SO how was your 2020? I’m guessing it was pretty rubbish and not at all what you expected or wanted for that matter.

While we were doing our 2019 Christmas shopping and wondering if we had enough beer to last through the holidays (well that’s what I was worrying about) the good people at the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission were reporting a cluster of cases of pneumonia in China’s Hubei Province.

There was still nothing for us to be concerned about, was there? But not long after, those cases were revealed not be pneumonia at all but a novel coronavirus instead.

Let’s face it, we weren’t worried in January, were we? Even when it was given its Covid-19 name it still wasn’t considered a threat.

So we all shrugged our shoulders when Wuhan went into lockdown. We still weren’t that bothered in January as the disease spread but still seemed to be a problem for the Far East.

All that changed in February and March as the pandemic made itself felt in Europe with a vicious vengeance.

The images of doctors in Italy having to make ‘battlefield’ life and death decisions about who would be treated and who would be left to die resonated with me given that anyone aged 60 and over was denied treatment in a bid to save younger people. Had I been a victim there, I would have been left to die.

Despite the clear warnings from Italy and Spain that were there for everyone to see, the government established its modus operandi – close its eyes, stick its fingers in its ears and sing la, la, la, la to itself, pretending everything is ok until finally being forced to do what it should have done three weeks earlier and put the country into lockdown.

Estimates suggest that delaying the first lockdown until March 23 (after the hundreds of thousands of people went to the Cheltenham Festival and tens of thousands went to rugby union internationals) was responsible for at least 20,000 additional deaths.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Liverpool v Athletico Madrid match. Spain had already introduced lockdown measures – closing schools and banning mass gatherings – when 3,000 Atletico fans flew into Liverpool, joining the 52,000-strong crowd at Anfield. On the day of the match – March 11 – the World Health Organisation officially declared coronavirus a pandemic. Despite this, Boris Johnson was still telling the public in early March that people should ‘as far as possible, go about business as usual’.

Johnson loves his three-word slogans – Get Brexit done; hands, face, space; oven-ready deal – well I’ve got one to add to the list: Dither, delay, death.

After losing the trust and goodwill of the people by backing his special adviser over the Barnard Castle eye test fiasco, he began relaxing the lockdown in June while the infection rate was still high, and against the advice of senior scientists.

Instead of using the summer lull in the disease to prepare for the inevitable second wave, he instead urged people to ‘eat out to help out’ one month, and then told us to stay at home the next.

I have many more complaints about the way the pandemic has been handled - including a failed Track and Trace, questionable PPE procurement policies that seem to favour friends of the Tories, and the disgrace of failing to protect care home residents - but we now have the insanity of making exactly the same mistake he made in March and this time with even potentially more deadly consequences.

He rejected calls from his scientific advisers in September, and from Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer in October, for a national two-week ‘circuit breaker’. He again dithered, he again delayed and our reward now is a mutating strain of the virus that spreads much quicker and is likely to overwhelm the NHS.

Oh, and don’t forget another result is we now have to cancel Christmas with our families.

Maybe they could have got the new strain under control if Johnson had locked down when he was first advised to do so. Perhaps our medics are going to have to make those ‘battlefield’ decisions in the very near future.

As the old football cliché goes: It’s the hope that kills you. Just when the roll-out of vaccines provided some light at the end of the tunnel, Johnson’s dithering and delaying has cruelly crushed my hopes.