What Do You Call It?
Late in the year 2019, doctors began battling a new virulent flulike virus. With Wuhan China as the presumed epicenter, many people began calling it the Wuhan Virus or the derogatory China Virus. As it quickly spread to other countries, the official name for the novel coronavirus became 2019-nCoV. It is novel, or new, in the sense that it is more deadly than prior strains of the virus. On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the official name COVID-19.
As news of the disease dominated the headlines and social media, people began altering the moniker. On Twitter, it often loses the hyphen, becoming COVID19 (or COVID_19). CNN, prefers the initial capitalization, Covid-19.
Get Cozy With Corona
It is natural to coin nicknames for those with whom we develop a friendship. Less formal nicknames and abbreviations are popping up.
Named after its crown-like spikes, Coronavirus is more a generic term for 2019 Coronavirus Disease. With the pandemic spanning its third calendar year, the prefix 2019 and suffix 19 are losing context. Hence, you may see or hear Covid with or without all capital letters.
We are now on a casual first-name basis in this relationship with a deadly disease. A less common nickname is Rona. Corona is a popular name for children born during the pandemic.
The virus at the root if the pandemic has kinship with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)—a disease that ravaged the world to a lessor extent in 2003. Scientists identify SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) as the virus that causes COVID-19. This is similar to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
For the general public, the WHO continues to distinguish the disease as COVID-19. Depending on context and where you are reading, you may see any of the names in this blog. What term do you use when typing or referring to the virus?
- 2019 Coronavirus Disease
- China Virus
- Wuhan Virus
A new generation of children are taking their first steps and learning to walk during this pandemic. All the anomalies of mask wearing, social distancing, sheltering in place, and remote learning, are their normal.
The impact on everyone will last well into the future. Fear it. Fight it. Get cozy with it. The effects of COVID-19 by many names will shape your new normal.
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- Calling COVID–19 the “Wuhan Virus” or “China Virus” is inaccurate and xenophobic. yale.edu/news-article/23074/ Retrieved 25 Jun 2021
- Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it. who.int/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/naming-the-coronavirus-disease-(covid-2019)-and-the-virus-that-causes-it Retrieved 25 Jun 2021
- 7 slang words Gen Zers coined in the coronavirus era, and what they actually mean. businessinsider.com/slang-gen-z-made-to-describe-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-4 Retrieved 25 Jun 2021