I got caught by the pingdemic and now I’m isolating through Horsham’s heatwave

‘I’ve got a text’ is a phrase often shouted by an excitable contestant on ITV’s Love Island.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:59 am

But for me yesterday it marked the arrival of my coronavirus test result – negative.

Despite this I’ve been caught up in the so-called ‘pingdemic’ sweeping the nation as the NHS Covid-19 app has instructed me to isolate until Friday as I am a close contact of a confirmed coronavirus case.

Not for me, the beach trips, beer gardens and glorious sunbathing in the heatwave Horsham is currently basking in.

Senior reporter Sam Dixon-French has been 'pinged' by the NHS Covid-19 app

I’ve been double jabbed and tested negative via a lateral flow test but even so I’m stuck inside for ten days from the point of contact with the positive test.

With national media reporting around half a million people are currently being told to isolate there must be a better way of keeping the nation safe and running.

Today is Freedom Day with most of the coronavirus restrictions which have blighted our lives since early last year finally removed lifted.

Pictures show large crowds partying in clubs, making the most of their first serious boogie in 16 months.

He is sad to be missing out on beach trips and beer gardens during the heatwave

Cases are rising thanks to the dominance of the hugely infectious delta variant and increased social contact, posing serious questions about how to manage people’s safety and NHS capacity while keeping businesses open.

I’d like to see a system which allows those of us who are double jabbed to test daily after being pinged – only isolating on the return of a positive test.

This would let more people go about their daily lives, keep workplaces running and support the economy while keeping people safe.

In the meantime, I’ll be sunbathing in the garden until my isolation ends. Let’s face it – that’s far less arduous than our NHS staff toiling through shifts in full PPE.