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List of Coronavirus Terms
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Glossary of TermsThe coronavirus pandemic gave rise to dozens of new online terms. Some of the terms have become witty ways to describe how the pandemic changed our lives, but some of them were far more sinister, e.g., terms to describe the self-proclaimed experts in virology and government strategy.
- Armchair Virologist. An "armchair virologist" is a person who has suddenly become an expert in virology. Their deluded self-proclaimed knowledge of the complexities of virology stems not from laboratory research or scientific research papers but from observing TV news clips and chat shows from their armchair. (See also morona and coronasplaining.)
- Blursday. "Blursday" relates to the idea that all days of the week have the same routine during a coronavirus lockdown. It is a portmanteaux word from "blurring" and "day." During lockdown, every day is "Blursday."
- Bubble. A "bubble" is the shortened version of the term "support bubble". A support bubble is the small group people with whom each person is allowed to interact. Such "bubbles" are usually described by the number of individuals or the number of households.
- CDC. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is an organization established in America to prevent the spread of diseases and to provide cures for existing ones. The organization has been important in educating people across the world about the symptoms of Coronavirus.
- Contact Tracing. Contact tracing is the process of tracking individuals who have been in close proximity to a person infected with COVID-19. Contact tracing works by backtracking an infected person's movements for up to two weeks before their infection date and instructing all contacts with the person to start their own isolation. Tracking is carried out either through mobile-phone apps or through contact sheets completed upon entering establishments such as bars and restaurants.
- Coronacation. "Coronacation" is the time off work caused by Coronavirus. Although a play on the word "vacation," a "coronacation" is not always a positive or sought after experience.
- Coronacoaster. "Coronacoaster" refers to experiencing conflicting emotions during lockdown. More specifically, it refers to the repeated highs created by spare time and the lows created by the restrictive existence.
- Corona-Cut. A "corona-cut" is a DIY haircut necessitated by the closure of hairdressers and barbers during lockdown. Often self-inflicted or carried out by a non-professional hairdresser, a corona-cut typically leads to a series of BHDs (Bad Hair Days), until it can be professionally rectified.
- Coronadodge. A "coronadodge" is an unnatural and overacted swerve carried out in the belief that it will prevent contracting coronavirus from the avoided individual.
- Coronalusional. "Coronalusional" describes a person with an altered state of mind brought on by the mental strain of coping with the coronavirus pandemic. A person who has become "coronalusional" suffers from delusions and strange thoughts.
- Coronasplaining. "Coronasplaining" refers to over-explaining or over-analysing the coronavirus pandemic to a well-informed, often better-informed, audience. Coronasplaining is typically carried out by narcissists who like the sound of their own voice.
- Covedient. A "covedient" individual is someone who rigidly follows (to the extent of over-interpreting) all government warnings and regulations related to the coronavirus.
- COVID-19. Corona Virus Disease 2019.
- Covidiot. A "covidiot" is a person who acts irresponsibility in the context of living with the coronavirus. For example, a covidiot will ignore public-health warnings (e.g., refuse to wear a mask, arrange a party) or panic-buy and hoard items upon hearing word of a potential shortage.
- Doomscrolling "Doomscrolling" (or "doomsurfing") is an activity that came to prominence during the coronavirus pandemic, although it pre-dates the pandemic. Doomscrolling refers to the practice of overly consuming negative online news to the detriment of mental health.
- Elbump. The term "elbump" is a portmanteaux word from "elbow bump" (an unconventional way of greeting someone during the coronavirus pandemic). The greeting sees two individuals bump their elbows as a replacement for handshaking, which carries a higher risk of spreading the virus.
- Fauci-Ouchie. The phrase Fauci-Ouchie is widely used as a humorous name for the COVID-19 Vaccine. The term is a reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to US President Joe Biden, who is a strong proponent of the vaccine.
- Flattening the Curve. The term "flattening the curve" was regularly used by government officials to explain the reason for various government strategies related to handling the coronavirus. The term specifically relates to government graphs showing the number of hospital admissions or new cases on the Y axis and time on the x axis. "Flattening the curve" means slowing the infection rate, thereby lessening the steepness of the graph line. The aim of "flattening the curve" was to reduce the strain on the medical services (namely, staff and resources).
- Flurona. "Flurona" is an informal term for a case in which a person is simultaneously infected with both the flu and COVID-19.
- Hamster Kaufing. "Hamster Kaufing" refers to stockpiling shopping (usually food) in the style of a hamster. Such stockpiling was carried out in fear of running out of supplies at home and being unable to buy them at the supermarket. The term was first coined in Germany but later adopted by English-speaking nations.
