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Five Acronyms that Sum Up my S.I.P.
Maria Ramos-Chertok Maria Ramos-Chertok
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Francisco , CA
Wednesday, May 27, 2020


I learned my first Coronavirus pandemic acronym in an email exchange with a colleague.  She hoped that my “SIP” was “going as well as expected.” I paused for a moment and then the brain cells aligned.  Who knew that only two weeks into the official order to shelter in place (aka SIP) there’d be a way to reduce the life-altering experience into three letters of the alphabet?  I felt like I’d missed an entire social agreement.  But the acronyms continued.  PPE was the next one.  News reports referenced it and even my husband, a dental surgeon, walked around lamenting the lack of available personal protective equipment.  Then I learned that COVID-19 is even an acronym:  Corona Virus Disease – 2019.

The SIP experience inspired my own series of acronyms.  Unlike the pithy, creative, catchy, pronounceable, and easy to remember characteristics of most acronyms, mine are lengthy, arduous, unpronounceable, and lacking ingenuity. 

HYNTGIO? – There’s now lots of people here at home with me.  Yes, I’ve met them before but not for this long.  Some of these folks have been tasked with chores, one of which is to empty the garbage.  More people at home equals more garbage.  Have You Noticed The Garbage Is Overflowing? is the phrase I find myself uttering repeatedly.  It’s a curiosity, a wonder.  It seems that HYNTGIO? is needed to effectively communicate via text with my teens, conveniently the ones who inspire this well of inquisitiveness.

TNIEMBICS – At the beginning of SIP, I was glued to the television.  I’d sit in terror as the death count rose daily and, not surprisingly, found I was having trouble sleeping.  Each day I’d get inquiries from families and friends wondering how I was doing.  It feels like an easy response could be The News Is Exhausting Me But I Can’t Sleep

AIWDIBWN – a closely related cousin to TNIEMBICS is my lovely, more honest truth:  All I Wanna Do Is Binge-Watch Netflix.  To date I’ve watched all thirty-one episodes of Money Heist, two episodes of Unorthodox, two episodes of Fauda, all seven episodes of Hollywood, ten episodes of Upload, four episodes of How to Get Away with Murder, and one episode of Queen Sono.  Enough said. 

IANA! – I’ll admit that she’s now a part of our family.  She responds on command, has a high tolerance for harassment, assists meal prep with her reliable timer, and is always willing to tell you a joke.  And while I applaud her AI, I Am Not Alexa!  I do not respond on command, I have a zero tolerance for harassment, I am not going to set a timer for you, and don’t expect reliable entertainment.  I have up days and down days and that’s what makes me human in this zoomy-zoom world of ours.

And, finally, MYBSAFMOLBTMOEPTYD — May you be safe and find moments of laugher between the myriad of emotions passing through your day ?

Photo by Thibault Penin on UNSPLASH

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Name: Maria Ramos-Chertok
Dateline: Mill Valley, CA United States
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