The government says paper towels count as PPE – so now we can help the NHS by running hospitals in our homes

I’ve got several hundred items of protective equipment in my kitchen, as long as I count teaspoons and a kettle and a tea towel and a jar of some herb or other

Mark Steel
Thursday 30 April 2020 18:26
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Matt Hancock repeatedly refuses to accept PPE failures after being confronted by dead doctor's son

We all glowed with pride when our prime minister surged back, to announce “Many people will be looking at our success” in dealing with this virus.

It must be stressful to be a beacon of such success, that with more warning than anyone else, we still manage to be third in the world for infections and deaths.

So the world will be looking at our success, in the same way it looks at Switzerland to marvel at its navy, at Holland to marvel at its mountains, and at Easter Island to marvel at how it gets by without statues. It will admire us in the way it marvels at Saudi Arabia’s success at skiing, and gape in awe, saying “How are you so successful at staying so zen and forgiving?”, at Isis.

Most of those marvelling at our success will be extreme goths, or fans of Morrissey and Sylvia Plath who want everyone to die, miserable that they live in Slovenia or Argentina, moaning “it’s not fair, Britain’s lost 40,000 and we’ve only got rid of a few hundred.”

Other nations must be jealous of how, while the rest of the world closed down, our prime minister said Britain would stay open, which would make us like Superman. And that was true, but it was the episode where Superman found three tons of Kryptonite, so instead of staying clear of it, he moved in with it for a month in a roadside skip until he couldn’t stop coughing.

The world must be marvelling at how our prime minister declared he would shake hands with infected people, and how the government thought it would be healthy to hold a massive horse racing event with hundreds of thousands crammed together, because we’re “guided by the science”. With that logic, scientists must have believed betting slips made you immune and screaming “come on you f***ing mare!” coughed the virus away into nearby hedges.

Maybe Boris Johnson will be guided by the science in the same way with his baby. Rather than apply restrictions on its food that the rest of the world insists on, he’ll feed it sushi and chunks of Toblerone.

One country that must be marvelling at our success is New Zealand, because they started their lockdown as soon as there were a few cases, so only 19 people have died. This means they’ve only treated a few hundred people, whereas we’ve treated tens of thousands, they must be SO full of envy.

And Germany didn’t bother with a 10-year programme of austerity, so they have spare intensive care beds which they’ve offered to the French. What a waste. They will probably sell all the spare ones to DFS for a summer sale, no wonder they’re marvelling at our achievements.

One of the most striking successes is in making sure basic protective equipment is in place for medical staff. Already, only three months into a global crisis, the government has got as far as setting a target for having most of it almost there.

Earlier this week, Panorama stated medical staff are in despair over the lack of this basic equipment, but Tory MP Andrew Griffiths explained this was because the nurses were “unbalanced and left wing”.

Once again, the country is subjected to Marxist anarchist demands such as “When I’m treating people with a deadly virus, can I have a plastic gown please so I don’t catch it and die myself?”

We already clap for them, now they want to survive as well, the ungrateful communists.

If they were patient, they’d understand the government has ordered it all online, and every day the government checks where it is on its tracking app, so there’s nothing more it can do.

Maybe the face masks are taking so long to arrive because the government has ordered specialist ones, made from the finest Indian silk with each nurse’s name embroidered inside by Tibetan monks.

Even so, it announced it had provided one billion items of protective equipment, which surely must be enough. But it turned out this figure was slightly imaginative, for example including paper towels. This must be slightly frustrating for nurses, when a manager announces “At last we have a delivery of hundreds of items of PPE.” So there’s a big cheer, then he gets out a box of Kleenex.

Each pair of gloves was counted as two items. So maybe it will turn out they were counting each finger, and a gown counts as two items, as it has a front and a back and a strap which makes three. They also sent their best wishes – in total, over 200,000 wishes were sent, so it’s perfectly fair to include them in the figures.

And not only do they count a paper towel as an item of PPE, but a paper towel is paper, and it’s a towel, so it counts as two things.

The wonderful thing about this method is it means we’re all well-equipped to set up our own hospitals. I’ve got several hundred items of protective equipment in my kitchen, as long as I count teaspoons and a kettle and a tea towel and a jar of some herb or other. So if I catch the virus, I’ve got everything I need right here.

So with the same creativity, the government can reach the target of testing 100,000 people in a day. It can announce “Spiritually, no one is the same today as they were yesterday. With each new dawn of mindful awakening you are a different person, which means although we tested 200 people, if we include all their different selves it comes to 127,378.”

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