Kerry Grant

The further we stumble our way through this Pandemic thingy the more obvious it becomes that life will never return to how it was before the lockdowns. New ‘norms’ are being established, as the old ones are reluctantly left in the past to be slowly forgotten, like a deceased friend or family member.  As we mourn for what has been lost and in our attempts to embrace the new — how do we do this with any sense of stability or sanity?

Whatever the outcomes of COVID-19 one thing is for sure. A whole new set of dictionary definitions is being created because of it. So in an attempt to push the seriousness of the time aside, let’s have a humorous look at the meanings of words that are fast becoming common language in the climate of COVID-19

Social distancing:

Something that once was considered bad form, impolite and socially unacceptable.  If you sat in the corner at a party getting drunk while not socializing with anyone else you were not invited back. When you do it today you still miss out on the parties but it is now okay to get drunk by yourself.

Contact tracing:

In a quest to find a long lost family member it was about going on a reality TV show and revealing to the rest of the planet how bad you had it as a kid.  Post-COVID-19 it is still about getting in people’s faces who don’t want you to be but it is no longer done through a TV screen and in the confines of their home. Less is more on this new canvas of social decorum.


Was the name of a dysfunctional personal secretary on the British comedy show ‘Absolutely Fab’.  She never really did anything that ticked the job description boxes and was a bit of a wasted space. Oddly enough that definition for the old fits the mould for the new also. Spaces that are occupied, while not achieving much.

Flattening the curve:

This one used to have every woman cringing. It got those with eating disorders doing their thing while looking at imaginary curves in concave mirrors.  It also had those with the non-fictitious curves not looking into their mirrors while sweating their lives away on Pilates balls with a piece of cake still in hand.  In the COVID era it is all about suppressing imaginary mountains with the minimum of effort.

Going hard and going early:

Every man in the room would drop his head at the mere mention of this dysfunction. Now it is okay as the woman at the top is patting herself on the back about it.


Used to only happen in prisons to stop the populace from getting upset about something. This one hasn’t changed for the ‘pandemic’ scare. If anything, it has been given more definition and to a broader audience.


Something that prevented a disease from causing harm. Today it can be the mirror image of this. Something that has been genetically manipulated so much that it causes more harm than the condition it is supposed to be fixing.

Corona virus:

The punch line in an American joke about drunken Mexican immigrant workers.  After: an international joke about over-reacting to any given situation.

Civil emergency:

When everyone in a region banded together in the local hall or church to help each other through a tangible life-threatening event — with hugs and communal meals.  Now — laws and regulations that prevent these from happening for an emotively non-clarified threat. 

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