Vocabulary for Covid-19

When you are reading the news about Covid-19, you may feel puzzled over some new words. In this article, I will explain some of these words, and give sentences showing the usage. I hope this helps!

Alert level 4: this is New Zealand’s plan for controlling Covid-19 when it is already spreading in the community. see https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

On Monday the 23rd of March the government made the decision to move to Alert Level 3 and then to Alert Level 4 from midnight Wednesday 25th March because COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has started to spread through our communities.

break the chain: When people talk about “breaking the chain”, they mean that they want to break the chain of transmission. This is similar to cutting down trees in a forest fire in order to stop the fire from spreading, or cutting a telephone wire to stop communication. If people stop socialising, there is less chance to spread the virus, and this “breaks the chain”.

Stuart-Black said she was under no illusions the restrictions were a dramatic and sudden shift in people’s way of life but staying at home was the best way to break the chain.

social distancing: if you practice social distancing, it means that you stay far away from other people so that the virus cannot be transferred. In New Zealand, the government asks that we stay at least 2 meters away from other people.

Those over 70 or immunocompromised are encouraged to leave the house for exercise but should follow social distancing like everyone else.

bubble: people who are inside your bubble are people who you can socialise with normally. Generally they are the people who you live with. If someone lives alone, they can form a bubble with another household. Children whose parents have separated can also have two bubbles: the household of each parent. You don’t have to practice social distancing with people who are in your bubble.

Act like you have Covid-19 and stick to your bubble – staying 2 metres away from those outside it when you do step outside to exercise.

community transmission: this is when someone has caught the virus with no connection to overseas travel. It means that the virus is now spreading inside the population rather than being imported.

She said all of NZ must prepare to go in self-isolation now to “break the chain” of community transmission.

self-isolation: the practice of social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

All workers, except essential service workers, are required to self-isolate under Alert Level 4.

essential services: these are businesses that cannot be closed because society needs them too much. Hospitals, gas stations, and supermarkets are examples of essential businesses. The government has said that all businesses have to close unless they offer essential services. There has been a lot of discussion recently about which businesses are essential. For example, should a dentist still see patients?

Essential services will continue, but everyone would be asked to stay at home.

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment is often referred to as PPE. PPE includes things like face masks, gloves and paper gowns. These are usually worn by staff in hospitals to protect them from infection.

Hospitals and GP clinics across the nation are trying to conserve PPE

lockdown: this is when people must stay home and should not travel. They can go out to get important (essential) things like food or medical treatment.

“I noticed groups of families down at the local school running around and so on. Are people taking this lockdown seriously”?

kia kaha: this is a Maori language phrase which means “be strong”. You will hear people saying it a lot in New Zealand at the moment.

“Let’s all do our bit to unite against Covid-19. Kia Kaha.”

shut down: to close a business or organisation.

All schools in Tonga will shut down this Friday for two weeks as part of precautionary measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.

6 thoughts on “Vocabulary for Covid-19”

  1. The Prime minister had a valuable decision to protect our health. This would break the chain of community transmission in Aotearoa NZ.

  2. We have to observe the Alert level four, because it’s do important for our community safety. Face the COVID-19 virus and beat the virus is our responsibility. Press on for the day we win the virus.

  3. I greatly appreciate for providing this side for English learners. It is really useful for improving listening and reading.

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