- Herd Immunity. "Herd immunity" refers to a situation when a sufficiently large proportion of a community (the herd) has become immune to the virus, meaning the virus cannot spread. "Herd immunity" can be achieved when enough individuals have received vaccinations or have developed naturally occurring antibodies following infection.
- Infodemic. The word "infodemic" was created during the coronavirus pandemic to describe the social panic caused by the vast amounts of unfounded information and unreliable stories that spread misinformation among the public (predominantly via social media).
- Isobar. The term "isobar" refers an improvised home bar that was created to make long periods of isolation more tolerable.
- Kung Flu. The term "Kung Flu" was coined in 2020 by American President Donald Trump during a speech at a youth rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Social media was divided on whether the term was witty or offensive, with the demarcation lines correlating strongly with those distinguishing between Democrats and Republicans.
- M2M. The abbreviation M2M is used with the meaning "Mask to Mask" as a humorous play on the term "Face to Face."
- Morona. A "morona" is an individual showing moronic characteristics towards the Coronavirus pandemic. There are two types of "morona": (1) individuals who put themselves or others at risk through reckless acts, e.g., refusing to wear a mask, and (2) individuals who overreact to every twist and turn of the coronavirus story.
- Omicold. Omicold is a disparaging term for the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Omicron. Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19), first detected in Botswana, in November 2021.
- Pandemic. A pandemic is an endemic-status disease or virus (a disease or virus which a large percentage of a country's population isn't immune to) that spreads worldwide. The WHO (World Health Organization) determined that Coronavirus had become a global pandemic on 11 March 2020.
- Panoramic. In online chat, the word panoramic is sometimes used as code for pandemic. It is an example of algospeak.
- PPE. PPE stands for "Personal Protective Equipment". A term rose to greater prominence during the coronavirus pandemic due to the need to protect against spreading the virus. In the context of the coronavirus, PPE typically refers to items such visors, gloves, masks, and hand sanitiser.
- Quarentime. "Quarentime" is the depressing and frustratingly long passing of time during quarantine. During "quarentime," days blend into one another, sapping motivation and creating boredom. Those experiencing "quarentime" often forget what day of the week it is.
- Rona. "Rona" or "the rona" means the coronavirus (specifically COVID-19). Its origins are disputed, either Scotland or Australia. It a truncated version of the word corona.
- Zumped. Being "zumped" is the act of being dumped by your partner via a Zoom call. During locksdowns, many relationships became "long-distance" relationships, causing a rise in the number of break-ups.
- Ronavation. "Ronavation" (commonly seen as "#ronavation") is a portmanteaux word based on "rona" (from corona) and "renovation." It refers to the mass renovations and refurbishments that took place during lock downs as people sought to make good use of being unable to work.
- Sanny. Originating from Australia, "Sanny" is a slang alternative for hand sanitiser.
- SARS-CoV-2. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2.
- Twindemic. The term "Twindemic" is used to refer to the possibility of a severe influenza outbreak happening at the same time as a wave of COVID-19 infections.
- The Covid 19. "The Covid 19" refers to gaining weight (typically 19 pounds) during quarantine as opposed to contracting the virus itself. The term arose on social media where users joked about the ease with which they gained weight by snacking during isolation.
- WHO. The WHO (World Health Organisation) is an agency created by the United Nations in 1948 to protect and maintain the health of people around the world. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency's output and advice became particularly prevalent in the West during the coronavirus pandemic as governments sought guidance on how to tackle the spread of the virus.
- Zoom-Bombing. "Zoom-bombing" is the act of joining a Zoom call without prior authority or permission to do so. Individuals that gain access to these calls often go on to create havoc and find entertainment in doing so at the expense of the others in the call. This sort of prank was made famous by the likes of Youtuber Niko Omilana, who gained millions of views in the process, as many found his uninvited intrusions greatly amusing.
- Zoom Room. The "Zoom room" is the room that gives viewers (usually work colleagues) the best impression. The "Zoom room" is often unnaturally tidy or adorned with awards, impressive books, or musical instruments. Specialists or celebrities being interviewed by TV stations are often overtly guilty of creating a "Zoom room" before the broadcast. Really? Who puts their BAFTA next to Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and their Fender stratocaster?
- Zoom Shirt. A "Zoom shirt" is a shirt worn specifically for Zoom meetings to make the wearer look respectable. The implication with "Zoom shirt" is that the Zoomer is wearing something far less formal (e.g., pajamas, running shorts) below the waist.
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