John Arbuckle, a retired former self-employed painter and decorator from Bristol, left friends and family in a state of stunned disbelief yesterday when he started talking about something that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Coronavirus.
Arbuckle, 71, was about to tuck into a family meal of chicken dippers, chips and peas when he said ‘I think the weather is supposed to be a bit better tomorrow, I might try and creosote the fence.’
“We were shocked to our core,” Arbuckle’s daughter, Stacey Arbuckle (36) told the Daily Shunt. “It had nothing to do with the Coronavirus and he didn’t even say the word Coronavirus through the whole meal. We didn’t know what to do or what to think.”
Local police were informed by Arbuckle’s wife and they then contacted the family GP, Dr Gideon Smith, who recommended an intervention. Arbuckle was promptly placed into social care and is expected to remain under the watchful eye of key care workers for the foreseeable future.
“Arbuckle is currently on suicide watch,” Dr Gideon said, “but he’s doing ok. My thoughts are with him and his family during this difficult time.”
In a statement released on Tuesday the government have advised that all British citizens try to mention the Coronavirus at least once every four minutes. Yesterday they bolstered this advice by issuing fresh legislation that requires anyone who has access to social media make at least two posts per hour focusing on the subject of the worldwide pandemic.
The news comes as the makers of wearable smart watch Fitbit announced their intentions to release a new device which counts the number of times the wearer says the word Coronavirus.
Product developer Gail Chapman said in a press statement, “people need to be vigilant in this unprecedented time of challenge that they say the word Coronavirus at least once every four minutes, as per government guidelines. The new smart device will help people achieve this goal as they go about their daily lives of not doing anything in their own homes.”
Meanwhile, Marvin Rees, the incumbent mayor of Bristol, issued a statement today in support of Arbuckle, saying, “this global pandemic, which is unprecedented in our time and poses a challenge of unprecedented proportions in the form of the Coronas, takes some people differently to others. My thoughts are with John and his family.”
Rees went on to add that the government should do more to help local authorities battle the rising number of cases of people who try to have conversations about something that has nothing to do with the Coronavirus. “Right now it’s an every-man-for-himself situation with local councils. Every region has its own policy. What we need is a unified policy which can be implemented the same across the board.”