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COVID catchphrases impede our communication

Letter to the editor

To the Editor,

Our language, and hence our ability to communicate, is being distorted and impeded by the use of COVID catchphrases.

Terms such as “the jab,” “social distancing,” “vaccine hesitancy,” “flatten the curve,” “new normal,” “social bubble,” “we are all in this together” and “warp speed” simplify complex matters to a childish level.

For example, the term “warp speed” (which incidentally is Star Trek jargon) implies a glorification of the vaccine development which perhaps would be better described as “extremely fast development and widespread use of a vaccine (without long-term adverse effect assessments) under emergency use authorization.”

Other catchphrases that group people in categories, such as “sheep,” “sheeple,” “anti-vaxxers,” “anti-maskers” and “conspiracy theorists,” diminish the validity of individual perspectives and encourage divisions in our society.

We need now more than ever to be communicating clearly and on a mature level in order to deal with the complex problems our society is facing.

We can start by not using catchphrases. Our individual perspectives need to be voiced, understood and respected, and they should not be distorted or marginalized by catchphrases.

Dave Carter,

Castlegar, B.C.