Khok: Words in the time of COVID-19 – SunStar Philippines

THE enemy now has a name.

The World Health Organization named the 2019 novel coronavirus as the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19).

In my simplistic analysis, the 2019-nCoV was a generic name for the new viral disease, much like calling an unidentified murder victim as John Doe. Until such time his profile is known, he remains JD.

So many “viral” ideas have been bandied around that I thought I could join in with how words are used in the time of COVID-19. Here are my examples.

OLD 2019-NCOV does not mean “no co-love on Valentine’s” neither does COVID-19 mean “create viral disorder, 19 ways.”

Seriously. Being sensible is a good way to prevent COVID-19 infection. According to, which quoted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, frequent hand washing with soap and water can help prevent infection. Use alcohol or alco-based hand sanitizer if you can not wash your hands. Rub the alcohol well around your hands and fingers.

Avoid touching your face especially if you are sick. COVID-19 or no COVID-19, it is polite to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. The CDC said a tissue may be used for this purpose.

VIRUS. My neighbor pronounced virus as “various.” Virus and various almost sound alike. Webster defined “virus” as many or having a number of aspects. To use in a sentence: “XYZ has virus activities, such as spreading rumors, sharing fake news, hoarding on face masks and selling them at an overpriced amount.”

Seriously. What is a virus? According to Livescience, it is a “microscopic parasite that lacks the capacity to thrive and reproduce outside a host body.”

Maybe the emergence of this new disease can train us to be more polite and hygienic when we have an infection. We can also start switching to a healthier lifestyle.

HOARDING. It is not the name of your neighbor Hoardingsio de la Cruz.

Seriously. I think people who hoard on goods in time of crisis should be penalized. The hot item of the hour are face masks (FMs).

FACE MASKS. It is not the same one used on the movie “V for Vendetta,” although some people use FMs with the same vengeance. An FM is not a chin mask nor is it a mouth mask.

Some people just cover their mouths or place the mask on their chins. When I ask them why, they reply: “If I cover my nose, I can’t breathe well.”

Seriously: According to the CDC, the best way to use FMs is to ensure it creates a seal round the V area of your face: The nose and the mouth.

With these thoughts, I end this week’s store chat. Let us keep praying the viral conflagration will end with the cold water of COVID-19 medicine and vaccine. Sooner than we think, I hope.

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