Gyms, swimming pools and other fetid death traps to reopen this month

THE government has given the all-clear for enclosed spaces in which people grunt, thrash around and spray body fluids to open again this month.

Confident that coronavirus is almost beaten, the prime minister has challenged the disease to do its worst in the sort of confined, sweaty environments in which it thrives.

Boris Johnson said: “Reopening gyms and swimming pools is the sort of reckless, premature gesture which shows the coronavirus what we’re made of.

“There’s no way gasping and splashing around in a busy public swimming pool could transmit the virus. And a packed gym full of panting fitness obsessives who care about nothing except looking good is hardly its ideal environment.

“This virus is no match for brawny Brits working out shoulder-to-shoulder like we did in the Blitz, probably. It’ll soon slope off back to a weaker country, such as France, where the prey is easier.”

Epidemiologist Julian Cooke said: “The government is absolutely right, as usual. The coronavirus avoids environments like gyms because it feels guilty about never doing any exercise.

“It also hates swimming pools because it feels self-conscious in the changing rooms and is worried about getting a verruca.”

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Not holding your friends' baby and other coronavirus get-outs

AS Britain attempts to get back to normal, thankfully there are still things COVID-19 can get you out of. Here’s how to wring the last benefits out of the crisis.

Not visiting elderly relatives

A great bit of self-interest dressed up as concern. You’ll avoid their old person food – stodgy fruit cake or fondant fancies that make your teeth itch – and not have to repeat everything you say four times. You won’t get the £2 coin they give you as you leave, but you’re 32 for f**k’s sake and should have stopped accepting it years ago.

Those salsa classes you promised to do 

Your partner’s been bugging you about this since Mark Ramprakash won Strictly, and because you’re fat. But the mix of close personal contact and rhythmic gyrating is a petri dish for coronavirus. If your wife wants to start an affair with the salsa instructor, she’ll have to do it without you. 

Picking something up for dinner on your way home 

We’ve all had the text asking us to pick something up on the way home from work. But it’s not exactly a heroic death if you touched an infected courgette then picked your nose. Note: an exception can be made if the text isn’t about food, but saying your other half could murder a cold glass of Pinot, which means ‘Buy three bottles’.

Holding your friends’ baby 

Of course you can’t risk holding the baby! And with good reason – it’s as interesting as cradling a giant potato that could explode into ear-splitting screams like you’ve done something wrong. Plus there’s a very real chance they’ll gob up milk on the £80 jeans you can only afford because you were smart enough not to have kids.

Awkward small talk 

Pre-COVID, you couldn’t avoid small talk from kindly shopkeepers, friendly posties and affable bus drivers. It was enough to make you puke. But a face mask sends out the helpful message ‘DO YOU WANT US BOTH TO DIE?’. You may never have to have a mindless conversation about the weather – which is just outside anyway – again.