28/08/2020

The New Baby Name List Is Out - Big Whoop

The list of popular baby names has been released again. Oliver and Olivia have remained at the top, which shows how uncreative we are. I am more impressed that we have the list at all.

At the start of the lockdown many people predicted another baby boom. If we were all stuck at home, unable to leave and only so many episodes of Tiger King available, the assumption was we’d get up to all kinds of naughty fun. An increase in the birthrate was expected to be nine months down the line.

It looks like we were wrong. There hasn’t been a noticeable increase in pregnancies but I saw one news story saying the number of couples applying for a divorce was double what you’d expect.

Having more time together doesn’t lead to more romance, it makes us notice what we can’t stand about someone.

People thought it would be like the baby boom of the mid-twentieth century but that was fuelled by men coming home from a war. Their wives hadn’t seen them in ages and couldn’t keep their hands off them. If they had seen their hubbies sitting around the house all day, with their unshaven faces sticking out of their food stained t-shirts, history may have been different.

It's also worth remembering that the post-war baby boom was in a time before the pill was invented. Even if couples passed their lockdown getting friendly it wouldn't always make babies.

Congratulations to you if you are having a post-lockdown baby. I hope you'll have a very happy family life, but when you get to the school gates in a few years time listen out to how many parents call their children things like, “Miracle,” “Longshot” or “Jesus,” because it must have been an immaculate conception.



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20/08/2020

[Columns] Eat Out To Help Out

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in London, I take a look at the scheme to get us to eat out more to save the UK.

Click to have a read.






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14/08/2020

Hmm, Schools or Pubs? Hmm.

Many parents will be thinking, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get these children back to school.” Now we are faced with actually answering that question.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that reopening schools is a “national priority”, which means other things may have to close.

The first time we heard of this ultimatum was when Prof Graham Medley from the London School of Hygiene and Topical Medicine spoke about it as an option. I always thought the name of that academic establishment really takes a leap half way through. “School of Hygiene,” sounds like wiping work surfaces down. “And Tropical Medicine,” is that Parrot fever?

Many people think that school children should be back to learning for the good of society but don’t make us pick between that and having a pint.

At first, I wasn’t sure why we’d have to shut pubs to let schools open. Is there a shortage of bouncers that are needed for both? The UK brought in a restrictions on opening hours for pubs during the First World War to stop workers in munitions factories drinking too much. Is that the problem with Year 7s now?

While open schools would help parents cope, some of them may need the pub too. Don’t make us choose.

Surely there are other types of shops that we close up again to open the schools. Tattoo parlours are open. If we shut those could we still have pubs open. In fact there’s an argument to be made that you shouldn’t have pubs and tattoos open at the same time anyway. It’ll stop people having the name of the person they’ve been dating for a week put on their back.

Shutting shops to open pubs would be a better solution. A lot of shops are shutting on their own. If we tally up WH Smiths, Debenhams, Pizza Express and Victoria’s Secret does it buy us a few classrooms?

I’d also nominate candle shops. Do we need so many? I haven’t had a power cut in years. I dated someone a while back who bought many candles but never lit them. She sad she bought them for the fragrance. If you can relate to that, try air fresheners. They’ll blow your mind.

Card shops could go too. In age of email we don’t need to send cards and during a pandemic we shouldn’t sell anything you lick and put in the post.

I think we could close some shops before the pubs, but knowing my luck the Government will agree with me and then they’ll pick the off licenses.
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30/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep32 - A Best Of Show

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look back at the last 15 weeks of shows. It all started because of lockdown and now we pause to see what we have been through.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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UK Government To Make Us All Look Fit

I am fat. I know this because I calculated my body mass index. I then tried to work out ways that I could prove BMI to be an unreliable measure. The classic case to mention is rugby players. Their BMIs are often in the overweight range but they’re athletes.

I, however, am not an athlete. And if the only sports person I can compare myself to are the ones known for downing pints, it’s a pretty weak argument. Deep down I know it’s right.

It’s something we might be hearing more as part of the Government’s new plan to get us fitter is to tell GPs to be frank. Our doctors should tell us, “You’re fat.”

I know what I’m like, I am oversensitive and I don’t take criticism well. When my doctor tells me I am fat I will probably retort with, “Well, playing golf isn’t exactly keeping you in shape either!”

