I’ve had my first Covid-19 jab, and it was doubly delightful as the vaccination centre was at the Kassam stadium in south-east Oxford. This is within the Ozone Leisure Park (OLP), which comprises the Oxford United football ground, a multiplex cinema, a bingo hall and two vast car parks. If you’ve never been to the OLP I can’t recommend it too highly. It’s an absolute gem of architectural and urban planning, and I can just imagine the scale models of the site which must have made it look almost appealing. As it’s ‘out of town’ the priority must have been the car parks, with the buildings dropped in as a lazy afterthought. Cycling here is obviously discouraged as there aren’t any bike racks. The stadium is best known for the fact that it only has three sides, and instead of being quirky it just looks like the money ran out. Owing to the consecutive lockdowns the whole location looks even more desolate than usual, but some thoughtful citizens have taken advantage and piles of domestic rubbish are strewn across one of the car parks. The spiky gorse bushes, so beloved of architects and urban planners, have trapped numerous discarded plastic masks. These flap helplessly in the breeze, and represent a brand-new symbol of human stupidity.

The actual process of getting jabbed was quick and efficient; perhaps this is the Kassam’s finest three-sided hour? That evening I watched a BBC Panorama programme about vaccine misinformation, and laughed as a succession of anti-vaxxers broadcast their bonkers beliefs. Unfortunately, some of this affected my dreams and I awoke from a hideous nightmare in which the deadly vaccine had left me sterile, my DNA was permanently altered, and the Bill Gates Foundation tracked every move I made. Exactly why they would want to do this wasn’t explained, and I wondered why conspiracy theorists don’t concentrate on genuine conspiracies? Currently, a delegation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) are in Wuhan to assess how, where and why the pandemic started. My personal conspiracy theory is that the Chinese government know exactly where and why the virus spread to humans (from that disgusting wet market). Instead, they fed the WHO team misleading information about a research laboratory, and to show that COVID-19 had absolutely nothing to do with China, the Chinese government have come up with their own highly plausible conspiracy theory. According to Chinese state media: “All available evidence suggests coronavirus came here via imported foreign frozen food.” This fulfils all the essential requirements of any half decent conspiracy theory: 1 It’s the polar opposite to the actual truth; 2 There’s no evidence to support it at all; 3 Conspiracy theorists will lap it up like cat nip in a three-sided bowl.

Paul Freestone

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