As a verb, “to zoom” means to move very quickly, particularly while making a humming or buzzing sound. In this form it was coined onomatopoeically in the 19th century, but it now has a new meaning owed to the videoconferencing corporation of that name, founded in 2011 but unknown to most till recently: shall I Zoom you? Can we Zoom? As an exclamation, says the OED, “zoom!” “frequently used to express a sudden swift movement or (figurative) a rapid change, as a sudden rise or fall in fortunes”, which is after all quite appropriate for these times, as well as for Zoom’s own stock price.
MORE IDEAS FROM From 'alert' to 'zoom': Steven Poole's lexicon of lockdown
The word “alert” comes from the Italian “all’erta”, literally “at a high place”, describing a military watch or guard duty. The UK government’s advice to “stay alert” in order to “control the virus” therefore implied that it would be easier to spot an invisible microbe if one were standing on a hill. Perhaps the underlying motivation for this much-ridiculed slogan was that it set the rhetorical scene for future spikes in deaths to be blamed on the people themselves. Did you die of Covid-19? Too bad: you weren’t alert enough. Survival of the fittest, and all that.
Research shows that, whenever we help others, we help ourselves too. This happens because we focus on someone else's needs rather than ours, which enables us to feel less stressed and more connected to the ones around. Therefore, our actions turn out to be beneficial both for the recipients and for the helpers.
Currently, the entire world is focused on getting to know how long the pandemic will still last. One segment of the population, who is particularly exposed, is the one made up of single people.
As they have to choose between staying single and putting themselves at risk, this tends to become quite a challenge.
Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.
Working from home will become the new normal for many. Some employees will be working from home for the first time, and need to figure out how to stay on task.
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