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Covid-19: New words and phrases


The outbreak of Coronavirus in Kenya in March of 2020 introduced new words and phrases in our “new normal” life.

This new vocabulary has helped us make sense of the changes that suddenly become part of our everyday lives.

Covid-19 is a new name for a new disease, coined as an abbreviated form of coronavirus disease 2019.

Coronavirus is the broader name for the family of viruses that includes Covid-19.

Patient zero is a person identified as the first to become infected with an illness or disease in an outbreak.

Super-spreader refers to an individual who is highly contagious and capable of transmitting a communicable disease to numerous uninfected individuals.

Social distancing also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

Self-quarantine means to refrain from any contact with other individuals for a period of time during the outbreak of a contagious disease.

Isolation is to separate the sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

Lockdown is an emergency measure or condition in which people are temporarily prevented from entering or leaving a restricted area during a threat of danger.

Covidiot is used to describe someone who flouts health and safety guidelines because they think they know better than scientists and actual medical professionals.

Covidient describes a person who follows all the set guild line to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Covideo party is a social event held using video conferencing.

Covexit is the process of gradually relaxing and removing the restrictions on public life imposed by governments in response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Maskne is the skin blemishes that occur on the lower half of the face as a result of wearing a mask.

Zoom-bombing is the malicious act of hacking into a private Zoom meeting with the intent of disrupting the conversation or eavesdropping.

Contact tracing is the process of identifying individuals who have been in the proximity of a person diagnosed with an infectious disease, in order to isolate, test, or treat them.

Community transmission is the transmission of an infectious disease or pathogen between members of a community, especially as a result of physical contact.

Frontline workers are employees who provide an essential service or key public service.