26 Comments

  1. Maybe during COVID shutdown she “went” to ten graduation parties via Zoom, but since being able to attend in person is more fun, she is now hoping to make it to twenty “live” parties? Unless they’re spread out over a few days, though, that seems overambitious even for a Montoni’s-pizza-stupefied teenager. Otherwise I got nothing.

  2. Batuik is infamous for inventing “cool modern lingo” that no teenager nor college student has ever been heard to say (outside of his own strips).
    P.S. To his credit, he (or his assistant) is still hand-lettering the strip, even if that makes a definitive identification of “IO” vs. “10” more difficult.

  3. At first I thought it might be based on some idea of the number of of people you come in contact with or infect. But seeing how central food seems to be to the comic, I agree with Snickers. I think the COVID 10 is putting on 10 pounds while isolating and she’s going to double that.

  4. Yes, the “COVID ten” is like the “Freshman fifteen”. Though personally I’m astonished people don’t refer to it as the “COVID nineteen”!

  5. @ Kilby

    Right you are, and Batiuk’s trademark squiggly L is one of the few endearing little things I find in the strip. That said, Batiuk, in his interview with the New York Times a few years ago (which was largely about him preparing to kill off Bull), states that he does have a font on his computer for his lettering… though he also claims he does not often use it (or his computer drawing program), daring the Times reporter to tell him which strips are hand-lettered and drawn which use the font.

  6. Phil Smith III – Using the phrase “Covid nineteen” would be a lot more fun, but no one would get it. It would be hard to use that in a way that people would associate the nineteen with the virus and not pounds. I’ve used “Covid 15” a few times and had to explain it each time. People thought I was referring to a different variant.

  7. Patrick: The people I know who used to eat out a lot mostly lost weight. Folks who cook, not so much. That’s been my observation, anyway.

  8. I have said to several people that that’s the real reason it’s called COVID 19, because that’s how much weight people gained during lockdown. And that’s certainly what the comic is referring to.

  9. Unbelievably, I’ve lost weight. Probably ’cause we don’t eat out any more; my bad cholesterol has decreased and good cholesterol has increased, despite baking quite a lot the last year (and, obviously, eating the results). My dr. was pleased.

  10. I lost weight during the worst of the lock-down, only because my introverted self liked that I had nowhere to go. I’ve since gained it all back.

  11. Quite a few people were at home with not much to do. Cooking and eating were popular pastimes in the early “quar”. Weight gain was a reported thing. I had stopped being a productive member of society a couple years before, so not a lot of effect for me.

  12. That doesn’t make sense to me, as she is clearly not isolating. She’s eating.

  13. I also like the doubling the quarantine period interpretation, which would presumably be on account of so much additional exposure.

  14. Why would you double the quarantine period? Extra exposure doesn’t work that way. In fact, it makes it more likely you’ll be symptomatic or test positive within the usual period. And what does all the food they’re eating have to do with it? I think weight gain is much more likely.

  15. What do you mean, “at one time intelligence quotient”? Did someone wave the magic wand and make it some other term?

  16. Ed asks : What do you mean, “at one time intelligence quotient”? Did someone wave the magic wand and make it some other term

    Of course that’s still how the initials would be expanded out, in situations where you have to supply an expansion. But “IQ” so often functions on its own to mean “ability level” or something like that, as in “emotional IQ” etc., where that (or any) expansion just wouldn’t work. Also “subject area knowledge level” where a measure is implied but by no means numerical – “Let’s find out your History IQ”.

    Also, there have long been problems with the underlying theory and math, depending on factoring out a real “general intelligence” factor. Aptitude tests are still used but it is acknowledged they do test for learned content as much as abstract innate ability, which is what the concept was supposed to be about originally.

  17. I wasn’t sure what the phrase “at one time“ was supposed to mean either, but the rabbit hole it led me to revealed an extremely disturbing relationship between intelligence tests and the justification of some of the nastier excesses perpetrated by the eugenics movement. I can now understand why some universities are moving to strip the names of eugenics supporters from their buildings and programs.

    P.S. That rabbit hole wasn’t entirely unpleasant: I also discovered a wonderful quote from Stephen Hawking, upon being asked about his IQ: “I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.

  18. We both lost weight also at the start of the pandemic.

    In mid March 2020 we went food shopping. Normally we ate lunch out daily (husband has a fascination with Wendys and since lunch cost us US$3-something for 3 junior burgers and free senior sodas so it was hard to say no at that price) and we ate out or took in 3 dinners a week (with our Saturday night date night dinner out at – yes – Wendys again, but cost more as he ate more due to it being dinner and insisted I needed more than one junior burger for dinner) .

    So seeing what was ahead we went to supermarket. The shelves were almost bare – if there were 50 cans in the canned good aisle it was a lot. Freezer and refrigerator sections almost empty – and NO meat at the meat counters.

    So based on this he was worried we would last a week – i figured 2 months easily. but did not dispute him when he cut us back to 1/2 to 2/3 “rations” and at the end of the 2 months we still had food but he decided we needed more and ordered first from BJs (he had a coupon) mostly to get meat type items – which they were mostly out of even though the order had been accepted (in one case we were offered a bag of ice as a substitute for a meat item). The only meat we ended up actually getting was 7.5 lbs of beef for stew – and the fatiest stew meat I have ever seen – still have about 3 or 4 lbs of it in the freezer. He then tried ordering from Walmart and WMs here do not deliver so our order came from assorted WM warehouses across the country – from CA to MA over a week. 60% of the cans were dented – some almost in half. Boxed items (like cake mixes) looked like someone had jumped on them. We got 2 big bottles of cooking oil (only of same listed and we still are on the first bottle) and the necks were bent into the bottles and still do not come out of the bottles. But it made him feel better..

    Our dining room table was covered in all of this until Thanksgiving 2020 came – since then my work table in our studio has been covered as we needed the table for Thanksgiving dinner (and yes, he did manage to get a turkey).

    Most of it has come back since we are eating more normally. Just made pudding tonight with the wonderful canned evaporated milk which I remembered early on can be used as substitute for regular milk and stays usable much longer than fresh milk. (I paid attention in Home Ec.)

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