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Katherine McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: On 'Vaxholes'

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

This past year has been filled with loss and sacrifice, and many have turned to humor to cope. As a distraction and a mechanism to make discussing the pandemic easier, many young people have collectively created comedic slang for COVID-19 language. There is a new slang word on the rise that you must know about: vaxhole. The combination of "vaccinated" and "asshole," vaxhole is defined as somebody who excessively brags about being vaccinated, and as obnoxious as it can be, the rise in vaxholes is a sign that the end of this pandemic is in sight. 

Humor is a powerful tool, and comedic relief has brought many people comfort throughout this pandemic. Creating COVID slang words has the ability to bring laughter when dealing with such an unavoidable and dark subject. Some of the most memorable phrases that I’ve heard include, but are not limited to: “Mrs. Rona”, “stimmy checks,” “pandora,” “parallelogram,” and I’ve even heard somebody call the pandemic a “pepperoni pizza." “Vaxhole” is just the latest word added to our pandemic vocabulary as vaccine eligibility expands (the CDC strongly recommends that people get the vaccine once eligible, so everybody should get it as soon as possible).

I have begun witnessing many debates among vaxholes about which vaccine manufacturer is better. I recently overheard a conversation with two girls both insisting their vaccine was better. One exclaimed, “Pfizer gang rise up,” and the other said, “well, Dolly Parton funded Moderna!” As I listened in on their conversation, I couldn’t help but laugh at how passionate both girls were getting over such a trivial matter. It comes down to the fact that having the vaccine at all, especially as a young person, is a huge flex. It can take weeks to get an appointment when signing up through the Massachusetts vaccination program, so being able to snag an appointment inevitably comes with bragging rights. Hearing these conversations on a college campus brings me peace in knowing that members of the BC community are adhering to vaccination guidelines and recommendations.

Another common example of being a vaxhole is excessively posting on social media. I’ve seen countless numbers of Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook posts of people getting vaccinated. The posts range from selfies with vaccination cards, thumbs up with bandaids on arms, and even some videos of the actual injection. People will stop at no length to let others know they’re vaccinated. With that being said, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’m happy that social media encourages people to share content of their commitment to protecting public health and demonstrating support for science. In reality, we’re all just trying to cope with this pandemic in one way or another, and as silly as the notion of being a vaxhole is, getting vaccinated really is worth flexing. Spreading positive rhetoric about the vaccine and encouraging others to get vaccinated is necessary to returning back to normal life as soon as possible. So vaxholes, keep it up!