The Russian approach

The world as we know it is falling apart. Covid-19 is ripping through countries like a post-Chinese fart at a funeral. Times like this are so unprecedented that you have a Tory government, run by Boris Johnson of all people, paying people’s wages to ensure they stay at home! Can you believe this? It doesn’t seem so long ago that Dave was suggesting the Spanish Inquisition turning up at your door to inquire about the bedroom to occupant ratio. However, this pandemic is so grotesque that his slightly more unhinged labradoodle shadow is now handing out money at a rate even John McDonald would envy.

All this commotion in our country can distract us from the fact it’s not so bad here. Yes, Spoons (and all other pubs, not that they matter to students) have been forced to close and joking aside it would be nice to wipe my arse with something softer than The Sun but we have it quite easy, for now. Italy and France are both enforcing draconian quarantines and, if Twitter is to be believed, Vlad the Invader has let lions loose on his streets to keep people inside.

Obviously, this isn’t true. Covid-19 is yet to really set its teeth into Russia, but when it does what measures will Vlad actually take? Although lions and tigers are quite funny, we are talking about the man who banned food imports from the EU which put his own country on the brink of famine. We the West are in love with the psycho image of Putin pumped out by the US propaganda machine, but is this genuinely the reality? The bloke’s got a dog called Konni for crying out loud! How can you fear a man like that? If the KGB hadn’t selected him to be their post-soviet puppet, Putin would be holed up in a nice cottage on the Cornish coast spending his years working in the local Co-Op.

Rather than shoot anyone caught running outside, Vlad will no doubt hold mass prayer gatherings in the hope that God will help save us from this plague. He will give every child under the age of 10 a puppy for comfort (no doubt rescued from the grasp of Turkmenistan’s president), introduce a state-run Ocado that had a 100% discount to anyone old enough to collect a pension and build a new world-class hospital in every city with enough ventilators that they could be given out like gas masks during Blitz Britain.

The club-footed approach adopted by France, Italy and no doubt eventually us is the real fear here. Not because it is wrong but because it is right. Can you, your parents or even their parents remember a time when governments of free countries around the world imposed such strict social interaction laws? No. And that is the true evidence of how serious a time we are in. It’s not all doom and gloom though. When these days are forgotten the world will explode into a melting pot of social interactions. Clubs will be full, holiday destinations rammed and pubs dry. So, stay inside, learn to knit but stay ready for the party of a generation when this is all over.

Written by Fraser Hughes

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