COVID-19 Vocabulary Explained

It seems it’s everywhere – on the news, magazines, even on your Facebook dashboard! For this reason, I’ve created an essential COVID-19 vocabulary that will help stay up-to-date.

  1. Talk about prevention
  2. Talk about the virus
  3. Talk about the symptoms
  4. Talk about behaviors

1. Talk about prevention

  • prevention (noun): the act of stopping something bad from happening
  • to take precautionary measures (verb): to take actions in order to be safe
  • to self-quarantine (noun): a period of time when you keep yourself away from other people if you think you may have a disease in order to prevent the disease from spreading. (e.g.: My whole family is in self-quarantine)
  • to clean your hands (verb): to remove the dirt from your hands using soap.
  • safe distance (noun): the space between you and other people that prevents virus spread.
  • face mask (noun): something that you wear over part or all of your face, in order to protect it or to prevent the spread of disease
  • to stay home: to continue to be at home for a period of time without going out.
  • social distancing (noun): the practice of keeping a safe distance between yourself and other people in order to prevent the spread of disease
  • hand sanitizer (noun): a liquid or substance used to remove bacteria from the hands

2. Talk about the virus

  • disease (noun): an illness affecting humans, animals or plants, often caused by infection
  • outbreak (noun): the sudden start of something unpleasant, especially violence or a disease
  • pathogen (noun): a thing that causes disease
  • contagious (adjective): a contagious disease spreads by close contact between people
  • incubation period (noun): the time between exposure to a pathogenic organism, like a virus, and when symptoms and signs appear.
  • to transmit (verb): to pass something from one person to another
  • immune system (noun): the system in your body that produces substances to help it fight against infection and disease
  • pandemic (noun): a disease that spreads over a whole country or the whole world
  • epicenter (noun): the central point of something
  • swab test (noun): the diagnostic test that uses a nasal swab, known as a molecular PCR test, collects samples of cells and fluids from your respiratory system. It enables the identification of specific genes for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
  • epidemic (noun): a large number of cases of a particular disease or medical condition happening at the same time in a particular community
  • pandemic (noun): a disease that spreads over a whole country or the whole world

3. Talk about the symptoms

  • fever (noun): a medical condition in which a person has a temperature that is higher than normal
  • body ache (noun): a constant dull pain in your whole body
  • dry cough (noun): a cough that doesn’t produce any mucus
  • difficulty breathing (noun): a medical condition in which a person cannot breathe normally
  • loss of taste and smell (noun): a condition in which a person cannot feel taste nor smell
  • diarrhea (noun): an illness in which waste matter is emptied from the bowels much more frequently than normal, and in liquid form
  • headache (noun):  a continuous pain in the head
  • sore throat (noun): a continuous pain in the throat
  • tiredness (noun): the feeling that you would like to sleep or res

4. Talk about behaviors

  • hoarding (noun): the act of collecting and keeping large amounts of food, money, etc., often secretly. People who hoard are called hoarders.
  • to stock up (verb): to get a large quantity of something to use (or not 🙂 ) later.
  • to burn out (verb): to become extremely tired or sick by working too hard over a period of time; to make somebody do this. e.g.: If I won’t stop working so hard, I will burn out.
  • social stigma (noun): negative association between a person or a group of people who share certain characteristics. In an outbreak this may mean people are labelled, stereotyped or discriminated against.
  • hermit (noun): a person who doesn’t meet or talk to other people very often.
  • remote working/working from home: act of doing your job from your home rather than the office.

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