Neil Humphreys: Wake up and smell the Covid, Three Lions
Southgate must improve Three Lions' poor discipline
For anyone keeping score, the Three Lions almost have a full "Covidiots" XI.
Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell are the latest players to swop the biosecure bubble of elite football for a cocoon of ignorance.
Seven England footballers have now breached the British Government's Covid-19 rules, which showcases a level of miscommunication usually only seen between Harry Maguire and his defensive teammates.
After attending Abraham's birthday party, Abraham, Sancho and Chilwell cannot feature in England's friendly against Wales tomorrow morning (Singapore time), having missed training and the testing required for all squad members.
The birthday party exceeded the "rule of six", when it comes to household guests.
Fortunately, the trio saw the error of their ways after a tense team meeting with England manager Gareth Southgate.
If only there had been a global pandemic and record-breaking daily infection rates in England to jolt their senses earlier.
If only there had been an awkward precedent, maybe an embarrassing incident with a sex worker, to accelerate the collective epiphany within the England camp.
If only there had been other cautionary tales of Covid-19 daftness from the likes of Jack Grealish, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood to help join the dots.
Where have England's players been for the last 10 months?
According to anthropologists, the Sentinelese are considered to be the most isolated tribe on the planet, living on a remote island in the Indian Ocean and rejecting all contact from the outside world.
But the Sentinelese couldn't be more cut off than the oblivious tribe of EPL millionaires, so far removed from regular people and with no clear understanding of reality.
So spare a thought for Harvey Barnes. The Leicester winger wasn't involved in the Covid-19 transgressions. But he was given the thankless task of being squad spokesman yesterday, informing us that Southgate had laid down the law.
The England manager called a meeting, according to Barnes, to ensure that the players were "all on the same page with it". The "it" being the deadliest virus in a century, of course.
"We realise the responsibility that we have now," added Barnes.
Now? The Three Lions realise their responsibilities only now? Do they conduct their training camps with the Sentinelese tribe?
The indiscretions of young sportspeople are usually defended in this column. The clue is in the title. They're young. They're rich. They're easily bored and have access to elite escort services. (Walker has to do something with his Tuesday nights).
Much of the criticism directed towards footballers is often steeped in socio-economic and racist prejudices. The majority are working class and many are black. This upsets certain people, for reasons too convoluted to go into here.
Footballers are not necessarily role models. They lead by example on the pitch. Anything else is a bonus, but not an essential part of the job description.
But they do have a responsibility to abide by Covid-19 rules, for the same reason you are probably wearing a mask as you read this.
Society compels them to do the right thing. In this regard, the coronavirus is a great social leveller. Wealth, status and occupation mean nothing. We are all role models. So mask up and keep the guest list down.
The trouble is we've been role models for months. Barnes' well-intentioned naivety no longer plays. How many times can an England footballer blame another Covid-19 cock-up on the follies of youth?
Many British university students - with Singaporeans among them - are currently in lockdown. They are in the same age range as the footballers, but not afforded the chance of a quick return to normality.
Abraham, Sancho and Chilwell may still feature in England's Nations League games. British university students may not see their parents before Christmas.
That's why there's so little empathy this time around.
England's footballers have worked and lived in a clinical bubble for most of the year, with a small army of medical staff on hand to monitor their health.
All the players had to do was play. In a miserable year, football offered a brief respite for all of us, as long as the footballers followed the rules.
Seven of them couldn't even do that for England.
They didn't make lives better. From a medical standpoint, they ran the risk of making lives worse.
Southgate must consider the consequences of such behaviour.
If players can't follow England's rules during the pandemic, then they probably shouldn't be playing for England during the pandemic.