The pandemic was a force of nature. Britain’s pingdemic is a farce of human nature
/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY
Britain is dealing with a pingdemic with an app advising people with a “ping” to self-isolate because they came into contact with someone who has contracted Covid-19.
On Friday, the UK recorded 51,000 cases of the pingdemic.
The caseload is expected to rise to more than half-a-million within days. That’s the pingdemic not the pandemic because so many people are being pinged by the NHS Test and Trace app that public transport, utilities and food shops face crippling staff shortages. Everyone’s isolating. Iceland (the store, not the country), which has a proud record of staying open throughout the pandemic, says the pingdemic is laying it low and it has finally been forced to close in some locations. Marks and Spencer is considering cutting hours and there are manifest labour shortages in factories and on public transport.
Members of prime minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party are worried the pingdemic will send the wrong impression — that Britain isn’t really shaking off the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and that today’s great liberation will be “FINO”, freedom in name only.
The question, of course, is why double-jabbed people who get pinged should have to isolate? Isn’t the vaccine supposed to be a protection against the more terrible manifestation of the novel coronavirus?
Meanwhile, I can offer an anecdote I recently heard about the ridiculous situation created by the pingdemic. A senior NHS consultant — double-jabbed, no less, and in excellent health — was pinged that he had come into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. He was forced unwillingly to isolate because those are the rules, leaving his operating list unoperated, his colleagues under pressure and patients, no doubt forlorn.
It makes no sense. The pandemic was a force of nature. The pingdemic is a farce of human nature.