Great Britain

Better 6ft apart than 6ft under… so stay at home during the coronavirus crisis

IT IS now patently clear to anyone but the stupidly intransigent that having Covid-19 is a game of Russian Roulette.

The deeply insensitive mantra of “it only affects the elderly and sick who would have died soon anyway” no longer applies.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson may look like he’s carrying a few extra pounds, but he jogs daily, is a keen cyclist and is, therefore, fit by anyone’s standards.

He’s also the larger-than-life personification of “Keep Calm And Carry On” — the motivational poster produced by the British government to try to steady the morale of the public at the outbreak of the Second Word War.

So the news that he has been admitted to intensive care will hopefully prove the much-needed turning point that wakes everyone up to how important it is to slow the spread of this potentially deadly virus.

Last weekend, London’s Brockwell Park was closed down after 3,000 people turned out — many of them sun-bathing or in large groups. Today, even warmer weather is predicted.

Therefore, with those in mind who clearly think the rules don’t apply to them, perhaps it’s time to tweak the Government’s oft-chanted safety message.

Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives . . . including your own.


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If the Prime Minister being in intensive care doesn’t focus their minds, then perhaps the sight of 13-year-old Ismail Abdulwahab’s coffin being lowered into the ground by strangers in hazmat suits will serve as a salutary lesson that this isn’t “just like the flu” — it’s a potentially deadlier unknown.

Whatever your age, gender, race, health history or fitness level, it could be you. And until you have it, you have absolutely no idea what the outcome will be. No two cases have been the same.

You could be lucky and only suffer mild symptoms, you might be less so and have a spell in hospital, or worst of all, you might never come out.

The latter has been the harsh reality for — at the time of writing — 6,159 people in the UK, a figure that is likely to keep rising if those who clearly think that it won’t happen to them don’t start adhering to the strict behaviour codes that will, hopefully, send this thing packing.

Or to put it bluntly, better six feet apart than six feet under.

Home truths in view

ONE of the positives of the lockdown is the rise of socialising via video apps such as Zoom, Houseparty etc.

Some people dress up for a party, others have a virtual dinner together, choirs sing, kids have playdates and my friend and I completed a crossword together.

But it has its drawbacks too.

I’m due to do a chat with This Morning tomorrow and a virtual paper review from home on The Andrew Marr Show this Sunday, and I’m trying to find a suitable backdrop.

The kitchen is too informal, with a real and present danger of either the dog snoring or The Bloke wandering into shot in his, ahem, attractive “lockdown shorts”.

A couple of noisy, nesting pigeons rule out the garden, and for obvious reasons the bedroom would be a little too familiar.

Most online commentators have chosen a backdrop of bookshelves displaying weighty tomes that convey their vast intellect, but thanks to The Bloke’s fondness for books such as The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*** and Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Sh**?, I’d have to spend an afternoon sanitising ours.

So, apologies in advance, it may have to be the downstairs loo.

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Chan's a real man

CHANNING Tatum is single again after splitting up from pop singer Jessie J.

We know this because he’s reportedly back on celebrity dating app Raya, where his profile reads: “And yes, I used to be a stripper. Sorry.”

No need to apologise, Channing.

In fact, as any woman who’s seen Magic Mike will testify, it will no doubt be viewed as a considerable asset.

Dame's privacy matters

DAME Julie Walters has revealed she didn’t tell her adult daughter about her bowel cancer diagnosis until she knew she was in the clear.

She says she couldn’t “bear the thought” of 31-year-old Maisie worrying, so told her she was having her appendix out when, in fact, she was having two tumours removed from her colon.

“I couldn’t say the word ‘cancer’ to her,” says Julie, 70, adding that she also “didn’t want to upset people around me. I wanted to keep it small.”

In this social media age when certain celebrities post every thought, utterance and ingrowing toenail, it’s a reminder that some stars manage to keep things private too.

Lock-down but not out

LAST week I asked for examples of how you were passing your time in lockdown and there were some absol­ute corkers, thank you.

Jigsaw puzzles, spring cleaning and garden maintenance were obvious favourites but Pat Ryan painted his shed rather spectacularly and ardent needleworker Irene Threadgold (nominative determin­ism?) is planning to produce “25 panels of rock icons”, one of which is below.

Well done everyone. Staying productive is critical for our mental health in these deeply challenging times.

It's that serious

PICTURED is the gorgeous model Emily Ratajkowski “walking the dog” for a DKNY underwear shoot early in 2017.

Fast forward three years and here she is, walking the dog in the spring of Covid-19-hit 2020.

Emily keeping her clothes on.

If that doesn’t convince you of how serious this pandemic is, nothing will.

Minister's 'mistake'

SCOTLAND’S Chief Medical Officer has resigned after being given a police warning for driving to her second home – twice – against her own advice.

At an excruciating press conference, Dr Catherine Calderwood issued a grovelling apology for “the mistakes I have made”.

Hmmm. If we’re being generous, then driving to your second home when you’ve just issued a “stay in unless absolutely necessary” edict to the nation might be perceived as a “mistake”.

Doing it twice is, at best, stupidity, at worst, downright “do as I say, not as I do” arrogance.

Earl Welch

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex have revealed the new name for their rebrand after the use of Royal was blocked by The Queen.


Of which, under the circumstances of Harry stepping down as a senior royal, there’s a rather fitting, aristocrat anagram: Earl Welch.

Driving home stereotypes

ACADEMICS from the universities of Westminster and Cambridge have concluded that men are more dangerous behind the wheel than women.

We needed research to tell us this?

Death-age dad

FORMER F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has revealed he’s to be a father again at the grand old age of 89.

“I don’t see there’s any difference between being 89 and 29,” he says.

“You’ve got the same problems I suppose.”

Except, of course, for guaranteed death before your child is even out of their teens.

'Fire up the Toyota Prius'

SOME good news: They’re making another series of the superb Life On Mars, starring John Simm and Philip Glenister.

Less thrilling is the suggestion that it will be set in the modern day.

Gene Hunt barking: “Fire up the Toyota Prius” doesn’t have quite the same appeal.

Brits around the country clap for Boris Johnson as remains in intensive care battling coronavirus

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