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15 terms we hadn’t heard before COVID-19

15 terms we hadn’t heard before COVID-19

The last year has been a strange experience for all of us, and terms we may have never heard before now dominate the headlines. Listed below are words that are now all too familiar to us.


The dreaded word that none of us want to hear – lockdown refers to the government order to stay inside and isolate yourself from others. It also means the closure of businesses, schools and offices


In 2021 over 11.5 million jobs were furloughed, so the term is a familiar one to many of us. It refers to being put on a leave of absence during the coronavirus pandemic, whilst being paid 80 percent of your normal wage.

Frontline workers

Thousands of people became frontline workers overnight due to the pandemic. It refers to employees who provide an essential service to the public. This includes a wide variety of workers, from doctors to supermarket staff.


This term refers to personal protective equipment, which is worn by healthcare workers to reduce their exposure to coronavirus. The equipment includes goggles, a full-face shield and a gown to cover their clothes.


This year has unfortunately made many of us doom scrollers. It is defined as the act of spending excessive amounts of time scrolling through dystopian news and absorbing negative news stories.

Rapid Testing

A new and exciting technological invention, rapid testing supply quick results for covid infection. Many do not need a lab and can be performed anywhere. Examples of reliable tests include the lateral flow test for covid 19  that provides quick and accurate results.


This refers to the condition of a person infected with coronavirus, in which they are producing or showing no symptoms. This makes the virus very dangerous, as people can be infectious without knowing. For this reason, consistent testing is recommended. Try the Healgen rapid Antigen test before visiting loved ones for peace of mind.

Contact tracing

This government initiative was invented to try and contain the spread of coronavirus between households. It is defined as the process of identifying, assessing and managing people who have been exposed to the disease in order to prevent onward transmission.


This is a measure designed to minimise the spread of the virus. Self-isolation is the act of staying at home and remaining apart from others in order to prevent the transmission of coronavirus to others.

Social distancing

This refers to keeping a safe distance between yourself and others, in order to minimise the transmission of the virus. The government recommends keeping a 2-metre distance from others whenever possible.

Herd Immunity

This is a new term for many of us and is the process of creating resistance to the spread of coronavirus within a population who have pre-existing immunity to it. This can be achieved through either having been previously infected, or through vaccination.

Drive-Through Testing

This a type of testing site where the person stays in their car while a health care provider issues a test for coronavirus. This is a new and effective initiative to increase the amount of people being tested, as it is more convenient than other testing sites.


The threat of a new coronavirus variant has been well documented in the news and has left many of us worried and frustrated. It is defined as a mutated form of the virus that is different to the standard. Luckily the vaccine protects against all known variants of coronavirus.


Though antibodies are not a new concept, they have become more important than ever this year. It is part of the body’s defence mechanism and refers to a protein made by plasma cells to protect the body against antigens.

Face masks

Though countries such as Japan are well acquainted with the concept of a face mask, the UK has only just been introduced to them. They are worn to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

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