It comes as no surprise that the word "lockdown" had become the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year 2020, the year when our lives were stopped in motion by the coronavirus pandemic. The word "lockdown" was used to describe the containment measures implemented by governments around the world to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Collins registered more than 250,000 usages of the word "lockdown" during 2020, compared with only 4,000 the previous year. It was also a unifying experience for billions of people over the world, who have collectively played their part in the fight against COVID-19.
It stands to reason that other common words used for 2020 were also associated with the pandemic. Social distancing, self-isolation, and pandemic have been regular utterances this year.
If "COVID normal" doesn't become the word of the year next year, then I think "QR Code" will. QR Codes are being used extensively as a no-contact way to gather contact tracing information from people. I would suspect a majority of the population wouldn't know what a QR Code is or what it does, but they are set to learn quickly.
Forget the word of the year, your ability to eat out at a restaurant may very much depend upon your capacity to master the QR Code.