In what is being decribed as "a huge risk" and "a gamble with all of our lives", from July 19, people between the ages of 27 and 34 who have received a double dose of the controversial SnakeOil CONTRIK-69 vaccine will be allowed to poke their unmasked noses through their letterboxes for up to 5 minutes each day on weekdays - provided no two neighbours do so at the same time. Individuals will be able to apply for permission to breathe in this way through a booking system to be made available via the updated DHS Trick and Trap App.
Announcing the measures, a spokesperson for the Dorset authorities said that this "giant leap into the unknown" was "by no means risk free" but might possibly prove "a risk worth taking". Deploying the "if not now when"* argument in its favour, the spokesperson - Bébé Steppes - went on to say that this irreversible step would be reversed later this year only if "in the light of experience and in the face of adverse criticism, we decide to do so".
* probably never [Ed]
Dorset scientists, however, have warned that the CONTRIK-69 pandemic is far from over and many fear that the new measures - branded "Operation Suicide" by some - will put many lives at risk, especially as infection rates due to the much-anticipated Epsilon "variant of concern" have not yet even begun to appear. "Hopefully, all that is something we can look forward to in the future" says Public Health Expert, Dö Manne-Glüme, predicting - with a 99% confidence level - that "we'll all be back in full lockdown by October". The University of Afpuddle's Snake-oil Ltd Professor of Epidemiology - Professor Cassandra Catte à Klysm - agrees. "This reckless move in the face of predictable waves of future devastation goes against all our modelling. We can say with absolute certainty that 100% of the people alive in the world today will not be alive by 2198 and that a proportion of those deaths [possibly up to 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000001%] will be due to some variant of CONTRIK-69".
So just why have the authorities decided to go ahead with reckless plans to allow the general public to "breathe the air of freedom through the postal-hole in their front doors"? Government watcher Hiley Skeppe-Tickle and the Dorset Broadcasting Corporation's Political correspondent Laura Cheepe-Sneère believe it is "a calculated political rather than a measured public health decision", based less on scientific evidence than on the mistaken belief that people need hope. "What people need is certainty", Laura suggests, "the certainty that comes from knowing that they will never be let out, will never have to meet another human being ever again and will be separated forever from family [friends not so much] and the need to buy Christmas presents".
A spokesperson for the RDC's Home Quarantine Enforcement Task Force agrees: "any initial doubts about the powers we were given to place individuals under solitary home confinement have long evaporated", he said. "with the loss of all hope has come acceptance and finally tranquility. We now have a depressed, subdued and frankly supine population whose expectations are so low that viewing Dorset tv's new "Watching Paint Dry" Series is a daily highlight and a Twitter sensation. This is policing as we have always wanted it". He added by way of reassurance, "the proposed lifting of restrictions probably won't be as impactful [?? Ed] as people think. Most people haven't the confidence to poke their nose through a letterbox or the will to get up from their chair in order to do so. Like so many government initiatives this one is all about the headlines. Will most of us notice any difference? I think not."
Meanwhile, in a related move, the authorities have confirmed that plans to allow the resumption of Easter Egg manufacture in Fontwell Magna have been shelved. "Next Easter may seem a long way off, but we are confident that no one will be celebrating it. Something or other will prevent them from being allowed to do so - probably a government prohibition for which legislative permission is already in place."