Two words should be banned from iso


The coronavirus lockdown has given rise to the "no excuses" mob and, as someone who has built a life on excuses, I'd like to list my excuses as to why I won't partake in this movement.

The overenthusiastic fitfluencer and blogger crowd have started using this phrase against us and it's time we took a stand.

We've talked about it in this column before. I love excuses. And most of you do, too.

Sometimes I don't sleep at night because I'm unsure of the excuses I'll serve up the following day to get me out of doing things. Even for commitments I've actively chosen to partake in, I'll still whip up an excuse to slip out of them.

Making up excuses is such a rush - like pulling off the ultimate heist. You're never completely sure if you can execute it - and even when you do, you've got to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder, making sure you remember the fake details lest someone attempts to trip you up.


But there are some people who are trying to ruin our excuses in lockdown. They first emerged on Instagram - personal trainers with too much pep and enthusiasm telling us we should all just adapt to isolation and exercise with whatever's on hand.

"Come on guys, no excuses! The gym might be closed but you've got a park - and the outdoors is nature's gym. NO EXCUSES!" one celebrity PT lectured on his Instagram stories before doing chin-ups on a tree branch.

Ugh, annoying. Firstly, how presumptuous to just assume we're all being lazy and making excuses to get out of exercise. I mean, most of us are doing that, but it's the height of hubris to just conclude I'm making excuses, even though I am. How dare you, fitfluencers.

A video glided into my feed of a trainer exercising with gallons of laundry detergent as makeshift weights and I developed a rotator cuff injury just from watching it.

And then Chris Hemsworth comes along and makes his fitness app free for a few weeks, so really we legitimately have no excuses. Stop taking away my barriers, Chris!

The fitfluencers with their fit-spirational content is one thing. Then we've got annoying motivational bloggers telling us to start meal prepping and begin that hobby and launch that side hustle or take advantage of that free online course because NO EXCUSES. We've now got time on our hands in isolation and, according to them, that means no excuses.

Stop taking away my excuses, Christopher.
Stop taking away my excuses, Christopher.

Even the social commitments have become too much. I've seen my friends and colleagues and family more in the past two weeks than I have in a year because everyone's desperate to FaceTime and Zoom and Houseparty. None of us cared about human interaction before COVID-19, but the moment socialising is banned, we all decide we want to do it.

My colleagues keep trying to organise after-work drinks over Houseparty and I keep trying to get out of it but it becomes awkward because I don't have a legitimate excuse not to dial in. I'm lying on my floor in my underwear and listening to the same Norah Jones song on repeat, like everyone else in the country (minus the Norah Jones song, probably). I'm available, I just don't have the energy to sit on a video call and talk about the same old rubbish again.

Let's reinterpret the "no excuses" mantra and make it our own. We will no longer be guilted into giving excuses for what we don't want to do. We'll live by the "no excuses" motto and instead interpret it to mean no excuses or justifications are required. Take that, fitfluencers!

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This current global situation is a struggle and we already bash ourselves enough with guilt.

We don't know what's going on behind the scenes for other people. We've either lost our jobs or are worried about losing them or know people who have. We're sick or know people who are. The whole thing is overwhelming and stressful.

Some days you drink too much. Other days you sleep in way too late and then there'll be a whole week where you don't sleep enough because you've suddenly become addicted to Ozark on Netflix and feel compelled to binge-watch all three series until 4am while you binge-eat every kind of sugared carbohydrate you can find in your house. We're responding and reacting to how we feel in the moment.

We do what we can and sometimes that's good enough. No excuses necessary.




Last week's column about Karens generated immense feedback. Mostly about what the collective noun is for a group of Karens.

(Karens being the universally acknowledged name for entitled middle-aged white women - and men - who are always demanding to speak to the manager.)

I suggested a value pack of Karens.

Kerry messaged in to suggest a tsunami of Karens. A vicious of Karens was offered by RJ while Jim thought a spite of Karens was more appropriate.

Also in the mix: A shrill of Karens and a rage of Karens.

We also had a few suggestions for who Karen's judgy mum is. Some suggested Susan, but others disagreed and reasoned Susan is probably Karen's meek pal from school who's too scared to end the friendship.

Carol and Wendy were also suggested monikers for Karen's mum. Lorraine and Barbara, too. But the consensus seemed to be Judith.

We've already alerted Merriam-Webster.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @hellojamesweir

Originally published as Two words should be banned from iso