Has anyone else noticed how quickly our language has added “coronavirus” to common usage and then, over perhaps a week, “COVID-19” has become equally common parlance?
It started as a synonym, and at first I would have said it made for a shorter word in headlines but now I’m thinking it’s about the same length. When it comes to newspaper columns, the shorter the word, the better, especially in headlines.
Watch for the next step, which is to make the acronym even shorter by going from all-caps to Covid-19, as it’s already appearing in a few places.
You’ve probably already noticed the panic rush on the supermarkets after the Tom Hanks diagnosis was announced. The shelves of toilet paper, especially, were quickly cleared out. The new deliveries have been limited to one package per customer, maybe two, depending.
My wife just came back from a quick trip to one store (for its special on butter). She noticed the guy ahead of her in the checkout line, a blue-collar type apparently stopping on the way home from an overnight shift and picking up a few more items for the duration. He had a package of toilet paper, not surprising, and a half-dozen cartons of Ben & Jerry’s. How’s that for priorities?