“My name is Kovid and I am not a virus.”
Kovid Kapoor, a resident of Bangalore, India, wrote that tweet in February 2020, when the World Health Organization announced the official name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus: COVID-19.
Kapoor had no idea that he’d still be using that line as the coronavirus pandemic raged into his third year — and that he could perform simple daily tasks like ordering a coffee at Starbucks, checking into a hotel, or flying to Hawaii. Never show your passport at airport security. Same again.
The pandemic has radically changed the lives of many people who share the Sanskrit name for Covid. And many are tired of Kovid jokes. Many have also bonded on social media, creating a loose network to discuss and complain about their shared experiences of being mocked for a name meaning “scholar or learned person”— and is referenced in Vedic literature, including a Hindu prayer dedicated to the Lord. Hanuman – yet takes on a new meaning in the COVID pandemic.
“It’s gone absolutely crazy,” Kapoor told The Washington Post of Life with the deadly respiratory virus of the same name.
While Kapoor notes that the “d” at the end of her name isn’t a hard hit — it’s meant to be “covid-dah” — some of her experiences over the years have been almost tongue-twistering. For example, this covid believes that he contracted covid-19 at the corona virus vaccination center.
Kapoor turned largely to humour, telling his Twitter followers that he has been “Covid positive since 1990” – when he was born – and that he was only carrying his passport on his recent trip to Sri Lanka with airport staff. Those who were visiting for the first time could only laugh with careful review. countries during the pandemic. Or on the assumption Google must have misspelled its own name.
Or the time her friends ordered her a birthday cake with her name on it – yet the baker sent “Happy Birthday, Covid-30” to the frosting. The bakery has since apologized and offered her a free cake.
“Life threw me (and all of us) a sour lemon,” Kapoor tweeted. “I just decided to take it in good humor and make some lemonade out of it… [and] The sad part is that a lot of these are going to happen in the future, I believe in my whole life.”
When the head of the World Health Organization announced the new name for the virus in February 2020, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said experts had several issues to consider. “We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographic location, an animal, an individual or a group of people, and was also pronounced and disease-related,” he explained.
Yet the WHO did not spare this particular group of people.
“The first year it was hilarious,” Kovid Jain, 28, from the Indian city of Indore told The Post. A friend ran in to tell her in 2020 that she was sharing the same name as the new virus everyone was talking about. Jain, who got married in December the same year, said that “my friends used to say ‘we are getting married in the time of Kovid’ and we would laugh.”
Now, she chooses not to use her name in public, often using her husband’s name or other surnames, “to avoid unwanted ridicule.” “I use my initials KJ or my pet name Coco at coffee shops or food joints to avoid attention,” she said.
It’s tough for Zayn, who says she loves her name and that it has “deep meaning”. Her father, who is a professor, chose it.
Once, after wishing someone a Happy New Year, Jain got the reply, “We will not wish you a Happy New Year, COVID-19.”
Kovid Sonawane, 34, from Nagpur in Maharashtra state, said that while he understands the funny side, he is “mostly irritated by correlation,” especially when the jokes come from people outside his friend group.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, at the time the COVID-19 pandemic got its name, only three cases of the virus were reported in India. As of Sunday, India has lost 483,000 lives, according to John Hopkins University, with more than 35 million cases reported across the country. The highly transmissible Omicron outbreak has triggered an alarming spike in cases across the country, with some states resuming curfew-like measures to curb the spread of infections.
It is not just people named Covid who have been affected by the new words being added to the global vocabulary. Artist Omarion, whose real name is Omari Ishmael Grandberry, recently took to Twitter to clear up any confusion about his name and the Omicron version of the virus. Wishing fans a Happy New Year, he joked, “I am a musician and entertainer, not a variant.”
And some companies have been forced to respond. Delta Air Lines made headlines last summer as marketing teams reportedly scrambled to avoid mentioning the Delta version of the virus. According to the company’s CEO Ed Bastian, the “b.1.617.2” was easier to use or instead called the “darn variant”.
Corona Beer was one of the first to be affected. “The new coronavirus that was recently detected in Wuhan, China is not the same as Corona beer,” read a January 2020 article published by Forbes, in which people around the world called “beer virus” and “corona beer virus”. Googling words. “As they tried to find out whether the virus was linked to the drink that was made in Mexico.
Kapoor’s friends have also made connections. He captured a picture of her holding a bottle of beer, posting it on social media with the caption: “Hey look, it’s going to be a Corona COVID.”