A dad has spent the last six months being asked to provide ID or met with laughter whenever he reveals his surname — which is Korona.
Jimmy Korona, 38, said nobody batted an eyelid at his name until the pandemic started earlier this year.
But now he has to constantly show his driver’s license to doubters – most recently to medics at the birth of his son, who wouldn’t believe Baby Korona’s name wasn’t a joke.
He’s had people laughing at him in the pub and delivery drivers who question whether his name – which is Polish – is legit.
Construction worker Jimmy from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said: “Nobody can believe my name is Korona with the coronavirus pandemic about.
“People down the pub come up and say that they can’t believe my name is Korona.
“Nobody believes me apart from those that I’ve known for years.
“When I do say what my second name is, most people don’t believe me.
“So I show them my bank card or passport to prove that’s my name, and it’s always been my name.
“It feels weird hearing my name everywhere. It just feels dead strange hearing your name being said over and over.
“It’s a name that nobody else has really got, not like a Smith or a Davies, and now it’s all over the news, in all the papers and on the radio every day. It’s crazy!”
Jimmy and his fiancee Lauren have welcomed a baby boy earlier this year – a Korona kid born in the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Their newborn son Jimmy Joseph Korona was born on September 21 but the dad had to prove his surname was real at the hospital to disbelieving doctors.
Dad Jimmy said: “Lauren has been to the hospital quite regularly throughout her pregnancy and the doctors said ‘this is crazy, you should talk to the papers’.
“I had to show the doctors my driving license after saying my son’s name was Korona – they thought I was basically naming him that as a joke!
“Lauren is a brilliant mum to JJ and we’re planning on getting married whenever the virus lets us so we’ll be a family of Koronas!
“I have to say my last name a lot at work too.
“We get a lot of deliveries and the company I work for tell the delivery drivers they have to see a man called Jimmy Korona.
“They don’t believe them, they ask if they’re having a laugh, and ‘are you taking the Michael?’
“And my company has to explain ‘no that’s his name, call him on this number’.
“Thankfully nobody has refused to do the deliveries thinking it’s a joke but when they arrive they do ask if the name is right or have they heard it wrong.
“Some people don’t believe me to the point that I have to produce some identification.
“It’s crazy the amount of effort I have to go through just to prove my name is real!”
Jimmy’s surname comes from his grandfather Jozef Korona, who survived a concentration camp in Germany following World War II.
Proud of his family’s history, Jimmy has no plans to change his name but admits it has been a strange experience seeing his name everywhere during the pandemic.
He said: “My grandad was in the concentration camps in Germany and after being rescued, he landed in Broadway, in Meir, in Stoke on Trent and married my nan.
“He was training to be a doctor and then when the war started, he was forced to work on a pig farm and survive off of pig food whilst in the concentration camps.
“He survived the war and came to England to work in the mines in Meir and fell in love with my nan and that’s how we got our family name of Korona.
“He’s passed away now, God rest his soul, but I wouldn’t have this unique surname without him so I definitely wouldn’t change my name, even after all this!”