View from the Porch

On the vocabulary of a pandemic

Lorraine digs up some COVID-19 terms and phrases relating to the times we live in

I have reached Medicine Hat, Alberta and am now walking towards Walsh, Alberta 75,240 steps. I already have 14,759 toward that goal. Medicine Hat, located along the South Saskatchewan River is the sixth-largest city in Alberta, population in 2016 was 63,230. Their mayor is Ted Clugston.

I see that we have begun to slowly open up restaurants and stores. During the shutdown, there have been many words and phrases that have become part of our daily vocabulary. I think now would be a good time to share them.

Covidiots does not need an explanation.

Solastalgia describes the loss of something beloved due to environmental change.

Hiraeth is a Welsh word, hard to express in English but is explained as homesickness, yearning and longing.

A few short sayings: “Doing nothing is very hard to do because you never know when you’re finished.”

“Next to power without honour, the most dangerous thing in the world is power without humour.”

“When an old person dies, it is like a library has burned.” – Amadou Hampate, BA.

Two more: “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” – Dave Hollis.

“There are two ways of spreading light; to be a candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton.

While people say they have nothing to do, I am staying busy. When I say I have begun working on Christmas gifts, I am looked at like they think I am a bit (or maybe even a lot) crazy. But I have a feeling that once we really get into our “new normal” life will be really busy. I will be able to sit back and relish in the fact I am ready for anything.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) offers “The Writer’s Studio Online.” This is a community-focused approach to creative writing instruction, an opportunity for formal learning with individual mentorship and group workshops. Learn about the theory, craft and business of writing. Learn from wherever you are. They are accepting applications until June 30 with an online information session Saturday, May 30. More information: write@sfu.ca or learn@sfu.ca. Or call toll free 1-844-782-8877.

A bit off the virus topic: did you know that owls never go deaf? There is no difference between barn owls younger than two years and those over 13, even a 23-year-old bird showed little deterioration.

Did you know: M&M’s stands for Mars and Murrie’s, the last names of the candy’s founders. Also, research has found that you’re more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous like showering.

Closing with: Infodemic – refers to fake news that spreads faster and more easily than this virus. It is an excessive amount of information about a problem, which makes it difficult to identify a solution. It can spread misinformation, disinformation and rumours during a health emergency. Infodemics can hamper an effective public health response and create confusion and distrust among people. – The United Nations Department of Global Communications (DGC)

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