Yesterday evening, UK prime minister Boris Johnson informed around a 30 million TV audience the lockdown edict of ‘Stay at Home > Save the NHS > Save Lives‘, had been superseded in England with a slightly more libertarian advocacy of ‘Stay Alert > Control Virus > Save Lives‘.

Advice, which is at this time, isn’t being adopted by the devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This new guidance, although allowing a few more freedoms than previously for us English, only appearing to provide token lifestyle flexibilities as it stands.

Not that I’m bothered, as to be honest, a) they’re the concessions I’d expected; and b) until there’s a vaccine there’ll be little change in my lifestyle itinerary. Even if Boris Johnson tells the country we can go to pubs, drink free beer, and acquire unrestricted access to all sports stadia, I’ll pay it little mind whilst there’s no cure for the pathogen.

The UK government has received criticism in certain fields for the aforementioned amendment to their COVID-19 control mission statement. Allegedly, and this is a point I concur with, the new prefix of the soundbite, ie telling the English to ‘Stay Alert’, is too vague a message for our confused populace.

As a consequence of this muddled message, yours truly pondered what’d be a more suitable tag line. A directive leaving John and Jane Doe in absolutely no doubt as to the memos meaning…… I don’t know about you, but I felt there’s less ambiguity with the following soundbites:-

A)   Only Go Out if Necessary  >  The Virus Is Still Out There   You Selfish Pillock;

B)   Don’t Risk Your Life  >  Or Other Peoples  >  There’s F*** All Open Anyway;

C)   Avoid Going Out if Possible  >  Or  >  You’ll End Up With Hair Like Boris’;

D)   Stay Inside  >  Fresh Air Is Overrated  >  Protect Netflix’s Profits;

E)    Listen to Gov’t Advice  > Pull Your Flies Up  >  I Don’t Wanna See Your Nuts;

F)   Maintain Social Distancing  >  Protect Gary Strachan > From extended Lockdown With His Mum.

If Boris Johnson and his Cobra committee wish to embrace any of my creative, no-nonsense soundbites they’re welcome to them. Without intended hubris, I’d contend that, if nothing else, the direct nature of these behavioural suggestions won’t be as difficult to interpret s BJ’s ‘Stay Alert > Control Virus > Save Lives‘.

Today, while mulling over our prevailing global reality show existence of fluster, bluster, flounder and bounder, the following quartet of lines orated by melancholic Jacques in Shakespeare’s As You Like It made an unscheduled tarry within my cerebral cortex:-

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…. “

A speech that in contemporary time would perhaps play out as:-

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
But only if essential and following social distancing guidelines….. “

During these strange, strange times, to close I shall conclude my narrative with the same reflections Jacques proffered at the end of his ‘All the world’s a stage.” monologue:-

“…….That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

iu-6