Here’s your latest edition of Icky News, the story about Storm Arwen and snogging.
We hate to tell you that this week has witnessed yet another round of that ‘news’ nonsense you like to ignore (Picture: Getty)
This week on ‘This Week On The Dark And Scary Planet We Call Home,’ it’s time for another installment of ‘This Week On The Dark And Scary Planet We Call Home.’
We can’t be the only ones who have noticed that things have suddenly become a little more apocalyptic? Didn’t you notice? No? Really?!
If you haven’t been paying attention, we won’t attempt to sugarcoat it — it’s been a disaster from beginning to end.
It’s been the kind of week when you might be excused for averting your gaze and pretending nothing is going on.
We’re afraid to announce it has been occurring, and Metro.co.uk has been keeping a close eye on the entire awful situation for you. It’s what we’re good at. Throughout the day. Every single day.
In a few minutes, we’ll bring you up to speed, and then you can go back to burying your head in that lovely, sweet sand. Have a wonderful weekend!
The omicron and the sinking sensation
The rebranding of the Covid-19 virus under the catchy new name ‘Omicron’ has been the greatest news of the week. This was the week when governments around the nation pressed the big red button that said, “Houston, we have a problem,” and everyone felt like they were back in school.
After a new form of Covid-19 raised its ugly head (Photo: AFP/Getty Images), masks and travel restrictions are once again in effect. )
The science is that the variety discovered in southern Africa may not be fundamentally more transmissible than Delta, the Covid form that has established itself as the World Heavyweight Champion. However, experts believe that since it has so many changes, our systems will not recognize it, meaning that those who had been ‘immune’ to it because to a prior illness or immunization might get it again.
Is it really that bad? We have no idea. It is spreading, with a few dozen instances already reported in the United Kingdom, and it will continue to spread. However, two major concerns remain unanswered: does it induce a more or less severe sickness, and how well will existing immunizations stand up?
How has the rest of the world reacted? At home, mask-wearing in stores and on public transportation has returned, and anybody suspected of being in close contact with someone sick with Omicron must self-isolate, even if they are vaccinated. Travel restrictions are in place all around the world, and measures are being implemented in Europe, with Germany being the latest nation to make the vaccine obligatory. Science, of course, is back at work and has already started inventing new shots. But for the time being, it’s a case of wait, watch, and hope.
TL;DR: Another winter, another version, and another Christmas in jeopardy.
Winter’s grand arrival and Storm Arwen
The weather, never one to be outdone, ensured that the coronavirus didn’t take center stage this week.
How? First, Storm Arwen slammed into numerous regions of the nation, completely destroying life. After some of the greatest storm damage in years, homes in the North East and Scotland are still without electricity. The severe weather started last week, but cleanup is still happening in certain areas and may continue for weeks, perhaps leaving some families without power until Christmas.
Winter has returned, and may we be the first to declare that we are over it? (Picture: PA)
Then, for the first time this year, there was snow throughout the nation, including in London (which, of course, elevates it from ‘a little of weather’ to ‘MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS’*). Middlesbrough and Aberdeen, both in the north of England, were especially hard struck. As we move into next week, there might be more, so dust out your snood for God’s sake.
*Your northern correspondent’s shoulder may or may not be chipped.
TL;DR: It’s cold now, it’ll be cold tomorrow, and it may be cold for the rest of time. Questions?
We’ve tried to make this round-up lighthearted, but there’s no simple way to convey the anguish that befell Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, a defenseless six-year-old who deserved more than his brief, wretched existence. Arthur was beaten, poisoned, and eventually killed by his father and stepmother. He was under the care of ‘evil’ Emma Tustin, 32, when he was attacked in his home and sustained an unsurvivable brain damage. She was sentenced to 29 years in prison for murder, along with her father, Thomas Hughes, 29, who was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Arthur Labinjo-Hughes’ death, which must serve as a catalyst for long-term change (Picture: PA)
There’s a lot more to say about Arthur, the villains who tore his life apart, and the process of bringing them to justice. But, for the time being, ponder this: how was this allowed to happen again? How was this smiling little child allowed to fade away and remain a captive to his abusers even after the alarm was raised during the Baby P case? The government has initiated a study and has said that it “would not hesitate to act.” There is nothing more that can be done for Arthur, but there are others who are in desperate need of assistance right now.
TL;DR (short version) – No one observed a defenseless youngster being methodically murdered. It wasn’t supposed to happen again. Yes, it did.
It’s down the road
Remember last November, when the nation went into lockdown again and it became evident that a typical Christmas was a pipe dream? According to accounts, Downing Street workers greeted the news the only way they knew how: by breaking up the Echo Falls, preparing down a buffet, and playing party games. Allegedly.
For the first time, a little youngster hears the Prime Minister’s party’s denials (Photo: REX/Shutterstock)
The Daily Mirror uncovered that drunken get-togethers may have occurred within the same building where regulations were being drafted, at a time when London was already in Tier 3. One witness described them as a ‘Covid nightmare,’ while another said that attendees were packed in ‘jaw by jowl.’ Boris Johnson is said to have made a personal appearance at one of the farewell parties to make a farewell address.
The prime minister and Downing Street haven’t explicitly denied that parties took place, but they have disputed the description, insisting that any events that did or didn’t take place did so within the boundaries of the social-distancing guidelines in effect at the time. Make what you will of it, reader.
TL;DR: While the rest of the nation was shut down, Downing Street was shut down (allegedly).
Last but not least, snogging Sajid Javid
The Saj is a snogger, and he’s adamant on everyone knowing it. Mr. and Mrs. Javid, every Christmas, beneath the mistletoe, a big huge neck on. Why are we aware of this?
Sajid ‘The Saj’ Javid, HM Government’s Snogger-in-Chief, is thinking about Christmas (Picture: Getty)
Ministers and health authorities got themselves into a tangle this week about how we should all behave at all those Christmas parties we’ve been asked to (my DMs, as ever, are open). Therese Coffey, the head of the Department of Work and Pensions, added to the confusion by advising that we should all avoid snogging ‘those you don’t already know.’ While it isn’t the worst piece of life advice we’ve ever heard, it isn’t the most precise public health message we’ve ever heard.
As a result, Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Snogging (and Health), was forced to explain that the government has no plans to restrict who, what, where, or when you should kiss this Christmas. Never one to leave the audience wanting more, the priest shared a personal anecdote about his mistletoe “custom” with his wife. That’s all there is to it. The snogging has resumed at Casa de Javid and elsewhere.
TL;DR: There isn’t one; leave; we’re through.
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