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Letter: 'Anti-vaxxer' is actually the perfect word to use right now

A response to another letter about pandemic language
People deemed clinically extremely vulnerable have been prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine.


I was surprised to see while reading your Opinion column today that your last contributor, Dave Carter, seems to have strong opinions on what people should say regarding the Covid 19 pandemic.

Words like “the jab” and “anti-vaxxer” and “social distancing” (aka the act of distancing… socially) are to be stricken from the lexicon, and only scientific terms such as… well, I don’t know actually, as Dave seems to have forgotten to provide examples of what we should say in lieu of complaining about ‘those darn people and their lingo’.

While “pandemic” is a word we all know by heart, the English language has this uncanny ability to adapt and evolve to fit the world situation. When I told my friends and family I got “the Jab”, it was cause for celebration, as that meant that I had obtained my vaccination. And when I am walking on the street and someone with no mask and a sign saying masks are against their rights appears, I can ignore them like the “anti-masker” they are.

How else are we to put such strange times into words that everyone can understand? Would one prefer to use “gaggle of morons” to describe a gathering of anti-intellectuals who insist their rights are somehow being violated by being asked to care for others? Or should we return to ye olde days of yore for our language, and refer to this disease only as The Pestilence?

Actually, come to think of it, that’s a pretty good way to describe the disease that has kept me from expanding my “social bubble” and seeing my friends for a year and a half. We have all been in this together, and we will continue to be, regardless of what people think or feel.

Dave Carter seems to be under the impression that he is the only one who matters in this wide world of language. And while he’s too annoyed at people for using new words to describe a situation we have never seen before in our lifetime, I hope that he and others remember to “flatten the curve” so we can all “Live Long and Prosper”. Don’t let your annoyance reach “warp speed” on your way to the socially distanced library.

Jen Hiebert