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    Word of the week: Circuit Break

    25 September 2020

    Definition:

    A mechanism for interrupting an electric circuit to prevent excessive current from damaging the apparatus in the circuit or from causing a fire.

    The Coronavirus has not been defeated by a national lockdown, school closures, local lockdowns, working from home, not working at all, the cancellation of 100,000s hospital appointments, banning family visits to elderly relatives, isolating people in care homes, the rule of six, the rule of masked sex and drinking beer through straws in pub gardens wearing hazmat suits.

    So, the government is doubling down and repeating the process again.

    Although the new policy is a direct continuation of previously failed policies, it does have a new name – the ‘circuit break’. Companies often relaunch a tired brand with a new name, in the hope that people continue to buy it. By channelling the spirit of a hip Shoreditch marketing agency, the government brainstormed a number of ideas. They toyed with ‘flatten the battery’, ‘run on empty until we reach the hard shoulder’, ‘look – a large rabbit, runaway!’ and ‘Fire! Panic! Hide!’ before finally settling on ‘circuit break’.

    Critics have suggested that Boris Johnson’s own circuits seem to have gone faulty and that he’s operating on a dwindling wattage. This might explain why the government appears to be groping around in the dark unable to find a way out.

    However, one member of the Cabinet, Matt Hancock, is bursting with energy. He recharges himself daily, with fantastical forecasts and is energised with worse-case scenarios, main-lined into his system by a select group of trusted advisors.

    Some colleagues have suggested that the Health Secretary’s batteries should be removed before he short-circuits the entire country. Perhaps they had Hancock in mind when they named it Circuit Break.

    Either way, it is clear that the government now sees society as a giant circuit board which can be controlled by a massive on/off switch only at their disposal. Although the Wizard of Oz has not been asked to provide his services, the government has drawn a curtain around their decision-making and no-one knows who is running the country. It is possible that a small anonymous man, possibly called Dom, is operating large levers behind the curtain.

    When, in a couple of months, the ‘circuit break’ policy fails to eradicate Covid-19, new initiatives will be brought in for Christmas. These include the ‘festive lightning strike’, ‘yuletide ariel bombardment’ and simply ‘an army of flying monkeys preventing grandparents from giving germ-infested presents’.

    Alternatively, the government will simply blame people for not following its rules and order that a bag of ashes is distributed to every household.

    It is hoped that, when the power is finally turned back on again, there is someone who still remembers how to use it.