#COVIDchaos brings us new words and terms

It’s been more than 9 months since my first #COVIDchaos post. I really thought I would be done writing about this by now, but here we are, and cases are actually getting worse (We’ve surpassed 300,000 deaths in the United States, something Dr. Fauci told us would happen if we didn’t take the necessary precautions to #StopTheSpread. 😷 )

Back to the point of this post — among all the changes to daily life, we (I) have also learned new terms and words that are now used in everyday living. Some have been in existence, but became popular because of the pandemic, and some are just made-up words.

Here are just a few.

  • Social distancing
  • Flatten the curve
  • Mask mandate
  • “Stay-at-home” executive orders or “shelter-in-place”
  • Quarantine (we knew what it meant, we’ve just never heard it said so many times)
  • Contactless delivery
  • Curbside pickup
  • Essential business
  • Contact tracing
  • N95 mask (what health workers wear)
  • PPE (personal protective equipment)
  • Maskhole (a term for someone who refuses to wear a mask because “it’s their right not to”)
  • Gating criteria (as in school gating criteria – what must happen to have in-person school)
  • Covidiot (a person who does not follow safety guidelines)
  • Quarantini (an alcoholic drink consumed during shelter-in-place orders)
  • Quaranteam (the small group of people you have been hanging out with during the pandemic)
  • Virtual happy hour (a happy hour via zoom or another video conferencing platform)
  • COVID-19 – can be used as way to indicate your weight gain during the pandemic, similar to freshman 15

In my line of work, the AP Stylebook also created a new section on how to write about COVID-19 appropriately and a guide for reopening language. NPR posted this list of new words too.

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