We would like to assure you that everybody here is all right. We know you couldn't give a bugger about that because you've got problems of your own, but reassuring complete strangers that everything is fine seems to be the way to go. Likewise, it appears to be our social obligation to ask after your health on the understanding that you'll reply "Fine, thankyou" and leave it at that.
Actually, to say that we're all right isn't quite true. On our way to visit son, daughter and grandkids
for the first time in ages, the car violently broke down (clutch went) and, to cut a long and infuriatingly complex story short, we're having to buy a new car. And we'll have to wait at least another week to see the kids, because people such as police, roadside breakdown men and vehicle recovery men seem casually determined to invade your personal space, never mind the prescribed two metres.
The trouble is, you can't trust anyone not to try to kill you. The government seem quite prepared to sacrifice hundreds of people a day in a deadly game of economic catch up. Ministers and their scientific yes men long ago forgot what clarity and accuracy looked like. So much data is hurled at us that the numbers themselves turn into tiny, giggling stick figures. The BBC news has turned into a tired version of Gogglebox.
Everything will be okay eventually, of course, but only on the proviso that you don't trust anything anybody says.
Which brings us to the football...
The Championship season is set to resume on 20 June, more than three months after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The EFL said the date was "provisional" and "subject to the strict proviso that all safety requirements and government guidance is met. Fortunately, government guidance continues to be either confusing or absent, so this obstacle to getting the football started should be easily overcome."
There are 108 matches remaining, plus the play-off semi-finals and final. The EFL said these numbers were "provisional", and subject to change should official counting methods be altered at short notice for an appropriately baffling reason.
The EFL said it is aiming to complete the Championship season with the play-off final "on or around 30 July", providing that "on or around" could be interpreted as meaning "within an infinitely elastic period of time", adding that there would be ongoing discussions on proposals to permit the use of five substitutes in the remaining fixtures and increasing matchday squads from 18 to 20 players, on the condition that "ongoing" could equate to a piece of string.
EFL chair Rick Parry said: "We must stress that at this stage the date is only provisional and will only be confirmed once we have sorted out Queens Park Ladies."
Three rounds of coronavirus testing have been conducted to date across the 24 clubs in the second tier, with more than 1,000 tests carried out each time. Two people at Hull City tested positive in the first round, while two unnamed Fulham players and Blackburn captain Elliott Bennett tested positive in the second round of results. Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley was one of 10 positive Covid-19 tests across eight Championship clubs in the latest round of testing, revealed on Saturday. This means that with each round of testing, the number of positives is rising, or, as the government would have it, falling.
So remember, don't trust anybody, especially the people who say stuff.