Words COVID-19 Gave New Life to

Words COVID-19 Gave New Life to

Before COVID-19 started dominating world news, words like inoculation, pandemic or lockdown were very far from being some of the most frequently used in our everyday life. Still, in 2020 pandemic was declared Word of the Year (source). Chances are, 2021 Word of the Year may be one of the words from our list below. Let’s look at the vocabulary COVID-19 gave new life to…

  1. Superspreader – someone who passes an infectious disease on to a very large number of people

Examples: 1) The term superspreader has become a catchword in the current COVID pandemic. 2) Any one of us could be a superspreader, a very hard fact to bear on our conscience. 

2. Social distancing – a set of measures aimed at stopping the spread of an infectious disease, based on staying away from other people as much as possible

Examples: 1) The practice of social distancing means staying home and away from others as much as possible. 2) Maintain social distancing.

3. Physical distancing – the practice of staying at least 6 feet away from others to avoid catching a disease such as COVID-19

Note that physical distancing and social distancing are usually used interchangeably these days. However, they don’t mean an exactly the same thing. Physical distancing is strictly about maintaining a physical distance between people, while social distancing is generally about refraining from activities that either lead to or have the potential to lead to physical proximity with others (source).

Examples: 1) Keep a physical distance of 6 feet. 2) It’s not always easy to physically distance.

4. To flatten the curve – to prevent a rate or quantity from greatly intensifying or increasing within a short time

Examples: 1) Hopefully, physical distancing and of course vaccination will help us flatten the curve. 2) You should do your part to flatten the curve.

5. Self-isolation – not leaving your home and staying away from other people when you have, or may have, an infectious disease, so that you do not infect anyone else

Examples: 1) She went into self-isolation at home directly after leaving the hospital. 2) The British government is advising thousands of people to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

6. Quarantine – a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that may have been exposed to infectious disease are placed

Examples: 1) The period for keeping them in quarantine is over. 2) The people were in quarantine for a month.

7. Antibody – a substance produced in your blood to fight disease

Examples: 1) The Antibody Test for COVID-19 detects the presence of antibodies produced by the body’s immune system against COVID-19. 2) Japan will begin treating COVID-19 patients recovering at home with an antibody cocktail.

8. Frontline worker – a worker who deals directly with customers, clients, or other users of an organization’s services, especially one who fulfills a role regarded as vital for the community

Examples: 1) Frontline health workers are integral to the global response to COVID-19. 2) If you are a frontline healthcare or social care worker, you are also entitled to a booster COVID-19 vaccine.

9. Booster – a dose of a vaccine that increases or renews the effect of an earlier one

Examples: 1) A coronavirus booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection you have from your first 2 doses of the vaccine. 2) Booster doses are not mandatory, but they are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.

10. Immunity – the ability of an organism to resist a particular infection or toxin

Examples: 1) You’ll develop immunity to the infection after vaccination. 2) The vaccination gives you immunity against the disease for up to six months.


Some useful collocations which we think you’d better memorize are underlined in the examples above. To practice them and some other ones, click the link here.

Let us know if you’d like more articles like this. Thank you for reading 😉 and stay safe!

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