COVID-19: Talking About Coronavirus

COVID-19: Talking About Coronavirus


A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. Public health officials and partners are working hard to identify the source of the "2019-nCoV". Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. This outbreak started in the month of December 2019, as an unknown cluster of respiratory illnesses first reported from Wuhan City, China.

stay at home save the life
   Today, I'm connecting to you from my home, and maybe you're reading or working from your home during this time of the coronavirus. Wherever you are, I hope you and your family are all safe and well and yeah, this is a difficult, challenging time for all of us and we have a lot of information coming at us, so much information, so fast that it can make us feel confused and worried and scared sometimes, right? So, there's also a lot of new vocabulary, and old vocabulary that's being used in different ways, so I wanted to help you to understand this vocabulary in English and also to be able to speak about it to your friends, your colleagues or even to medical staff if you need to, alright? So, this article is going to be a little bit different from our usual lesson, but I'm going to try to give you a lot of information that I hope will help you, alright? 


   So, let's get started. So, first of all, let's start with the name of this illness. Officially now, it's called COVID-19. That comes from the words "coronavirus disease 2019", alright? So, how do we say that somebody has the virus or this illness? We can do it in a number of different ways. For example, you could say, "He has COVID-19", or, you could make it negative and say, "He doesn't have COVID-19". Another way you could just say, "He has coronavirus", or "He doesn't have coronavirus", okay? They're using different terms for this illness. They're saying "COVID-19", "coronavirus", "the coronavirus", "the new coronavirus" "the novel coronavirus", "novel" just means "new", okay? So, you might hear different expressions for this illness itself. Another way you could say it is, as I said, "She has the coronavirus.", instead of just saying "She has coronavirus". Both ways are being used. Or, "She doesn't have the coronavirus", alright? A little more formal way they often use and you might hear on the news is "They tested positive for the coronavirus", or "They tested negative for COVID-19", so if somebody tested positive, it means they have the virus, and if they tested negative, they don't have the virus, alright?

Stay Home Save the Life 

   So, let's move from there now to some of the recommendations and suggestions that we're hearing from the health authorities in different parts of the world to help us during this time. We're being asked to maintain social distancing. Now, that has a lot of different meanings and I will go into it very soon, but it means doing many things or take various steps to basically stay away from other people, alright? We'll look at that in a second. We're being asked to avoid contact with people who are sick or unwell. To avoid means to try not to do something, right? So, try not to have contact with people who are unwell. Stay away from people who are not well. Of course, we all know we're supposed to do what with our hands? You know, wash our hands frequently with soap and water. Frequently means often, okay, not just a few times, many times, wash our hands with soap. And, if you don't have soap and you're outside, we're being asked to do what? Use something called hand sanitizer, it's a special liquid you can use to clean your hands, alright? 

Next, we're talking about - we're also being told to avoid touching our face or mouth or nose or eyes, to prevent ourselves from getting sick, alright? Trying not to do something. Okay. Another recommendation, we're being told again, we talked a little bit about this, to cough or sneeze into a tissue, right, tissue paper, we can cough or, if we don't have a tissue paper close to using, we can cough or sneeze into the bend of our elbow. Also, we are told, do not visit vulnerable people. You know how vulnerable people are the elderly, elderly is a nice way of saying old people, okay? The elderly, people who are unwell or weak, alright? So, those people we want to avoid visiting because it's easier for them to become sick than healthier people, okay? And we're being told that we should, as much as possible, work from our home. Alright.

 So, I told you I would talk a little bit more about the social distancing, so let's do that. So, what does that social distancing? Again, I'm sure you know in your own language. Let's try to put an English take on it. So, it means do not get close to other people. We're being asked to stay at least two meters or six feet away from other people, as much as possible. Don't touch other people, don't visit other people, don't invite a lot of people to your house or, really, anybody to your house, and don't go out socially, okay, don't go to restaurants, don't go to clubs, don't go to crowded places. In any case, in many places, all of these places are currently closed, so you don't really have the options, but sometimes people are still going out to beaches and parks and if there are too many people there, then that is not a good thing according to the health authorities. 
stay home save life
So, we're being told to avoid, try our best not to, and stay away from large groups or crowds, to avoid public transportation, because of course, buses and trains and subways can be very crowded and we don't - we're not supposed to be in those situations, and in general, to avoid traveling, okay? Whether it's locally or internationally. Of course, you know that a lot of airlines have canceled their flights, they're not flying to different countries, and a lot of countries have sealed their borders so anyway, the airlines cannot fly there. Okay? 

