UK seaport officials were stunned this week to see their harbours and wharfs replete with leaf-bearing vessels from all four corners of the earth.
The British government has been steadily buying up the world's stocks of swept leaves, all part of a covert scheme to force hibernation on the country's population, and thereby stem this dreadful Covid 19 virus.
"Yes," confirmed Johnson, "we will be ordering all citizens not just to stay at home, but to enter into compulsory hibernation until March. Each household will receive a measured volume of vegetation and greenery to cover its members for the next few weeks, and prevent this thing from spreading. Tenements and sky-scrapers will be sprinkled with Canadian maple leaves until no longer visible. I think it should all look rather pretty, don't you?"
Specific areas such as Bradford and Birmingham are to be coated in 'appropriate' toppings, leafage from the mango tree and white mangrove for our Pakistani friends, and banyan and arjuna leaves for our Indian brothers and sisters.
"I know," said Johnson, "it's brilliant, right?! And we couldn't have done it if we'd had to ask Brussels. Admit it!!"
Forced hibernation is, however, not for all. "Alas, no," said the PM. "We at Downing Street as well as my team and colleagues and friends will be self-isolating in agony on a cruise liner currently unused. We all have a cross to bear in this combat. And I can't just stand around. Our ship is waiting and Admiral Cummings is becoming impatient. So, ahoy! And enjoy the foliage. I'll be back to sweep it all up in March!"
With that he was gone, the nation succumbed to foliation, hidden under a resplendent sea of leaves, asleep in time and, though trapped, drifting on in blissful oblivion while their leader sailed away towards the sun.