Volcanic cloud stops all air flights. The birds start singing and people in Shepperton revel in the tranquility of a lost romantic utopia. Radio 4 journalists rhapsodise about the peace and quiet in Richmond. Meanwhile, supplies of Kenyan string beans are running desperately low, and only a few people realise that the veneer of civilisation is dangerously thin...

Not sure about the next bit. Could try:

...the inhabitants of Hampstead have no idea that they will be forced to visit McDonalds in the next few days.


or take the easy way out:

...meanwhile in Ming's palace...