A Pandemic Dictionary
When the world is in pande-monium, you need new words to cope. A humorous lexicon
Oh, COVID. We hate you so much. In so many ways.
While that statement is true, we also know that every crisis has its silver linings — even if they aren’t obvious at the moment. If you are like me, you are looking for those silver linings in the form of kindness, compassion, and of course, humor.
One morning, I had a meeting with a potential client and realized I had to show up to the Zoom call — not only wearing real pants — but makeup! And I thought, “I have barely been out of the house in a week. If I were going somewhere today, what would I wear?” Tired of wearing every fleece I own in a daily rotation, I pulled out a favorite sweater I had only worn a few times during the winter, and walked to the room next door that is my office to start my day. And a word was born. “I am a Pandefashionista,” I thought. “I dress in spite of the state of the world!”
And thus, it began.
Over the next several days many words whose roots are some combination of “Pandemic,” “COVID,” or “Corona” (with a few noted exceptions) came to me as I spoke with friends and colleagues about their new shelter-in-place reality. Some of the words in this pandemic dictionary are funny, some of them are poignant, but it all has been a fun exercise to fill my mind in between Zoom calls and Andrew Cuomo press conferences.
Feel free to use, send virally (but socially distanced!), and contribute to the pandemic dictionary.
Coroama – Co • roam • a
- A walk around your house or apartment in circles looking for something, but you can’t remember what you are looking for. See also: Pandeamnesia
- A walk around your house or apartment just because you are so tired of sitting and there is nowhere else to go.
Coronallergy – Co • ron • al • ler • gy
Seasonal allergies in the time of the Coronavirus that really are seasonal allergies, but give you a case of Pandechondria as you ponder what they might be. See also: Pandechondria.
Covaimlessness – Co • vaim • less • ness
The intense feeling that you now have no purpose because you don’t know what to do with your time since you lost your job in the pandemic.
Covibinge – Cov • i • binge
- When you find yourself putting cream cheese on a chocolate bar because you are stress-eating due to the global pandemic.
- Watching one or all of your favorite TV shows from the beginning yet again, for the. . .how many times has this been? See also: Pandeamnesia.
Covicuphoard – Cov •i •cup • hoard
The closet that previously housed your summer clothes but is now dedicated to your pandehoard of paper towels, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. See also Pandehoard.
Cofit – Co • fit
- Trying desperately to stay fit with some live-streamed class that’s just not the same as being there in person.
- An emotional meltdown over the pandemic.
Covid-19 – Cov • id-19
The replacement for the Freshman 10. Not restricted to young adults.
Covipause – Cov • i • pause
Waking up with hot flashes and not knowing whether they mean you are going into menopause or just overheating with hypochondria due to the pandemic.
CoviQVC – Cov • i • QVC
Buying shit you don’t need on QVC because there is nothing else to do. Synonym: CoviHSN.
Nah. You get it. Synonym: Cuomosexual (Source: Randy Rainbow)
Fauchoid – Fauch • oid (like factoid)
An intelligent factoid you spew to your family and friends because you learned it from listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Pande-monium – Pan • de • mon • i • um
What you’re experiencing on a daily basis.
Pandeamnesia – Pan • de • am• ne • sia
- When you can’t remember what day it is, because you are pretty much doing the same thing in the same place (your home!) every day.
- When you start watching something on Netflix because you can’t remember if you’ve already watched it.
Pandearrival – Pan • de • ar • riv • al
- Excitedly racing to the mailbox in anticipation of the arrival of your Amazon package simply because it is something to do.
- When you await the arrival of food delivery by a Pandehero who delivers food from the one restaurant still serving in your neighborhood.
Pandechondria – Pan •de •chon •dria
When you wake up with postnasal drip and think you have COVID-19.
Pandehero; Covihero; Corohero – Pan • de • her • o; Cov • i • her • o; Co • ro • her • o
Synonyms for the healthcare workers, EMS workers, police officers, grocery and drug store clerks, mail carriers, and others who are literally risking their lives while the rest of us stay home.
Pandefashionista – Pan • de • fash ion • is • ta
Dressing up in something you haven’t worn in a while, just to wear into the room next door to work, because — where else are you going to wear it?
Pandehoard – Pan • de • hoard
Buying more toilet paper and hand sanitizer than one person or group of people can use, and leaving nothing for the rest of us. See also Covicuphoard.
Pandedeeveeare – Pan • de • dee • vee • are
Looking over the list of all the items recorded on your DVR and wondering why you keep saying to yourself, “There is just nothing to watch.”
Pandedistance – Pan • de • dis • tance
A new command yelled at a person in the grocery store who isn’t paying attention to social distance standards. “Hey! Pandedistance, dude!”
Pandephasia – Pan • de • phasia
When you have no words to describe the stupidity of what happens during the daily White House briefings at which point you wish you had even more Pandeamnesia.
Pandeprayer – Pan • de •pray • er
The odd thought you have when you hear a siren: “I hope the person that those Coviheroes are racing to is on fire or having a heart attack and doesn’t have COVID.”
Zoomcovitigue – Zoom • co • vit • igue
Fatigue caused by too many Zoom calls.
Bridget K. Brown is the owner of StoryMatters, LLC, a communications training and coaching company that helps individuals and corporations tell better stories, deliver better speeches, and make the complexity of communication clear. She is a former actress, and a current playwright, who uses the tool of improv in all of what she does.