Remember ‘Covidiots’ and the first protests by ‘anti-vaxxers’? -- A new book on 'Viral Language'

A cartoon-style image showing a group of people wearing medical masks © Getty Images | Red Diamond

With the Covid inquiry in full swing in the UK, it s easy to forget the early stages of the pandemic. But those weeks and months saw plenty of new words enter the public ‘voice’, even if many of these novel terms were actually fairly short-lived. Others are here to stay, such as ‘zoom fatigue’, an effect of the increase in video-conferencing, and ‘lockdown’ of course.

Viral Language, the new book by Dr Luke Collins and Professor Veronika Koller, sheds light on the Covid-19 pandemic in public communications and debates and takes a look at how language was used about and during the pandemic.

It will also show how experiences of health and illness can be shaped by political messaging, scientific research, news articles and advertising. The studies range from how Departments of Health used social media to how beer brands advertised during the pandemic and are illustrated with plenty of examples.

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