Coronavirus refers to any of different RNA-containing viruses of the family Coronaviridae, including many that cause respiratory illnesses. The most known types of coronavirus are SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. The virus that results in COVID-19 is referred to as the novel coronavirus because it is new (novel), which means it has not been detected before. Novel coronavirus is abbreviated as nCoV. When looked at using a microscope, coronaviruses seem to be surrounded by spikes much like corona, or a crown-like shape, hence the name coronavirus.
Short form for Corona Virus Disease 2019, COVID-19 is the new guy in town. The number 19 refers to the fact that it was detected first in the year 2019. Currently spreading like wild fire around the word, it is a highly infectious respiratory disease and is caused by a new corona virus. It is fatal mostly in elderly people and in those who have underlying conditions such as heart disease. It was first discovered in China in December 2019, and has become a household word now.
Social distancing refers to one of the measures taken to combat a pandemic such as COVID-19, which is to increase the physical distance between people to slow the spread of the virus. In supermarkets the world over, you can see bright colored tape marking the distance one has to keep from others. Working from home, cancellation of mass gatherings like church services and school closings are other examples of social distancing measures.
Flatten the curve refers to slowing the spread of an epidemic disease so that the healthcare system of a particular area doesn’t get overwhelmed. The curve shows the number of cases over time, and flattening that curve means preventing an increase in new cases, thus causing a spike, in a short period of time.
A proliferation of a variety of information which is often unsubstantiated, relating to a crisis, controversy, or event, and which spreads very fast and uncontrollably through news, social media and the internet is known as infodemic. It is regarded as causing disturbance and anxiety among the public. The COVID-19 pandemic has currently unleashed an infodemic, undoubtedly.
The resistance to a particular infection in a group of people when a very high number of individuals have been exposed to the infection is known as herd immunity. This is an expression widely used currently as an option that different countries have, in dealing with the pandemic COVID-19.
This is another word that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into parlance. To self-isolate means to avoid contact with others deliberately for a period of time. This is one of the measures employed to combat the spread of the disease.
Shelter in place is a public safety protocol that is invoked during an emergency in which there is a threat to life or health. It is an instruction to people to find a place of shelter in their present location or immediate surroundings, and to stay there until the situation is safe.
This is another expression that has gained popularity in current times. The elbow bump is a form of informal greeting in which two people touch elbows while meeting, instead of shaking hands. This is to prevent the spread of germs by touching hands.
Quarantine refers to the isolation imposed on a person to prevent the spread of a disease. People are quarantined when it is known that they might have been exposed to an epidemic or a pandemic. This prevents the spread of the disease. Usually it is the Health department of a particular country or state that issues quarantine orders.
Self-quarantine is when a person chooses to isolate himself out of caution. It is also known as voluntary quarantine.
R0 is pronounced as R-naught, R-nought, or R-zero. The R stands for Reproductive. R0 refers to the average number of people that a person affected with an infectious disease is expected to spread the infection to. R0 is also called the basic reproduction rate. If R0 is greater than 1, it means that the disease can spread in a population and cause an outbreak.
A super-spreader is a person who has been infected with a pathogen (such as a virus, or bacterium) and spreads it to a large number of people who aren’t infected. There have been reports of individuals who are super-spreaders in the current pandemic also, affecting a disproportionately huge number of people once he or she got infected.