Tag Archives: quarantine

Coronavirus Warnings

“Please be advised, within 48 to 72 Hours the president will evoke what is called the Stafford Act. Just got off the phone with some of my military friends down in DC who just got out of a two hour briefing. The president will order a two week mandatory quarantine for the nation. Stock up on whatever you guys need to make sure you have a two week supply of everything. Please forward to your families”

There is a current phenomenon happening that is based on fear around the coronavirus. The informant has received multiple messages such as the one stated above. Of course, there is no real two-week mandatory quarantine invoked by the Stafford Act, which is not what that is. The informant received this from friends and was unsure of where it originated from. They were not sure how to respond to it and it ended up just being a hoax. The purpose of this was unstated because the person that wrote this clearly knew this wasn’t going to happen. It was quite memorable because it obviously wants to stir up drama and fear in the American public.

This exact verbiage was found all over the country. All sorts of messages like these contain a reference to a third party, “a friend of a friend”, that claims to have inside information on the situation at hand. They could be considered rumors, which is a type of folk information, possibly a legend.

Car “Breeds” are Just as Important as Animal Breeds

Main story: 

With the current 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, veterinary technicians (hereby referred to as vet techs) are still slated to go to work as animal care is finally looked at as essential by most all of the U.S. However, nobody outside of the people who work in the clinics are allowed into the clinic. Vet techs are doing patient intakes over the phone and then asking the owner of the patient what car they are in so when they exit the clinic to the parking lot to get the animal to be taken inside and treated they know which car to go to. Because of this, vet techs are also having to learn what different car makes and models actually look like on top of everything else. So this meme is relatable across all veterinary clinics as this is the standardized procedure. But the other joke in the meme is the reference to car models as “breeds”, obviously dogs and cats and horses have breeds within their species that vet techs all know. And now they are having to memorize a whole other form of breed. 


The informant who made the meme is a veterinary technician. They are almost attacked by animals every day they go to work. However, no matter how crazy it gets with the animals, they maintain they could not imagine any other job. 


The informant is a coworker of mine, I am also a vet tech. They sent the meme in our clinic’s group chat. 

My thoughts: 

I found this very funny and highly relatable. As a vet tech myself, I find myself on the phone with clients and asking them what car they are in and only half of the time actually knowing what their car looks like. The other half of the time I am googling on the computer on my way out their car make and memorizing it quickly so I do not look completely out of touch and incompetent when I walk outside looking for the owner’s car.

Quarantine Meme: Hand Sanitizer

Main Piece:

Background: The informant and group of students in the chat respond and understand this piece because of its relevance. The young students feel a connection to the importance of hand sanitizer and also identify with the apple product AirPods. AirPods were an important new product circulating in 2019 which many students identify with. The meme pokes fun at the new best product of 2020 being hand sanitizer due to the coronavirus. 

Context: This meme circulated through a group of college students group chat in early April 2020. The students were all around 20 years old. 

Thoughts: This meme is interesting because it comments on the relevance of commercial products in folk culture. Social groups hold brand loyalty and identity with certain products and therefore those products are apart of their folk identity. In 2019 groups attached their identity to the new Apple AirPods. This brand loyalty is compared to the new identification with the hand sanitizer product due to Coronavirus. Now people everywhere identify with the hand sanitizer product and always have it by their side or attached to their belts. This commercially produced product has increased meaning to culture. 

Dalgonaa Coffee

Original Script: 달고나커피

Main Piece:

The following is transcribed from a conversation between the informant and the interviewer. It was conducted in Korean, and was since translated.

Informant: Dalgona coffee is a new viral recipe. Dalgona is the name of popular street candy in Korea, and the coffee is named after that because of the similar taste and color to the candy. So the recipe was first made in Korea, but you see people everywhere make the thing now.

Interviewer: Can you describe the recipe?

Informant: You mix sugar and instant coffee power, about the same ratio. You add a spoon of hot water, and blend everything. This is the key point, you have to like, really mix it. Some say it’s about 400 whips, but it’s more like 4000 if you’re using no electric utensils. Anyways after you mix it for like 10 fish minutes, the mixture’s gonna be really thick and have this beige color, which is the dalgona color. You pour a glass of milk, and drop that mixture on top. You mix the two and drink it.

Interviewer: Where did this recipe originate?

Informant: It wasn’t a thing until like, this year, once the stay at home order started. Koreans were just bored, and was looking for something to do I guess. It’s kind of the perfect thing to make in quarantine. This recipe requires a lot of manual labor, that’s the kind of stuff you need to distract yourself. And the coffee is delicious, so there’s that.

Interviewer: Why do you think the recipe became viral? Dalgona isn’t a widely known candy anywhere outside Korea.

Informant: I think it’s because everyone’s bored everywhere right now. No matter what nationality, people just want something to do. And with stuff like TikTok and Twitter, anything can be viral globally now.


