Christmas 2020 is cancelled. Good. There’ll be more of us around to celebrate in 2021

I’m pleased with the tier 4 announcement. I like a turkey dinner and a mince pie as much the next person, but not if it’s going to kill people

Leer en Español

The new plague capital of Britain is London and, for a change, it is being given special treatment – but this time only in the sense of it being particularly harsh. Things are so bad in the southeast of England, so very, very dire indeed, that a whole new tier, a new dimension of corona-sadism, has had to be specially invented, despite this being the heartland of the Conservatives.

But this is not bad news, though it might feel that way. 

It’s bad for business, bad for socialising, bad for morale – all true. Yet what is the alternative? An army of superspreaders fanning out to every corner of the UK, infected with this new faster-moving variant of the virus? That would mean we – by which I mean Boris Johnson – had made a conscious choice to turbo-charge the coronavirus by not stopping it ASAP. 

The new variant might be a bit less vicious, but maybe not much, and don’t forget that the flu, normally milder than Covid, can kill you. In a few weeks, there would be ambulances queueing outside A&E with people inside them fighting for breath and for life. The NHS would be broken. Now, I like a glass of sweet sherry, a turkey dinner and a mince pie as much as the next person but not if they’re going to kill people.

Ignoring the surge in infections at this juncture would also mean more economic damage later – an even more severe, more panicky and longer national lockdown in January, by which point it would be too late for some poor souls.

To be fair to him, Johnson is no grinch. It’s Covid-19 that’s stolen Christmas. I do understand the emotional and religious investment in Christmas but not when the ceremonials spill into irrational obsession. For much of the population, Christmas is basically all about hassle, and enforced, contrived jollity, grudgingly endured by people who have to be semi-anaesthetised by the heroic nurse Stella Artois and her colleague, doctor Johnnie Walker, to get them through the annual ordeal. Two words if you need reminding: “Office party”.

And what kind of a knees-up is it where no one hugs, or sings along to Slade, where the mistletoe has hazard-warning tape wrapped around it, the party theme is “extreme caution”, and the dress code is “PPE”?

Those in tiers 1 to 3 who really want to meet on Christmas Day will be able to, and the kids will still get their presents. 

Our usual Christmas has to be severely curtailed, though, like it or not. Otherwise, we will permit the spread of the virus, costing so many lives that this will be the last such celebration for thousands more. 

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in