Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Pandemic Dictionary

Towards a pandemic dictionary, a few covidious definitions and usage guide...

science - always said to be followed, always the best available, always grounded, and always ignored in practice. An incantation invoked to the point of rapture especially by chancers and politicians (these last are often synonyms)

tiers - the tracks thereof. Cry the beloved county your tier belongs to, for your irresponsible friends, the town over, are always somehow living in a less restricted tier. Ergo, a social regulation designed to assess the prevalence of the sin of envy in human affairs

stages - of grief and of lockdown, these proceed in lockstep and always pass through denial

corridor - ephemeral travel route between increasingly shrinking paradises

protocol - always said to be observed yet found to be wanting or fatally flawed in reality, a duty of care denied.

bubble - fictitious totem of protection, most often promoted by wishful thinking and pierced by delusional practice

pod - an upper middle class organization ostensibly designed for learning and fraternization but ultimately destined for liablility and fracture

steps - trampled by lack of precaution

levels - of risk and of threat, a visualization of plans, or lack thereof, potent and inherently unstable, a perilous mixed metaphor

restrictions - safely ignored. In extremis, when questioned about a corresponding breach, best practice is to refer to need to visit optician at Barnard Castle.

mask - when referring to the American face, an affront and a symbol of oppression. In other countries, a cheap public health intervention.

zone - never satisfactorily delineated, whether infectious, torrid or danger. Out of control

strategy - missing in action

preparation - see plan

plan - undefined

Easter - a verbal ejaculation e.g. "just raring to go by Easter". Hubris.

distancing - a socialist threat promulgated by soi-disant epidemiologists and sundry killjoys, proudly ignored in South Dakota, Tennessee and similar (see mask)

rule - of six, of four, of law - cheerfully ignored (see Cummings, Dominic, Johnson, Boris, Trump, Donald etc.)

regulation - in the USA or similar, loudly proclaimed and rarely enforced, a weapon to be wielded when you plan to do nothing but need to be seen to be doing something.

support - promised early but only ever grudingly provided after considerable foot dragging and then in wholly inadequate proportion. Also: ephemeral

moratorium - porous rule typically subverted due to inadequate support. Dangerous to extend because of unspecified reasons.

rent - just deserts for oligarch class, price of entry for others (see essential)

eviction - just deserts for losers and suckers even in a pandemic and without a social safety net (see bank)

bank - of food, an Anglo-Saxon growth industry during a pandemic; of finance, a growth industry to be protected at all times even against itself (see bubble)

accountability - fiction. archaic and obsolete

social - there is no such thing

antisocial - recommended normalcy

meatpacking - of a plant, a venue for the wholesale slaughter of meat, human and otherwise, of a business, a modifier synonymous with age-old greed (see essential)

capacity - always critical and in danger of being overrun, pace ICU. A phrase and concept often uttered by bureaucratic naysayers of doom - safely ignored (see rule) until breached

priority - an ordering to be circumvented post-haste with smugness, ingenuity or bribery (see vaccine distribution)

essential - early designation of cannon fodder, to be applauded profusely at the outset but never rewarded or, indeed, supported. synonym: human capital stock

immunity - the promised land, a state of grace devoid of shame. When prefixed by herd, refers to bubble

rainbow spectrum of colors


This lexicographer welcomes your additions and corrections to this offering of toli.

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This lexicon is part of a series: In a covidious time

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