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  • Writer's pictureForeign, Or

COVID-19 Code: The Language of Lockdown

Life in lockdown means the world has a whole new set of experiences to share with each other. Here are some #coronaviruscodewords we use to communicate and cope:


First-hit Wuhan residents in Hubei province strove to stay positive in the midst of complete uncertainty and total lockdown. Trapped in the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus, neighbors shouted #wuhanjiayou to each other from their apartments, which roughly translates to 'Stay strong, Wuhan' or 'Let's go, Wuhan'.

Lockdown began January 23rd and is still in effect.


Having surpassed China in number of people lost to COVID-19, Italy has been hit hard and fast. Italians in quarantine stay strong with impromptu block party sing-a-longs and with these messages:

#andràtuttobene everything will be fine

#celafaremo we'll make it

#insiemesiamopiùforti we are stronger.

Massimiliano Martigli Jiang, a Chinese-Italian in Florence, made waves across the globe when he bravely defied racist backlash with his protest #iononsonounvirus or 'I am not a virus'.


The country has been building mass graves and sanitizing the streets with water cannons, and for fear that numbers might be misrepresented by the government the U.S. has sought to connect with the Iranian people with an encrypted app. The few who can use social media to connect use simple hashtags like #أنتم_قادرون ('you can') and #Iran. Take the time today to wish everyone a Happy Persian New Year with #نوروز and #nowruz!


The Spanish went under strict lockdown on March 13th, giving birth to hashtags like

#estevirusloparamosunidos ('we stop this virus together') and #yomequedoencasa ('I stay at home'). It also gave birth to this hilarious T-Rex chase in Murcia and this feel-good playlist on Spotify, making quarantining a bit more pleasant.


off to market (photo credit: my favorite American in Paris)

If you want to leave the house in France, you will need to have the proper paperwork. Those who breach the conditions will be fined. Facing an unprecedented peacetime lockdown, the French used hashtags #OnApplaudit ('we applaud') and #TousAlaFenêtre ('all at the window') to call on their own to take to their windows on the first night of the shutdown to applaud healthcare workers.



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