Power Rangers but with stethoscopes, to tell the government that this was the crappest idea since injecting bleach and, along with the rest of the sane world, them to rethink.

So I assume they’ve cancelled the rules?

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? No, the rules still stand but they’ve urged us to follow them.


The CMO had the neat analogy that it’s like driving at 70mph when you know there’s ice on the road. The law says you’re allowed to drive at seventy, but you’d be mad to try it. But in reality it’s more like Boris, Nicola and whatever the Welsh guy’s called, told everyone to just accelerate when they see ice. Which they’d laid in the first place.

So can I go home for Christmas?

According to the government you’re A-OK to travel from, say, Swale in Kent which has the highest Covid infection rate to visit your 90 year old granny in the Scilly Isles, which has one of the very lowest. The tier rules, where you can’t move from high to low tier areas, are suspended.

Which, as we all know, is bonkers.

And when I’m on my corona shedding mission, how many people can I see?

Up to three households can ‘bubble’ (two in Wales), which will likely bring Christmas dining tables into double digit diners. Boris’s pre-prepared gag was ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’, which he never quite delivered right but we all got the message.

Just for Christmas Day?

Yeah, maybe they could’ve just made this a one day rules lapse, maybe that would’ve been a bit more sensible (though still reckless), but no this is a five day (six in Northern Ireland) event between December 23rd and December 27th.

Should I move things outdoors?

This has been mooted as an alternative. A joint statement from all the British governments said ‘If you do form a Christmas bubble, then be especially careful to observe the guidance: meet outdoors where possible, wash your hands regularly, keep a distance from those you do not live with’ 

So being outside would potentially help as we know that being indoors in poor ventilation is exactly what the virus needs to survive. But it’s also what elderly people need to survive and is it really a good idea to wheel great aunt Nell onto the patio in sub zero temps to pull a cracker?

What’ll happen if we just go ahead like the law says?

We actually have a great case study in the form of the United States. Who went and did Thanksgiving, and now they’re seeing more deaths per day than at any point until now. Crazy numbers. Hospitals buckling under pressure, morgues working overtime, that kind of thing. That’s the Ghost of Christmas Future for us…

Okay, so what should I do?

Cancel it! Or just see younger people. It’s utterly insane to see anyone over the age of, what, like 50? These are all people on the government’s list for imminent immunisation against Coronavirus.

If you’re in London you’re in one of the highest areas of infection, with a new super strain of mutant corona that’s even more catchy than the regular variety, why on earth would you take the risk?

Bottom line, stay at home and save your parents’ lives. The cacc Let’s all have a blow-out Easter celebration instead…

Want to receive more great articles like this every day: sign up here