We’re seeing on the news and social media much confusion about the right words to use during this crisis.

As word pros we need to set an example.

Let’s not add to the confusion between quarantine, self-isolation, and stay at home.  AND, let’s be clear on corona, coronavis and COVID-19.


What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?


Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to stop or limit the spread of disease.

Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.

Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

Isolation and quarantine are used to protect the public by preventing exposure to infected persons or to persons who may be infected.

Mayo Climic:

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation?

“The terms ‘quarantine’ and ‘isolation’ both refer to the act of separating a person with illness from others,” says Dr. Cowl. “But the terms are different. Quarantine is used for someone who has no symptoms, and isolation is used when someone has been confirmed to have the disease. Isolation is typically more acute than quarantine.”

Watch: Dr. Cowl discusses the difference between the terms quarantine and isolation.

This is the difference between self-isolating and social distancing – and what it means for you



What is the difference between Corona, Coronavirus and COVID 19?


“What is coronavirus?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines coronaviruses as a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

The name comes from the Latin word “corona”, which means “crown” or “halo”, and refers to the shape of the virus particle when viewed under a microscope.

“Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people,” the WHO says.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), kidney failure and even death, it adds.

How Does The Coronavirus Spread?

The new coronavirus has killed 81 people in China and infected almost 3,000 infected worldwide, with cases confirmed in several countries.

But what is this Covid-19 being referred to everywhere?

It’s the disease caused by a “novel coronavirus” which originated in Wuhan, China.

On February 11 the WHO named the disease Covid-19 – short for Coronavirus Disease.

According to the WHO, the responsibility for naming diseases falls with the organisation itself and “are named to enable discussion on disease prevention, spread, transmissibility, severity and treatment”.

What could cause confusion is that viruses and the diseases they cause often have different names. More familiar examples of this would be HIV – the virus, which causes the disease Aids, and rubeola – the virus, that causes measles.

So what is the name of this new coronavirus?

On the same day that the disease was named, the “novel coronavirus” was given a name, by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

According to the WHO, “there are different processes, and purposes, for naming viruses and diseases.

“Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines.”

They add that virologists and the wider scientific community do this work, so viruses are named by the ICTV.

The virus was named “severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2” – or SARS-CoV-2.

The WHO stresses that while the SARS CoV-2 and SARS-Cov (the major outbreak in 2003) are genetically related, they are different.

So why are we not calling the virus by its name SARS-CoV-2?

The WHO says that “from a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003″.

It says it refers to the virus carefully as “the virus responsible for Covid-19” or “the Covid-19 virus” in communications.

But, it stresses, that these terms are not meant to replace the official name.”

Lastly, just to be clear:

Corona is a beer from Mexico and has NOTHING to do with this – except it helps while away the time during self-isolation.



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A corona is also the peak of an eclipse (which we don’t need right now – Locusts would be enough!).

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