Writing about coronavirus

Feeling feverish and developing a cough already? A friend just reminded me that the symptoms of a panic attack are quite similar to that of the virus so learn to take a break from all this. As the media gets taken over by coronavirus updates, you may have to be writing something on it, if you haven’t already, one of these days. Let’s see some trends you would have to be mindful of when writing about the famous COVID-19

Coronavirus – mind the gap.

It is not written as Corona Virus. There is no space between the “Corona” and the “virus”. People think they are writing about a virus called Corona, for which reason they will have to use two different words. But this is one word only – ignore the space.

A family of coronaviruses?

Yes. Apparently, coronaviruses are a group of deadly flu-like viruses that have moved from animals to plague mankind. It is not a distinct name for this virus, neither is it the first time it is to be used. Do you remember SARS? Doctors tell us that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome as well as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome are all examples of coronaviruses. No wonder it is not a Corona Virus but Coronavirus.

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COVID what?

What does COVID-19 stand for, anyway? It’s quite simple anyway – COronaVIrus Disease -2019.

It is not the 19th type of Corona virus neither is it some scientific name coined by scientists to confuse us all.

To self-isolate or to self-quarantine?

While some people are being asked to self-isolate, others are talking about self-quarantine. The question is, are they really the same?

Research says no. Self-isolation is to be used by those who are already infected with a disease while self-quarantine is used for those suspected to have contracted the disease. So, if you are not part of the cases reported so far, don’t go telling people you are going into isolation. You will definitely raise some eyebrows.

Epidemics and pandemics: what we need to remember

Earlier this month, the World Health Organiation changed the status of COVID-19 from an epidemic to a pandemic. That left those of us outside this field wondering if it was even necessary. But apparently, there is a very important distinction.

An epidemic is a term used to describe any problem that has gone out of control because it is actively spreading. A pandemic, on the other hand, is used when the spread of a disease covers a large geographical area or the whole word. That’s why there was a big fuss when WHO finally said “hey guys, this is now a pandemic”


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Got symptoms?

I recently saw someone indicate that one of the symptoms of COVID-19 is “soar” throat. I doubt if the disease can really make throats soar. This should have been “sore throat”. Take note to spell other symptoms correctly:  respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath among others.

Well, we hope you learnt something. Let’s all do well to use the precautionary measures we have been taught and keep hope alive. This too shall pass!

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