COVID-19 has developed at such a rapid pace and in an instant, new vocabulary has emerged.

But first, do you know the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is the name for the new disease. It is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. For example, HIV is the virus that causes the disease, AIDS.
  • Coronavirus is the broader name for the family of viruses that includes the new disease, COVID-19. Coronavirus contain strains that cause potentially deadly diseases in humans and animals such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Virus: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Disease: COVID-19 (COVID is a derivative of coronavirus and 19 is when the disease first broke out in December 2019)

Social distancing (or physical distancing) is a new term that has become ubiquitous in coverage of safe practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19. According to Merriam Webster, social distancing is ‘the practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical distance from other people or of avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimise exposure and reduce the transmission of infection’.

Here’s Ministry of Public Health’s (MoPH) video on social distancing:

Other private companies such as Qatar Vet Centre (QVC) has also adopted social distancing practices:


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X Marks the spot. Who knew a few weeks ago we would all have the phrase ‘social distancing’ as our new mantra for daily living. To protect you and our awesome Qatar Veterinary Center team, please stand on the new X marks the spot if you have to enter our clinics. Remember, we can not handle cash so please use a card. Things are changing for us all by the hour but don’t worry, – we have plenty of pet food and will deliver from our online shop – we will provide Veterinary care for as long as we can ❤️ Please, Stay home, Stay safe 🐾 . . #socialdistancing #selfisolation #xmarksthespot #vet #veterinarian #doctor #loveyourpetloveyourvet #pet #emergencycare #petfood #takecareofyourself #stayhealthy #dohaqatar #covid_19 #coronaviruspandemic #pleasestayhome #health #publichealth

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Self-quarantine (or self-isolate) means to refrain from any contact with other individuals for at least two weeks (14 days) usually by remaining in one’s home or a dedicated quarantine facility, and limiting contact with anyone including family members.

Many residents of Qatar who have recently returned from overseas especially from hit countries such as Iran, Italy, France, Germany and the UK have been required to self-quarantine at home or dedicated quarantine centres for at least 14 days.

Covidiot has been officially added to the Urban Dictionary. A combination of two words – COVID-19 and idiot, covidiot is defined as ‘someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety. A person who hoards goods, denying them from their neighbours’. It is believed to have originated from Lebanon to describe people who violated quarantine. It has since gone viral and been used widely on social media.

Qatar has recently prosecuted 19 locals, for violating the requirements of their quarantine. Authorities called on citizens and residents under home quarantine to fully commit to the MoPH quarantine requirements, to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Anyone who violates the requirements is subject to the penalties stated in Article No 253 of Criminal Law No 11 of 2014, Law No 17 of 1990 on protection from infectious diseases, and Law No 17 of 2002 on protecting society. Read more on The Peninsula.

Source: Merriam Webster

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