They needed something to alleviate the boredom.
The dark nights were creeping in, the weather was turning towards wintery and the numbers were rising again. Christmas was all they had to look forward to, and it looked like it would be cancelled.
They had the same thought at the same moment.
Their eyes asked the questions of each other. Their smiles gave the answers. The professor was working from home, he would never know. In the storage room of the lab, they pulled the dust-covered sheet off the rectangular, metallic box.
It was still at the experimental stage, and it could only transport them forwards through time, but if they skipped ahead just far enough, they could bypass winter and the worst of the pandemic.
‘Spring next year?’
Agreed. They set the machine running, stepped inside and shut the door.
How were they to know about the meteor strikes that destroyed Earth on New Year’s Eve 2020, the final coup d’état of that miserable year’s assault on the human race?
They tumble through infinite space still, the last surviving humans, with nothing to alleviate the boredom inside their cramped machine.