Covid-19 has obviously had a massive impact on our lives in the past year. And it’s come with a whole set of new Covid words we’ve had to get our heads around.
But never fear. Our guide to understanding your quarantine from your quarantini, and knowing your Thursday from a blursday, should help.
Ever thought in the last 12 months, “Wait, what day is this?”? You wouldn’t be the only one. Posts on Instagram with the hashtag #WhatDayIsIt have been in their thousands, while Google searches asking the same question have risen dramatically.
It’s not surprising that we’ve become a bit disorientated stuck at home every day. And there’s now even a name for it: ‘blursday’. So next time you miss an online meeting, just apologise and say you’re having a ‘blursday’.
The video conferencing business Zoom really took off during the pandemic. Its revenue rocketed by 326%, and it’s become such a household name that several terms have emerged from it.
You’ll no doubt have had a ‘Zoom call’, and possibly even been ‘Zoombombed’ (when an uninvited guest mischievously joins your call). We do hope, however, you haven’t been ‘zumped’ (when your relationship is ended over video call). Still, better than a text message.
You’ve needed to know your initialisms this past year. Much focus has been on guidance coming from the WHO (World Health Organisation). While there’s been a huge demand for hospital staff to have adequate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
And if there is any lasting change once the pandemic is over, it might be related to WFH (working from home). Studies have shown that over half the workforce would prefer not to go back to the office. Here’s to packed commuter trains being a thing of the past.
Covid-19 itself is actually an abbreviation for Corona Virus Disease (19 refers to the year it was first identified). Variations on the word ‘Covid’ have entered our vocabulary, too.
Anyone who blatantly ignores the rules—for example, by hosting a party—may be called a ‘Covidiot’. And it seems spending more time together isn’t necessarily good for couples. Law firms have reported enquiries into separation increasing by over 100%, which could lead to a ‘Covidivorce’.
As social beings, we need close interaction. One thing that has made the past year hard is being denied that closeness. Instead, we’ve had to practise ‘social distancing’, which is quite a contradictory term when you think about it.
But that innate desire to physically connect when greeting someone is hard to let go of. As a result, the ‘elbow bump’ has become popular as a low-risk version of the handshake.
Whenever you leave the house you probably mentally check off what you need to take with you: phone, money, keys… and now mask. Enter a place without one and you may well be ‘mask shamed’ into leaving.
Then there are the unfortunate cases of ‘maskne’, or acne caused by irritations to the skin from mask-wearing. Don’t worry though if you’ve had an outbreak—cosmetic companies are already selling skin products to combat it.
How would we have coped in a pandemic before the internet? Of course, as the 21st Century has gone on we’ve lived more and more in a virtual world. But since Covid hit globally, it’s been many people’s sole source of interaction.
Companies have had ‘virtual meetings’, while friends and families have got together for ‘virtual quizzes’. And with bars and restaurants closed for the time being, ‘virtual happy hour’ (which typically lasts several) has become a regular event for some.
The Covid outbreak was classed as an epidemic when initially reported on in China. Once it spread worldwide, it became a pandemic. And then came the ‘spendemic’. With people confined to their homes, internet shopping suddenly rocketed as a form of retail therapy.
Unsurprisingly, domestic items such as indoor plants and baking utensils have been popular purchases. On the other hand, with apparently little need to smell nice, deodorant sales have decreased.
Millions of people worldwide have had to quarantine over the past year. But the word itself has spawned a number of variants.
‘Quaranteam’ describes a group of people who have formed a bubble in lockdown. While many have been partial to a ‘quarantini’ cocktail, for which you can find multiple recipes online. Some parents, on the other hand, have despaired at having been ‘quaranteened’, or stuck at home with teenagers. Sounds like they could do with a strong quarantini!
To prevent the country from simply grinding to a halt, certain essential services have needed to remain open during lockdown. Healthcare professionals have been top of the ‘key worker’ list. Throughout the first lockdown, members of the public each week would applaud their efforts in the most difficult of circumstances.
Other key workers have included social workers, teachers, postal workers and supermarket staff, all carrying on with their jobs despite the risks. Key workers across the land—we thank you.
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