Confused By Coronavirus Terms? Here Are The Most Common
Every day we are being hit with news conferences from Federal, State and Local authorities, and it doesn't look it will subside anytime soon. Terms about the pandemic and what we are doing about it are bantered about, so what do they mean?
Here are ten coronavirus terms, and exactly what they mean compliments of the Complete Sheet.
1. COVID-19. It's not the virus, it's the name of the ILLNESS it causes. It stands for "Coronavirus Disease 2019."
2. N95 masks. The "N95" part means it blocks 95% of airborne particles as small as one-third of a micron thick . . . or three ten-thousandths of a millimeter.
3. P.P.E. It's a term healthcare workers use for things like masks and gloves. It stands for "personal protective equipment".
4. Pandemic vs. epidemic. An epidemic is smaller and more localized. Pandemic means worldwide.
5. Positive and presumptive cases. You're only "positive" if you test positive. Even if someone has symptoms and they've been in contact with someone who tested positive, they're still a presumptive case.
6. Mitigation vs. containment. We passed the containment phase a while ago. Now we're trying to "mitigate" or slow down the spread, so we don't all get it at once.
7. Community spread. "Person-to-person spread" means you can track how the disease got from one person to another. "Community spread" means multiple people in the same area get it, and there's no obvious chain of events to connect them all.
8. Quarantine, self-quarantine, and self-isolation. "Quarantine" means you were exposed to someone with the virus but don't have symptoms, and it's doctor's orders. "Self-quarantine" means you've been exposed, but you do it on your own. And "self-isolate" technically applies only to people who already have symptoms or test positive.
9. Social distancing. That's what MOST of us are doing right now. It means staying home unless you have to go out . . . not getting together in groups . . . and staying at least six feet away from people when you do go out.
10. Shelter in place. It's a step above social distancing. It means your state or local government ordered you to stay home unless you need supplies . . . need to exercise . . . or your job is considered "essential" right now.