Some people make the case that fat shaming, as it is known, isn’t going to help people. If something makes you feel bad you might turn to food to make you feel better.

I am not sure that your doctor would be fat shaming you in this instance. I presume your GP will only tell you the news and doctor-patient confidentiality prevents them from shouting, “Give way for fatso,” as you leave their office. They won’t post it on social media.

The only person who will know that you’ve been called out on your unhealthy size is you, so you could tell everyone in your life that you got a clean bill of health. If the doc every tells me I’m too large I’ll report back that he said I was in great shape for a rugby player.

While I don’t agree that these actions are fat shaming, I am not convinced that it will help. As a large chap I can tell you that we fat people are fully aware that we are fat.

You may think you’re bringing some new information to our attention but please remember, we see ourselves fresh out of the shower. We know what it’s like when we bend down to tie a shoelace and feel our stomach push one of our lungs into our neck. We were there when we had to undo our belt after winning at an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch. They are a competition, right?

However, I'm sure the Government's scheme will work and make us all thin. That's as long as they're not also telling us to “Eat Out To Help Out” at the same time.



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26/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep31 - Trump’s Memory, Mask Rules & Spies

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at how good Donald Trump is at remembering things, other than ‘to pay people’, the new rules in the UK about when we should wear masks, and after the Russia Report there’s a solution involving spies.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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22/07/2020

Guess Who Just Got Richer (Hint: The Rich)

Are you tired of reading about how bad the economy is going to get? Sick of hearing about V-shaped recessions or U-shaped recessions, or a W-shaped one if there’s a second wave of infection? Maybe this will cheer you up.

There is news of someone doing well out of the pandemic. It’s Jeff Bezos. He’s the man behind the Amazon website and he’s the richest man in the world.

It’s actually an impressive achievement to be the richest man in the world when you remember that he has been through a divorce. He could easily have ended up with the title of “ex-husband to the richest woman in the world”.

In the space of one day recently Jeff got over £10billion richer. That should keep Jeff going for a while. He’s a long way off not knowing where the next meal is coming from. I’m sure he has Amazon Prime, so he could get one delivered within a day.

The reason he is richer is thanks to us. During the pandemic we have been staying away from shops and buying things online. I can understand why. If you shop online you don’t have to stand in a queue and you don’t have to wear a mask. Heck, you don’t have to wear trousers.

Many experts have been saying that this way of shopping will hit our economy. Well, now we know where all that extra money ended up. Jeff has it.

Mr Bezos is now estimated to be worth £148billion, which means his worth is only £11billion less than the GDP of Greece. To be fair, Greece isn’t that well off. Have you seen their tourist attractions? They’re in ruins.

I’m sure the news that Jeff Bezos is now even richer will make us all feel happier as we worry about our jobs.
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[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep30 - #RussiaReport, Vaccines & Trump’s Brawn v Brain

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at who Donald Trump could beat in a fight or in an IQ test, there’s a Covid vaccine and the Russia report told us something but does anyone know what?

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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17/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep29 - Mask Rage, Twitter Hack & Fish Teeth

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at why men don’t wear masks, Twitter’s hack, the great advice if you are jobless from the UK and cracking down on hippy crack.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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15/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep28 - #NoMasks, TV Returns & UK Citizenship Requirements

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the the big debate about wearing face coverings, new requirements for UK citizenship could see Erich leave and some TV shows are coming back in the post-COVID-19 era but are they the right ones?

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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10/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep27 - #TrumpTaxes, Meal Deal UK & #SaveLiveComedy

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the details of Donald Trump’s tax return, the UK will be saved if we just eat a little more and it’s time to realise that stand up comedy is art.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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Rishi, The Groupon Chancellor

Do you fancy going out for dinner? I’m not offering to pay, but the Chancellor is.

Rishi Sunak announced that we will be getting our restaurant or pub bills cut in half. He’s becoming the Groupon chancellor.

I hope this doesn’t mean that after we have used our Government voucher we will then get emailed all the time about cut price deals on waxing treatments. To the best of my knowledge I have never been waxed and yet Groupon have me on a list of people who might be interested.

The Government deal is that if you dine out in August, on Monday to Wednesday, you will get 50 per cent off. It feels strange to know that a member of parliament is buying us dinner. I remember politics in the 1980s so it seems strange to be getting a meal from an MP without it being part of some sleazy tryst.

