Opinion: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word - the pingdemic rages on

There’s no escape from the dreaded ping
Picture: GettyPicture: Getty
Picture: Getty

Ping, ping, ping, my pal’s phone sounds like a microwave in meltdown while she battles to finish her sentence - something about which islands we can see in the Firth from our spot on the beach - but I can see her swatching the screen.

“It’s not actually me being ‘pinged’,” she says, which is reassuring as the three of us sitting contemplating a swim in the sea after our Sunday morning hike (I blame Covid for all this exercise) have just shared a family bag of jelly babies and a bag of mixed nuts and chocolate chips. We’re all Covid-free and double jabbed and outside, but still… The sugar count in those jelly babies can be lethal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s people telling me they’ve been pinged or how many in their teams have been pinged and how many are going to be self-isolating, which means...” She frowns.

Day off? No such thing. Not for responsible grown up types. Must be hard.

“But how will it be possible to em... deliver the service if…” I begin but let it die away beneath the sound of another wave smashing ashore. Ping Pal is stressed enough without me pecking her head.

“Coming for a swim?” I say, to distract her.

Country Girl is already half way down the beach, yelling encouragement over her shoulder: “Come on, just get in!”, “It’s not even cold!, “I was in for an hour yesterday” and “You’ll be sorry come winter if you don’t…” as she races towards the rollers.

Turning back to Ping Pal I say, “I suppose it’s maybe not so bad that some people aren’t on the app or are ignoring it. Imagine if everyone could afford to self-isolate, it would be even worse…I mean better, obviously, em...” I’m not helping.

“One of us needs to stay with the phones,” says Ping Pal. “You go. You said you wanted to.”

So I drag myself down the shore, tiptoe into the sea, finally take the plunge, scream a lot, then warm up and it’s bliss.

But back among the grown ups I can see Ping Pal, sitting wan among the windbreaks, so I leave Country Girl on course for Kirrin Island and slap across the sand.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s reassuring to know there are responsible adults sorting out the Covid chaos, but you know what happens to grown ups on the beach - they can get buried in the sand, phones out of reach.

Read More
Opinion: Janet Christie's Mum's the Word - is premature domestication of teenage...

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.