M Zahidul Haque
PERHAPS an ordinary villager in Bangladesh never knew or used to an English word ‘Lockdown’. Well, with the invasion of coronavirus the word ‘lockdown’ become popular among the people not only in Bangladesh but the world over. By imposing lockdown, the authorities put restrictions on the free movement of people, disallowed people from going outside of their homes!
Mask is another word people get used to during the pandemic. Now mask has become an integral part of life because mask protects people from coronavirus infection to a greater extent.
Nowadays one would find that the market is flooded with different brands of sanitizer. The word “Sanitizer” got its popularity during the ongoing pandemic time. Earlier hardly people buy sanitizer or just ‘sanny’ but now people from all walks of life are familiar to ‘sanitizer’ which is used to kill germs on hands and surfaces.
Quarantine, a word which was devised during the “Black Death” in Italy is now a popular term among the people. In order to prevent the spread of some diseases, for now, Covid-19, putting infected people under strict isolation. In Australian English, ’quarantine’ is simply called ‘quaz’. (‘Black Death’ was the deadliest pandemic caused by a bacterium that attacked Europe and Asia during the period of 1347-1351) ‘Rona’ has been coined as a shorter word for Corona pandemic.
Another interesting word is ‘Covidiot’ extracted from a Spanish slang ‘covidiota’. People who do not follow/disregard the safety rules/guidelines to keep protected against corona, for instance, wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing, attending large gatherings, and meeting friends, etc. are being termed as “Covidiot”.
Here the author has mentioned some of the new English words he came across, there are many more. To conclude, the author would like to present another new word-‘Covexit’ meaning—when the Government relaxes restrictions imposed on the public due to corona pandemic. We are hopeful that very soon ‘Rona’ will leave us and we will resume our normal life and living, but till then we must follow the health and safety guidelines to protect ourselves from coronavirus!
(Author: Professor, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka)