Until an effective vaccine is found to fight this pandemic, we need to enhance our self-discipline to fight Covid-19.

— Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Prime Minister

The Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to unusual and some say, questionable, baby names.

Last week, a former schoolmate shared on our alma mater WhatsApp a funny video of a teacher taking the names of her pupils in the year 2025, five years from now. And what was particularly humorous about the video is that all the pupils had names related to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the moment, the virus continues to plague the global market and the entire world is hoping a vaccine that can be approved for human use soon.

In the video, the students had names like Quarantine, Lockdown, Covid, Corona, Social Distan, Mask, Gloves, Handwash, Immunity, Pandemic, Vaccine, Sanitiser, Isolation, Wuhan, Redzone and Hydrochlorine.

In difficult times like now, everyone looks forward to funny jokes to brighten up their mornings or days. My hats off to the creator of the video for his or her great sense of humour and for sharing it with the rest of the world.

Indeed as someone points out, the only way to get through life is to laugh through it. You have two choices — to laugh or to cry.

Parents are already giving their babies Covid-19 related names. In April this year, an Indian couple named their twins — who were born during the lockdown — Covid (for boy) and Corona (for girl).

Proud mother, Preeta explained, “We wished to ease the anxiety and fear associated with these words and also make the occasion memorable.”

A baby boy, born in Utta Pradesh, India has been named Lockdown.

His father, Pawan told Press Trust of India, “We appreciate Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s efforts to enforce lockdown and save the people from corona pandemic.

“The lockdown is in national interest and so we decided to name the child as Lockdown.”

In April this year, ANI, an Indian news agency based in RK Puram, New Delhi, reported that a boy and a girl were named “Corona Kumar” and “Corona Kumari” by their respective parents.

The names were suggested to both sets of parents by a doctor who must have been very inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the Philippines, a child has been named Coviduvidapdap while Quarantina is a name that gained much public attention after a list of quarantine baby names went viral.

According to Hello!, a weekly magazine specialising in celebrity news and human-interest stories published in the United Kingdom since 1988, parents in the UK are opting for more positive names for their children born during the lockdown.

Quoting some interesting findings released by ChannelMum.com, the magazine said according to a poll of 2000 parents, 43 percent believed the pandemic would change the way UK babies were named. And seven percent had already changed a name choice due to the crisis.

Seven in ten surveyed listed hopeful “virtue” names, with Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience and Constance expected to come back into fashion. Fifty-four percent said they would consider a Rainbow name after the kids’ art trend. Popular choices include Iris, which means ‘rainbow’ in Greek as well as Indigo and Blue.

Also popular are ‘hero’ names such as Hero, Avery, Bravery plus Maverick for boys. Florence is also gaining popularity due to its links with the Nightingale hospitals.

One in five parents are considering a secure name for their child as the crisis continues. So a new trend is ermerging for “secure names” like Haven and Harbour.

A third of parents are picking happy names like Bliss, Joy, Blythe and Felicity for girls and Pax and Sol for boys.

The survey by ChannelMum.com also revealed that some names were being ditched because of their association with the word “coronavirus”.

Names like Corah, Corina, Rona, Viola, Violet, Lockie and Lochlan were losing favour because they reminded parents of the word “lockdown”.

ChannelMum.com baby name expert SJ Strum said baby names reflected changing times and never more so than when the world was facing a catastrophe.

Added the expert, “The current crisis means parents are understandably stressed and anxious, so are using new-borns’ names to celebrate new life and joy. Positive names are a wonderful way to keep focusing on the future and it means their names have real meaning.”

LiveScience, in an online article dating back to a decade ago, warns that good or bad, baby names have long-lasting effects. It acknowledges that choosing a baby name can be a challenging task for parents.

The article points out that plenty of research suggests the name chosen impacts a baby’s life well into adulthood. For example, giving a boy a girly sounding name can mean behavioural problems later in life.

That was why baby name books were extremely popular, said David Figlio, a researcher from the Northwestern University in Illinois.

So parents, work hard on your babies’ names. Remember, your babies have to live with the names you choose for the rest of their lives.