In the space of four months we speak and go about our lives in new and different ways. Take how our vocabulary has received a booster shot gratis of COVID-19, and how miraculous amounts of cash have materialised from .. where? Where were these billions stashed when overworked health systems were screaming for more staff and modern equipment? How come the vulnerable in communities are blessed with princely benefit increases of $5/week while the stash of gold has been sitting, where? Not sure if they’ll be answered but you have to ask the questions.

That wasn’t how this post was supposed to have started but better out than in, as they say – well mostly men, but there you have it. It surprised me how quickly we were up with the lingo in the era of COVID-19. Five months in and we’re au fait with it all but I do like this take on our new words and expressions. Borrowed from Psychology Today contributor Bobby Hoffman (PhD). You can read the full article here.

  • Flatten the curve: A graphical metaphor designed to help low-knowledge politicians assure people that statistics are the basis for their uncertainty.
  • Social distancing: A socially acceptable way to avoid the people who annoyed us before coronavirus was a thing.
  • Shelter in place: A dysfunctional use of reverse psychology that encourages people to want to go out during times when they are usually couch-bound or asleep.
  • Essential needs: A measure of shopping behavior based on risk tolerance for infection divided by the number of Twinkies or Doritos in your pantry.
  • Essential jobs: Positions assumed by individuals who are typically ignored during more prosperous and happy times.
  • Office space: An avoidable expense whereby executives now recognize that employees can freely gossip without being on company premises.
  • WFH (work from home): An abbreviation describing the process of logging on to a company server or computer while getting paid for hanging out with your family, friends, or pets.
  • Isolation: The process of connecting with the external world only via your television or computer for the purpose of generating feelings of gratitude, camaraderie, or depression.
  • Coworker: Any living organism present during your income-generating hours, usually determined by the ability to make noise or walk on four legs.
  • Drug approval standards: The process of making health changing decisions based on intuition.
  • 401(k): On the way to becoming 201(k), a statutory savings program for laborers struggling to independently save and invest. See “dwindling asset.”
  • Tiger King: A hugely popular Netflix series about a drug-addicted criminal that would go unnoticed if people weren’t confined to their couches.
  • Small business: Any business entity not being bailed out by the U.S. government.

Gratitude Moments:

  • Children’s laughter
  • Quiet days around camp
  • Morning rain

10 thoughts on “Vocabulary

  1. My, you are a long way away. That’s what I call social distancing. We are enjoying a quiet time in Cooktown. The Cape is in lockdown, so apart from essential services, 14 days isolation required before crossing the line. So feeling quite safe at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! Lovely to hear from you and know you’re safely bunkered home at home. Yes, we are a long way from home and loving this place. They’ve moved from billing us fortnightly to weekly so we’re figuring we may be on the move before too much longer. Stay safe and well. Linda and Basil xx


  2. Oh man, that Tiger King one cracked me up. Great work on this post.

    I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you for stopping by to read and pause to comment. I know the list is hilarious isn’t it! And congratulations on another successful year of AtoZ Blogging Challenge. Have to say this year’s has been simultaneously fun and frustrating as I’ve flown by the seat of my pants more so this year – and finding the 11th hour adrenalin rush motivating. Linda x


    • We are safe and sound and bunkered down in a fabulous campground in Western Australia, looking forward to having regional restrictions lifted so we can move again. Take care Linda x


  3. Thanks, Linda! we need some comic relief just around this time. Yes, we’re using some of those technical terms as if we’re epidemiologists. To get serious for a moment, while government officials go on highmindedly about flattening the curve, a public health physician in our state said something that has stayed with me–that flattening the curve is what we do when we’ve already accepted that we’ve let things get out of hand. At this point the best we can do is try to prevent the intensive-care wards from being overwhelmed all at once, o basically we are slowing the rate at which people flood the hospitals. But, she said, we’re not reducing the rate of infection and death. To do that we’d have to do mass testing and rigorous contact-tracing; somehow there doesn’t seem to have been the will at the top to do that, except in Germany and South Korea.
    I like the last four definitions!

    Liked by 1 person

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