The past six months have whirled by like a fever dream – a whole series of surreal and nightmarish events which have somehow happened in no time at all.
It was exactly 26 weird weeks ago – on 23 March 2020 – that Boris Johnson announced that the nation was in lockdown, ushering in the most draconian restrictions on ordinary life since the Second World War.
“You must stay home,” said the prime minister. “You should not be meeting with friends. You should not be meeting family. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can.”
Many of us told ourselves, and each other, that the worst would be over in a month or two. The economy would get