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The Trump Flu Diaries: Chapter 29

(In which we announce yet another first annual thing — this time a word contest — while secretly hoping we won’t have to hold a second annual one.)

N.B. Jay Stone, former national critic for Postmedia newspapers, has been keeping a diary during what he calls the days of Trump flu. Here's his April 17 addition.

By Jay Stone

OTTAWA — I see where the Washington Post has released the results of its annual neologisms contest, in which readers are asked to provide alternative meanings for common words. They’re always brilliant — some of the winners this year include flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained; lymph (v.) to walk with a lisp; and Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist — but they don’t really address our current situation, although “flabbergasted” might be getting close.

Well, if Washington Post can do it, then we here at The Trump Flu Diaries can do it too, even though we lack their award-winning resources and invaluable proximity to Donald Trump. So in the spirit of friendly cross-border competition, as long as they stay on their side of the self-isolation line and wear their n95s, we are happy to announce our first annual Novel Coronavirus Wordplay Competition, inviting readers to redefine, not just common words, but rather some of the more popular words we have been hearing lately.

To get you started, I’ve compiled this list:

COVID (n.): The person with whom you share a Netflix account.

Pandemic (n.): A buying frenzy across a far-flung chain of kitchen stores.

Test tube (n.): An experimental subway system.

Vaccination (n.): A country with a lot of serum.

Quarantine (n.): The state of living in isolation for four weeks with an adolescent.

Ventilator (v.): Waiting a while before you open a window.

Sourdough (n.): Money already invested in the stock market.

Acute care (v.): The act of adopting a puppy.

WHO (pron.): An evasive interrogation made by a confused president who doesn’t take the blame.

ICU (v.): “You can run but you can’t hide.”

Herd immunity (n.): Rumours of a vaccine.

See how easy it is? Readers are invited to send in their own definitions. We’ll print all of them, since we seem to have no control over the comments section, and winners will get their names published in the diaries. So will the losers. So will people who don’t even enter, but are just here to ask if anyone has any sourdough starter.

The results should be in by the end of the day, so get cracking. Oh, and by the way, it’s Friday, so if you have anything to do on Fridays, do it first.

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