Yes you can hide the Covid threads the_bookie. On the PC, click on the Covid sub section under GD, then at the top of the page there are a couple of black boxes with down arrows. The second from the left one should give you the option to ‘ignore’. It was one of the first things I did when it was set up !!
Not sure how it works on a phone, but probably similar. The only thing is, as I mentioned before, it doesn’t work if you are not logged in, and I occasionally scan the forum first and only log in if I want to reply, so then I have to put up with them.
I also agree that a political sub section would be a good idea. The number of folks promoting their personal political agenda - with no tolerance for argument or discussion - really puts me off.