Representatives from all countries are in a school room. Their Global Pandemic Projects have been submitted for a ‘halfway’ assessment and students are being given their marks and a brief critique on their attempts by the World Health Organisation.
WHO1: Thank you everybody. We have looked at all of your efforts. Some very good work from many of you. Unfortunately there are some of you who just haven’t been listening to us and really haven’t put enough effort into your projects. It’s very disappointing.
WHO2: I’d like to make special mention of some outstanding work. New Zealand? Do we have a representative?
JACINDA ARDEN raises her hand.
WHO2: Ahh, yes, Jacinda. Please stand up.
WHO2: An excellent approach, New Zealand. You may want to check on your immigration policies as I think many people will want to come and live in your country! You locked down before you had any deaths at all. A very smart move. The result of that is your country has suffered 12 deaths only. A*. Very well done.
The rest of the class starts clapping.
JACINDA holds up her hand: No, no, no applause please. 12 deaths is still 12 deaths too many.
The class stop clapping and look down at their desks in sobering silence. Jacinta sits down.
WHO2: And now to Singapore. Halimah Yacob?
HALVAH YACOB stands up.
WHO2: Oh, Singapore, you started so well. Suppressing but without a lockdown. Your army making all those face masks for everyone. It was inspirational. Then it went wrong didn’t it? I’m afraid it was bound to happen without a lockdown. You failed to consider the numbers of migrant workers didn’t you? And how quickly the disease spread amongst them? I’m sorry but we can only give you a C.
HALVAH JACOB offers an unsmiling nod and sits down.
WHO2: South Korea, please? Moon Jae-in?
MOON JAE IN stands.
WHO2: Well done. Your policy of testing, tracing and treating without lockdowns has been most effective. Congratulations. It is also worth mentioning that with this country’s action we have been able to identify that people are testing positive twice for the virus leading us to think that having it once does not necessarily lead to immunity. Another A*.
MOON JAE beams and puts his hands together in namaste.
WHO2: United States of America?
WHO2: Do we have a representative? Donald Trump?
Silence disturbed by some vague mutterings.
The Canadian representative JUSTIN TRUDEAU stands.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU: I think he’s suing China, sir.
He sits down, shrivelling at the look of disdain from the WHO personnel.
WHO2. USA does not get a pass. F for fail.
WHO2: United Kingdom. Boris Johnson?
DOMINIC RAAB: He’s off sick, sir. I’m taking his place.
WHO2 stares silently at Raab saying nothing for several minutes..
WHO2: Oh dear, UK. One of the most disappointing performances worldwide. You wouldn’t listen. You stopped testing. Bleating about herd immunity for a virus that we don’t know enough about. You left it too long to lockdown. Your population don’t seem to understand what lockdown actually means. The deaths tell us all we need to know. This is a fail. A spectacular fail.
DOMINC RAAB sits down without changing his expression.
Book blogger and scribbler here.
Brilliant and very witty. Makes me want to write a short play as well! Thanks for this.