Lexicon for the Lockdown

Advisor – 1. Someone to give you advice from behind a plexiglass screen; 2. also, the type of facial covering that make you look like a bottled head.

Antibacterial – a treatment for the complaint known as skin.

Bugle smudger (see Mask) – The facial equivalent of the budgie smuggler; a device to render the voice indistinct (and don’t even think about lip reading); a prophylactic for the promiscuously opinionated.

D – an essential immunity-boosting vitamin provided by the sun. Not found naturally in the UK.

Economic boom – We just blew up the economy.

Flattening the curve – 1. recommended exercise regime for the ‘horizontally challenged’; 2. Boris’ silhouette following his brush with Covid.

Herd immunity – The combination of hygge and authoritarianism that Swedes excel at.

Immunity – Imperviousness to reason, particularly when applied to politicians.

Lockdown – 1. A state in which millionaires, the professional classes and violent protestors thrive, bugger the rest. 2. A golden age for freeloaders and jobsworths.

Mask (see also Bugle smudger) – 1. A face covering that makes us indistinguishable from criminals; 2. a signal of being right-on politically.

Remote – how we’re all working, communicating and feeling.

Rounding the curve – A euphemism for disappearing over the horizon.

‘R0’ number – The number of friends who are still prepared to meet you.

Second wave – saying goodbye again; first time to your prospects, second time to your children’s prospects.

Social distancing – The distance at which we feel comfortable before someone intrudes into our personal space. Varies by culture. In Britain this is roughly the distance between our front door and the hedge or wall.

Vaccine – A joke about looking for a black cat in a dark room, especially if the cat’s not there.

Yardstick – A literal one metre rule to measure correct social distancing of 2 metres. The correct usage is to press it against your body, spin round to face anyone approaching, and thrust out your arm in said person’s direction. Failure to make contact means they get off with a warning.

Zoom – A technology that paradoxically makes you further apart while claiming to bring you together.

By Don Trubshaw

Don Trubshaw is a co-founder of the website Societal Values. He has a PhD in the philosophy and sociology of education and teaches in Higher Education.

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