Dorset's Chief Scientist Professor Crisis Whittless has today used a projected 59th spike in CONTRIK-69 cases as an opportunity to warn of "catastrophic losses" if recent trends in the virus's behaviour are not immediately reversed.
Noting that the infection [or r-] rate has not risen very dramatically, that hospital admissions are at an all time low and that fatalities from the struggling disease have fallen to almost undetectable levels, Professor Whittless warned that there could be a series of "dreadfully unfortunate losses" in the forthcoming weeks: specifically, a loss of confidence in science, a loss of respect for self-appointed authorities, a loss of credibility amongst experts, a heartbreaking loss of emergency powers for the state police and above all a loss of face for all those who had predicted that the feeble sub-flu would devastate the entire population in a medical emergency comparable only to the Black Death.
So far - and with a huge amount of help from incompetent officials and elected representatives - it has managed, says anti-CONTRIK-69 Emergency Measure Campaigner and Restore Normality Now Anti-Eco-Bubble Warrior - Rashon Ali - "only to devastate the economy and needlessly ruin ordinary people's normal lives". "So if plans to keep us all in fear and under constant surveillance as well as to extend the police state and its emergency powers are to come into effect, this disease has to become far more effective than it is... I am sure they are working on it", he continued. A spokesperson for the Dorset Regional Authorities has denied rumours that it has tasked officers to find a way to massage the statistics to make them look far worse than they are. Nor has it asked local GPs and hospitals to "quadruple count" as a pretext for not letting life get back to normal.
Speaking off the record one insider - Wis el Blower - said: "This so-called pandemic has been very disappointing and has not done what scientists said it would [ie killed millions, maimed for life many more and wiped enterprise off the face of the planet] and those who issued all the dire warnings and sanctioned all the emergency powers are caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they admit it was all an over-reaction and that we have all been ruined for nothing or they carry on as though it is still serious and thereby justify both the initial measures and their continuing timidity in the face of clear evidence that people are surviving the disease. It's inconvenient and uncomfortable either way."
Meanwhile comfort has arrived today for those backing an extension of emergency restrictions. Students planning to start their university course at the University of Afpuddle have received a letter stating that the cost of increased bio-security measures throughout the University's estate, together with the capital investment required to "technologize" distanced-learning means that course fees will be doubling and rents increased by 90% [costs include an extra towel, a small bottle of hand sanitiser, a washable shower curtain and shared hot running water]. Speaking on behalf of the UASU [University of Afpuddle Students' Union], LGBT+ and On-line Betting Awareness Officer Bengt Asaphorke said, "These increases are so outrageous and unexpected we are suggesting all intending students stay at home and turn self-isolation into a form of silent protest. We are sick and tired of being told we must return to education when we have [a] survived very well without it thus far and [b] everyone knows that Universities will just be charnel houses with millions of BAME and transgender students dying from this devastating disease. Going to University is a form of modern slavery *".
* Later corrected to "University is a form of modern imperialist homo-phobic practical eugenics [MIH-PPE]".