It was all going so well … don’t let Omicron wreck it

OMIGOD . . . it’s Omicron! Facemasks on. Back in the bunker. Don’t panic!!!

A fast-spreading new Covid variant, named after a Greek vowel, is stalking the Earth bringing runny noses, a hot flush and light coughs wherever it strikes.

A fast-spreading new Covid variant, named after a Greek vowel, is stalking the Earth bringing runny noses, a hot flush and light coughs wherever it strikes
Boris refuses to rule out another lockdown, saying only that ‘Christmas will be better’ than last year’s washout[/caption]

It should have been called “Xi”, but the World Health Organisation feared it would offend China’s thin-skinned Xi Jinping — the man arguably responsible for unleashing Covid in the first place.

The Beijing hardman might have lost face by association with such a feeble new bat bug.

For nobody has been admitted to hospital with ­Omicron. Nobody. Anywhere.

Not even in South Africa where the latest hybrid burst into life.

“It is extremely mild,” says Dr Angelique Coetzee, the ­Pretoria medic who discovered it. “You are panicking.”

That hasn’t stopped scaremongering Sage scientists demanding a new crackdown through social distancing, self-isolation and working from home.

Can’t be too careful.

Millions of idle, er, I mean responsible civil servants are already enjoying an 18-month WFH vacation, with no plans for returning to the office any time soon.

Teachers will soon be ­bellowing for class closures, giving them a clear Christmas shopping run as the rest of us slog on.

Boris has bounced into action, making face-nappies compulsory for shops and public transport but stopping short of Plan B crisis measures such as vaccine passports.

He’s got to do something, of course, if only as a political gesture. Labour is breathing down his neck, demanding fresh incarceration.

We would still be in lockdown if Sir Keir Starmer had his way.

It was all looking so good last week. Official figures showed Britain’s economy bouncing back stronger than anywhere in Europe as our pandemic eased.

We were on track for strong growth and low unemployment while the EU is ablaze with anti-vax rioters torching cars in Holland and Austria.

Today, the UK travel industry is in chaos, with Omicron wiping billions off the value of our biggest firms, especially airlines, over the weekend.

Christmas might be ruined for a second year running — even though the vulnerable are triple-jabbed and those in hospital are mostly vaccination refuseniks.

Boris refuses to rule out another lockdown, saying only that “Christmas will be better” than last year’s washout.

Yet even ultra-gloomy chief medic Chris Whitty admits he is far more concerned about the existing Delta variant than Omicron.


And in a rare step into the political arena, he wonders aloud whether the British public would accept another lockdown.

“If we need to do something muscular, can we still take the people with us?” he said. The answer should be No.

To be fair, Health supremo Sajid Javid yesterday came close to ruling out a draconian crackdown.

“People should continue with their plans for Christmas,” he insisted.

Brushing aside Sage’s get-tough demands, he added: “Scientific advisers advise. Our job is to decide.

“Such measures come at really heavy cost — on the economy, on people’s social lives, on mental health.

“As Health Secretary I have seen so many non-Covid problems in the NHS caused by previous lockdowns.”

Needless deaths from strokes, untreated cancer, and heart and kidney conditions run into tens of thousands, with millions queuing for potentially life-or-death treatment.

The damage wreaked on our kids’ education, blighted town centres, the social fabric, rising crime and anti-social behaviour may never be repaired.

Boris Johnson’s decision to implement Freedom Day last July, against Labour protests, is vindicated by a steady fall in Covid-related hospital admissions and deaths.

Our record contrasts starkly with the EU, where a plodding vaccine roll-out and a spiteful AstraZeneca boycott has led to an alarming fourth wave.

Yet as anti-vaxxers run amok in Europe, we have no room for complacency.

Three-quarters of UK Covid hospital admissions are un-jabbed, clogging intensive care units as other emergency cases are forced to queue in ambulances outside.

If they took their medicine along with everyone else, our pandemic would be over.
We could get back to life as we all lived it until 2019.

EU joke

NO-HOPER French presidential candidate Michel Barnier seems to be running a one-man Stupid Party.

He has called on Emmanuel Macron to rip up treaty terms with Britain and allow migrants to flood across the Channel unhindered.

The pompous ex-EU negotiator is still smarting after his humiliating but little-known exclusion from crunch Brexit talks in 2019.

While our brilliant David Frost was smuggled into the EU Commission via an underground car park, Barnier was deliberately uninvited.

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