Things We Used to Say, and Still Do, But They Don’t Mean the Same

Howard Zaharoff, Things We Used to Say, and Still Do, But They Don’t Mean the Same

Things that don’t mean the same as before: pre-COVID vs post-COVID.

StatementTypical Context (Pre-COVID)Typical Context (Now)
Do you have curbside pickup?Speaking with trash collectorCalling up pizza parlor
♪♪♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♪♪Celebrating at birthday partyWashing in bathroom
Where’s your face mask?Preparing for Halloween partyPreparing for outdoor stroll
Where’s the nearest bathroom?Addressing gas station attendantPlanning hour-plus car trip
Please step back and give us spacePolice warning crowd near accidentShopper warning approaching shopper in supermarket
Do you Zoom?Nervous passenger to young driverMeeting organizer to elder participant
Please wipe that with an antibacterial cloth before you store it.Gesturing at garden tool coated in manure about to be left on garage shelfGesturing at box of arugula delivered by InstaCart about to go into refrigerator
How long will it take to schedule a delivery?Consumer ordering applianceShelterer-in-place ordering Wegmans
I need a haircut.Casual call to barberDesperate plea to hair stylist
Please wash your hands.Parent to child coming to dinnerWife to husband entering house
It was great seeing you.Friend leaving friend’s home while shaking handsFriend exiting FaceTime while waving at iPhone
Sorry, this is as far as I go.Driver pausing at final destination to drop off riderWalker pausing at social distance to greet acquaintance
Please breathe in and out slowly.Doctor with stethoscope instructing patient on examining table who is mostly naked from the waist upDoctor sans stethoscope squinting at MyChart image of patient who is mostly naked from the waist down
How soon will you reopen?Customer to proprietor (of store closed for casualty)Reporter to Governor (of state closed for COVID)
Howard Zaharoff
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