Before Times is an informal term used to refer to the world as it was prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s usually used with the, as in the Before Times. Before Times is generally used in discussions that contrast the lasting and far-reaching effects (especially negative effects) of the pandemic to the way things were before it. It’s typically used in a way that’s intended to be at least somewhat (darkly) humorous, perhaps likening the world after the start of the pandemic to a postapocalyptic dystopia. In contrast, the adjective prepandemic is often used in the same contexts, but it is used neutrally, without any humorous intent. Example: I’ve been in my house hiding from covid for so long that I can’t even remember what it was like in the Before Times.
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