COVID-19: All The Coronavirus Terms To Help You Understand The Pandemic

khushboo sharmakhushboo sharma  |  Mar 18, 2020
COVID-19: All The Coronavirus Terms To Help You Understand The Pandemic


By now, most of us have consumed a substantial amount of news and information about the COVID-19 outbreak. And if all of it wasn’t overwhelming enough, the pandemic also has us bewildered with a slew of new terms. Wasn’t it only last month that most of us learned the term “social-distancing”?  

Amidst these uncertain times and an overwhelming amount of unnerving news about the new COVID-19 cases, the last thing that we can afford right now is confusion. Also, it is integral for us to be thorough with some of the “coronavirus” related terms to develop an understanding of the novel virus and thus to be prepared. 

All the COVID-19 scares and jargon making you anxious? Here’s a list of coronavirus related words and terms that will guide you through the confusion: 


It was revealed only recently that NBA star Donovan Mitchell has been tested positive with COVID-19 and this happens to be a “asymptomatic” case. Simply put, the word means “showing no evidence of disease.” It is important to understand this term because a person can be COVID-19 positive even if they might not be showing any of the listed symptoms. This is why it is advised to get yourself tested and self-isolate in case you have come in contact with a positive case.


Now we have been constantly hearing about how the CDC has been releasing constant health advisory and asking us to wash our hands a certain way or maintain some distance from everyone. But what is CDC? CDC is a US federal agency based in Atlanta, Georgia and stands for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And is important for us all to follow CDC approved health guidelines during the pandemic instead of relying on forwarded messages.



Communicable stands for an infection that is “capable of being easily communicated (spread) or transmitted.” While health experts have already established the same, an easy way of understanding why COVID-19 is communicable can be by observing how the virus is spreading like wildfire from one person to another.

Community Spread

India right now is at stage 2 of coronavirus transmission trying it’s best to prevent stage 3 i.e. community spread. As per, community spread refers to a spread of a disease where the infection source is unknown.

Coronavirus & COVID-19?

The devil itself! defines coronavirus as “any of various RNA-containing spherical viruses of the family Coronaviridae, including several that cause acute respiratory illnesses.” Under a microscope, the virus can be seen surrounded by crown-shaped spikes spiky and that’s how it gets the name coronavirus. Also, it is being referred to as “novel coronavirus” because it is a new kind of virus, the same reason why we are still struggling to find a cure. And COVID-19 might have you confused for a while, mostly for how it is used interchangeably with the term “coronavirus.” Thus, no wonder that COVID-19 is nothing but short for coronavirus disease with “19” referring to the year that it was first detected. 


Flatten The Curve

People worldwide are being requested to stay at home during the pandemic so as to help in flattening the coronavirus spread curve. The idea basically refers to slowing down the virus spread so that the healthcare system doesn’t crumble under the pressure. COVID-19 is communicable and thus the easiest way of flattening the curve is to stay at your home during the pandemic so as to avoid contracting infection.

Incubation Period

Referring to the period between infection and the appearance of symptoms, the incubation period of COVID-19 can be anywhere between 2-14 days.


Quarantine Vs Isolation


Isolation refers to completely separate an infected or a potentially infected person so as to stop a contagious disease from spreading. This contributes majorly to flattening the curve. 

Quarantine is just like isolation but stricter which is, of course, is imposed to prevent the disease. As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is “a restraint upon the activities or communication of persons or the transport of goods designed to prevent the spread of disease or pests.”



From isolation to frequently washing your hands, any measure taken to prevent the infection from spreading comes under mitigation. Heard about the 20-second hand wash rule yet? 


A pandemic basically happens to be an epidemic that has spread over a large area. The World Health Organization (WHO) declares a pandemic when faced with a new disease that people do not have immunity for and that has spread worldwide.

Social Distancing

Think of it as the technical term for “prevention is better than cure.” Social distancing basically means to be responsible enough to understand the gravity of the situation and pulling yourself out of gatherings, events, etc. for your own good as well as that of others. 

Lastly, remember to consume your information from reliable sources so as to keep away from all the COVID-19 confusions. There is only so much confusion that we can all endure is the chaotic times, right?


Featured image: Twitter

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