From quarantine to coronials, words coined and popularized during COVID-19 lockdown


New Delhi: With the ‘new normal’ overtaking our lives following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, several existing terms got popularized and neologisms were also invented. 

As India witnesses its first lockdown anniversary on Wednesday (March 24), here are some of the words that kept us company while we lived in ‘isolation’ to battle the virus: 

Pandemic: The pandemic is defined as an epidemic that affects populations globally and leads to widespread transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. 

Social distancing: Social distancing or physical distancing, one of the COVID-19 safety norms, is the act of maintaining physical distance in order to prevent the transmission of infection. At least six feet distance is recommended to avoid catching the virus. 

Quarantine: Quarantine refers to isolating someone who has been exposed to the deadly virus. As per the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the person who might have come in contact with a COVID-19 positive person should isolate themselves for 14 days to monitor if they exhibit any symptoms. 

Lockdown: The nation came to a halt when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a lockdown on March 24, 2020. Initially declared for 21 days, the nationwide lockdown lasted for more than two months. Lockdown restricted movement of people leading to shut down of public transport with a few exceptions. 

Work from home: Work from home has generated diverse feelings and viewpoints in people. As lockdown was implemented throughout the country in the wake of the surge in coronavirus cases, WFH became the new normal. As most of the workplaces have started reopening, missing WFH is becoming a new normal! 

Infodemic: An amalgamation of information and epidemic, infodemic is defined as an information overload, mainly unverified, which can be harmful. With an overload of information at such a large level, distinguishing between truth and misinformation becomes onerous. “We are not just fighting an epidemic; we are fighting an infodemic”, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said underlining the situation. 

Doomscrolling/Doomsurfing: Coined after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, doomscrolling is the proneness to continue scrolling bad or depressing news. 

Covidiot: Covidiot is a person who deliberately ignores health advisories issued to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Cambridge dictionary explains this term as, “someone who behaves in a stupid way that risks spreading the infectious disease Covid-19.” 

Coronials: Coronial babies are the ones born or conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sanitizer: A new normal, sanitizer is your best friend to keep the virus at bay. Regularly washing hands is one of the most effective ways of preventing oneself from contracting the virus. Sanitizers have become a wonted item as water and soap are many times not readily available. 



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