7 things you’d (probably) never heard of before coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 08:44 18 April 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 18 April 2020
The coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown that’s come with it has turned Blighty’s life and times upside down.
The way we work, shop and socialise today are totally different from what they were a couple of (very long) weeks ago.
Here’s a lighthearted look at a few things (and people) most of us had never heard of before Covid-19 came along.
1. Thomas Moore - He’s the (almost) centenarian with a heart of gold who’s become a symbol of generosity and kindness to others.
Wearing his Second World War medals and a smile, ‘Captain Tom’ has raised more than £20 million for NHS Charities Together by doing laps of his garden, helped by a walking frame. There have been calls for Captain Tom to receive a knighthood, and he will certainly have the birthday wishes of a nation when he reaches 100 years of age on April 30.
2. Prof Chris Whitty - England’s balding chief medical officer has become an unlikely hero for our troubled times.
His calm but rational insights into the outbreak have given us hope of a brighter tomorrow. Prof Whitty’s daily Downing Street briefing appearances have earned him an avid following. There’s even an online Chris Whitty Appreciation Society where you can buy t-shirts, mugs and phone cases emblazoned with his portrait - with all profits going to NHS charities.
3. Joe Exotic - Few of us could honestly claim to have been watching less television than usual over the past month.
And one of the break-out hits of the lockdown has to be Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
Former zoo owner Exotic is its star, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet” who once claimed to be US’s most prolific tiger breeder. He’s now doing 22 years jail time for murder and animal cruelty - oh, what twists and turns life can throw!
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4. Joe Wicks - The fitness coach had already made a name for himself as a TV presenter and author before the outbreak, but in the past few weeks his name has gone, well, viral.
Wicks’ new series of YouTube videos called ‘P.E With Joe’ were originally intended to help children keep active during the lockdown - but plenty of adults have been getting in on the act as well.
The videos have since been streamed millions of times and won him the Guinness award for ‘most viewers for a fitness workout live stream on Youtube’.
5. Zoom, Houseparty, and Co - If there’s one big ‘winner’ from the lockdowns it has to be video conferencing apps.
Everything from boardroom meetings to vets’ appointments and even pub quiz nights have shifted out of the real world and into our living rooms.
Many people have been surprised at just how smoothly they can carry on their daily lives in front of a webcam - often while wearing pyjama bottoms.
6. Furloughing - Not a welcome arrival, but most of us had never heard of this until the government started using the term as a byword for its paid-leave scheme during the pandemic.
Although many people may be enjoying having more free time on their hands they will no doubt be hoping it doesn’t go on too long.
7. Social distancing - We went from greeting friends and acquaintances with a handshake or a hug to being wary of getting within two metres of anyone we don’t live with.
This massive shake-up in social distancing all happened in the space of a month - with a slightly awkward period in the middle where people were bumping elbows.
When the pandemic is over we may never take simple gestures like a loved one’s kiss on the cheek or a friend’s high five for granted again.
*Do you think something else should be added to this list? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
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