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Coronavirus In Seattle
caption: A sign at a Seattle Fred Meyer amid the local COVID-19 outbreak.
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A sign at a Seattle Fred Meyer amid the local COVID-19 outbreak.
Credit: Dyer Oxley / KUOW

‘COVIDIOT’ and other ways the internet is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

A new pandemic means new memes, heaps of misinformation, and entirely new slang terms, starting with "COVIDIOT."

It seems the internet has begun reflecting the coronavirus crisis — for better or for worse — as people stay inside and go online.

According to the Urban Dictionary, a COVIDIOT can be defined by a few parameters. But it's mainly someone who ignores warnings about COVID-19 — perhaps promoting that "it's just the flu" — and fails to practice social distancing.

A COVIDIOT can also be someone who panics in light of the pandemic and hoards toilet paper instead of planning for essentials like food and rent.

Side note: No one has yet to spread my personal mantra of, "Don't have a pandemic, have a plandemic."

Elsewhere on the internet, the fact-checking and conspiracy-theory-debunking website Snopes is noting that misinformation about COVID-19 is spreading as fast as the pandemic itself. So fast, that Snopes' staff is having a hard time keeping up with it.

Snopes, which is based in Washington state, has started a page dedicated to COVID-19 information, and misinformation. For example: no, there has not been a scheme to release a virus during every election year. Also, Russia has not deployed 500 lions to force people to stay indoors during the pandemic.

Remember — consider the source of information and utilize trusted sources of news like KUOW.

While COVID-19 continues to prompt self-quarantines and social distancing, perhaps all the new free time -- and a bit of cabin fever -- has produced another viral spread in the form of memes and videos.