Happy Covid Christmas: stocking fillers to sum up 2020

How better to remember a year in Covid than with a Chris Whitty mug or a Van-Tam T-shirt?

At the end of a year like no other, when Covid has altered so much of our lives, it is no surprise the virus features heavily in this year’s Christmas stocking fillers. Here’s a roundup of those that best encapsulate 2020.

Chris Whitty mug

Chris Whitty mug

Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, is now a staple of Downing Street coronavirus daily briefings, providing updates about the pandemic and explaining the science behind restrictions. He has morphed into an unlikely cult hero, with his face appearing on novelty mugs, birthday cards, and T-shirts, often alongside his catchphrase, “next slide please”.

Jonathan Van-Tam “Over” T-shirt

Jonathan Van-Tam  T-Shirt

Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, is perhaps the pandemic’s second unlikely cult hero, winning over fans with analogies and metaphors to explain complex scientific processes. In one analogy, he compared a stage of the pandemic to scoring an equaliser in the 70th minute of a football game.

In another press conference, while working from home, he finished each of his answers with the word “over” – it quickly became the basis for a novelty T-shirt.

Face masks

An Arsenal fan wears a protective face mask.
An Arsenal fan wears a protective face mask. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/EPA

As everyone has to wear masks on public transport and in many indoor settings, there’s no reason not to show off one’s personality while also protecting the public. Whether it’s a beloved football team or a beautiful handmade design from Etsy, there is a design for every person.

Hand sanitisers

This year’s must-have item for those who need to make an essential journey. They come in all different sizes and some shops are selling sanitisers and lotions as gift sets.

Toilet tissue baubles

When the UK first went into lockdown in spring, toilet tissue was stripped from supermarket shelves after health authorities urged the public to “plan ahead” in case they had to self-isolate for a couple of weeks. Immortalise that first wave of panic buying with toilet tissue baubles for Christmas tree decorations.

Jeremy Deller’s Fuck You 2020 wrapping paper

Fuck You 2020 – Jeremy Deller

The English artist Jeremy Deller, who won the Turner prize in 2004, succinctly sums up everyone’s feeling about this year with his new print, Fuck You 2020. Sales from the prints on wrapping papers will be used to support the community and education programme of the south London gallery Studio Voltaire, as well as the charities Young People Matter and Crisis this Christmas.


Aamna Mohdin

The GuardianTramp

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