A rather disturbing message from the government pinged onto my iPhone on Monday.
It basically sentenced me to solitary confinement.
“Please remain at home for a minimum of 12 weeks. Home is the safest place for you,” says the passive-aggressive Sonority.
“You can open a window but do not leave your home and stay three steps away from others indoors.”
As far as possible, I am going to follow this advice as my immune system has been under attack from both sides. If there’s a white blood cell circulating in my blood, it’s going to be very lonely.
But how do I make sure nobody gets too close on those rare occasions when I do have to go out.
I’m off for a CT scan and a PICC Line flush this afternoon. So I’ve been reviewing the new social distancing apps for the mobile phone. If someone gets too close, the phone somehow detects their presence and tells them to keep their distance.
How effective are they? Here’s my ‘first impressions’ review.
I’ve tried ‘Shoo! Shoo!’ but the voice was way too friendly. It actually entices people to come closer. A typical response is for the safety violator to lean in and ask, “what’s that on your phone?”
It’s not cool, kids, I’m an old man and you’re supposed to stay away from me.
Another application has a much sterner voice. “Dosvidanya!” is a great way of sarcastically saying Goodbye but nobody understands Russian. Sounds typically harsh though.
The same word is used by Poles but most are not deterred by the tone, They are too impressed that you’ve actually learned a phrase in their language. I love the poles by they are way too friendly.
I liked “Oy! Far Cough” but you should only use it when someone is hacking up phlegm without putting their hands over their mouth. Otherwise it’s a bit too rude.
There is an upgrade, which I haven’t downloaded, which starts as “Fair Cough!” and builds up. If it senses that your space invader has not moved, it ups the ante with a stronger warning. “Go on! Fair Cough over there!”
The final message is the nuclear option. “Fair cough out of it!”
There is an Irish version, in what sounds like a lovely sing song Cork accent: “fair gaff!”. I was particularly impressed by the musicality of the Welsh delivery, “Fur goo!”
There’s another message for those line in the more upmarket shops.
It goes “Fur Queue!”. I like the repeat option it offers for multiple space violators: “And Fur Queue too!”
Again, there is an elevation if the motion sensors in your phone are disappointed with events. “Fur Queue, Fur Queue to Your Chauffeur, take your counterfeit Rolex and Fake Off!”
I think I’m better off in solitary confinement.