The COVID-19 pandemic from A to Z

By Jeff Morris

From the Other Side column, Manotick Messenger

A – Asymptomatic. We knew this word before the pandemic hit, but it had never played such a big role in our everyday lives. Asymptomatic means you are a carrier of an illness or disease but show no symptoms. This has been a big problem in getting the virus under control.

B – Blursday. What day is it? What month is it? Early in the pandemic, every day became Blursday.

C – Coronapocalypse. We love to combine words to make new words, and one of my favourites emerged early as we tried to come up with a label for what the coronavirus has done to our society. We were in the Coronapocalypse.

D – Dexamethazone. This is a steroid that chemo patients take. It was also the miracle drug that President Trump was taking when he allegedly had COVID-19.

E – Epidemic. I didn’t know the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic before this year. An epidemic hits one country, and a pandemic is global.

F – Fomite. I didn’t know this word before this year. It is something that can be contaminated with an infectious organism. It could be a door knob or the buttons on a bank machine or the handle of a shopping cart.

G – Grinding. This word has always been around, but its most common usage now is to describe binge watching a series on Netflix or Crave.

H – Hamsterkaufing. This is a German word that defined the first two weeks of the pandemic. It is used as a verb for frantically buying things to hoard in a crisis. Everyone at Costco was hamsterkaufing toilet paper and Lysol wipes.

I – Incubation. That is the time between being exposed to the virus and becoming sick.

J – Joe Exotic. Early on in the pandemic, everyone seemed to be grinding the Tiger King series on Netflix. And Joe Exotic became a household name.

K – Karaoke. We all know what karaoke is, but because of the transmission of droplets while singing, karaoke became a social lightning rod.

L – Lockdown. Here we go again.

M – Morona. Another double word and I love this one. President Trump is such a morona for not taking the virus seriously.

N – N95. Not many of us knew what N95 was before this year. These are the most effective masks – the Cadillac of masks. They are way more effective than the cloth masks most of us have been wearing.

O – Outbreak. Do you remember when Outbreak was a 1995 movie with Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Donald Sutherland and Rene Russo? Who would have thought 25 years later to the week we would be living through it.

P – Porchie. If you were grinding the Crown on Netflix during the pandemic, how could you not love “Porchie.” Henry Herbert was a close friend, confidant, and horse trainer for Queen Elizabeth II. Although they were shown as potential love interests in the Crown, there was no evidence to support that. “Porchie”, by the way, is short for Lord Porchester, the title his father held before he did.

Q – Quarantini. Who didn’t race to the LCBO when the first lockdown started? The original Quarantini is an easy lemon honey Martini, but the meaning of the word spread to include all mixed drinks consumed during non-traditional hours during the quarantine period of the pandemic.

R – Rona. This quickly became a nickname widely used for the coronavirus. “You better wash your hands so you don’t catch the Rona.”

S – Spendemic. If you wonder why Amazon and Shopify shares have gone up a gazillion per cent  since last March, it’s because half the country went on the mother of online shopping sprees that still hasn’t ended. That is the great spendemic of 2020.

T – Thirty-three. There are a lot of potential T’s. One of them is Tik-Tok, the app that got families to do stupid and mindless dances throughout April and May. The only thing stupider than the dances was that some of the 15-second videos got hundreds of thousands of views. But the T we are using is thirty-three. As of this week in the United States, someone is dying from COVID-19 every 33 seconds. According to the Washington Post, every time you hear Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, five people in the US will have died from COVID-19 during the song.

U – Uncle COVID. He is a character created by the Alberta government for an ad campaign. He is creepy, ugly, and extremely effective.

V – Vaccine. It’s what we will spend a big part of 2021 waiting for. I can’t wait until we aren’t waiting.

W – Wuhan. It’s where it all started. Ground Zero. Let’s hope they don’t give us COVID-21.

X – Xenophobia. The coronavirus brought out of the worst in us, including racism. I’m not talking about Black Lives Matter here. I’m talking about how many people were horrible toward Asian people during this outbreak. Blame the Chinese government if you want, but the Chinese Canadian in front of you in line at Costco is no more responsible for COVID-19 than you are.

Y – YouTube. Get online and check out Uncle Covid.

Z – Zoom Bombing. Just make sure you are wearing pants.

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