“When my parents and relatives took me to the church for baptism they had never thought about a name for me,” says Korona, the mother of two sons.
“When the priest asked about the name, my parents had no idea. It was Fr James who named me Corona, which was later misspelled in the records with a K,” she said.
The priest had told her parents that the name meant ‘crown’. Korona’s school leaving certificate, her voters ID and Aadhaar card bear the unique name that was given to her by a generous priest at St Sebastian’s church in her native village of Choolatheruvu near Mutukulam in the Alappuzha district.
But since the coronavirus pandemic struck, her life has changed. She says people often wonder if she is joking when she reveals her name. Korona, who is a regular blood donor recollects a recent incident at the Medical college hospital. “They asked why I have written Korona against the name column. They thought I was joking,” said Korona, who had a similar experience when she took her mother to a hospital. During a Sunday service at the church, the priest urged her to stand up so that she could be introduced to the gathering.
Even the teachers of her boys, studying in the 3rd and 5th standards, were puzzled by the ‘Korona’ riddle. “My children had entered my name for registering for the online classes. The teachers called me to confirm if it was the original name,” she said.
“It is true that some make fun of it, like saying, ‘go corona, go corona’ when they see me. My boys call me ‘Virus amma’ and ‘Koronamma’. But I have no complaints. I only want people to be cautious about the real corona and not about this poor Korona.” Korona’s husband Shine Thomas is a fisherman.