You must have come across people who outright refuse to obey the guidelines issued in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. What do you call such people?
Covidiot, says the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. And yes, it’s official; you may even search it up on their website (click here).
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore a plethora of new terms, like social distancing, contact tracing, and what not. And the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (OALD), which is the largest English-language dictionary by the Oxford University Press aimed at non-native audience, has added to its list a number of such words, idioms and abbreviations this month.
Community spread, community transmission, contact tracing, corona, coronavirus, COVID-19, covidiot, deep-clean, elbow bump, elbump, flatten the curve, hand gel, hand sanitizer, health professional, herd immunity, hot zone, nCov, panic buying, patient zero, personal protective equipment, PPE, self-isolate, self-isolation, self-quarantine (both noun and verb), shelter in place, social distance, social distancing, wet market, WFH, work from home: All these new entries to the OALD are directly or indirectly related to the pandemic.
The Oxford dictionary defines the term ‘covidiot’ as “a person who annoys other people by refusing to obey the social distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Elbow bump, or elbump, is defined as the act of briefly touching somebody’s elbow with your own to greet them, done to avoid spreading disease through touching each other’s hands, according to the dictionary.
Shelter in place, an idiom, refers to staying indoors during an emergency in order to protect yourself and others.
Work from home, another idiom, or its abbreviation WFH, are defined as “to do your job in your own home, especially a job that is usually done in an office.”
“As the pandemic sweeps from country to country, and healthcare systems and governments grapple to overcome it, the language used to describe what is happening is evolving. There are not so much new words as new usages and combinations of words which, were it not for the fact that this concerns everyone, would just be medical or official jargon,” the Oxford University Press English Language Teaching said in its blog ‘The language of coronavirus’.