Covid-19: an exhausting horror film soundtracked by Stereophonics, starring Philip Schofield and the rest of humanity



As coronavirus and the global apocalypse enters the next phase, Getintothis’ Kojack Nicholson reflects on his own self-isolation and the horror unfolding.

We learn from history that we do not learn from history” – Friedrich Hegel.

Today I became a member of a new club, a pretty exclusive guild called “the vulnerable group”.

The 12-week free membership pretty much means working from home, playing heroic amounts of FIFA on the PlayStation, learning Polish, reading books and trying to prise the iPad from my youngest son’s tiny grasping hands.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m shielding myself from social contact, I won’t be doing the things I want to do or going to the places I’d like to go.

I won’t see David play football for a quarter of a year, save for telling him not to kick a ball around the living room.

This not-really-that-bad news follows the latest instalment of the horror film we’re all starring in right now, a zombie flick called Covid-19.

Even its title suggests something incredibly exhausting, an umpteenth sequel to a schlocker that should never have been given the green light.

It’s a post-modern gorefest, whose flatulent themes are economic downturn, nameless dread and a toilet paper famine.

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The plot is like the fevered dream of John Wyndham, where pity and disgust are ramped up in equal measure – only all the bloodshed happens off camera, to characters we’ll never know or properly care about, though we should.

Many of us pity the ones who are going to die and we are proportionately disgusted by the young laughing baddies who insist on swapping spit with fellow revellers at a Stereophonics gig.

They are oblivious to the invisible murder gunk they paw onto bus seats for the raucous journey home.

It’s a gunk that will find a warm and welcoming home on the heavy coats of elderly passengers the following morning.

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A bit far-fetched, I know. But Boris Johnson’s press conference, in which he bore the look of a man who’s been forced to tell a group of orphans that there’s no Santa (on Christmas Eve), was in itself beyond imagining.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for him. He’s wanted this job all his life and it turns out it’s a lowlier vocation than Kitchen Towel Clean Up Guy in a Scheisser movie.

This is no political sketch though, I just wanted to put my thoughts down – as this horror show is driving me a little bit mad.

Johnson announced a series of Draconian measures (where is Draconia anyway?) that included the formation of the aforementioned “vulnerable group”, consisting of the over-70s and people like me, who have an underlying condition.

He said we should keep ourselves safe by not doing anything for 12 weeks.

And I’m still trying to come to terms with it. I could die, apparently, because of the Stereophonics.

Just kidding, I don’t blame them at all and I liked that song they did about people who write things: “It’s Your Letters! It’s Your Letters!!

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Anyways, on the drive home from work tonight I listened to a podcast about coyotes to try and take my mind off things, I also stopped in a small Sainsbury’s.

They had no pasta, save for lasagne sheets (what am I going to do with them?).

So, I bought 12 packs, along with three crates of bottled water.

There was no toilet paper, obviously, but If I gently boil the lasagne sheets, then cool them and carefully wrap them round a wooden inner tube, hey presto! COVID-19 BATTY PASTA.

My wife grew up in Poland and she told me the mild cowboy brawling and empty supermarket shelves, which have characterised this pandemic, remind her of the last days of communism, when the old Iron shower curtain was torn from its authoritarian rings (she’s dead articulate, my wife), the shops were empty and a new era was ushered in.

It was a time of limitless freedom which promised disease-free healthcare and boundless economic success. You just had to be brave enough to grab it.

Maybe that’s what’s really going to happen (this time).

Out of this chaos will emerge a shiny new society where we all go to see the Stereophonics together, young and old alike.

Plato’s Republic, where David Attenborough’s Prime Minister and Philip Schofield is in charge of Defence. The guy who does Money Saving Expert is Chancellor, Ray Mears does Environment and Fern Britton is Employment Minister. They’ve got their work cut out.

I’ve read thousands of words about the coronavirus, I was as dismayed as everyone else by the reports coming out of Italy but have been cheered by Herculean healthcare workers and people doing good deeds generally.

I’ve been stunned too, by the baffling lack of common sense many have shown in their dumb determination to carry on regardless.

C’mon lads, life can’t continue as it was, let’s press pause for a bit. Pity and disgust, in equal measure.

I had a thought recently that people wouldn’t act so foolishly if the virus had a colour, bright green say, and you could actually see it everywhere you went – which is actually what has happened.

It’s everywhere, like Ed Sheeran songs, whether you like to admit it or not.

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I’m going to be stuck at home for a while, a little fearful and a whole lot cut off from the things I like to do.

I hope it’s ok, I think it will be. I worry about my elderly parents and those closest to me who aren’t that far off joining my club.

Another big worry is that we’ve only just begun (to see the horror), like a too-long Carpenters song.

But I’m an optimist. I’ve got lasagne sheets, broadband, lots of books, ideas and tonnes of work to do. I’ll be fine.

We’ll all be fine. Well, most of us will be – as horrible as that actually sounds.