New words – 26 April 2021

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vaccine hunter noun [C]
UK /ˈvæk.siːn.ˌhʌn.təʳ/ US /ˈvæk.siːn.ˌhʌn.t̬ɚ/
someone who uses the internet to look for and organize covid-19 vaccination appointments on behalf of other people who cannot do this themselves

Some vaccine hunters brag on Facebook about landing 50 or 100 appointments, but every time I add names to my list I worry I won’t be able to find appointments for them since the situation is so challenging, and I feel pressure to deliver quickly.
[vox.com, 22 March 2021]

scariant noun [C]
UK /ˈskeə.ri.ənt/ US /ˈsker.i.ənt/
any new variant of covid-19 that people are very worried about because of the way it is reported in the media, despite the lack of scientific evidence to suggest it is any more dangerous than the original virus

Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, says this parade of “scariants” serves more to snag headlines and frighten the public than to further scientific understanding of the coronavirus. On Twitter this week, one of his colleagues … called out news stories about the California and New York variants for “atrocious reporting and sloppy science.”
[www.wired.com, 5 March 2021]

panpanic noun [C or U]
/ˈpæn.pænɪk/
a strong feeling of fear experienced by many people during the covid-19 pandemic, leading to a lack of reasonable thought and action

I am sick to the back teeth of the “panpanic” coronavirus has triggered. It’s time to take a collective breath and get a grip … The panpanic has the capacity to be even more serious and destructive. I am not insensitive to the unfolding tragedy and the thousands of tragedies within it. But it follows that now is not the time for everyone to panic.
[travelweekly.co.uk, 1 April 2020]

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