Coronavirus Related Terminology

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its grip, we hear words that once weren’t in everyday usage. Words and their meaning that are now almost common; some new and some not so new. How do we define such terms and their use? Most of the enlightenment that follows is from the CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Let’s take a look at these terms:

COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease, 2019. The virus began in 2019, is primarily spread between people during close contact, often via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking.

Epidemic This is a disease that affects a large number of people within a community, population, or region.

Pandemic is an epidemic that’s spread over multiple countries or continents. In other words, the affections, demise, and devastation are worldwide.

An Outbreak is a greater-than-anticipated increase in the number of endemic cases. It can also be a single case in a new area, and if not controlled, an outbreak can become an epidemic.

Social and Physical Distancing. It’s disappointing to hear that so many public events, cruises, festivals, religious gatherings, and other occasions being canceled; there is a public health reason for these measures. These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease, allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness, and staying at least six feet away from other people lessons your chances of catching COVID-19. Wear a cloth or a medical mask where social distancing can’t be practiced by individuals as required.

Other examples of social and physical distancing: Working from home instead of at the office. Closing schools and switching to online classes, visiting family and friends by electronic devices instead of in person, canceling or postponing conferences, and large meetings.

WFHWork From Home instead of an office building where many people gather.

Self-Quarantine is using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently. It also involves not sharing things like towels and utensils and staying at home. Also, not having visitors and staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household.

Stay-at-Home order is an order from a government authority to restrict the movement of a population as a mass quarantine strategy for suppressing or mitigating an epidemic or pandemic by ordering non-essential-work residents to stay at home.

Ventilator In medical contexts, a ventilator is a machine that helps a patient breathe. The machine pumps oxygen into the lungs and removes carbon dioxide through a tube. The insertion of this tube into a person’s windpipe – trachea – is called incubation.

Flattening the curve is a public health strategy to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the pandemic. The curve flattening is the epidemic curve, a visual representation of the number of infected people needing health care over time. Social distancing, frequent hand washing, and using a disinfectant on surfaces are some ways to flatten the curve.

Lockdown An emergency lockdown is implemented when there is an imminent threat to lives or risk of injury or sickness to humans. Lockdowns can limit movements or activities in a community while allowing most organizations to function normally or limit organizations to supplying essential services and fulfilling the needs of a community.

During the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic, the term lockdown was used, concerning mass quarantines. Early April 2020, 3.9 billion people worldwide were under some form of lockdown, more than half the world’s population.

Zoom is a video communications platform headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides video telephony and online chat services through cloud-based peer-to-peer software. When stay- at-home orders launched, most businesses and assemblies installed Zoom, to have video meetings and conferences. Zoom is so popular; it has become synonymous with conducting any meeting on any video communications platform.

My hope and prayer are that you, your family, friends, and associates be safe during these uncertain and abnormal times.

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