“In These Unprecedented Times”



One of the most oft-repeated phrases of the pandemic during these last nine months has been “in these unprecedented times.” You hear it on ads and government PSAs. You see it written everywhere. People use the phrase to describe the age of COVID-19 as if this was the first time the world has ever experienced a pandemic…or a recession…or Murder Hornets (back in my day they called them “killer bees”). The word “unprecedented” itself means “never before known or experienced.” In other words, there is no precedent.


Perhaps this is why I hate this phrase so very, very deeply. The use of the word “unprecedented” today is clearly unprecedented. Pandemics have been a major part of human history. We have been through Swine Flu and our great-grandparents experienced the Spanish Flu. We have had and will continue to battle viruses in the future. There will always be a new flu. We will have another plague. Perhaps we’ll ponder another form of pestilence, but none of these events are “unprecedented.”


So here are several other words to add to your arsenal when you’re grasping for adjectives to more accurately describe the age of COVID:



  • Anomalous: This means “deviating from or inconsistent with common order.” In other words, it’s a phrase used to describe when things are not normal or you’re experiencing an anomaly. I can’t think of anything more deviant from the norm than COVID-19.


  • Uncanny: If something is “mysterious and uncomfortably strange” it can be described as uncanny. For example, Communications Director Kent Brockwell has an uncanny resemblance to country singer Chris Stapleton. Perhaps even more uncanny is that Kent can’t carry a tune in a bucket. 2020 may be the most uncanny year of our lives.


  • Idiosyncratic: This is just a fancy way to say “peculiar.” But I guess we can’t write “in these idiosyncratic times” because most people wouldn’t understand the word.


  • Nonplussed: The fact that most people do not know what the word nonplussed means leaves me nonplussed. It doesn’t mean “unimpressed.” It means “to render someone utterly perplexed, and confused.” Shall we use it in a sentence? I was nonplussed about the idea of Zoom happy hours, but I have come to understand it’s okay to drink by yourself in front of a computer. #LetsGetPlussedUp


  • Discombobulated: This also means confusing or disconcerting, but I recommend we use the word “discombobulated” instead. Try it when you’re talking to someone next time. It’s such a fun word to say and people will pay more attention to you when you use it in a sentence. When I unsubscribe from an email and I get another email confirming that I unsubscribed from the first one, it makes me feel “discombobulated.”


  • Forlorn: Prior to the pandemic, I witnessed the phenomenon known as FOMO, a.k.a. the fear of missing out. The worst part about COVID-19 is how it has left us all feeling forlorn – ”pitifully sad, lonely, and hopeless.” It’s like the whole MOFO world went FOMO. Whatever happened to YOLO? DUNNO.




Monday, November 16 — Get The Picture

Last Friday, our rockstar Account Executive Allison Nida and Creative Director Art Webb took to the streets to film a video for our safe-driving clients at DRIVE SMART Virginia. It’s all about putting your phone down behind the wheel. It’s a pretty important topic we think. The weather held off and the team had a successful shoot! 


This Monday, Allison continued to jet set and spent the day with our friends at Compass Entertainment Complex playing mini-golf and arcade games. In actuality, she was working hard on a photoshoot. If you’re in the Northern Neck anytime soon, head over to Compass for some indoor bumper cars. Just make sure you’re not texting while you’re driving.


Tuesday, November 17 — Born To Rum 


Allison and Art were back on the road again Tuesday, headed to A. Smith Bowman Distillery. They spent the day sipping cocktails, er I mean snapping photos of cocktails for their website with our talented partner Levesque Photography. Speaking of sipping cocktails, the Madison+Main-iacs had another Zoom happy hour Tuesday afternoon. A virtual happy hour is decidedly less happy than a real happy hour, IMHO.



Wednesday, November 18 — Welcome Home

The Madison+Main-iacs welcomed a new puppy into the family this week, as Account Executive extraordinaire Andrew Simpson officially became a dog dad. Named Wilson after the volleyball in Tom Hanks’ famous flick Cast Away, he broke some hearts when he made his Zoom debut. Welcome to parenthood, Andrew. Is Wilson asking for money yet?




Thursday, November 19 —Putting In (Beer)Werk


Recently, we worked on some pretty nifty Facebook ads and landing pages for our pitcher perfect friends at the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Check them out here! Doesn’t it make you want to drop everything and go drinking in the Shenandoah Valley? I do have a few hours of PTO left this year…#hmmmm

Friday, November 20 — Carissa Takes The Cake

I took the day off to celebrate our wonderful Senior Art Director Carissa Ghaffari’s day of birth. Happy [redacted] Birthday, Carissa! I, for one, am totally glad you were born way back in [redacted]. I won’t say when you were born but I will say that I was listening to The Beatles a lot that year.


Here is some good news for your Thanksgiving celebrations. Our friends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery are having a lottery this weekend for their latest edition of Abraham Bowman, Gingerbread #2 — a limited edition vanilla, nutmeg, and brown spice whiskey. The lottery begins on November 21st for a chance to purchase your very own bottle. Set your calendar alerts now…this whiskey has been aging for 10 years and is the only thing that will get us through an “unprecedented” holiday season. For those of you who aren’t going to be with your families next Thursday, please stop bragging, and save this stuff for us. I wonder if M+M as a client gets an advantage? If I don’t get picked, I will be pretty forlorn.










A Few of Our Favorite Events


Salisbury Country Club | 13620 W Salisbury Rd, Midlothian, VA 23113
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 2pm – 6pm.
CowanGates, in partnership with Village Bank, is sponsoring a blood drive at Salisbury Country Club. Bring your mask and donate — giving blood will help save a life. Sign up today!

Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!



“The only way to survive is to have a sense of humor.”

Bob Newhart