Opinion: A jab at the doubters

By Peter Carr

As the curtain fell again last Tuesday, I was hosting a meeting with outside visitors in my retirement village. This – coupled with the fire alarm system deciding to interrupt proceedings – caused us to retire to my home to conclude the meeting and then swiftly send the visitors on their way. The good news is that the alarm was having a little blast-off entirely unrelated to any possible incident, but one had to wonder if ‘Her up there’ on the ninth floor of the Beehive knew we were having a meeting.

So, another deep dive into the joys of Level 4. As we all know now this was initially, for Cambridge, to be a three-day affair but further matters took us out further.

The level chosen (or should I say dictated) means nothing other than to ensure that there is an awareness of a need for care, distancing, low-level mixing with others and swerving around each other should we meet on a footpath. Who ever thought that simple bubbles would assume such importance?

What really interests me – in fact intrigues and pleases also – is the fact that, like me, the majority are extremely careful with using their phone-driven Covid recognition app-thingy to record their arrival into establishments that display the strange hieroglyphic at their entrance. And I must be restrained by my wife, in our favourite café, when I notice people clearly not doing so. She knows my tendency to raise my voice sometimes in order that a message ‘gets through’.

So it was with much pleasure that, four days after the Beehive-driven portcullis fell again, that I received a message on my phone from them ‘up there’. It told me – with measured though polite tones – that I ‘appear’ not to have activated (as in used) my app-thingy for a week. Which is absolutely true as I had not left our village for two days prior to the lockdown pronouncement and my only post-lockdown outside venture to the supermarket caused the ‘thingy’ to fail. Driven, I suspect, by the light reflecting on the glass to which it is internally appended (do you know you can get over this by ‘shooting’ the thing from behind??

Also, as occurred in this case, my wife’s photo of the thingy accommodated me as well which is also good to know. Also did you know that you can record ‘at home only’ days on the app too?

But the message here is there is measurement going on. And more importantly there is a follow-through procedure when your normal visitation recording pattern changes. Which is comforting.

So, what is stopping these idiots who feel it is beneath themselves to use the app? Are these the same idiots who (medical conditions aside) are declining to visit the Covid jab centre?   Should they be declined entry into public places as a result of their lackadaisical and plainly uncaring attitude? I let you be the judge of that.

My sympathy goes to the owners of premises who depend on their customer base to remain financially alive. They do not want to jeopardise that gain by apprehending non-conforming customers either because they do not use the app nor sign in.

But be aware people – that precious little bit of flimsy paper proving you have had two jabs may assume a more important role in the future.

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