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2020 will be remembered as the year the world stopped. After breaking out from an obscure Chinese province Covid-19 brought life as we know it to a standstill across the globe.
The Daily Star first reported on the outbreak on New Year’s Day 2020, when there were just 27 cases of the mystery virus in the province of Hubei.
By the end of January, we reported the threat of a global pandemic for the first time, when a suspected case was identified in Germany.
Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first raised concerns about the virus back in December 2019, himself succumbed to the disease in February.
He had been officially reprimanded for "making false comments” that might "severely disturb the social order” when he alerted colleagues to what he described as a “new form of SARS” on December 30.
In an interview before his death, he said: "If everyone paid attention to this matter at the time, there might not be an outbreak today.”
Johns Hopkins University researchers say today there have now been almost 83 million confirmed cases worldwide and at least 1,800,000 are known to have died from Covid-19 this year.
By this time the outbreak had left the Chinese city of Wuhan looking “like a ghost town ” as a stringent lockdown took hold.
And videos began to emerge across the world that showed the situation had reached a turning point.
Restaurant customers were filmed refusing to perform CPR on a dying man for fear of catching the bug.
A Chinese whistleblower was arrested for warning the world and the footage went viral.
But, in a really shocking turn of events, video out of China appeared to show dead bodies lying in city streets.
Britain prepared for the worst: London was identified as Europe’s most at-risk city and the Daily Star unearthed an official document entitled the London Excess Deaths Framework.
The document outlined the capital’s response to a pandemic, unveiling plans for the army to be deployed in the “worst case scenario”.
Lockdown came in March, and immediately sparked panic buying, as Brits rushed to shops to buy toilet roll, sex toys and… a lava lamp?
Branches of Tesco were left looking as if there had “been a riot.” The police warned people that they couldn’t dial 999 if they ran out of loo roll.
Cheaters are desperate to get Covid-19 vaccine to continue affairs safely
As lockdowns quickly spread around the world, so did the first cov-idiot lockdown breakers. Registered sex offender Shawn Marshall Myers was arrested after inviting 60 people to a bonfire party at his home on March 30.
Major public events were cancelled, with the London Marathon being postponed to October before being run as an élite runners' event in St. James's Park.
Even the Olympics were called off, as the pandemic continued to spread. People started making their own entertainment, with Zoom quizzes and online BDSM sex parties.
Demand for sex dolls soared, although with most models being made in China, supplies ran dangerously low.
As the year came to a close, some dim light began to show at the end of the tunnel, with multiple vaccines being announced and the hope for normal life returning some time after Easter.
But we will never take our freedom, or our health, for granted again. Previous pandemics may have been largely forgotten, but the worldwide event will live on in memory for generations.
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