Words and phrases, we never knew at the beginning of 2020 and are now commonly used.

Pivoting – when ones business is not able to operate so one has no choice but to change how they work in order to make some money to feed their families, pay their bills and function/stay sane!

Lockdown – when you are told by your Government you are not allowed out of your home, you have to stay home, behave yourself, might be able to go to the pub but maybe not, might be able to go to the restaurant but maybe not, can’t really travel anywhere unless it is essential which sadly many think essential travel is to go to the shops and buy stuff you don’t actually need! Shops become chaotic, having to queue for up to an hour to just buy food, online deliveries are scarce, you can buy clothes but can’t try them on so you then have to travel back to the chaotic shops, follow a one way system and signs, wear a face covering to return the clothes that don’t fit, you can’t meet up with friends outside of your own immediate family, then the lockdown differs from area to area and becomes confusing for many on what you can and can’t do…Spontaneous Freedom, Fun, party, travel, camping, road trips, picnics, beach, days out… all suffering.

Corona – also a brand of beer but now more commonly known as a virus)

Covid 19 – scientific term for said virus

Coronavirus – the common term for the virus that has changed 2020, changed how we live, how we socialise, work, educate, run businesses, (or not now for many thousands who have lost livelihoods)

Garden Pub/Tiki Bar – because you were unable to go to the pub for a few months in lockdown, you bought some wood, or converted an old shed, got some pallets and built your very own pub/bar in the garden, stocked it up with drinks in a glass fronted proper pub fridge you have bought along with measures, pub signs, beer towels and mats and now can make your own beverages whatever time of day you please, unfortunately this means when you go back to your usual pub establishment, the spirits do not taste the same.. that is because you have spent months drinking your own measures!

Bubble/s (used to be a more common phrase for a glass of fizz) A phrase that now determines who you can and can’t socialise with, how many and where. If you’re really lucky your family are in your bubble, so you don’t need to ignore the kids or the partner and it seems dogs, cats and pets are automatically in your bubble, so they won’t be excluded.

Eat out to help out – phrase used to describe how back in August we were encouraged by our Government to go and eat out at establishments and get up to £10 per head off your bill.

Social distancing – when you are allowed to meet others/shop/work etc you have to keep at least an arms length distance from those you do not share a house with. It is now common practice to stand 2m away from anyone you have a conversation with, which is easy outside or in large premises but not so easy in small dwellings. One could end up standing right up against a wall.

Face covering – mask/covering you wear which used to be for fancy dress purposes and often for hobbies or trades which required a face mask, but now it protects others from your saliva, spit and nasal drops which could potentially infect others and spread the virus. They are now available in a range of styles, fabrics and colours as many people have jumped on the ‘make face coverings/PPE business bandwagon’.

Furlough – When you are off work but being paid a proportion of your pay to stay at home, stay safe and hope you will still have a job when this pandemic is over.

Zoomed out – you have had to go to meetings, networking, 121s, family events, quizzes etc all in an online world and platform called video calls to enable social interaction, keep your business going and frankly are exhausted from endless hours sat in front of a screen, concentrating on how you appear and sound on there and during the summer no doubt were zooming in your shorts and flip flops with a nice corporate work outfit on the top half, so nobody guessed you were in shorts!

Can you hear me/Can you see me? – used probably more than ever in video calls, when you are chatting away and people can see your mouth move but you are on mute! Don’t even get me started on internet connection issues…

You’re breaking up! – no longer means an actual break up in a relationship, it means your internet is rubbish and you are now all blurry, pixelated and nobody can make any sense of what you are doing/saying on a video call so the way you handle it is to go around turning everything else off on the WIFI, call the provider and spend hours trying to get the provider to answer the call and help you, meanwhile you have lost the will and want to go hide under a blanket because they tell you on the automated recording ‘you can find most answers to common questions on our website’ to which you are thinking ‘if my internet worked then that is what I would do!’

Hand sanitizer – no longer just for camping trips or long journeys when you need to refresh the hands, it is a must have, you will no doubt have some in your bag, office, car, van, boot, jacket pocket, kitchen drawer and everywhere possible.

