Hello, hello, hello from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I feel that it is about time that I stepped into the coronavirus ‘pond’ and helped clear some of the muddy water that is causing confusion, with more to come by the sound of it. Now that Birmingham has been fenced off (some might say it should have been done sooner, but that’s just spitefulness) and there are restrictions on how many people you may meet up with, I felt I needed to clarify just exactly what you can and can’t do. You can then print out these clarifications and carry them with you as a reminder in your handbag or wallet or pocket or even down your underwear (and remember that the LSG does not discriminate, so get those Wonderbras out, boys; unpack those y-fronts, girls!). I will try to condense them as best as I can.
If you live in England:
1. You may not travel into or out of Birmingham, Bolton, Bradford or anywhere else beginning with B unless you have an exceptionally good reason. The only exemption is Barnard Castle, and this is only available to people whose initials are DC.
2. You may meet up in groups of six in order to eat or drink and generally make merry. If you don’t have five friends to make up a group of six, you are barred from socialising altogether and must sit at home staring soulfully out of your window.
3. If you live in a household of more than six, you will need to get rid of one or more of the household. I suggest that you choose the unfortunate victim(s) by means of a short straw; or perhaps choose by age, or height? Or how much they eat? The ‘chosen ones’ will then have to look for a household with fewer than six in it and ask if they can join it.
4. Wear a face mask as often as possible – according to the government website, ‘An infected person can pass on the virus even if they do not have any symptoms, through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing.’ You should therefore try to avoid doing any of these, although you may find the breathing restriction a little difficult at first, but persevere – it will be worth it.
5. Further advice from the government: ‘When with people you do not live with, you should also avoid physical contact; being close and face-to-face; and shouting or singing close to them.’ My plan of going out and cheering people up by hugging complete strangers and singing ‘Men of Harlech’ into their faces looks like it will have to be postponed…
6. There are exceptions to the ‘rule of six’ – ‘wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or other religious life-cycle ceremonies – where up to 30 people will be able to attend; funerals – where up to 30 people will be able to attend… protests and political activities… ’ I’m not sure what ‘other religious life-cycle ceremonies’ are, but it’s clear that you can have a wonderful party if you can find someone who’s about to get married, someone who’s popped their clogs, and a couple of political activists and combine them all together on the same day.
7. Fill up your car with petrol in case you need a covid test – you may be asked to travel to Wales or Scotland to get one.
Remember that there are different guidelines for Wales and Scotland – I suggest not visiting either of these countries until they have learned to speak properly and can explain their rules clearly. Northern Ireland is staying quiet – unusually!
Remember – Hands, Face, Space – or Clap, Slap, Gap! Goodnight and sleep well.