Thursday, 6th May 2021

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam's elaborate summer holiday guide

GOOD day. I regret that anyone planning an elaborate summer holiday, intricate and impenetrable as the Gordian knot, should cancel it. Let me explain what’s advisable: 

Doing the Wuhan-Cape Town-Rio-Kent trail

An ironic zeitgeist-themed trip around the world’s Covid hotspots would be witty, apposite and elaborate to the extent of being illegal. It would be a nightmare to organise and would end on a massive downer in the form of Kent.

Verdict: illegally elaborate.

Following the England team around Europe

If Euro 2020 takes place in 2021, that’s already illogical. But following them around the continent like the daughter planned to do with U2 in the film Taken would be senselessly elaborate, crossing borders, spreading Covid and creating new variants. Also England will not win.

Verdict: far too elaborate.

Two weeks in an all-inclusive on the Costa del Sol. 

While this is not a holiday that previously would have been considered elaborate, and indeed I would have referred to you as a ‘basic bitch’ on hearing of it, travelling between countries is now elaborate by default. This does not mean you are in any way sophisticated or classy, just that standards have fallen.

Verdict: still too elaborate.

A campervan tour of the British Isles

While at least restricted to a single country, remember that Northern Ireland no longer counts as part of the UK because Boris wanted to get a quick win on the board back in 2019. Staying in multiple locations is needlessly elaborate and the experience of being in a campervan is anyway like quarantine, but with less room.

Verdict: elaborate and shit.

Camping in your own back garden

Erecting a tent in your own garden and then sleeping in it is senselessly elaborate while your house is right there. The Covid risk is virtually zero, but ask yourself: what are you hoping to achieve? Stop wasting your time and get inside. My briefing is on at 5pm.

Verdict: wilfully elaborate for elaborate’s sake.