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hunker down /ˈhʌŋ·kər ˈdɑʊn/
— phrasal verb with hunker verb

1 to sit with your knees bent in front of you so that your buttocks are almost resting on your heels:
We hunkered down near the campfire, toasting marshmallows

2 (figurative) is also to be prepared to stay in a particular place or situation for as long as necessary, especially for protection, to endure or resist a bad situation or to achieve something:
The people hunkered down at home until the virus pandemic ended.
We hunkered down in the cellar while the storm raged outside.
Members of Congress were
hunkered down for weeks of debate on the health-care issue.

American English slang
First introduced and popularized by George H.W. Bush, this southern-American slang means to toughen up and get ready for a rough time.
This phrase is now used regularily on CNN in an effort to sensationalize their hurricane coverage.
"We're going to have to hunker down and fight the evil-doers" - George H.W. Bush
"Everyone is hunkered down and not a single person is around to speak with us" - (CNN in a remote field at 4am during hurricane Wilma)

Last week's word

the sudden or violent start of something unwelcome, such as war, disease, etc.:
the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

outbreak /ˈaʊtbreɪk/
the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic | the latest outbreak of hostility: ERUPTION, flare-up, upsurge, outburst, epidemic, breakout, sudden appearance, rash, wave, spate, flood, explosion, burst, blaze, flurry; rare recrudescence, ebullition, boutade.
the outbreak of war: START, beginning, onset, breaking out, opening, outset, day one, inception, dawn, genesis; formal commencement.