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Florida, we’re halfway through 2020. Here’s a glossary of helpful terms.
Stephanie Hayes | From "Zoomy hour" to "pandemic baby," some simple definitions.
A South Florida student's high school graduation tassel.
A South Florida student's high school graduation tassel. [ WILFREDO LEE | AP ]
Published Jul. 1, 2020

Sincerest congratulations for making it to July 2020. We’re at the midpoint of an orbit we will never forget. In the yearbook of life, 2020 is the senior superlatives page sponsored by Cigna.

Coronavirus, quarantine and ensuing changes have produced a new lexicon in a matter of months. It can be hard to keep it straight, so here is a glossary to utilize the rest of this year.

These uncertain times: The daily trudge toward the edge of what might actually turn out to be a flat Earth.

Phase (1, 2, 3, 78, etc.): A unit of measurement in which Floridians can take part in public activities like going to the beach, working out in gyms and dancing at concerts with shark fin hats.

Global pandemic: A redundant phrase. The “pan” in pandemic means “global.” Please correct friends who use this. Your uppity sensibilities will annoy them, and what we need right now is more fighting.

The new normal: No one knows what this means. Please stay tuned for the 18th edition of this glossary when more information may become available.

Drive-thru: Once associated with fast-food cheeseburgers, now mainly a place to have your nose swabbed into the far reaches of the frontal lobe.

Related: Here's where to get tested for COVID-19 in Tampa Bay

Contactless curbside: A procedure in which the exchange of goods is attempted without physical interaction. One foot is positioned against the car while the body juts toward the to-go box of nachos in the manner of Swan Lake.

Restaurant/bar: Once a relatively minor distinction, it is now the difference between enjoying a sit-down meal or drinking a growler of craft beer while propped against a Penny for Pinellas sign on the bike trail, sometimes crying.

Socially distanced fun: A phrase accompanying Facebook photos to justify large groups. Most often used when not social distancing at all, but rather, hunkering in close proximity for a selfie.

Related: Social distancing doesn’t mean socializing while staying 6 feet apart

Cute mask!: Something you have never told anyone before 2020.

Application process: The term for navigating the unemployment system. In Florida, it involves a series of rotating hoops, a sea lion balancing a beach ball, a trapeze, six elephants, a pair of fishnet tights, those orange peanut candies and the FEIN number found on your W2 or 1099 tax forms.

Related: Here’s one man’s struggle to get through Florida’s unemployment process

Remote learning: Coded language for parents trying to teach kids “new math” while the children light the drapes on fire and proclaim their true names to be Damien.

An abundance of caution: A clause to decline in-person meetings, get out of going to the grocery store or escape any activity you don’t want to do.

Hop off the call: A chill phrase deployed to leave a virtual work meeting early with no repercussions whatsoever.

Mute yourself: A directive uttered with seething passive aggression when Wes from accounting is munching tortilla chips on the call.

Zoomy hour: A fun way to stay in touch with friends who have not turned on the lights in the house for six days, whose skin has gone sickly and whose hopes have run dry.

Pandemic dog: A creature brought into your home to combat the boredom of isolation.

Related: Look at my tiny dog if you feel dead inside

Pandemic baby: See above.

All things considered: A response when someone asks, “How are you?” and you ponder all the reasons you are not great, at which point you realize the air is pregnant with untold silence and you need to hop off the call.

Related: Read more columns from Stephanie Hayes

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