As the coronavirus spreads around the world, new terms are entering the lexicon. Words such as pandemic, quarantine, outbreak, social distancing, etc are on everyone’s mouth. However, there are many people who do not understand the exact meaning of these words and phrases. Don’t worry. We have got you covered. Here’s a guide to the words and phrases you need to know to keep informed of the latest developments.


Many of us have heard the term for the first time when China shared the news of the deadly disease. The name coronavirus comes from the Latin word corona, meaning crown. It is the family of viruses that causes cold, dry cough, breathing difficulties, organ failure, mild fever and death as well.


COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019. The scientific term for the virus is SARS-CoV-2. While the research for finding an antibiotic for the disease goes on, the risk can be alleviated by taking appropriate precautionary measures.


It has only been a few weeks since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Coronavirus as a pandemic, which is actually a successor of epidemic. The term was declared after the deadly disease spread across the planet infecting people in over 120 countries. A pandemic is widespread reach of a disease affecting large numbers of people. WHO Director-General addressed the issue in a conference, “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly.”


It seems to have similar meanings but actually has a slight difference. The terms are actually a precautionary measure taken to keep the virus from spreading. While isolation means to separate infected people from healthy people, quarantine refers to the confinement of people who were exposed to the virus and might become sick. People in quarantine as well as isolation can’t have any visitors. In COVID-19 case, it is required to be in quarantine for 14 days.

Social Distancing

COVID-19 is a communicable disease that spreads from person-to-person. Social distancing is a way to prevent the spread of this deadly virus. It doesn’t mean that you need to stop talking or meeting anyone. It refers to the physical distance between you and a person who is sneezing or coughing, especially in crowded areas. In case of coronavirus, it is advised to maintain at least 1 metre distance with others.


Incubation is the time period when an infected person starts to show symptoms of the disease. If anyone is infected with COVID-19, it’s the time to prevent and control its spread. For the same, doctors recommend isolation and observation to avoid contact with other healthy people. According to the CDC, Coronavirus has an incubation period of 2-14 days, symptoms of which may show five days after getting infected.

self-imposed lockdown

Self-imposed lockdown was recently coined when PM Modi urged the nation to stay at home and avoid public gatherings. In such a situation, all the essential services will be there for the people. On Sunday, March 22, the entire nation saw its effect, when the country observed ‘Janata Curfew’.


According to WHO, disease outbreak is the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy. In case of COVID-19, it is an outbreak as the world witnessed a sudden rise in cases as well as deaths from Asia to Europe.