Lockdown lingo

For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men’s blood: I only speak right on; I tell you that which you yourselves do know.

So, from today (May 13) the construction industry is encouraged to get back to work where it can and the housing market is open again for viewings. I can go and have a poke around a stranger’s house if I say I’m thinking of buying it, but I can’t go and see my mother for the first time in two months and sit 2m apart from her in her garden. Odd.

Anyway, as we seem to be inching our way back to a version of normal life that is nothing like actual, normal life, allow me, gentle reader, to share some descriptions of the ‘new normal’ I’ve found.

Quarantini: The experimental cocktail you mixed up from whatever random ingredients you had left in the house. Southern Comfort and Ribena quarantini with a glacé cherry garnish, anyone?
Locktail hour: the time at which it becomes acceptable to start drinking. Gets earlier and earlier every week.
Blue Skype thinking: A work brainstorming session which takes place via video-conference. Also known as a Zoomposium.
Le Creuset wrist: An aching arm after taking one’s best saucepan outside to bang during the weekly ‘Clap For Carers.’ It might be heavy but you’re keen to impress the neighbours with your high-quality kitchenware.
Coronials: The future generation of babies conceived or born during coronavirus quarantine.
Furlough Merlot: Wine consumed in an attempt to relieve the tedium of not working. Too much could lead to an increase in Coronials.
Coronadose: An overdose of bad news from consuming too much media during a time of crisis. Can usually be solved by the immediate intake of Furlough Merlot or a Quarantini
Elephant in the Zoom: The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. E.g. one participant has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background. Or is wearing horrible shorts. Oh, wait, those are legs.
Coronaswerve: the sudden detour from your path whilst out for your daily government-sanctioned-exercise in order to stay 2m distance from another runner or walker.
Coronatango: the left-right-left-right dance on the pavement as two runners or walkers approaching from opposite directions dither about which way to Coronaswerve.
Quentin Quarantino: Your attention-seeking mate, using  his time in lockdown to make amateur films which he’s convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are.
Covidiot:  One who ignores public health advice or behaves with reckless disregard for the safety of others.
Goutbreak: The sudden fear that you’ve consumed so much wine, cheese, cake and sold-off-cheap Easter chocolate in lockdown that your ankles are swelling up like a medieval king’s.
Antisocial distancing: Using health precautions as an excuse for snubbing neighbours and generally ignoring people you find irritating.
Coughin’ dodger: Someone so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror.
The 10lbs in weight that we’re all gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking. Unchecked, can develop into the far more serious Coronastone.
Disclaimer: Much as I would love to claim credit for all of these, most I stole from my lovely friend Valerie’s Facebook page.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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