One word to sum up the coronavirus year

Letters
·1 min read

As a volunteer in the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial, I read with interest your article (‘It’s a great day’: Oxford coronavirus vaccine volunteers on trial data, 23 November). Yes, I am proud to be taking part, but also slightly disappointed at the lack of chocolate biscuits available to participants, as we were always given when donating blood. I look forward to receiving my Penguins in the post now that success has been confirmed.
Barbara Thompson
Sheffield

• The reception of the Oxford vaccine with its 70% effectiveness puts me in mind (no doubt unfairly) of the Michael Bentine sketches of old, where his demonstration of a startling new technological breakthrough would end in sparks, smoke, general malfunction and the rueful punchline: “Anyway, it’s British.”
David Marcer
Maisemore, Gloucestershire

• I was surprised to see that “furlough” did not feature in your article about the Oxford English Dictionary’s words of the year (Oxford Dictionaries: 2020 has too many Words of the Year to name just one, 23 November). Perhaps it has been laid off temporarily.
Gary McGregor
Garvald, East Lothian

• The OED says this year cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word. “Shit” will do in my book, and I suspect for many others.
Simon Maddison
Hitchin, Hertfordshire

• How about “chumocracy”?
Don Macdonald
London