New words for pandemic problems raises money for mental health

Aside from the really big and bad stuff, the pandemic has also presented us with a host of new smaller challenges and hurdles to our everyday lives. Does anyone have a good solution to foggy eyeglasses?

Toronto agency Mixtape has defined some of those relatively minor pandemic predicaments with “New words for now,” a new effort to spread smiles and raise money for mental health. Left your mask at home again? That’s “Masknesia.” Confused by all of the direction arrows in public spaces? That’s “Footwhere.”

The agency coined six new words in all and created a line of merchandise that is being sold at

“What we’re all facing with this pandemic is new and difficult, and we don’t even have the words we need to talk about it. ‘New Words For Now’ sets out to change that in a light-hearted way that recognizes we’re all going through the same thing,” said Mixtape’s creative director, Greg Shortall, in a release.

Along with Masknesia and Footwhere, other expressions include:

  • Smeyeling: “Smiling with your eyes because that’s all you’ve got to work with.”
  • Zoommates: “People you practically live with on video chat.”
  • Sighfive: “Disappointed you can’t make contact when high-fiving.”
  • Fognocle: “When your eyewear gets steamed up from your mask.”

The merchandise line includes crewnecks, stationary cards, notebooks, totebags and masks, each adorned with illustrations by Toronto-based illustrator and designer Sara Kralovanszky. All proceeds go to CAMH or

“Hopefully one day we can look at these items as a memento of these strange times,” said Shortall. “Almost like a badge of honour: ‘I was there and I got the T-shirt’—or in this case, the crewneck sweater.”

David Brown