THE alarm bell rang. It was time to get up.
The communal heat pump malfunctioned and I awoke covered in sweat after the hottest night of the year.
I have another tedious day ahead, enforcing the 3,233 regulations now in place.
Yesterday was Day 25,000 of Lockdown (excluding a few brief intermissions). Not many remember exactly when the lockdowns changed from ‘Covid lockdowns’ to ‘Covid and Climate lockdowns’. All we know is that the regulations keep multiplying.
As a long-standing Covid Marshal (Grade 2), I was assigned to attend the Lockdown Anniversary Memorial Event at the Astra Health Heroes Arena (formerly known as Wembley Stadium). The format was the same as all the previous Memorial Events.
The opening parade was led by the masked ranks of our Glorious Health Workers, each waving the small rainbow flag that has replaced the Union flag on most occasions. They were followed by senior Reset Managers, delegates from various environmental groups, journalists and finally some Grade 3 Covid Marshals.
As each group passed the Central Committee and Sage members, the wild applause was amplified by the sound system.
When the procession had halted in the centre of the stadium, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster led the singing of ‘How Great thou Art’ in the honour of the assembled congregation.
Then came the inevitable dances from our health heroes for which they had obviously been preparing for weeks if not months. The best of a bad lot came from the front-line workers of the Integrated Racial Justice, Non-binary, Inclusivity and Diversity Unit from Haringey. It involved more than a hundred dancers from the Unit dressed in authentic Aztec costumes. In place of the ritual slaughter and sacrifice of children to the rain gods, four boys were vaccinated during the performance. Each injection was greeted by enthusiastic applause.
Prince William then distributed the awards. They included:
The Gates Prize for the best insect recipe. Winner: Le scarabée rôti aux vers et une sauce aux limaces et à l'ail (roast beetle with worms and a sauce of slugs in garlic).
The Sage trophy for the least inaccurate forecast (No winner this time).
The Thunberg Cup for the largest number of trees hugged in one day.
The Goebbels Public Enlightenment Award for the most compliant journalist.
The Klaus Schwab Knights of the Iron Cross (with oak leaves) for the Covid Marshal who collected the most fines.
At the end of the ceremony Lord Whitty proudly announced the discovery by British scientists of the first six-fold mutant variant, the Biancabella variant (Bicester-Andalusia-Canberra-Belgium-Liverpool-Latvia). More rapturous applause followed the announcement that a vaccine booster is imminent.
I was late returning home. The electric bus ran out of fuel in a traffic jam caused by the collision of two self-driving Teslas.