First there was Corona Kumar, then Covid Marie: parents have taken to naming newborns after the coronavirus, apparently unperturbed by the prospect of their children being forever associated with a deadly pandemic.
When Colline Tabesa gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the central Philippine city of Bacolod on April 13, she and the father John Tupas decided to mark the occasion with a show of gratitude.
“This COVID-19 has caused great suffering around the world,” said 23-year-old Tupas, expressing relief after the uneventful delivery.
“I wanted her name to remind us that COVID did not only bring us suffering. Despite all of this, a blessing came to us,” he added.
And so, Covid Marie it was.
Weeks earlier, two mothers in southeastern India had had similar ideas, apparently encouraged by a doctor in the hospital where their babies were delivered.
One was called Corona Kumar and the other Corona Kumari.
“I told them this would help create awareness about the disease and remove the stigma around it,” said S.F. Basha, the doctor.
“To my surprise, they agreed.”
Not to be outdone, a migrant-worker couple in India’s northeast stranded thousands of kilometres from their home in the desert state of Rajasthan decided to name their child Lockdown.
“We named him Lockdown remembering all the problems we had to face during this tough time,” local media reports quoted the father Sanjay Bauri as saying.
Tupas, the father of baby Covid Marie, said that while he had fielded criticism on social media for his unorthodox choice, he would not be swayed.
“She might experience bullying, but I’ll just teach my daughter to be a good person,” he said.
“We didn’t have second thoughts.”