Sanitise – no longer just for toilets and public areas – It is an essential item in 2020, without it you panic, shops/pubs/offices/gyms invite you to use their hand sanitiser when you enter the building but, in all honesty, you worry about touching the thing because it could be germy before you use the hand sanitiser, often you forget you have a small cut on your finger then remember with the sharp pain!

Toilet roll – during Lockdown 1.0 back in March 2020 this was one essential item that sold out, people stockpiled it because for some reason that was the one thing that may save you from coronavirus or it was some way to protect you.

Curfew – used to be for naughty teenagers, making them be home at a certain time. Now is for Adults too, Autumn 2020 It was essential that pubs when open had to close at 10pm, no last orders at 11, literally out the pub by 10pm. God knows what would have happened had we been in the pub at 10.01pm! Maybe it is like Cinderella and the shoe at midnight.

Self-isolating – Even the most introverts that I have spoken to have struggled with the fact they have to stay indoors, some might say they have been practising for this their whole life (my eldest daughter included!) where they have to stay indoors and not come out of their room, have food, drinks and supplies left for them aka room service! All joking aside, self-isolation for those who have symptoms or have actually tested positive for Coronavirus, essentially prevents the spread and protects others in the household.

Tiers – Not tears as in leaky eyes, the way in which geographically our Government have placed different lockdown restrictions dependent on numbers. It is the difference for many businesses in being able to open and trade or close and not trade. It is also the difference in whether you can shop in non-essential stores buying things you may or may not actually need but when told those stores are about to close due to Tiers and lockdown that you suddenly have a desperate urge to buy more ‘stuff’. Tiers differ from place to place and can be a nightmare for those who can no longer socialise, see family or trade.

Wet pub – Pub that only serves drinks and nuts/crisps and cannot open in the stricter Tiers so can no longer trade/earn a living/feed their families/have to get another job.

Dry pub – Pub that also serves food and can open in some of the Tiers and still continue to trade or at the very least offer takeaway food.

Travel Corridor – when you cannot go on holiday to another country, you cannot lie on a beach, feel the sun on your skin, drink that cocktail and soak up the culture of another country due to Covid 19 restrictions. (If you are anything like me when you get to go away again you will never take that feeling of stepping of a plane with the sun on you for granted ever again!)

Substantial meal aka scotch egg/pork pie/pasty – jury is still out on whether a pasty, scotch egg or pork pie is classed as a substantial meal meaning if you run a pub and offer these you could be allowed to trade (at the time of writing this, I am still none the wiser!)

Blended learning – Children of school age are sometimes in school and sometimes ‘working from home’, mixed opinions on this as some children are fortunate enough to have the tech to be able to do school work from home, some have a dedicated space and parents around who can guide and help as they too are ‘working from home’ and some are self-motivated, sadly this is not the case for all especially if they struggle with learning, hate being away from their friends and have rubbish WIFI because everyone is at home too sucking the life out of the router!

Home Office – (as in work from home not the Government Department) used to be a luxury but now has been essential for many people, the positive to this are corporate workplaces/offices are no longer needed, save money on commuting and lunches, can be in your ‘office’ at your ‘desk’ (which could resemble a dining table/corner of the bedroom set up) in your Pjs and nobody is any the wiser! Downside is you have to be a darn good self-motivator, stop being distracted by the Bing bong of the dishwasher/washing machine/doorbell, it can be very lonely to work alone at home, slippery slope to unproductivity, being around the family more and being demanded on! The list goes on… this has been the existence of many businesses who trade from a home office and now the rest of the world wants a part of it too (smiley face!)

So that’s it from me for now, please read this as tongue in cheek humour, I am very aware of how this year has affected so many people, businesses, health, mental health, our childrens’ mental wellbeing and education, financial struggles and the new way we have had to live this year has not all been rosy or great but we have to look at what we can control, focus 100% on our families and those we love and do the best we can in our businesses and if that means starting over sometimes we just got to do what we have to do.

Stay safe, stay sane and please speak to someone you trust if you are struggling this year.

Praying for a happier, healthy, prosperous 2021 for all.

Anita McAloren Dip PC


© December 2020