The informant is a barista in Seoul, Korea. The recipe preexisted in different cultures, most notably in Macao. But around January of 2020, the recipe became a viral trend amongst Korean Twitter users, and it has since spread all over the world under the name ‘Dalgona Coffee’. On social media apps like Tiktok, making this coffee has gotten viral- under hashtag “dalgonacoffee” there are 280 million views on Tiktok, as of April 2020, and recreating this recipe has since become a viral challenge. Many cafes in Korea have since started actually selling this coffee, including the very cafe that my informant works at.


The conversation took place over the phone, and the informant was alone in his apartment during the talk, in a comfortable environment.

My thoughts:

I think this recipe had all the perfect elements to go viral. It’s extremely easy to make, and there’s just the right amount of mundane labor to keep you distracted, but not enough to tire you out too much. It’s a delicious coffee too, so it only made sense that people around the world took part in this challenge.

Quarantini: the social-distanced Martini

The following is a transcribed interview conducted over a video chat between me and interviewee, hereby further referred to as NC.

NC: Let’s have this conversation over some quarantinis. 

Me: Quarantinis? What are those?

NC: It’s just a saying for video chatting with your friends with drinks. Basically any drink that you make while you’re drinking at home by yourself or while cyber “drinking with friends” is a quarantini.

Me: What does that stem from?

NC: Well, because we’re in quarantine and can’t go out for martinis, we’re just gonna have to settle for our indoor social-distanced drink, the quarantini of your choice made with whatever you have on-hand or that isn’t sold out of your local grocery store. 

Me: Fair point. So just to be clear, any drink that you’re drinking is considered a quarantini?

NC: Well, other than like beer and wine. It’s basically any mixed drink but it doesn’t really matter what it is since no one can see what you’re drinking anyways!

Me: And where did you pick this up?

NC: Oh, everyone is just saying it. I’m sure it started out as a meme and spread from there.


Interviewee is a friend of mine who has been picking up on a lot of slang from other friends and classmates. She is a senior at an East-Coast University, but has since moved back to the west since COVID-19.


This piece of folklore was collected during a video call between me and interviewee during the Coronavirus Pandemic. I have known the interviewee for many years, so the conversation was casual. 


I think that people are doing what they can to get by during the stay-at-home orders and one of those things seems to be regular alcohol consumption. According to the news sources, alcohol purchase and consumption is up during the quarantine. Further, people are finding ways to socialize, even in social distancing. This was not the first time, nor the last that I heard the term “quarantini” to refer to a drink made at home during this time. The term is now fairly common and I have been also seeing quite a few memes about it as well.

“Zumped” Quarantine Folk Phrase

Main Piece: 

Informant- Last night I was zumped. My boyfriend and I hadn’t seen each other for a few weeks due to quarantine. He invited me to a zoom meeting last night and I was unsure what he needed. On the zoom he then explained that he was dumping me! Over zoom! 

Background: The informant recalls an interaction with her boyfriend where she was ‘zumped’. She used this word in a casual scenario combing the words zoom and dumped. This word and her phrasing poked fun at the odd scenario of being dumped through a video app. 

Context: The informant is a young adult, 22 years old and lives in New York City. Above are the words from the Informant using the phrase Zumped. She used this phrase in a casual conversation recalling the events from the night before. 

Thoughts: The combination of the word Zoom and Dumping is an interesting way for people to bring some humor to an odd scenario. This time of quarantine is very liminal, allowing for many new adaptations of folklore. This new phrase ‘zumping’ is popular because couples who can’t quarantine together are being forced to go their separate ways. This liminal time period has introduced many uncertainties and testing intimate relationships forcing them to communicate through zoom. 

Quarantini Recipe

Main Piece: 

Informant- “In my quarantini I like to combine orange juice, vitamin C, and tequila. So the vitamin c and orange juice give great energy and revitalize your immune system. And of course, the tequila kills germs! It’s a great way to relax and cleanse after a day in this quarantine.”

Background: The informant is the mother of three daughters, 54 years old. She lives in Northern California. The quarantine described above is a recipe created by the informant and represents her vision for an alcoholic beverage styled for the quarantine.  The beverage is a fun way to drink alcohol and disguise it as a medicine for the quarantine. 

Context: Here, the informant shares her recipe for a quarantini. I collected the information while watching her make and talk about the quarantini. 

Thoughts: The combination of the word Martini and Quarantine is an interesting way for people to bring some humor to a liminal uncertain time period. This time of quarantine is very liminal, allowing for many new adaptations of folklore. This new phrase ‘quarantini’ is popular because it brings lighthearted humor to an at home bar scenario. This new drink can change from house to house and usually incorporates alcohol, to protect from virus bacteria, and vitamins, to boost immune systems.  Alcohol sales have seen an increase during the quarantine and possibly because everyone is eager to make their own qaurantini folk medicine.