The scheme is called Eat Out to Help Out and of all the Government plans to save our economy this is one I can do well at.

When they announced plans to get furloughed Brits to pick fruit I knew my back would give out. When they spoke of plans to get young workers back into jobs I saw myself in the mirror and had to admit I’m old now. When they planned to pause stamp duty I knew I wasn’t going to move house, I hate packing.

Eating, however, is something I am good at. If anything, during lockdown, I have improved my eating skills. I certainly put the hours of practice in.

When my grandchildren ask what I did during lockdown I can say, “I helped by ordering a starter when I didn’t need one. And that’s why I still get these waxing emails to this day.”
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09/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep26 - Kanye, Prets & Confederate Flags

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at good news for confederate flags fans, some Rush Limbaugh advice helping you to “rush” out and get sick, who insulation is better than comedy, President Kanye and saying goodbye to your Pret.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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06/07/2020

[Podcast] Corona Special 4 - Pret & Other Shops Closing

SomeNews podcast
It's the Steve N Allen's Week Podcast (with Steve N Allen), helping us through the lockdown. You can get the last episodes here.

In this podcast:

We look at the news that Pret will not open some stores and hear about the time they asked me not to be naked. Also we talk to Mark Machado about which shops are on the way out.

And if you're enjoying the content, think about leaving a tip. You can donate a coffee here.






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[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep25 - Super Saturday, Facebook Ads & New COVID Symptom

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the plans for drinking in the UK, Facebook is having trouble with ad money and there’s a new symptom of Coronavirus to watch out for, but it is an easy one to notice.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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04/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep24 - Leicester, Trump & Twitch

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at “We got the city on lockdown” the extra rules for Leicester, Donald Trump doesn’t know about bounties or what he’s tweeting, and there’s big trouble of the Twitch platform.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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03/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep23 - Heatwave UK & Illegal Comedy

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the the emergency of Brits in the sun, why it’s called COVID-19, how to get good air-con and why comedians are illegal.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.





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02/07/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep22 - The UK Reopens & Trump Rallies

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the new freedoms we have in the UK now the lockdown is nearer to its end. The cinemas, restaurants and pubs will open. Will stand-up comedy come back? In the US, Donald Trump has a small, intimate rally. He was also interviewed by his son, which was nearly a busier event. And in other news, a man was caught smuggling drugs in a very personal way. Watch to find out more.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.

Here's episode 22.





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01/07/2020

Local Lockdowns Start In The UK

It's nearly P Day. After months of being stuck at home, the day of the pub is nearly upon us. I am getting ready for my first pub visit. I have my contactless payment card, my hand gel and I have stopped washing; that should keep people at least two metres away.

We have to be careful or we might end up like Leicester, and no one wants that. It's the first place in the UK to be subject to a local lockdown. While we're enjoying a nice pint the people of Leicester will be trapped at home once more.

Local lockdowns are strange because they have an edge. There will be a place where one street is in lockdown but the next street along is free. We could see a situation where you could find it easier to travel back from Spain than nip round to your neighbours.

On that topic, I am not sure I believe what the Government says about removing quarantine from some countries. When I had my first job in a factory the old guys working there pulled the classic prank on me. They sent to me the stores to get a glass hammer, a left-handed screwdriver and a bubble for a spirit level. I was young and foolish and I fell for it. I felt so silly afterwards. So when the Government starts talking about "air bridges" I'm not falling for that one.

The big worry is that people in a local lockdown will travel to other towns to go to pubs and restaurants. Keep an eye out. As we're enjoying a drink on the weekend, if someone is doing a bad accent while wearing a flat cap and eating a pork pie, it might be time to call the police.
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22/06/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep21 - Bolton's Book, Gwyneth's Candle & Attenborough's Fail

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the latest book to cause trouble for Donald Trump, the latest candle that smells like Gwyneth Paltrow and how the BBC is making new TV shows.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.

Here's episode 22.





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21/06/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep20 - Shopping Mad, Trump’s Birthday & Toilet Troubles

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at the shops opening up again, Donald Trump having a birthday and a bit of a problem with the toilet.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.

Here's episode 20.





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12/06/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems - S01E19 - Bubbling, Gone With The Wind & Fort Bragg

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few months we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Bubbling, Gone With The Wind & Fort Bragg.

