Bothered by coronavirus? Nah. It’s a far east thing, isn’t it? Yeah, a few people have been affected in the UK, a hotel in Tenerife full of Brits has been put under quarantine, but nothing to worry about over here, right? Think again.

Just look at this report, lifted from the CNN website: ‘Italy has put several cities and towns in the country’s north on lockdown, banning people from entering or leaving affected areas, suspending public events and closing attractions, such as museums, to the public, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. The measure effectively put an estimated 100,000 people under quarantine.‘ Then, think about that happening here.

The CNN story tells but a small part of the story. 283 people have so far been confirmed to have contracted the virus, the highest number outside Asia. And just like any other virus, coughs and sneezes spread diseases. This virus is on the march.

It is affecting this country too, although not so you’d noticed, but it has been revealed that children and teachers returning to the UK from skiing holidays in Italy have been told to stay away from school. In fact, everyone returning from northern Italy has been told to go home and self-isolate. Not a bad idea since people are dying of this virus.

If you’re in the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, you’ve been told to stay in your room and not leave it. That’s 1000 people, a large number of whom are Brits. They could be there for weeks and with good reason because if they came home how they’d likely cough and sneeze over us. If they boarded planes to come home, God knows how many people might be contaminated given that what you breathe in an aircraft is recycled air.

If things get worse here, expect the same thing to happen. Expect concerts and sports events to be cancelled, expect whole cities and towns be placed in lockdown. Shops would be closed and public transport would grind to a halt. We are not yet in the same situation as northern Italy but it wouldn’t take much take us there.

Some 80,000 people have so far contracted the virus worldwide and some doctors and organisations suggest we are close to a pandemic. If things deteriorate over here, expect the same shutdowns and self-isolation and lots of deaths. This is very serious stuff indeed and just because things appear to be normal in Britain, they might not be for long.