How to rebuild your shattered relationship after lockdown

SIX weeks of isolation was, it turns out, all it took to smash your relationship with your partner to smithereens. But can it be put back together? 

Don’t speak

Conversationally, you tapped out a long time ago. There’s nothing new. So stay together but take a year, or maybe two, off talking so you can gather new anecdotes and curate new opinions. Let silence be golden.

Go out for meals

Once you can, eat out. That way you can order separately, avoiding rows about dinner, there’s plenty to look at and waiters to banter with so it’s not just each others’ cold, glaring eyes. You might even see couples who hate each other more than you do.

See someone else

Unorthodox, but you’ve been in the deep end for two months now so you both could use a palate cleanser. And it could remind you of your partner’s positive points rather than all the terrible, terrible things they do, like breathing slightly too loudly, or talking to you.

Pity other couples

Go through all of the couples you know and compare your relationship to theirs. For example, the Facebook live quiz organised by Emma and Tom last night clearly came straight after a blazing row, which is why all her questions were ‘Why does Tom have to be such a prick?’ You’re better off than they are.


When all else fails, pretend to be other people. Forget sexy lingerie and go straight for full body suits and masks. Who could possibly be under that Parappa the Rapper outfit? Certainly not the man whose dumps you’ve been smelling for the past two months. Sexy!

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Why all the sexy ladies want epidemiologists, by Professor Neil Ferguson

by Professor Neil Ferguson, faculty of medicine, Imperial College, London

YES, I broke lockdown. But if you had any idea just how much triple-A pussy you can get mathematically modelling the spread of disease, you’d understand. 

I deeply regret that I ignored the rules to see one of my many, many women. But since I entered infectious diseases in 2000 two weeks is the longest I’ve gone without a shag. Hell, two days is a drought.

The day I modelled the spread of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, I got home and there was a girl I’d never seen before naked in my bed. ‘How did you get in?’ I spluttered. ‘You’re the prediction expert,’ she said, throwing off the duvet. ‘You tell me.’

And from that moment on I’ve been going at it like a new strain of influenza in a weakened immune system. A woman for breakfast, another for lunch, two overnight. That’s weekdays. At weekends, well, I go kind of crazy.

It’s not my fault. The minute the chicks hear you’re an epidemiologist their panties hit the floor. There’s just something about studying virus transmission in large populations that demolishes every inhibition.

Jennifer Lawrence, Penelope Cruz, Nicki Minaj – who was so obsessed with my work on the Zika virus that we had to break up, I was physically exhausted – they’ve all stripped off my lab coat at one time or another.

So giving some married honey a booty call was of no more consequence to me than ordering a pizza. Sure, it was the best she’ll ever have, but to me? Wednesday.

It’s probably for the best. I was on course to win a Nobel prize, and honestly? Not sure the old dick could take it.