Here's episode 19.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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10/06/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems - S01E18 - Tipping Statues, Bald Risks & British Tea

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help.
For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at statues, bald men and tea.

Here's episode 18.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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[Columns] I Went To A Pub During Lockdown - So You Don't Have To

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I bravely did research for you so you don't have to. I went to a pub!

Click to have a read.






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06/06/2020

[Podcast] Comics Aren't Essential Ep17 - Trump on Race, Train Face Masks & UK Lockdown Sex Laws

The Comics Aren't Essential podcast, the companion podcast to the web-streaming show Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems is up and running. Here you can get the audio from the live streaming shows and some podcast-only extras too.

In this episode we look at Trumps handling of yet another crisis in America, the face mask rule for UK public transport and the Government's rules on intimate relations.

You can watch the videos of Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems here but meanwhile, get the podcast going.

Here's episode 17.





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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep17 - Trump on Race, Train Face Masks & UK Lockdown Sex Laws

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at Trumps handling of yet another crisis in America, the face mask rule for UK public transport and the Government's rules on intimate relations.

Here's episode 17.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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31/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep16 - Meet in Groups, SpaceX & Trump V Twitter

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the latest English rules of having 6 people in your garden, the launch of the Space X mission and Trump battling Twitter.

Here's episode 16.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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27/05/2020

[Columns] I'm Not Cut Out For This

Each week I write newspaper columns for a variety of titles across the UK. You can find then in London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Wiltshire and Hertfordshire.

With the UK struggling to get to grips with the corona crisis, I have been using more of the columns to find the uplifting angles to the main news.

In this one, from a newspaper in Essex, I look at some of the solutions to crowds and gatherings as we come out of lockdown.

Click to have a read.





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[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep15 - Cummings, Trump's Positive & Cannabis Cure

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the latest Dominic Cummings news, why Trump has tested positive and there are a few new cures for Covid19 coming out way.

Here's episode 15.


If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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21/05/2020

Is The Superdrug Antibody Test Worth It

Near the start of this coronavirus crisis people were saying we need to “test, test, test”.

Now we are seeing a new level of testing that completes at least one of those three.

Superdrug is selling an antibody test. That means it is the test that shows if you have had the coronavirus in the past. Seeing as Covid-19 can happen without the sufferer showing any symptoms, if you have had no symptoms recently, this test could be for you.

The fact that you can get it from Superdrug means you can pick one up as you’re getting your false nails and pregnancy tests. You’d imagine people would be happy about this but they have been upset by the price tag. You can get this test for £69.

The test itself apparently costs pennies to produce, so there is a large mark-up, but that’s how shops like that work. I’m sure it doesn’t cost much to make mint shower gel but they charge several pounds for it.

The Original Source ones boast that they contain 7,927 mint leaves. Round it up and put 8,000 in, you tight gits.

It is a bit steep. When I heard that Superdrug were asking nearly £70 for each test I thought, “What do they want, blood?!”

Then I read more about how the tests work and realised, yeah, they do - a small sample of it.

Many people are upset that we are not getting the tests for free on the NHS. It’s important to remember, you don’t have to have one of these tests. They only tell you if you were ill with coronavirus in the past. The fact that you’re not currently on a ventilator or dead should tell you it wasn’t that bad.

At the moment the scientists aren’t sure that having the antibodies will mean you’ll be immune to the virus. If that’s the case I’m not sure why we bother making them. If they’re just hanging round in our blood and not keeping us safe they’re just making us weigh more. And I do not need help in that regard.

If you pay £69 for this test and you find out that you had the virus the only thing you can do with that information is bring it up in conversation. And for a chance to talk about ourselves we’ll probably stump up the cash willingly.

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20/05/2020

[Video] Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems Ep13 - Quarantine, Trump Drugs & Boris Scores

During this enforced staying in there's a greater need for stuff to watch. We're always here to help. For the next few weeks we'll be doing live-streaming shows called Comics In Quarantine Solving Problems.

Through the week you can send in the lockdown-related questions you have and during the show we will answer them to the best of the abilities that two out-of-work stand-ups have.

In this episode we look at the 14 day quarantine getting into the UK, Trump on drugs and Boris Johnson's approval rating.

Here's episode 13.



If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle on the show track us down on social media (on Twitter use the hashtag #CIQSP) and we'll see if we can help. We'll be back next week.
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