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  • Nick MacIneskar

How not to go mad: Avoiding detection - Sorry I mean 'Infection'.

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

I am sorry to have to say this, but you are assumed to be infected with Coronavirus.

Who, me?

Yes, I know; you have kept yourself locked up at home, not answered the door to callers, boiled all your post before even attempting to read the pulpy residue that remains and even worn a mask when speaking on the telephone because...well you never know.

So why are you assumed to have Coronavirus, you may well ask? Because, my dear friend, you could have been, not to put it too indelicately, lying your little head off.

Instead of being the chaste and responsible adult you have apparently been, you could have been sneaking out daily, in fact probably several times a day, to go shopping for non-essential items like newspapers or a bottle of wine (you cad). And when not out spreading your disease-ridden carcass to the detriment of the entire planet, you will probably have been having impromptu barbecues with all your similarly infected mates, bringing death and destruction to your entire neighbourhood!

"No, it's not true", you will say waving your arms placatingly. "I've been at home for weeks, honest. I haven't seen another human being for ages, but I hear them, especially at night...They keep trying to get in to get my last remaining tins of beans and my single remaining toilet paper which I'm keeping as a last resort. I figure it could be worth millions by the time we get out of lockdown. No, mentally I'm fine - I keep myself sane by talking to the little people who live in my carpet..."

'I know you're in there...'

Oh, really? Then prove it Mister!

No, not the little people - I'm sure they are as real to you as to any other person on a short trip to fruitcake central - I mean about self-isolating; can you prove it?


Then I'm sorry to say you are now assumed to be a carrier...if not a full-blown, card-carrying Coronavirus Super-Spreader.

Sorry about that...

But if you want to ensure that your status as a virus-free individual remains intact you will have to do one of several things: Firstly you will need to be officially tested. There is no point in ordering an online testing kit because they aren't officially licensed and therefore are about as pointless as drinking a pint of horse's urine a day, which has been touted as a possible remedy. Secondly, once having been tested by someone wearing the equivalent of 10 bin liners over their head, a mask, goggles, face protector and extra-thick rubber gloves, you will need to obtain official papers to prove it, signed by the Prime Minister himself (using anti-septic ink, of course). And thirdly, you will have to allow your house to be officially sealed up with you inside.

Blind testing was taken to extremes...

All this, of course, assumes that the tester wasn't themselves a virus carrier and your previously virus-free body is now infested with a deadly pathogen...I'm just saying, is all.

So, in the absence of official paperwork and a giant bubble around your home that seals you from the outside world, how are you possibly to prove that you remain an active, healthy individual that can safely navigate a supermarket without spraying disease to all and sundry and therefore avoid the fearful glances of fellow shoppers and people diving for cover if you so much as sneeze?

Get yourself an App!

These exciting little features will soon be available to download to your 'phone and the clever people at Apple and Google (who happen to control 99% of the world's mobile operating systems) have told us that it can be used to log other 'phones that you have been in contact with, by which I mean it will detect if you have been within 6 feet of another smartphone. And somehow that smartphone will know if their owner has the virus, although no-one has satisfactorily explained how it achieves this feat of diagnosis.

Brilliant! I hope you are feeling much safer now.

But...there's one thing that bothers me a little. Actually several things. Come to think of it, lots and lots of things...

For one thing, 6 feet doesn't sound like a very large distance. Is it the same as the 2 metre rule? Well, not quite. It's actually 1.8288 metres. So the App will record each time you break the social distancing rule. And there is no point blaming other people for coming too close. Your 'phone just records the facts, I'm afraid.

But anyway, how is this going to make me feel safer? Instead of recalling every individual as being 2 metres-ish away on your shopping trip, you can now see they were in fact unnervingly closer.

And now they know it too.

But that's allright because the tech giants say users can 'choose' to download and use the App. Apart from Apple, that is, whose App will be downloaded automatically as an update for your comfort, convenience and surveillance.

The 2 metre rule breakers were being watched...

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