"Lockdown"! It sounds like a TV quiz show. The contestants have to answer enough questions in two minutes to dodge lockdown. Avoid it and you win a prize - perhaps a holiday in the sun or an electric lawnmower. The studio audience are instructed to clap and you leave the glare of the cameras waving like a Chinese cat in a takeaway.
See the shifty looking fellow above - that clown without his red nose. He came into our living room last night at eight o' clock and with a grim face, reading the autocue, declared that Merrie Olde England will be going back into lockdown - but not the quiz show of my imaginings. No - the grim coronavirus lockdown of last March. It's a case of déjà vu. The government's regional tiering arrangements simply have not worked. The coronavirus infection, hospitalisation and death figures have all remained stubbornly high in recent weeks.
The situation is depressing but at least this time round the prospect of effective mass vaccination is very real. Last March, nobody knew for sure that efficacious vaccines could ever be produced.
For the record, here are Britain's figures for January 4th - 58,784 new cases, 407 new deaths, 75,431 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic Chillingly, the virus is showing its ability to evolve - here in Britain, over in South Africa and in various other less well-reported locations around the world. It's like an alien invasion but the aliens remain invisible. "Take me to your leader!"
"You must be joking! He's your leader? Ha-ha-ha-ha!"....