Which Words Do People Use the Most During the Pandemic?

We are all pretty sick of these words.

1. Asynchronous

This is a word that was rarely used or seen by the common person before the pandemic. However, after the school year was suddenly disturbed with everyone told to remain at home, “asynchronous” became the newest icon. Schools within FCPS adopted the strategy of independent learning, dedicating certain days for students to work on assignments without attending school. “Asynchronous” is now a word that remains common throughout most individuals’ daily lives. 


2. Unprecedented 

When a specific word is referenced, we sometimes automatically link it to another. The word “unprecedented” has become a keyword for the pandemic as it is often used in place of directly talking about the virus. It is generally used as an opening statement in formal settings such as “In this unprecedented time” or “These unprecedented moments.” The pandemic is automatically associated as soon as we hear this word and it becomes second nature to assume what is being referred to. 


3. Social Distance 

Because of the rising numbers of COVID cases, the government places rules to social distance, and now this is a word you hear, see and physically act out every time you leave your house. Many stores, restaurants and other public settings have signs with “social distance six feet” on them that everyone must enforce. We have grown accustomed to maintaining a certain distance between one another that it almost feels weird to be so close to one another now. “Social distance” is a phrase that is commonly overused to maintain precaution ever since the pandemic has taken place. 


4. “Flatten the curve”

Before the pandemic, if an individual were to use the phrase “flatten the curve,” many people would be confused and question what he or she meant. Oppositely, almost everyone now knows exactly what “flatten the curve” refers to, especially as it has become a nationwide goal for the U.S. We have constantly used this phrase ever since the beginning of the pandemic and will have a clear understanding of what is meant by it. 


5. Virtual 

Whether it is “virtual learning,” “virtually” or “virtual” itself, this word has had a rise in the ranks as one of the most popular words because of the pandemic. Since the physical meeting of large groups has become significantly hard, the new trend consists of using platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime to virtually talk to one another. Especially for students that are currently attending school online, “virtual learning” is a strategy that is being used to safely continue with the school year. The idea of being “virtual” was not popular in the past, but today it is a necessity in most situations.


Word graphic by Vivian Jung

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