Covid Masks

Covid Masks

Covid masks

Friends discuss Covid masks, vaccines and other lifestyle changes. The English Grammar focus is on Tag Questions.

Patrick: “Covid was always difficult for me. Especially the social distancing.”
Ernie: “That didn’t bother me.”
Patrick: “I have lots of friends. It was hard for me not to go out together.”
Ernie: “I’m a loner. But I missed restaurants.”
Patrick: “What about swimming? I missed the beach.”
Ernie: “I don’t swim much. I like long-distance running.”
Patrick: “So Covid wasn’t so bad for you.”
Ernie: “Not really, not after I got my vaccination.”
Patrick: “Lucky you.”
Ernie: “Yeah, I could even fly and it was okay.”
Patrick: “So this pandemic wasn’t all bad for everyone.”


Social distancing means protecting the public health by separating communities so that people who are stricken by a contagious illness cannot pass it on to others who are not. See online Medical Dictionary.
Go out means to go out with someone for entertainment. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: Tag Questions

“That’s pretty solitary too, isn’t it? Tag questions are normally sentence-final, and most ESL students have corresponding tag questions in their own language. French has n’est-ce pas? and German has nicht wahr? However, they are often invariant, so mistakes like the following are common: *”You’re going tomorrow, isn’t it?” In English, a comma sets off the clause anchor from the Tag Question.


Friends discuss workouts while Covid spreads. The English Grammar focus is Modals.

Boris: “Do you work out?”
Robert: “Quite a lot, actually. I jog every morning before breakfast, and pump some iron.”
Boris: “Every day? That accounts for the spring in your step.”
Robert: “It isn’t always that way. I got Covid way back at the beginning even before getting vaccinated.”
Boris: “You did! That must have changed your attitude.”
Robert: “I guarantee you these days we are fully boosted. So what do you do to stay in shape?”
Boris: “We wear Covid masks everywhere. I also jog, but not before breakfast. I’m a late afternoon person for my workouts.”
Robert: “I do mine early. I like to get it out of the way.”
Boris: “I also do tai chi. First a class, before Covid. But I do it on my own now.”
Robert: “How many things have changed these days.”
Boris: “Tell me about it. I keep having to reinvent the wheel in so many different ways.”
Robert: “Well, you can boost to the max and pretend like everything is the same.”
Boris: “Nothing is the same, but staying in shape is still hard. But I stay away from people more. That’s changed.”
Robert: “Yes, but you can’t cry over spilled milk.”


Work out is a phrasal verb which means here to engage in strenuous exercise for physical conditioning. See online Idioms Dictionary.
The spring in your step means an increased amount of energy or alertness. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Behind the curve means slow to react to changing conditions. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Out of the way means finished; dealt with. No longer stopping somebody from moving or doing something. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Reinvent the wheel means to do something again, from the beginning, especially in a needless or inefficient effort. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Boost to the max means to get booster shots as much as possible, maximally. See online Idioms Dictionary.
Cry over spilled milk means to be unhappy about what cannot be undone. See online Idioms Dictionary.

Suggested Topic for Comments: The Meaning and Use of Modals

“That must have rung some bells.” (logical probability) Modal Auxiliaries are used not only to express logical probability, but also in contexts of social interaction (e.g. “Children may ride bicycles here.”) and ability/tendency (e.g. “He can bench press 300 lbs.”).

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