Pandemic Britain: What happens after one too many Corona? - By Pádraig Ó Meiscill

Pandemic Britain Day 152: ‘There is absolutely nothing to worry about,’ Boris Johnson assures the public via the Paparazzi as he leaves a Stringfellow’s strip club with a rose between his teeth and a Malaysian dancer under each arm at four on a Monday morning, ‘except perhaps worry itself,’ he adds with a suddenly befuddled look on his face as he falls into the back of black cab while the chauffeur of his personal limousine and his private security detail look on perplexed. The last camera man fit enough to keep pace with the departing cab gets a parting shot through the back window of Boris on his knees urging his companions to lick the quickly dissolving coke lines from his exposed yellow tongue. When they arrive at Downing Street, Boris insists the dancers pay for the fare from the tip he bestowed upon them earlier and tip the cab driver in turn while his empty limousine pulls up behind them.

The next morning, stray cats run in and out of the open door of number 10 past the statuesque policeman while the strains of George Michael waft onto the street from a YouTube playlist left on repeat. From a certain angle by the open door, you can observe Boris’ rainbow-patterned socks atop feet which had given up the attempt to climb the gilded stairs on the first step not long before. Upstairs, the dancers are taking the weekly Cabinet briefing, explaining to the assembled ministers why their public health advice thus far has been nothing short of a pack of lies.


Pandemic Britain Day 163: The Tory leadership is placed in quarantine after the head of Public Health England is forced to inject himself with the infection live on air to demonstrate there really is nothing to worry about, and subsequently coughs his intestines over the entire Cabinet. CCTV footage from Downing Street emerges showing Boris snorting cocaine off Dominic Cummings' pristine head while Michael Gove is tied to a divan chair in the corner with a bright red gag ball in his mouth as a result of him developing the sniffles. Jacob Rees-Mogg is lying in nothing but his y-fronts in front of a roaring fire, using Priti Patel as an ersatz rug while Arlene Foster has just arrived with a fresh crate of Bibles, but is told to fuck off.
Meanwhile in Ireland, Leo Varadkar is calling everyone 'comrade' during his daily Tea with the Taoiseach TV broadcasts and Simon Coveney is issuing final warnings on behalf of the IRA, stating that the Coronavirus has 24 hours to leave the country.


Pandemic Britain Day 174: Broken by the death of his live-in nanny, the victim of a vaccine experiment gone horribly wrong, Jacob has gone feral. He now stalks the deserted aisles of derelict Poundstretcher stores, with nothing but his great-grandfather's African hunting rifle which was last used at the battle of Rourke’s Drift and the rug formerly known as the politician Priti Patel tied with blue rope around his naked, sweat-greased back. His job? To hunt down benefit cheats who have since mutated into super looters.
Meanwhile in Ireland, Gerry Adams gives a press conference where he insists through a mucus encrusted beard that he does not now, nor has he ever had, a chesty cough.


Pandemic Britain Day 185: In a bold move, Boris declares the nationalisation of Deliveroo with immediate effect. Henceforth, along with Big Macs, milkshakes, burritos, pizzas, curry chips and kebabs, the cyclists will be used to ferry face masks, hand sanitiser, prescription drugs, home ventilators and, until the passing of the crisis, non-prescription drugs from recognised dealers. Things take a turn for the worse though when Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove appear from 10 Downing Street in doctors' coats to collect a delivery. Dominic claims he paid for the cheese burgers and ketamine last night, while Michael is adamant it was, in fact, he who coughed up. They roll around the street attempting to bite one another's earlobes off until, in the interests of national security, Boris orders them both Tasered by his personal protection team.
Meanwhile in Ireland, Leo has taken to channelling his inner Winston Churchill by getting his personal barber to give him a nought all over and drinking three large bottles of brandy a day. At night, he phones Simon and threatens him with his Spitfires in a cut-glass Eton accent. ‘What do you say to that, Simon my boy,’ he intones down the line. Simon hangs up.


Pandemic Britain Day 196: Because he’s cancelled the Sky broadband package to Number 10 due to the rugger being cancelled, Boris doesn’t receive Arlene’s email informing him of her Unilateral Declaration of Independence for Ulster. This is due to the prime minister’s bad faith in breaking their previous consensus that protestants can’t get coronavirus, she writes. She has appointed Nelson McCausland as her Minister of Defence, she writes. She waits for a reply in vain. That weekend, Nelson and Arlene are joined by the rest of their kitchen cabinet - Gregory Campbell, Sammy Wilson, Lord Kilclooney, Nigel Dodds & that fella who used to be in Coronation Street - for a working retreat in Lord Brookeborough’s former residence. Once there, they use a Ouija board in an attempt to enlist the help of Oliver Cromwell for the successful implementation of the herd immunity strategy. That night, a sordid orgy develops, with ‘gerrymander’ the designated safe word.
Meanwhile, at dusk, lonely loyalists and insomniac catholics tell each other bedtime stories down the line about Betsy Gray, Síle na Gig, the Red Branch Knights & the summer of love.


Pandemic Britain Day 207: Boris Johnson address the nation from a bunker somewhere in Sussex after fleeing Downing Street in the face of a Dominic Cummings-inspired coup. The last horrible scene Her Majesty’s Prime Minister witnessed before an SAS extraction team forced him into a T52 tank was that of Dominic scaling the illustrious first drainpipe of the Empire in nothing but a massive, horrifically soiled nappy, screaming that it was the Muslims what done it.

Now, Boris, clad in a pair of psychedelic surfer’s shorts and a ‘I love Boyzone’ tee-shirt sits at a massive oak kitchen table and appeals to the people of Britain to remain CALM, before breaking into floods of tears and banging his painfully moisturised fists repeatedly against the antique wood. He babbles dementedly about the New World Order and shape-shifting lizards. The Fear is clearly upon him. It is scrawled in bold block capitals upon every pore of his drug-addled carcass. ‘Stay at home,’ he wails, ‘The end is sincerely fucking nigh,’ he babbles, ‘Release the hounds,’ he gesticulates to no one in plain sight.

Meanwhile, in every sink estate in England, in every neglected neighborhood in Ireland and the rest of Europe, in every detention centre, prison and refugee camp, people are singing love songs to one another from their balconies, through their windows, from off the rooftops and out their cell doors. If Boris could keep quiet for just a single moment, calm his quaking limbs for long enough, he may even hear them in his bunker from the nearest council estate… ‘If I could hold her in my arms today, I wouldn’t want her any other way.’