While the coronavirus has upended the world and created a new way of living, it's also causing a frenzy with folks looking to cash in on the pandemic ... who are racing to lock down the rights to the oft-heard term, "social distancing."
TMZ did some digging, and since March 15 -- when U.S. cities began to really understand the threat of COVID-19 and implement guidelines to help stop the spread -- more than 10 people and companies have filed trademark applications for "social distancing."
According to the docs ... the trademark types range from beer and CBD oil to common merchandise products like t-shirts, hats, signs, stickers and games.
There's also one applicant looking to slap "social distancing" on an online photography school.
A couple notable names in the hunt for a trademark include the creators of the popular game, What Do You Meme? -- which unsurprisingly wants the rights to make "Social Distancing: The Game" -- and Maxx Sports and Entertainment ... which reps a bunch of famous athletes and brands.
So, prepare to hear a lot more about social distancing in the coming weeks, and if these shrewd business folks get their wish ... long into the future.