Making the best of it (dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic)

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by Kate Woodford

All over the world, people are adjusting to a new way of living as a result of COVID-19. At the time of writing, around a third of the world is on lockdown, permitted to leave home only for such reasons as food and medicine shopping. Even those of us who are lucky enough to be well and virus-free may be finding the sudden changes to our lifestyles challenging. With this in mind, I thought we’d focus on words and phrases around the theme of dealing with difficult situations.

Let’s start with some nice idioms. If you make the best of it, you make a difficult situation as pleasant and positive as it can possibly be: For now, we’re stuck in this apartment, so we’ll just have to make the best of it.

If you look on the bright side, you think about the advantages of a difficult or bad situation: It’s not an ideal situation but, looking on the bright side, I get to spend more time with my family.

 To count your blessings is to feel grateful for the good things in your life during a period in which there are lots of difficulties: We’re all healthy and we have food in the cupboard. You’ve just got to count your blessings, haven’t you?

If you rise to the challenge, you show strength of character in a bad situation, dealing successfully with it: Knowing Julia, I’m sure she’ll rise to the challenge.

Finally for idioms, in a difficult situation, if you grin and bear it, you accept it without complaining: There’s nothing you can do to change the situation. You just have to grin and bear it.

There are some useful phrasal verbs in this area too. If you put up with a bad situation, you accept it and deal with it: It’s a tricky situation for everyone but we have no choice – we just have to put up with it.

To get through a difficult period of your life is to manage to live through it: It’s going to be tough, but we’ll get through it together.

To resign yourself to something bad in your situation is to accept that you cannot change it: I don’t like working in the evenings but I’ve resigned myself to it.

Finally, a person who doesn’t complain or show negative feelings when bad things happen to them may be described as stoic /stoical or uncomplaining: Sam rarely complains about anything – he’s very stoical. / I’ve been impressed with the kids – they’re remarkably uncomplaining.

I hope you’ll find these words and phrases useful in the months and weeks ahead. Please stay safe.

37 thoughts on “Making the best of it (dealing with life during the coronavirus pandemic)

  1. RuizGarcía

    I think there’s a typo at the end of this sentence: “Let’s start with some nice idioms. If you make the best of it, you make a difficult situation as pleasant and positive as it can possibly here”.

    Instead of “here”, shouldn’t it read “be”?

    Kind regards.

      1. Niraj Parekh

        Thanks keeping us updated with the variety of new words. Cambridge Dictionary never monotonous me.

    1. Khalid Anis

      Respectable Madam,
      Kate Woodford,
      In your Blog of “Making the best of it (dealing with life during Pandemic ) of 1st April 2020.
      You have very nicely given the usages of Phrasal Verbs & Idioms.
      (1) Count your blessing is one good Idiom, We should be grateful to our God that he has given to us everything that we need to fulfil our need & necessities.
      So many good Pharasal Verbs ……
      Thanks.
      Yours Sincerely
      Khalid Anis.

  2. Marcel Beleyn

    Dear Kate,

    Over the years I have collected about 500 pages of ‘About Words’ and have begun to gap them, making them fit for study. Actually, some of my friends are interested in my collection and have asked me for a copy. Would you object to my doing so? I would love to oblige but I certainly do not want to infringe any copyright.
    What I would like most of all is for you to make all this valuable lexical work available in book form. I really do think that it would interest EFL learners across the world and that they would be happy to use it alongside the Cambridge Dictionary and other Cambridge publications such as ‘English Vocabulary in Use’ .

    1. Aftab Khattak

      Wow…That ‘s up to the mark & very encouraging to understand.I like such prhases & words to be part of my life.In this turbulent time of Corona let’s study books,dictionaries,digests,megazines and much more.
      I’m watering my brain by such posts/blogs aand books..

    2. Kate Woodford

      Marcel, thank you so much for your comment. It’s lovely to hear that you’ve found our posts so useful! Regarding the use of the collected posts, would you mind, please, emailing your request to dictionary@cambridge.org Many thanks – and best wishes!

  3. Satyakam Poddar

    It’s really nice and stimulating to utilize time in a positive way err.. make the best of it in a relaxed manner.

  4. Maryem Salama

    Being unfortunately locked down and counted within this third of the world, I must show gratefulness to your brilliant blog, which I would like to count it within my blessings. It wonderfully bridges the language to the situation; at the same time, it bridges my attempts to up to date English. Thank you, Kate.

  5. LE

    Bingo! Once again a brilliant post, Kate.
    Is it possible you could a couple of posts on giving a piece of advice, and asking for a favor , when you get a chance.
    Many thanks and stay safe everyone…

  6. Entre más exposición haya al virus más se absorbe una alta carga viral y más probabilidades de ocasionar una enfermedad grave. Por otro lado, si sólo se tiene contacto con una persona infectada de COVID-19 la carga viral será menor y las probabilidades de una enfermedad grave también.

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