Here is your glossary of the COVID-19 crisis

Each prolonged crisis creates its own vocabulary. A special set of new words that linger. World War II (which lasted five years longer than the current crisis, so stop complaining) dates back 75 years. But many can remember the terms he gave us: atomic bomb, bazooka, commando, D-Day. And it’s just ABCD.

So what are the words our grandchildren will use regarding the present calamity? There is no doubt that it will be covered in their class “C29: Early 21st Century America, Decline and Disaster”. A primer:

Coronavirus (kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs) m. Single-stranded RNA virus dotted with gnarled projections (Crown is Latin for crown). There are many coronaviruses – MERS, SARS, etc. – so the one that causes problems was first called the “new” or “new” coronavirus, the prefixes now generally being abandoned as superfluous. Use: “More than a month after declaring the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about this unique crisis. ” – Atlantic

COVID-19[female[feminine (koh-vid dwarf-TEEN) nm Abr. of “Coronavirus Disease 2019”, the disease caused by a strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Some news outlets, such as the New York Times, use lowercase letters (“Covid-19” ), but it sounds like the name of a South Korean boy band. Use: “Rupert Murdoch, Fox News disinformation on Covid-19 is a danger to public health. ” – The Guardian

Covidiot (koh-vid-ee-et) nm The Urban Dictionary defines this as “someone who ignores warnings about public health or safety”. Also used to describe someone who accumulates goods, selfishly denying them to others. Use: “Q: What do you call an armed member of a radical group of containment protesters? A: A subsidiary of Covidiot. “- George Takei

Flatten the curve (FLA-tn tha kerv) verbal expression. Reduce the rate at which a virus spreads, so that fewer cases need to be treated. Use: “One of the byproducts of being able to flatten the curve is that you will delay the peak.” – Illinois Director of Public Health, Dr. Ngozi Ezike

Fomite (fō-ˌmīt) nm An inanimate object, such as an iPhone or a doorknob, containing infectious material that spreads disease. (As opposed to the “vector”, which is alive, like a mosquito or that lady next to you queuing up to buy Doritos you don’t need.) A rear formation of “fomites”, from Latin fomes meaning “tinder” – the little trick that starts the great conflagration. Use: “Therefore, the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in our study could have resulted from spread via passive vectors (for example, elevator buttons or toilet taps) or viral aerosolization in a public space. confined (eg toilets or elevators). ” – CDC Research Letter

Force majeure (for ma-ZHOOR) m. From Latin for “superior force”. An extreme circumstance beyond the control of the parties to a contract which frees them from legal obligation. These can be man-made, like wars and riots, or natural, like earthquakes and floods, or a bit of both, like viral pandemics made worse by clumsy leadership. Doesn’t apply to marriage contracts, so wipe that smirk off your face. Use: “The company used its force majeure clause to terminate its supply contracts with Ontario pork producers. – The Ontario Farmer

addict (huhng · kr) v. 1. Wait in a well-defended position, usually paired, superfluously, with “down”. His literal Oxford English Dictionary definition (“crouch down, with hips, knees and ankles strongly bent”) is rarely the intended meaning. Instead, since March, it’s been about spending time at home in anxious comfort while waiting for this crisis to unfold. Use: “Every once in a while you come across one of those days when all is in vain… a stony disappointment from start to finish; and if you know what’s good for you, on days like these you sort of crouch in a safe corner and watch. – Hunter S. Thompson

N95 (fr-NEIN-tee-feiv) adj. or, more and more, nm A coveted type of medical mask. The N stands for “Not Oil Resistant” (other mask categories are R for “somewhat resistant” and P for “Oil Resistant”). The 95 refers to the percentage of airborne particles filtered out. Use: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that the general public wear N95 respirators to protect themselves from respiratory disease. “- FDA

EAR (pee-EEE) nm Abr. for “personal protective equipment”. Refers to the hairnet, shoe covers, gown, glasses and especially the protective mask necessary to protect against COVID-19. Use: “During his daily briefing Sunday, Pritzker announced the second PPE airlift.” – Chicago Sun-Times

Social distancing (sowshl DI stuhn sing) phrasing. Originally related to “avoidance” in sociological texts; now describes the old practice of avoiding proximity to slow the spread of infectious disease. Use: “School closures are the most justifiable method of social distancing to prevent the spread of the disease.” – “The patient victim and vector” (P. Battin et al, 2009)

Underbanked (UHN-dr bangkt) adj. The financial equivalent of a food desert in low income communities; the state of having too few legitimate financial institutions, forcing the use of usurious payday loans, etc. Use: “Small businesses in underbanked communities and local lenders trying to compete with the big banks already face significant barriers to participating in the PPP loan program. “- Statement from Chicago lawmakers

wuhan virus (ooo-HA in Chinese; woo-hahn in English, vai-ruhs) m. COVID-19 to a fanatic; also, “Chinese virus”. Increasingly seldom used, as even those who attempt to justify the term’s obvious racism by pointing to the ‘Spanish flu’ cannot explain how the values ​​of 1918 – which included refusing to vote for women and lynching – are the ethical star of 2020. Use: “Trump stops saying ‘Wuhan Virus’ after Xi hits his ego.” – Beast of the day

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