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About the strip > The 20s

2020

Alex embarked on his new career in politics, but seemed to be a past master at the skills involved.

16 Jan 20

The oft-postponed Brexit finally look set to happen on January 31st. Alex was in a celebratory mood, though others dampened his enthusiasm.

31 Jan 20

A new and unknown virus was spreading in China. Alex’s reporter brother Greg was on the scene to relay distressing scenes.

19 Feb 20

As the pandemic spread throughout the world global stock markets collapsed. Alex and Clive were reflective.

10 Mar 20

As a full lockdown of society was announced panic-buying soon ensued of key goods like toilet paper and hand sanitisers.

16 Mar 20

A new acronym was born WFH (working from home) as lockdown meant that professional City workers could no longer commute into their offices.

23 Mar 20

With no end in sight to lockdown and working from home looking to be here to stay people were giving some thought to self-improvement.

15 Apr 20

There was a new tradition on a Thursday evening at 7pm - “Clap for our Carers” in which people went outside to give a round of applause to our hard-working NHS staff. Alex, as ever, missed the point.

23 Apr 20

The middle class dinner party had changed a lot in just a few months. For a start such events could now only happen if conducted online.

04 May 20

Lockdown home working conditions weren’t helped by that summer’s heatwave.

02 Jun 20

The Black Lives Matter movement was gaining strength in the UK. One of their prime objectives was pulling down statues of historical figures associated with the slave trade.

17 Jun 20

The wearing of face masks in public was being promoted by Boris Johnson’s government for obvious reasons.

16 Jul 20

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme by which the government subsidised the price of restaurant meals to stimulate the economy was much praised at the time, though not everyone approved.

10 Aug 20

Some restaurants which had remained cautiously closed during the pandemic were now setting reopening dates, though had to conform with the still-in-place social distancing rules.

16 Sep 20

The US Presidential Election was won by Democrat Joe Biden, though it was a tight-run thing on the night and the eventual result was hotly contested with accusations of electoral fraud from the Republicans.

09 Nov 20

Generational debate was still raging in the Masterley household between Alex and his son Christopher.

13 Nov 20

By December it looked like the Government had miscalculated badly in easing lockdown and that a new wave of Covid was on its way. Alex had a festive dream.

16 Dec 20

2021

The year started in familiar fashion with a new national lockdown announced on January 6th. Working via Zoom was now acquiring an ethos of its own.

25 Jan 21

Ironically the pandemic had provided ideal conditions for financial deals and City bonuses reflected this. Clearly this was not something that could be advertised.

03 Feb 21

There was heavy snowfall in the UK in early February, which had special implications for those working from home.

09 Feb 21

The Covid pandemic was bringing about major sociological changes. With working from home looking set to stay many people chose to relocate to the country, leading to run-ins with locals.

15 Feb 21

Some people took the edict to work from home even further and used lockdown as an excuse to hole up for the winter in their skiing chalets.

24 Feb 21

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak had to deliver his second Budget under very testing economic conditions. Alex was recruited to help.

03 Mar 21

In April Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented Step Two of his “Roadmap” to normality and restaurants were allowed to open again for outdoor dining only.

12 Apr 21

The pandemic had ironically created vibrant economic conditions for financial deals and investment banks’ beleaguered juniors publicly protested about their workload.

19 Apr 21

Greensill Capital, a supply-chain financing company, collapsed and questions were asked about the role of former Prime Minister David Cameron, who was retained as an adviser to the company.

26 Apr 21

May 17th was set as the date on which restaurants and other establishments could fully reopen for business. Alex could hardly contain himself.

03 May 21

Lockdown was aggravating marital tensions in many a middle-class professional household. There was a solution to which many resorted.

19 May 21

Society gradually began to open up as the threat from Covid seemingly receded. But certain aspects of life had changed irrevocably.

10 Jun 21

There was a space race among billionaires, with Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson vying to launch their rockets first.

18 Jun 21

With an end to lockdown in sight, the UK hosted the G7 economic summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall under the slogan “Build Back Better”.

21 Jun 21

Stage Four of the Roadmap to full reopening was delayed until mid July to permit further vaccine rollout, leaving the country still operating under complex social restrictions.

12 Jul 21

The postponed Euro 2020 football tournament was confusingly held in Summer 2021. England reached the final, only to lose on penalties to Italy. But there was good news as the lifting of foreign travel restrictions was due to end on July 19th.

13 Jul 21

There was a new social breed - the anti-vaxxer, who subscribed to various conspiracy theories about the supposed evils of the vaccines being produced to counter Covid.

01 Sep 21

September saw a national petrol shortage caused by Brexit and/or Covid (underline your favoured scapegoat) with petrol station forecourts running dry across the UK.

29 Sep 21

Britain had taken a gamble by lifting almost all Covid restrictions, but elsewhere in the world there were still strict quarantine rules, as Alex’s former colleague Brian McGure discovered on his return to Hong Kong.

20 Oct 21

By autumn life was pretty much back to normal, but many people still had safety concerns when venturing out.

17 Nov 21

As Covid testing became more sophisticated people were increasingly being “pinged” by the NHS app due to having been in contact with someone who’d tested positive.

19 Nov 21

The financial world was moving on, to the dismay of Alex’s generation of bankers. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain were now the main game in town if you were looking to move jobs.

01 Dec 21

Foreign travel was still encumbered by onerous restrictions imposed by many overseas destinations. This was not always unwelcome.

15 Dec 21

Just when we thought Covid was all over, along came the Omicron variant, like an 80s Hollywood movie villain springing back to life, and as Christmas approached social events were cancelled all over again.

17 Dec 21