The problem with the invisible menace of 2020 is that England looks so normal.
Plymouth Hoe, Summer, 2020

In South Korea they test anyone for Covid 19 who stands still long enough.

In Germany if test centres are quiet they hand free tests out to passersby.

In Britain health workers and care home residents have priority for tests, I think. But other than that no individual really knows if they qualify or not. Therefore we don’t know whether we’ve had it, whether we’ve got it, or whether we’re mingling with lizards in human form who’s true identity would be revealed by a blood test. 

How would we know, nobody gets tested?

But it’s not all bad. While we wait for the tests, they’re rolling out the vaccine. A vaccine Boris Johnson claimed as proof of British exceptionalism, due to it being developed by Turkish/German scientists in Belgium with American co-operation,

I’m looking forward to getting it.

I’ll be able to visit the supermarket again without the constant anxiety that currently accompanies me every time I go.

In the meantime I better go to the supermarket while I wait. Apparently they’re expecting another bout of hoarding. If I don’t hurry I’ll be reduced to picking through what’s left after the rampaging hordes have passed by.

Alternatively I could sit at home, aimlessly refreshing the homepage of a supermarket delivery website.

I don’t need anything but I’ve got some spare time and you’ve gotta keep on top of your finger speed.

I see they’re asking for a monthly subscription now just to get on the delivery roster. Jeezzus that didn’t take long did it?

I think our Supermarkets have failed us, but due to lack of food, I’m too weak to complain.

They didn’t prepare for this, nobody did. Boris Johnson even closed down the virus response department just before Covid 19 struck Wuhan, China.

They all claimed they were caught off-guard, it was ‘unprecedented’ and that word was used repeatedly, some might say an unprecedented amount of times. ‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Totally unexpected’ were bandied around as though they were factual statements.

“Nobody saw it coming” they claimed, 

Despite being warned year after year that this was bound to happen.

I mean they actually released a film describing exactly this. Its called ‘Contagion’. look it up, it’s very good.

And just like in the movie, supermarkets ran out of stock and lost control of their stores

Then they blamed us.

Does nobody take responsibility for anything anymore? its not our shop, its yours.

But they didn’t care. They just opened the doors and let a human swarm strip the place bare, as though there was nothing they could do about it.

Oh it’s nothing to do with us’ ‘These people are out of control, it’s their fault.’ They said.

And as usual their incompetence was massively rewarded.

Sales this year are off the charts. They’re coining it in. They’ve realised in times of crisis they can put any old tat on the shelves and people will fight over it. Except Hemp Milk or store brand biscuits, nobody seems to want them.

So they ignore all the warnings and handle the biggest crisis ever to hit humankind about as badly as it’s possible to do so and profits are going to be huge.

Bonuses will be wonderful for the CEO’s this year. They’ll be competing with each other to see who can buy the biggest gold yacht.

But you know who’s going to do better out of this than anybody?

The guy who is already the richest person in the world. That bold headed man/boy who owns Amazon.

Next year he’s going to need a bigger army of accountants and lawyers than he has already. That money’s not going to make itself disappear onto a spread sheet in the Bahamas.

Bezos is already so rich he’s taken to the most expensive hobby there is, Space Travel.

Billionaires turn to Space travel when there is literally nothing left on earth to buy.

I’m surprised he hasn’t started buying countries, although how do we know he hasn’t entered into some secret deal with the ‘sell everything Tories’?

If you turn Britain over it probably already has, ‘Property of Jeff Bezos’ stamped underneath.

I predict, and there’s nothing clever going on here, a blind man could see that Jeff Bezos will double his fortune by the end of this year.

The entire planet has been turned into a cash machine for one bald man in expensive sunglasses.

Of course it’s not all his fault. We started giving up all the things we used to depend on years ago. Remember those quaint little local shops and businesses? The ones that used to pay taxes, that used to make this country tick over. We don’t go to them anymore.

We’d rather sit home and wait for Amazon to deliver us a present. Like it’s Christmas! Every day!

That’s where our money is rapidly disappearing. Whilst the rest of it will end up on a computer screen owned by a company registered for tax purposes on Mars.

Because this virus has turbo charged the digital revolution. 

When this is over we’ll have given control of everything we buy to a company so big it’ll be more powerful than most countries.

All we’ll have to do then is sit back and hope the billionaires are kind.

Unfortunately I think we already know the answer to that.

Ian Parson December 2020

Plymouth writer Ian Parson on a day out between lockdowns in Port Issac, Cornwall. summer 2020

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