1. “Now more than ever”
This phrase has always irked me, especially when people use it to imply that now is the time to start being kind and generous. We should not be waiting until a disastrous event happens to suddenly show our humanity. Instead, just say that some people need support and it is our duty as members of the community to help them. This way, we don’t immediately drop this altruistic attitude once things go back to normal.
2. “Unprecedented times”
It is nice to see people acknowledge that what we are going through is unique and difficult. But at this point, we have been in a pandemic for seven months and we are slowly learning how to live through these times. Let’s focus on what we are doing to get ourselves out of this situation we have become too familiar with.
3. “The new normal”
I know that it’s in our nature to adapt to anything that life throws at us — it is amazing how well we have been able to return to a somewhat normal life in the past few months. But many of us have settled for this “new normal” instead of focusing on eradicating this virus. People are still getting infected and dying and to call that “normal” is not true. Instead, let’s call it what it is and say it is our “new reality” that we are desperately trying to fix.
4. “Uncertain times”
We know that our next few days — and months — look uncertain. Many students living on Grounds know full well that they can be sent home at any moment and are taking things day by day. Reminding us that things are uncertain just increases the anxiety surrounding our situation. Instead, those who are able to should give us reassurance that there are plans in place for an outbreak.
I am guilty of using this phrase. But all slang must die at some point, and I think it’s time for this one to go. While it is a quick way to refer to COVID-19, it has been used so much that I’m sure many of us are annoyed when we hear it. For everyone’s sanity, just say COVID-19 or coronavirus.
6. “China virus”
Yes, the novel coronavirus may have originated in China, but at this point, the virus’s spread is not limited to China — it’s a global issue, one that transcends international boundaries. And while saying the virus came from China is true, we must keep in mind the amount of racism Asian American people have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic. Sticking to the official names of COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus will ensure that you are not adding to the discrimination these people are already facing.
7. “Quarantine hustle”
There are many people who have taken the extra time the pandemic has given them to start a side job or become more productive overall. However, I have seen many “motivational” posts online that shame people for merely getting through their normal tasks while in quarantine. It is important to remember that many people are struggling with their mental health during the pandemic, especially college students who may be separated from our support systems. It is O.K. if you only did the bare minimum of work because you were focused on self-care.
8. “COVID Party”
As a University community, we have a responsibility to look out for one another. Partying in the middle of a global pandemic does the opposite of this. Whether it is a lack of regard for fellow students, a feeling of invincibility, a disbelief in the virus altogether or a combination of all three, some people are ignoring social distancing guidelines to have a virus-themed party. Please stop.
I’ve mainly seen this on social media to describe people who are looking out for the health and safety of others by following social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask. With many students in hall-style dorms that make the spread of COVID-19 easier, we must take every precaution to stop the spread of the virus. I recommend you take it as a compliment if someone calls you a sheep because that means you are doing the right thing for your community.
10. “Six feet apart”
Public health officials have recommended that everyone maintains a distance of six feet when in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19. However, many of us have trouble envisioning what six feet looks like. Instead, let’s use some creative ways to say six feet. For example, Healthy Hoos posted this photo on Instagram that describes six feet as the length of two golden retrievers. Using these creative measures can keep guidelines interesting and help others visualize physical distancing.