(Sources: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52182658 where marked with * and World Health Organisation **)

** Coronavirus

A family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus recently discovered has been named SARS-CoV-2 and it causes COVID-19.

* Covid-19

The disease caused by the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. (It is the name given to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and is an abbreviation for “Coronavirus Disease 2019 **).

Essential Activities

Tasks essential to main health and safety, such as:

  • Obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, (getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running provided that you maintain at least 2 metres of social distancing;
  • Performing work providing essential services;
  • Caring for a family member in another household;
  • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, person with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
  • Healthcare operations, including home health workers;
  • Essential Infrastructure, including construction of housing and operation of public transportation and utilities.

* Flatten the curve

To slow the transmission rate so the peak in terms of numbers of cases is flattened into a smoother curve when drawn on a chart, to prevent a very high instance of coronavirus cases overloading health services.


A temporary leave of absence to employees due to special needs of a company or employer, due to economic conditions caused by Covid-19.

* Lockdown

Restrictions on movement or daily life, where public buildings are closed, and people told to stay at home. Lockdowns have been imposed in several countries as part of drastic efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

* Pandemic

An epidemic of serious disease spreading rapidly in many countries simultaneously.


Separating and restricting the movement of people exposed (or potentially exposed) to a Covid-19.

* Self-isolation

Staying inside and avoiding all contact with other people, with the aim of preventing the spread of a disease.

* Social distancing

Keeping away from other people, with the aim of slowing down transmission of a disease. The government advises not seeing friends or relatives other than those you live with, working from home where possible and avoiding public transport.

 * Virus

A tiny agent that copies itself inside the living cells of any organism. Viruses can cause these cells to die and interrupt the body’s normal chemical processes, causing disease.

Martin Pollins
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