Evolution’s meant to be slow but Covid is mutating like a monster in sci-fi
15th January 2021

BACK in the days when Sir Attenborough talked about something other than climate change, he used to tell us that the process of ­evolution was slow. 

Really slow. Slower even than James May in the fog, on a complicated ­roundabout.

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As a result, we know that several ­million years elapsed before the humble amoeba was able to use scissors and operate the self-service checkouts at supermarkets.

We certainly know there was never an identifiable day when a fully flight- capable penguin watched its chick hatch and thought, “Hang on, it’s got no wings and really big feet . . .” 

The process was ­gradual.

But this coronavirus really seems to have got its skates on.

When it first emerged from someone’s roast bat a year ago, it could boing from person to person with consummate ease and breed as though it had the genes of a ­rabbit.

To combat this, we used our massive brains and our supercomputers to work out we needed to maintain a ­distance of two metres between one another, and wear masks when we popped out to the shops for beer and bog roll.

Now, if the virus was like a penguin, or an amoeba, pictured, it would have taken about seven trillion years to work a way round the problem.

But this was Covid-19. In just nine months, somewhere on the south coast of England, it mutated so that it could be passed around more easily.

Then us humans announced we had developed vaccines that would prevent anyone from becoming ill.

Within about a week, in South Africa, the virus mutated again and now, in Brazil, there’s been another leap down to evolutionary road. Scientists are worried it may have figured out a way to render the vaccines useless.

How is it doing this? 

It’s just a microscopic purple stress ball. It has no eyes and its “brain” has no consciousness.

It cannot read or access the internet. It doesn’t even have a mobile phone and, even if it had, it is unable to make a noise because it has no mouth. 

So how does it know we have the vaccines? How has it developed a global strategy for getting round the problem?

Even more interestingly, why has it decided to abandon China, the ­country where it first emerged?

Seriously, they’ve had just one death in the past eight months while we in the West are dropping like flies. 

I don’t want to sound like a flat Earth conspiracy theorist but that’s weird. 

And scary.

What we are facing here sounds like the monster in a blockbuster Hollywood sci-fi movie.

An invisible and utterly emotionless killing machine that can work its way round ­anything we do to try to stop it, and which is ­programmed to destroy everyone in its path. 

Apart from those people who ­created it.


German efficiency

SO, it turns out that Germany has managed to secure the lion’s share of Europe’s anti-Covid vaccinations. What a surprise.

But in the race to get jabs into ­people’s arms, they are being thrashed by the UK. Again. What a surprise.

There’s another thing, too. Germany may have been first to develop a ­vaccine, but it must be stored at -70C and it cannot be stirred or shaken even slightly. Or it won’t work.

The British version, developed in Oxford, will tolerate any temperature and is so resilient it could be fired from the factory where it’s made to your local health centre, from a mediaeval trebuchet.

I back the Jabs Army

EVERYONE who knows how to drive a hypodermic needle is being drafted in to help with the biggest vaccination programme in human history.

Retired doctors. Vets. First-aiders. Chemists. The Army. Everyone. 

I’m ­surprised they haven’t asked the nation’s heroin enthusiasts to help out.

This means there’s almost no one left in health centres and hospitals to guide and assist the never-ending stream of people turning up for jabs.

That’s why the Sun’s Jabs Army is so crucial.

I went this week to a vaccination ­centre in the Oxfordshire town of Witney and, snaking through the building and down the stairs and out of the door and across the car park, was a socially distanced queue of very elderly souls. Many of whom hadn’t been out of their houses AT ALL since March.

Someone has to reassure them and tell them what’s going on, as they wait in the cold for what could be their life-saving injection.

If you’ve finished ­Netflix and are bored, that someone could be you.

At the very least, it’d get you out of the house for something other than a pointless, dreary walk in the fog.

Worth a nod… off

LOTS of people are saying that the new Vanessa Kirby drama on Netflix is brilliant and a shoo-in at the Oscars.

Though when I say people, what I mean is women.

I agree Vanessa Kirby, pictured, gives a sensational performance in Pieces Of A Woman. 

But as a man, I have to say the film is as boring as being dead.

And the prosthetic baby bump Vanessa wears is not even the same colour as the rest of her.

 ONE quick   question. If the barber shops are all closed, how come the nation’s footballers have such neat and tidy hairstyles?

Perhaps that Jack Grealish fella could explain to us.

Alien a day’s work

IN the first lockdown, I drank too much, watched television for hours and generally let myself go.

This time round, I decided to get a grip and do something worthwhile. 

So I’ve grown a beard.

Now I have a question for all those who sport face fungus: How do you concentrate on anything? 

I’m sitting here now and all I can think is: “My face itches. My face itches. My face itches.”

When I’m outside and wearing a face mask, the problem is even worse.

In the paper shop yesterday, I damn nearly tore my jaw off.

To make matters worse, as I look down at the keyboard, I can see it, emerging from my face like that alien which came out of John Hurt. 

It’s hateful, and I know when people see it, they all think the same thing. “Ah, a beard. What are you hiding?”. Which is why, this afternoon, I’m shaving it off. It’ll be something to do at least.

ANYONE with even the tiniest brain knows you must work from home unless it’s completely impossible.

Which is probably why so many estate agents are open and fully staffed.

Brit of a slop in the face

MANY were shocked when pictures emerged this week of the lunches being provided for less well-off school kids.

I get the outrage. I had exactly the same thing for my Covid isolation Christmas lunch – apart from the bananas and carrots. And cheese.

I can tell you, like beans on toast it was pretty miserable.

EVERYONE seems to be very excited that the Renault 5’s coming back. I’m not.

IT seems that someone called Simon Bowes-Lyon – a relative of the late Queen Mum – is in a spot of bother after a girl accused him of ­sneaking into her bedroom one night and doing things.

That’s weird. 

He looks like such a normal sort of guy.

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