Fear, Hesitancy, Denial: Perplexed by Lexicon?
The pandemic saw the rise of a new vocabulary, one that is more complex and scientific than anything used pre-2020. Medical terminology like “quarantine”, “efficacy”, and “pandemic” are now thrown around in idle conversation and some colloquial words, like “mask”, now pretty much refer exclusively to their medical definition. Language is the tool by which we interact with other people, and an increasingly important one during these times when we’re all so far apart. But what happens when this tool is inaccessible to a large swathe of the population? How do they choose to engage with the narrative? Do they even engage with it at all?
Carthaus, Anna. “Corona confusion: How to make sense of the numbers and terminology.” DW. March 20, 2020.
Corum, Jonathan and Carl Zimmer. “How Moderna’s Vaccine Works.” NY Times. May 7, 2021.
Klepper, David. “Viral thoughts: Why COVID-19 conspiracy theories persist.” Associated Press. April 6, 2021.