When and if COVID-19 becomes an irritating virus from which we need little more than an annual jab, rather like the current flu jab, I think I speak for the world when I say I can’t wait to enjoy freedom again. My boring old life, which consisted of little more than playing golf with some of my favourite people on Earth, going to the football with – yes – some of my favourite people on earth, going to pubs with, yes, you know the next bit and going on holiday to somewhere warm with the love of my life where the only tricky decision is where to get my next beer from, has been badly missed.

We will know normality has returned when we start reminiscing. “Do you remember the time when we had to stay at home? When the pubs were shut, we wore masks when we went out anywhere and we weren’t allowed to meet up with our favourite people on Earth.” Many years later, people will probably look back with pride at the Spirit of COVID. “You youngsters don’t know you’re born. We had it tough, my generation did.”

No one will ever forget COVID-19. This last year was one we never thought might ever happen. We have heard about many killer viruses, but they never escaped from Asia, Africa or anywhere else that wasn’t our back yard. But scientists have always known this might happen. Their fears never appeared in the MSM because we had other things to worry about, like Coronation Street and the Royal Family. And even if we did hear about killer viruses, we’d have shrugged our shoulders and called out the experts for scaremongering. Most know nothings always accuse people who know stuff as scaremongering.

From what Boris Johnson says, we are on the home straight. Just a few more months and COVID-19 will be a footnote in history. Just wash your hands and keep a sensible distance from other people and the vaccine will do the rest. I hope so, but is it really that simple?

Today, Johnson announced Britain was closed for business. All travel corridors would be closed from next Monday. No one would be allowed in unless they had a Pfizer BioNTech product injected into their veins. A mere ten months after the virus ripped across the world, Johnson had concluded it might be the right time for taking back control of our borders – where have I heard that before? – and telling Johnny Foreigner to stay away. A bit late there, Bozo, don’t you think?

I could understand that since Johnson had managed to lead us to the fifth highest number of COVID infections in the world and the fifth highest number of deaths. For once, he was nearly right: Britain was world-beating, but not perhaps in the way Johnson saw it.

“When this is all over”, we say, we will do all the things we always meant to do but time never allowed. But what if another coronavirus turns up? It’s just as likely to turn up as to not turn up. There is no reason to suggest that once COVID-19 has become an annual pain-in-the-arse jab at the local health centre, that another might take over, in the near future. Christ: I hope not.

We do need to get on with things when this immediate crisis is over. Know that it could happen all over again and be ready for it. Believe me: I have books and music to last several lifetimes.

I’ll never take things for granted again in the future. For many people, tragically, this last virus cut short their hopes and dreams. I want to spend the following years fulfilling mine. You should, too.