The jokes are still coming about the coronavirus. I know they are because I made a ‘joke’ of the fact that last night I had a couple of (dismal) pints of Corona beer at the Las Iguanas restaurant at Cribbs Causeway. Probably the best ‘joke’ was the one about the government’s intention to call on retired doctors to return to work in the event that the outbreak becomes widespread. You know, retired doctors who are old and more likely to die. Actually, it’s not funny at all because it simply draws even more attention to the state we are in.

Behind all the jokes, people are beginning to cotton on as to how serious coronavirus is going to be. To date, most of us don’t know anyone who has been infected, let alone someone who has died from it. In a few months time, it could be that people to whom we are actually related could be in danger. No one will be laughing then.

At the moment, I reckon most of us are at the stage where we are worried that major national events and, much closer to home, holidays will be cancelled. I am not going to pretend that I am not concerned about things I have booked that necessitate flying will soon run into trouble. I cannot believe, for one moment, that major sporting events like the Olympics, the European Football Championships, Wimbledon and the London Marathon are going to take place, heartbreaking though that may be for the participants, especially the hardy park runners whose aim it is to raise money for charity.

So, we’re worried about holidays and sporting events, but many of us are worried about the non-availability of certain items like alcohol hand gel, to the extent that you can’t buy any from a supermarket but you can through an eBay rip off artist, the supermarket shelves are bare. Just wait until the tabloids start shouting about food shortages. Panicking shows people are worried and to be fair to them they are right to be worried.

Life certainly goes on and we do our best to keep things real and as normal as possible. However, coronavirus is taking away our certainty and our ability to control our lives. And for people who have elderly and frail relatives, these are scary times indeed.

The jokes about Corona beer and Corona lemonade are still here today but when someone close dies, we won’t see the funny side. That’s the next step and it’s why I am really, really frightened of coronavirus, as we all should be.