- COVID-19 or Covid-19
- coronavirus, Delta and Omicron variants
- BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johson & Johnson
How the Pandemic of COVID-19 Has Changed Our Vocabulary
As we face the first weeks of 2022, this is the third year of a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. Since new situations arise on a nearly daily basis, no wonder that we need to find a way to speak about statistics, rules, and the illness itself. Many new words have originated in English since the international outbreak of COVID-19. We’ll explain the spellings of the medical terminology.
- The virus which is responsible for the pandemic belongs to the viruses connected to SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome). While the first virus species, SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus) spread throughout Asia in 2002-2004, in 2019 the second kind of the coronavirus arose.
- First, it was named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19 or hCoV-19), then it became famous as SARS‑CoV‑2.
- This coronavirus directly leads to the illness called COVID-19 or Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019). Variants of this species are labeled after Greek letters. At this point, these include: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. As names, all these are capitalized.
- Since 2020, there have been several vaccines on the market. Every kind has its own distinct spelling. Furthermore, the names of vaccines and their companies behind it are likely to be confused with one another: Comirnaty (by Pfizer–BioNTech), Spikevax (by Moderna), Vaxzevria (by AstraZeneca), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Vaccine (by Janssen Pharmaceutica), Nuvaxovid (by Novavax), Sputnik V (by Gamaleya), BIBP-CorV (by Sinopharm), etc.
As all of these specific spellings seem to be quite arbitrary, we tend to lose track between medical terms. LanguageTool is a free and handy writing tool that helps you write correctly for all settings—even the hottest news on COVID-19:
New Words of COVID-19 in October 2021
In October 2021, the online dictionary Merriam-Webster published a list of new words. Four of them concern the pandemic, and are defined as follows.
- Long COVID: the condition that remains after having recovered from COVID-19. This includes fatigue, cough, or headache, and can extend weeks or months after the infection.
- Super-spreader: Usually this refers to a person who infected several other people at once. Now, it refers to an event or place working as an occasion many people were affected by.
- Vaccine passport: written document that serves as proof for a successful vaccination. It may include different vaccinations (other than COVID-19), and can be digital, too.
- Breakthrough: Although a person is fully vaccinated, they still get COVID-19 by an infection of the coronavirus.
If you ever wondered why it’s a pandemic, and not an epidemic, refer to our explanation.