So, what are we being told to do? We should stay home, work from home, keep in touch with other people by phone, by video, okay? Just because we're at home or maybe even unwell or isolated or in quarantine, it doesn't mean you can't talk to other people on the phone or by video, and we should do that, you should do that. Keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues, so you don't feel lonely. You might be alone, but you don't need to feel lonely or sad or bad, okay? Try to stay positive and happy, that's my suggestion, as much as possible, with all respect to everything that's going on. And why are they asking us to take these measures, or these actions, or these steps? To reduce or lower the chances of catching the virus and reduce or lower the chances of passing it on to other people, okay? So, you want to avoid catching it and you want to avoid passing it on to anyone else. Alright,

 let's look at some things that you might hear people saying, okay, these days. They may be saying, oh, this situation is unprecedented. You know what it means, right? We talked about it; it means it's never happened before. That's also why people are feeling really nervous and scared and confused. It's a lot, it's so much happening, right? They might be saying, oh, these are very unpredictable times. Unpredictable means you cannot say what's going to happen tomorrow, alright? There's a lot of uncertainty. You can't be sure, you can't be certain, alright? So, people are using this kind of sentences and expressions to talk about the situation. People might be saying something like, you know what, I'm really concerned about my health. I'm concerned about my family. I'm concerned about my job. So, what does it mean to be concerned about something? To, like, be worried, okay? To be a little bit worried about it, or very worried. Many people, as you know, are losing their jobs or have lost their jobs or have been laid off, so they may be really concerned about their finances also, their money. Or, at a different level, people might say I'm concerned about the economy. I'm concerned about the world. So, the economy, of course, refers to any kind of activities that are related to trade or industry or work that people do to make money, okay, within a country. People might also be saying things like this: I hope the situation improves soon, or I hope and pray that everything will be alright, okay? People are expressing their views, their ideas, their feelings, their emotions in many different ways, so these are some of the common expressions and sentences you may hear. 

So, what can we do? Let's try to stay calm, right? Calm means don't panic, stay cool, okay? Take it easy. Stay as positive as you can. It's good for you, it's good for your health, good for people around you if we try to stay positive instead of being too, you know, stressed out, alright? Try to stay positive. Follow the advice of health experts and local authorities about what to do, and these rules and regulations, another word for rules, are different in different parts of the world, so pay attention to your local news always, and your national news, not just the international. Make the most of our time, okay?

 Let's do that. Many of us feel like we're kind of stuck at home, but maybe it's - we can use this time to do some things. We can all use this time to do some things that we've always wanted to do. Maybe you can work on your English. Maybe you can learn something else that you've always wanted to learn. Use your time in a positive way so that you can still feel that you're moving forward in your life in some way, alright? You're not stuck. You might be at home, but you're not stuck. That's your attitude, alright?

 Let's take care of ourselves. Let's take care of ourselves, first of all, alright? Because you can't help somebody if you're not well, so take care of ourselves, our families, and do things to help us all to relax. Whatever that means for you, okay, maybe you like to meditate. Maybe you like to do yoga, you could read a book, you could listen to music - peaceful music, maybe, or whatever music makes you happy. Watch movies, watch a show, okay, do some things to feel good. So, keep your heart happy, keep your mind happy, right? And let's be kind, be nice, be kind, be helpful to each other. Let's take care of each other and help each other as much as we can through these difficult, uncertain days, alright? 

So, what could you say to others? Suppose you're working somewhere and you're working from home, but you are in contact with your colleagues, with your manager or other people, or even just family and other friends. So, some expressions that you can use at this time, at the end of a conversation usually, is something like be well, stay healthy, stay strong, alright? Simple expressions. Be well, stay healthy, stay strong, okay? And last of all, on behalf of all of us at, I would just like to say thank you for always caring about learning and growing and becoming better and better, okay? It means so much. We're all fine here at and we wish all of you the same. May you, your family, may you and your family stay safe, stay healthy, and stay strong. Thank you so much. 

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