Corona taught us how to be in the company of our loved ones 24/7. Additionally, it expanded our vocabulary. In months, rather than years, we learned all about flattening the curve and social distancing. Differences we never grasped before became important. Have you ever needed to know the difference between isolation and quarantine? How about pandemic vs. epidemic, and ventilator vs. respirator? We had to learn the difference between infectious and contagious, and we became more aware of antibodies and what they do.
The circumstances of lockdown brought out the creativity in people, and the result is a whole lot of new words and concepts.
Corona forced us to take a Coronacation
The virus gave us no option. Cancelled classes, shifts and work hours forced us to take a coronacation. It is similar to a staycation, except we had no choice of how long it would be. Most importantly, we could not choose which family members to invite on our coronacations.
Corona chose our quaranteams
A quaranteam is the group of people forced to have a coronacation. In many cases, it tested the patience and temperaments of spouses, siblings and parents. Other slang terms for limited groups sharing isolation include COVID bubbles and germpods. Epidemiologists refer to quaranteam situations by a more sophisticated term — contact clustering.
Nicknames given to Corona
It did not take long for Coronavirus to become Corona in informal conversations, and further shortened to Rona. I have even heard personified references to the virus, like Aunt Rona, Miss Rona and in Spanish-language circles — la Rona.
At the start of the pandemic, quarantine was an unfamiliar word, and many people referred to it as cornteen, and continued to refer to it as such. However, in some circles, cornteen refers to teenagers in quarantine.
Corona-related activities to pass the time
In many cases, several generations are forced to share COVID bubbles and germpods. Let’s look at the activities they engage in to pass the time.
If we thought our phones and computers were essential before, Aunt Rona underscored that need. How else will we stay up to date about the doom and gloom of the pandemic? Some refer to doom-scrolling as doom-surfing.
Previously known as soccer moms. They are moms who spend every available minute on services like Zoom for work, homeschooling and chatting with other Zoom moms. The term is also used for previously called helicopter moms. Now, moms whose children are in other COVID bubbles during the pandemic have no other way to keep a close eye on their children.
Beware of Zoom-bombing
Zoom-bombers are gatecrashers of virtual meetings. It often goes along with violent, offensive or obscene words and images.
Adult socializing while on coronacation
After a long day’s work from home, we need to unwind. What better way is there during the pandemic than virtual happy hours. Those who used to favor Martinis now settle for Quarantinis, and instead of Margaritas, we serve Coronaritas. If you have to get out and blow off steam, take your quarantini or coronarita and go for a walktail. Use a discreet container because open alcohol containers in public is still against the law.
How has Miss Rona affected relationships?
Some unmarried couples had a choice of sharing a germpod or separating. Many chose to turbocharge their relationships. However, for some couples, absence did not make their hearts grow fonder. They broke up via Zoom. We refer to that as Zumping. Sadly, Miss Rona also asked too much of some married couples, and strained marriage relationships led to covidivorces.
Corona will bring us a new generation
Sharing COVID bubbles and germpods would undoubtedly lead to activities such as foronacation that will produce a new generation after nine months. They will welcome coronababies who will later become quarantees. All those conceived during the pandemic will enter adulthood as coronials.
Idiots and morons
As in most situations, there will be those who will ignore rules and regulations. People who refuse to comply with social distancing, washing hands and following other safety guidelines fall in that category. Their behavior is now termed covidiocy. Referring to them as covidiots or moronaviruses is a form of corona shaming these individuals.
Expanding the Coronavirus-related vocabulary will undoubtedly continue as we go on and adjust to this new hugless lifestyle. Once again, we have proved that the best way to navigate difficult times is with humility and humor.