RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Some people don't think it's all over.. it is now

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: For much of the past couple of years we have been stuck indoors, subject to all manner of senseless regulations from social distancing to mask mandates. Some people don’t think it’s all over… it is now

Yesterday was the warmest day of the year so far. In London and elsewhere, the temperature hit 69 degrees in old money.

Pleasant, but not exactly The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Newspapers resisted the temptation to fry eggs on the pavement. 

Yet some people decided to party like it was the long hot summer of 1976. Cardigans were cast aside and crumpled cargo pants retrieved from bedroom drawers, teamed sockless with Crocs clogs.

Pasty-faced women wandered the streets in itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie, spaghetti-strapped crop tops and skin-tight shorts, the better for displaying their elaborate head-to-toe, er, body art.

Last time I saw that much raw flesh on parade was at Smithfield Market.

Maybe they were celebrating the second anniversary of lockdown, which came into force on March 23, 2020. 

And who could blame them? For much of the past couple of years we have been stuck indoors, subject to all manner of senseless regulations from social distancing to mask mandates.

No wonder that whenever the prison door has been opened, many of us have chosen to let it all hang out. 

It’s not that long ago the Old Bill were arresting people sunbathing alone in public parks.

Now all restrictions have finally been lifted, there can be no going back. 

Sadly, if inevitably, there are plenty of people who are reluctant to let go of nurse for fear of something worse. 

An empty Camden High Street on March 27, 2020, days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown restrictions in the wake of the Covid pandemic

People wearing face masks among crowds of pedestrians in Covent Garden, London. during the easing of lockdown restrictions in July last year

Office workers sitting in the spring sunshine at the scoop on London riverside at lunchtime on Thursday

I did warn you, a couple of months into the Covid clampdown, that, whatever happened, life would never be the same again.

Nothing would be normal about the New Normal.

There are at last encouraging signs of our commercial centres emerging from their corona-induced comas. 

In the City of London, the beating heart of Britain’s financial sector, Pret reports sandwich sales are almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

Even so, some hold-outs are still pursuing a ‘safety first’ agenda, just in case a new killer variant rears its ugly head.

In Swansea, the notorious DVLA strain continues to cause havoc, stopping thousands of civil servants returning to work to deal with an interminable backlog of driving licence and vehicle registration applications.

Their union leaders insist it is too dangerous for them to take their lives in their hands and drag themselves away from the security of their Netflix box sets and Hobnob-rich diets.

Most of the resistance to ending all curbs is political posturing, pure and simple.

During Wednesday’s mini-Budget, the Labour benches were peppered with self-righteous MPs wearing face masks to contrast their ‘responsibility’ with the reckless, maskless Tories playing Russian Roulette with public health. 

Ambitious Labour mayors such as Genghis Khan in London and Andy Burnham in Manchester, who both fancy their chances of succeeding Starmer, are in the vanguard of the opposition to Boris’s bonfire of the Covid rules.

Although the scaremongers of Sage, the Government’s scientific advisers, have been stood down, the so-called ‘experts’ who have consistently got their forecasts horribly wrong still call for caution. 

They are like those unreconciled Remainers, who refuse to accept that the game is up.

Their wildest predictions and unreliable modelling have been proven repeatedly to be hopelessly wide of the mark. 

Just as some of us said at the time, the number of people who died from Covid, rather than with Covid, was deliberately exaggerated to scare us into submission.

So, too, their politically motivated allegations that Britain had the highest Covid death toll in the world. 

Now the dust has settled, that has been exposed as yet another falsehood.

Remember how we were told daily that Wee Burney was handling Covid so much better than Boris. Turns out Scotland’s death rate was much worse than England and it isn’t over yet.

And now that the threat from Covid is receding into the middle distance, the merchants of doom are casting around for another public health catastrophe with which to batter us over the head.

Yesterday they thought they’d found one, in the shape of air pollution. As the sun came out to warm our cockles, Imperial College — home of scaremonger-in-chief Professor Legover — warned of seriously high levels of particulates caused by the warm weather posing problems for the vulnerable.

This was seized on gleefully by Genghis to tell Londoners to stay indoors with the windows closed and avoid ‘physical exertion’.

Khan also urged drivers to make fewer journeys, as he co-opted the latest ‘public health crisis’ to his campaign to turn our capital city into a no-go area for motorists.

Alison Thewliss responds after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his Spring Statement in the House of Commons on Wednesday

There is, of course, no accounting for the cynicism of professional politicians and academics with vested interests.

For a couple of years, they’ve been living the dream — feted by TV and radio producers and exerting a significant influence on ministers, who were cowed into ‘following the science’ and imposing draconian limits on freedom of movement.

What’s truly worrying, though, is the number of ordinary folk who are still buying in to the ‘better safe than sorry’ narrative, keeping their distance and wandering the streets masked-up.

On Wednesday, I saw a bloke about my age driving through North London in his mid-life crisis convertible, top down, wind rearranging what was left of his hair — and wearing a mask.

What was all that about? He didn’t have a passenger and he was doing 40-odd in the open air. I felt like shouting, Roy Orbison-style: ‘It’s over, it’s over, it’s OVER!’

It’s 69 degrees in the shade. The sun has got his hat on and we’re coming out to play. 

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