Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

A COVID Lexicon

Wayne Grady

Summer 2021 - A COVID Lexicom

 

 

Natural disasters make us mistrust nature. Human-caused disasters make us mistrust one another. Pandemics, which are both natural and human-spread, make us mistrust everything. For all our vaunted adaptability, we don’t like change, and we respond especially badly to rapid change. As soon as we can, we make our new surroundings familiar by coming up with words or phrases to describe the new phenomena: in so doing, we domesticate change in order to take the threat out of it. Here are a few words and phrases that didn’t exist in the same way 18 months ago. They say something about our experience of the pandemic that cannot be said any other way; they have entered our language as suddenly as the coronavirus entered our lives …


Bio:

Wayne Grady is the author of sixteen books of nonfiction and three novels. His first novel, Emancipation Day, won the 2013 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and his most recent novel, The Good Father, was published in April by Doubleday Canada. He is also an award-winning translator, and for many years taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia. He lives in Kingston, Ontario, and Mexico with his wife, novelist Merilyn Simonds.