Some words and phrases we can retire after quarantine

The VIEW from here



I’m not sure what day it is today, maybe Maypril 33rd, I don’t know. I’ve lost track after Day twenty-something of the stay-at-home order.

I’ve been fully equipped to work from home so my days, nights and weekends just sort of blend together after a while.

Seriously…and it is a very serious subject…as we weather out the pandemic by staying at home and we practice good social-distancing, we are doing our duty to the rest of our world by not contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Without these practices more people would be sick, and many would die. As someone with a compromised immune system, I am entirely in support of doing whatever we need to do to prevent the spread of this disease.

But when it’s all over, I really want to see some of the words and phrases associated with the COVID-19 outbreak permanently erased from our vocabulary. Here are some examples of the verbiage I will be happy to see retired when our lives eventually go back to normal:

SHELTER-IN-PLACE — Also referred to as “stay-at-home.” Let’s just call it what it really is, we’re quarantined. The definition of quarantine is to “impose isolation on (a person, animal, or place).” Sounds pretty much like what we’re doing right now. Shelter-in-place is just a way to say “quarantine” and make it sound like it’s just a safety measure.

ESSENTIAL AND NONESSENTIAL SERVICES — Having your livelihood referred to as “nonessential”

is, well, kind of mean. Likewise, an “essential service” could quickly go to someone’s head. As a member of the media I’m classified as “essential”, but I can think of so many others who are far more deserving. It will just be nice when we can all just go back to having a job and there isn’t a label slapped on it.

SOCIAL DISTANCING — This has become the all-inclusive phrase when talking about safe practices for preventing the spread of the disease. As I read somewhere recently, it gives new meaning to the phrase “I wouldn’t touch you with a 10-foot pole.” Can’t we just say, “keep your distance” or “wash your hands”?

FLATTEN THE CURVE — This term has been used to convey the message that with protective measures, health officials believe we’ll see a lower number of COVID-19 cases. Thus, they are flattening the curve on a graph which would show a rising number of patients.

So until it’s safe to go back to work, return to school and congregate in groups once again, we’ll continue doing things like “sheltering-in-place” and we’ll practice “social distancing” until we “flatten the curve” and beat this thing once and for all.

I know I for one will have a much deeper appreciation for the way life used to be and I look forward to getting back to the way it used to be. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and stay home.

Gary Gould is the managing editor of the View Newspapers. Contact him at 810-452-2650 or email at