Love, Ashley

Back in the good old days of what was known as Level 0 life, people used to develop unhealthy obsessions with men like Morten Harkett or Harry Styles and just be done with it. And you could kind of understand what they might have seen in those examples.

Today, we live in a situation known as Level 4. None of us can truly remember what the previous levels were like now. All we know is that little Tarquin is now surgically attached to Fortnite, and mums everywhere have made more sourdough loaves than the Ploughman company, and have a complicated romantic entanglement with Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield. He’s on our screens each day at 1pm, freestyling numbers and clusters; we all know exactly what “the Bluff wedding” means, and for the first time in history some of us have learned that there’s an animal called a “Hereford” and there’s an annual Hereford conference.

All that aside, Ashley Bloomfield is the star of the show. As soon as his first word is spoken, the nation gets on Twitter to simultaneously announce:

It’s the Ashley show

Some of the Tweets have heart-emoji eyes, I wondered as if to say, “how lucky we are as a nation to have such a capable human being at the helm of this pandemic”, but I was completely wrong.

As we peer into the lounges of New Zealand, Ashley has unwittingly become some sort of sexual icon, and it’s difficult to reconcile our Director-General of Health with this newly-anointed status.

Bloomfield, sexually responding to press-gallery questions, in a highly sexual manner. (Hagen Hopkins)

My theory is that boredom has set in, and Ashley is all that’s on the tele. Remember when you went to Christian Youth Camp in 1983 and all the girls had a crush on Justin McLelland who went to Hamilton Boys’? Justin wouldn’t have had a hope in Hades being so popular if he wasn’t the 1st XV captain. But because you were essentially trapped for the first week of the school holidays, you had to have something to do, and the only thing left was to have a crush on Justin McLelland, which in the aftermath of camp, you would question.

Dr Bloomfield is a GC. He’s guided the nation through some pretty scary times with his measured approach, and his ability to answer the same question worded 18 different ways, every day, for eternity.

But come on, he’s not a pin-up. Please, no more Ashley nude sketches. Please, no more Ashley-shaped loaves of Sourdough. Please, no more poetry.

If some of the conditions of Level 3 could be that it’s now illegal to sexualise the top brass of the Ministry of Health, that would be great.

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