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School Years 6 to 7 Category Winner The End is Nigh by Farrah Bruz

Running to an air raid shelter was typical during WWII, the extinction of a species is painfully common and don't get me started on Donald Trump and his "election fraud" claims! But nothing could prepare humanity for what was about to happen.

It was a sunny day; people were enjoying life when all of a sudden panic spread across the world as Wi-Fi networks shut down. Kids panicked as devices became useless, mothers panicked as they couldn't order dinner via Hungry Monkey, others panicked at the thought of having to read books without Netflix. Greta Thunberg had warned us of the climate emergency, CND about nuclear weapons and Fabian Picardo about Brexit, but could anyone have prepared us for this? People in offices, buses, trains and even within the safety of their own homes were being forced to talk to each other.

Now children were in parks exposed to fresh air, the sun's UV rays and facing the inherent dangers of kicking balls and riding bikes. Adults struggled with the "new normal" even visiting shops as EBay was offline, youngsters forced to be charming as dating apps were no longer working. No prediction could have foreseen the unbearable pain of a family with no dinner and no Love Island!

Thankfully good news arrived; the world's top scientists had stopped working on useless medical research, COVID vaccines and other similarly unimportant stuff in order to bring to an end the worlds suffering. Wiping out pandas (they chewed the Wi-Fi cables) and felling a rainforest, to lay new cables, was all it took to end this human catastrophe.

Hours after the ordeal had started children were once again safe indoors on their iPhones, delivery drivers were feeding the starving and families were back to watching repeats of Britain's Got Talent without having to exchange words, normality was restored.

If only we took some time to disconnect from Facebook, talk instead of "WhatsApping", kick a ball instead of playing Fortnite, sat at a dinner table and spoke to each other, enjoyed nature instead of destroying it, what a wonderful world it could be.

Judge Charles Durante’s comments:

“Farrah has taken a hard look at our digital, internet-dependent society and decided it was time to give our technologically crazy world an ironic twist. You can dismiss earlier crises as unimportant compared to what would happen if we lost the sophisticated technology which has transformed our lives, some would say for the worse. Just think of it: no functioning laptops, no easy access to online banking, no ready-made meals delivered to your door step, no more research into Covid-19 and the havoc it has caused. Briefly, we would have to talk, walk, go shopping, visit a park and behave in a manner now considered anachronistic and retro. This is a delightful story, witty, funny, but with a serious underlying message: are we losing those qualities which make us human by allowing ourselves to be swamped by the digital revolution? This is a deadly serious question, but Farrah treats it lightly and charmingly.”

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