For the last few months, we’ve all been talking about one thing - COVID-19. But do you have the vocabulary to talk about it in English? We have some useful vocabulary and expressions to help!
A requirement to stay in a specific place, like home
- The UK entered lockdown in March.
- The lockdown in Spain was stricter than the one in Sweden.
- Life has changed a lot since lockdown started.
social distancing (n)
The things you do to reduce social interaction to stop the spread of a virus
- We have strict social distancing rules, so we should meet on Zoom for now.
- Can you please respect social distancing and stay 2 metres from me?
- I don’t think my neighbours care about social distancing. They were having a party last night!
Adjective form of social distancing
- Fancy a socially-distanced beer in the park tonight?
- Have you heard about socially-distanced weddings? No dancing is allowed!
- I had a socially-distanced catch-up with some friends on Zoom last night
to ease (v)
to make something less strict or severe
- They started easing the lockdown in Scotland a few weeks ago.
- Some people are worried that the USA eased the restrictions too quickly.
- They’ve eased the social distancing rules in some countries.
to have/get cabin fever (expr)
to feel frustrated or annoyed because of spending too much time indoors
- I haven’t left the house in 4 days. I’m definitely getting cabin fever!
- Why are you so anxious? Do you have cabin fever?
- I’m going to go out and get some fresh air. I’m getting cabin fever.
to self-isolate (v)
to spend time at home without any contact with other people
- My flatmate tested positive for the virus, so he had to self-isolate.
- I can do your shopping and leave it at your door if you need to self-isolate.
- Sorry, I can’t come to work, I have to self-isolate.
contact tracing (n) / contact tracer (n, person)
The process of finding people who may be infected with the virus because of who they have been in contact with
- Some countries have apps that use Bluetooth to help with contact tracing.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) say contact tracing is critical to control the virus.
- I got a call from a contact tracer. Apparently, my colleague has the virus and I have to self-isolate.
death toll (n)
The number of people who have died as a result of a specific cause
- I head the USA has the highest death toll from coronavirus in the world.
- The global coronavirus death toll is now over half a million.
- I wonder if the death toll would have been lower if we’d entered lockdown sooner.
furlough (n) / to be furloughed (expr)
Furlough is when your job is on 'pause' during an exceptional time, like the coronavirus crisis. You don't work, but may still get paid.
- Have you been furloughed or are you still working?
- I’ve been on furlough for months now. I can’t believe it, I’m starting to miss work!
- It’s good that the government is extending the furlough scheme for another month.