‘Test and Trace’, the NHS’ infamous Covid tracking app and the latest in the government’s ‘We’re Not Watching You’ campaign, has unveiled its latest notification sound.
Now The Whip remembers a time when coughing was nothing more than a painful attention grabber in recorded lectures, a smooth way to announce your presence when people are talking about you, or a subtle suggestion of early onset illness in all post-war cinematography.
But, at the moment it seems, coughing has a new meaning, a worse meaning, a meaning beyond the simple cutesy flu towards something more malicious. Now we don’t follow a lot of news, unless you count Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on 5live, so we went outside, amongst the people, to investigate.
After hanging swaggerly outside Café Nero for several hours, we discovered that the cough has become something of a Taboo, in that everyone hates it and avoids it at all costs. We jest, but in all seriousness the situation has gotten rather sticky: people averting their eyes, heads pivoted at the slightest throat clearing. Thank heavens we were there to comfort the masses with our ‘free hugs’ sign and friendly grimaces!
Curiously, nobody wanted to talk to us but we did get two cents from our photographer Lenny, who gave their thoughts on the app and its dreaded soundbite:
‘Yeah. Is a bit weird isn’t it. Anyway.’
Wise words but do they mean much in a time like this? And what is this dreaded virus, where did it come from and how did it spread? We may never know. At least we have each other, our safety and our beloved arts sector.