I am an English teacher as you know, so once I absorb the shock of each day’s new Corona headlines, my guilty secret is a fascination in our ability to quickly forge new words and sayings to deal with this pandemic – words and phrases that we didn’t have a few weeks ago.
I take encouragement from our creativity, resilience and resourcefulness in these times of darkness, loss and challenge for this will see us through.
I love the way that we morph to adapt with unprecedented times, and looking through the urban dictionary of new Corona- inspired phrases, I am struck with how all the important people and activities in my life have also morphed and grown. I think this in itself demands that I respond with loyalty and commitment – if people can respond in such creative and humorous ways, the least I can do is join in.
On my solo social-distanced run each morning, and during my enforced coronacation I have had to adapt to just talking to myself and, the urban dictionary has given me a whole new verbal arsenal with which to entertain myself and with which to respond (albeit in my head) to some of the covidiots who still insist on disregarding health and safety guidelines.
In my efforts to protect my mental health, I have resisted doom-scrolling addictively through social media, and have rationed myself to one news bulletin a day. So, looking at last night’s news I find myself incandescent when I see footage of the covidiocy shown by those cyclists and motorcyclists who decided that the good weather meant that they were personally exempt from staying inside or exercising solo. Too late for these folk; they are clearly immune to any updates pleading with us to protect NHS workers on the frontline, for they have instead contracted moronavirus. Let’s hope it’s not contagious.
Thankfully, in the absence of my usual calendar of activities, I can now resort to quarantine shaming in the comfort of my own home. I have become a COVID Activist prepared – on social media – to ‘out’ any closet hoarder of toilet rolls or hand santizer, and prepared to shoot a long distance teacher look from my front window if I see anyone deciding to picnic or loiter on the sea front.
In the evenings I have started to enjoy the odd quarantini – preferably gin or red wine based; shaken not stirred. Everyone likes a little sun-downer, especially when you can’t get out in the sun much. By supplementing this cocktail with a few vitamins, I have socially distanced myself from the fear of vitamin C and D deficiency. I am happy to raise my glass of medicine – or coronarita – to my band of brothers during virtual happy hour – which naturally takes place on Zoom, FaceTime or Google Hangouts. Watch me morph!
Speaking of morphing, life under ‘Rona may just be allowing me a little too much personal growth. Now that I have adapted to technology and social distancing, I think this week heralds the fact that I now need to flatten my curve after a little too much boredom and comfort eating. (I blame this on my covidiocy around carb loading – pasta, anyone?)
This enforced coronacation has thankfully inspired resourcefulness from the world of fitness and I am now a zoomer rather than just a boomer, readily booking into Be Military Fit and My Kind of Yoga on line. Once I get over the novelty of being able to see into the kitchens and living rooms of my fellow class mates, my work rate is actually much higher than usual. I will be a winner in the long run. Knowing that the instructor can unmute and publicly shame me in front of the rest of the class, means that I barely stop for a water break these days.
And in my one note of seriousness in this blog, can I please do a shout out for a word that is not new at all; loyalty. If we show loyalty to our service providers when they need our support most – be they fitness instructors or local businesses – they will go out of their way to repay us in kind. I know it is tempting to freeze a fitness subscription when a studio is closed or a class collapses, but we want these instructors to be with us when Rona has long gone. It is these self- employed instructors and small business owners who are working night and day to adapt their services to go on line. Their learning curve has been immense, no flattening for them. Let’s stick with them, and recommend their classes to our friends – those friends who, like me, are probably regretting one two many coronaritas.
Coronavirus-compelled staycations, due to cancelled classes, shifts, and the like. It’s usually an ironic term—just ask parents working from home while teaching their kids.
Example: My teen thinks he’s getting a coronacation since his school has moved online. Oh, wait until he sees how I am going to keep him busy with Dictionary.com’s Learning At Home resources.
Rona is an informal shortening of coronavirus. Coronavirus is popularly shortened to corona, which was apparently further clipped to rona.
Rona is often used as a playful or ironic way to refer to COVID-19, especially when commenting on more relatable, humorous challenges of social distancing during the pandemic.
It is generally not meant, however, to be flippant about the very serious loss and disruption COVID-19 has wreaked—nor diminish the life-saving service of so many essential workers, from grocery clerks to nurses.