The Covid-19 pandemic may not be a civilization-ending event, but the British government has definitely given out some Black Death vibes in its response. For example, its strategy to contain the disease suggests some overkill measures, such as destroying working vehicles and entire buildings, readers of the British media have discovered this week.

These possibilities hide in the guide prepared by the British government for local decision-makers on how to tackle the epidemic. Among other things, it references the Public Health (Control of Disease Act) 1984, mentioning that this legislation allows local authorities to seek an order from a magistrate “that a building, conveyance or structure be destroyed.”

First spotted by The Telegraph, the language evokes a vista of bulldozers ready to roll though the living-rooms of Britons in response to a fit of bad coughing, and it didn’t go down well with readers. Some simply called it pure madness. Others suggested that some nefarious renovation scheme under the guise of fighting Covid-19 was in action.

Commenters with a propensity for banter (or humor) found more sensible targets for demolition crews. Like the UK’s House of Lords.

Still others predicted a hilarious, ableit grim, picture of how the destruction of coronavirus-ridden property may be effected – with residents inside, just to make sure the infection doesn’t spread.

Of course, there is no indication that heavy construction equipment would be deemed better-suited for decontamination in the UK than, say, bleach and UV lights, anytime soon.

The Boris Johnson government has been criticized throughout the epidemic for their hectic and often-confusing handling of the situation. Critics have blamed it for sending mixed messages, failing to clearly communicate guidelines to the public and otherwise not doing a good job with the virus. 

The UK has over 306,000 Covid-19 cases and 46,000 coronavirus-related deaths on record. The country has experienced a slight increase in new daily infections, after a minimum in early July.

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