COVID-19: Talking about coronavirus in English – vocabulary & expressions (1)
Today, I'm connecting to you from my home, and maybe you're watching 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 video 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, first of all, just a few points. As you know, I'm an English teacher, right? I'm not a doctor and I'm teaching you English. I am not giving you any medical advice. Second, when it comes to your health, it's so important that you communicate and listen, hear, understand in your own language as much as possible. When it comes to your health, you want to be as clear as possible about the instructions that people give you, okay? So, whenever possible, use your own native language for that purpose. However, if you live, right now, in an English speaking country and you need to understand what's being said around you about this virus by the medical authorities, by the media, then this video will definitely help you and also, if you just want to use this time to improve your English, to be able to understand more of what's being said, to be able to discuss this issue, the problems, the issues, the solutions, okay? Then, again, this lesson will give you many of the words and concepts that you need to be able to do that, okay? 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? Let's go on from there. So, what are some of the symptoms that people might have if they have this illness? So, what does the word "symptoms" mean? It means that you're showing some kind of physical or mental signs of this illness, and what are some of those common symptoms of the coronavirus? First one is a cough. What's a cough? Something like this [coughs], right? You know that. And you saw, of course, and you know because I'm sure you get this advice in your language that if you need to cough, or if someone is coughing, they should cough where? In the bend of their elbow, okay? This is your elbow, you should cough in here. Alright? That's a cough. How do we say that, how do we use that in a sentence? He has a cough. Another symptom, a cold. What's a cold? You know, when your nose is running and you're going [sniff] all day long, okay, or you take a tissue and you blow your nose, alright, then you would say: She has a cold. Alright? Another symptom: sneezing. What does it mean to sneeze? I'll try to show you: achoo! Okay, again, into this part of your elbow. He is sneezing, is how we would say that in a sentence. Next is a fever. What does it mean to have a fever? It means your feeling, you know, warm or hot, right? So, how would we say that? You would say: She has a fever. He has a fever. And, what is - what are some of the other words connected to having a fever? Basically, having a temperature, okay? So, you could also say: He has a temperature. Temperature just measures the amount of heat in your body, right? Or, if somebody - if you tell somebody that someone has a fever, probably the next question will be "What's his temperature? ", or "What's her temperature? ", or "What's your temperature? " right? So, we could say "His temperature is 39 degrees. ", or "His temperature is 101 degrees", okay, there's different measurements, right? Celsius and Fahrenheit. Another symptom is a body ache. What does it mean to ache? It means to hurt, right, your body feels sore, so the other way you could say that in a sentence is "Her body hurts", okay, if you're describing to someone else what's happening to someone. A person might also feel fatigue. Fatigue just means very, very tired, okay? A lot of exhaustion, a lot of tiredness, and the way we would use that in a sentence, really, is just to say or to convey this meaning is to say, "He's very tired", alright, or "He's feeling very tired". Also, you might - the person might experience difficulty breathing. What does it mean to breathe, okay? To breathe is like this. Of course, you don't have to close your eyes like I just did, you can just --. Okay? This is breathing. So, if somebody's finding it hard to breathe, you could say, "It's hard for her to breathe. " Alright? So, those are the symptoms. Now, let's look at some more advanced words, some more advanced nouns that are being used about this subject. So, three very common advanced words that are being used are the words "outbreak", "epidemic", and "pandemic". So, think of is this way, first of all. An outbreak is like this, an epidemic is like this, and a pandemic is like that, alright? So, an outbreak is when something happens suddenly, so a lot of people are affected. In this case, how were those people affected? They got a disease, okay? So, there was an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Next, when the outbreak spread to more people or other areas, it became an epidemic. Then, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The WHO stands for World Health Organization, alright? And they declared, they said, that now, this disease has become a pandemic. So, that means the epidemic now spread to an even larger area, maybe even all over the world and became a pandemic. So, another word that you might hear a lot is that the health authorities took various measures to deal with this situation. So, measures here is just, like, actions or steps, alright, that they took in order to try to control this problem. Another word is transmission. They wanted to limit the transmission of the virus. So, transmission just means the spread of the virus, the passing on of the virus to other people, to more people, okay? Transmission, alright. Let's continue. Isolation. So, a lot of people are being asked to go into isolation if they have the virus. So, isolation means that somebody has to be alone. They have to be away from everybody else for health reasons. So, people who have the coronavirus must be in isolation. They must be away from everybody else. Another word that's being used, which is similar in meaning but a little bit different is the word quarantine. So, people who are - who might have the coronavirus are asked to be in quarantine. So, here also, they're being asked to stay away from other people because maybe there's a chance that they have the virus. For example, suppose somebody went on a flight and then they found out that somebody on the flight had this virus. So then everybody else who flew on that particular flight might be asked to go into self-quarantine, just in case they are infected by this virus, okay? So, you'll also hear these kinds of words. You should self-isolate, you should self-quarantine. That means you do it to yourself, by yourself. Okay. Another word is lockdown. A lot of cities and countries right now are either in lockdown or under lockdown or on lockdown. We use different prepositions there. What does that mean? You probably do know because it might be happening where you are, or somewhere else that you've read about. It means that people are not allowed to go where they want. Schools, shops, offices, businesses, restaurants, movie theatres, and lots of other places are shut down, okay? Also, maybe travel is restricted. There are many different aspects to a lockdown. A word - a kind of technical word that's being used but a very important word, expression is really community spread, or community transmission. So, this happens when a disease spreads in the community, but the health authorities don't know how people got that disease, okay? And they're very concerned about community spread. The next word I know you probably do know for sure, face mask, right? The white mask that people are wearing, many people are wearing, face masks. Alright. So, those were many of the nouns that we hear - we're hearing today on the news. Now, let's look at some of the verbs, okay? To declare a pandemic. What does that mean? We talked about it, the WHO declared a pandemic. That means that they said or they announced something officially and publicly, alright? Another verb, to ban, to ban large gatherings. What does it mean, to ban? It means to not allow something. For example, many things are being banned. Large gatherings, many people are not allowed to come together in one place. There's a limit on how many people can be together at one time. So, large gatherings are banned or, in many countries today, international flights are also banned. International travelers are banned. Not allowed, okay? Also, in many places, travel is being restricted, okay? To restrict means what? To limit it, okay? Not to stop it altogether, to ban means to stop it completely, but to restrict means to control it, to limit it, to limit travel, for example, to allow only some and not all people, okay? So, some flights to come in, maybe. To restrict something. What's also happening nowadays is that many countries are sealing their borders. To seal, to seal means to close completely, okay, to close the borders, and the border is what? It's like the line that divides different countries. So, many countries are closing or sealing their borders. We're being asked also to avoid contact with others. To avoid something means to try not to do that. So, when they say avoid contact, right, touching, contact with other people, in order to keep yourself safe and to keep other people safe. Let's look at some more verbs here. Many people are stocking up on groceries, on food, on toilet paper.