Big Brother and spy pigeons

Has the UK government reverted back to second world war tactics and is actually deploying camera-carrying spy pigeons to check up on isolators?

Jennie Rhodes
JENNIE RHODES

It’s day four in the Big Brother house and the house mates are getting restless. One, me, is still awaiting the results of the day two Covid test, which according to the Post Office tracking system was only delivered to the laboratory today (Wednesday), having been sent on Monday. It’s more well-travelled than me, at least recently, having been sent from Yorkshire to Suffolk and now it’s in a laboratory in Manchester...

The other two, my parents, are trying to get on with life as normally as possible (fortunately they are not required to isolate).

Day five, Thursday, will bring a highlight when I am allowed out to do my Test to Release at a nearby Boots store. Never did the prospect of going to Boots fill me with such excitement, but as we’ve all learned over the past year and a half or so, it’s the little things in life that bring us joy.

Having had Covid last October and therefore only received one vaccine under Andalusian policy, I am not, according to UK law, ‘fully vaccinated’ and therefore have to selfisolate for the first 10 days (five with the Test to Release programme, assuming the result is negative).

There are a few other Brits in my situation and we’ve set up a little support Facebook chat to share experiences, moan about the unfairness of the situation and, in our frustrated opinions, the general incompetence of the authorities. Which brings me back to Big Brother and the Orwellian-style feeling that one’s every move is being watched. I am beginning to understand how people come up with conspiracy theories.

While sitting in my parents’ garden on Sunday - the one warm day we’ve had since I arrived on Saturday - and contemplating the likelihood of an inspector turning up at the house on a Sunday afternoon and whether it was worth risking a visit by my brother and his family (visitors are not permitted and threats of up to 10,000- pound fines are liberally posted all over the government Covid webpage) - a hapless pigeon flew into the garden and seemed to get caught in a fruit tree. Or was it? Has the UK government reverted back to second world war tactics and is actually deploying camera-carrying spy pigeons to check up on isolators?

The pigeon flapped about indiscreetly and if the spy theory is true, it would appear that we’d been sent the Johnny English version. Upon its return to HQ, I’m quite sure it would have been sacked for incompetence.

As I continue to await my test results and feel Big Brother watching my every move, I can think of a long list of others whose incompetence rivals that of our hapless pigeon.