Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
how to talk about Coronavirus in English

Have you heard all the talk about Coronavirus and its impact?

Do you want to know all the words and ways to be part of the conversation?

This is a time like no other and so we’re all trying to figure things out in this time of uncertainty.

Things are constantly changing and so you want to follow the guidelines, but still stay connected to loved ones even remotely.

We’re going to talk about Coronavirus, how to talk about it, and what’s really important right now.

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Talking About This Illness

You have probably heard people talking about this illness, coronavirus.

People are commenting on Instagram that they are isolated.

It is in the US and has hit NYC hard, and by the time this episode comes out it may be even worse.

Many of our students and listeners have questions about this illness.

There’s a good chance that you have changed the way that you live in some way.

The CDC is coming out with new information all the time, and so you want to keep up with new guidelines.

If you’re like many people then you may be working at home right now.

If you are in the healthcare industry or work at a store, then you may be working more to help take care of people.

This is a constantly changing situation, and one that is very current so you want to be part of the conversation. 

Everyday Life Has Changed For Now

Since this is constantly changing everyday, the life that we were used to has changed.

Working from home has become a standard for so many people.

In many states in the US, restaurants and public places such as movie theaters are closed.

We are in the midst of a recession, which means that the economy is heading in a negative direction.

Items that we took for granted like hand sanitizer and toilet paper are sold out.

There is price gouging on these items, and they are hard to find.

Grocery store shelves are empty because people are panic buying–these are unprecedented times indeed.

We want to be careful not to let the mass hysteria get the best of us.

We can’t be afraid of everything and we need to live our lives, but we do want to listen to the guidelines put in place.

This is about the time when you may be asking yourself if you are preapred for a quarantine?

This means stocking up on food, medicine, and supplies.

Though you can still get to the grocery stores or pharmacies in these times, you want to limit your trips outside in public.

Your goal in quarantine is to limit the spread and to help contribute to reducing the risk of infecting others.

If you have any symptoms, you want to stay home of course.

Even if you don’t, you want to stay home and quarantine only with the people that you live with.

This is what helps to slow the spread and ensure that we get through this.

We all hope that there is a vaccine and cure someday, though that may be a long way out.

For now you want to be diligent about washing your hands, stay home as much as you can, and be smart about going out in public.

These are unprecedented times, and we all have to do our best to keep this under control as much as possible.

Key Words To Remember and Use

There are some words that you are likely to hear often when it comes to talking about this illness.

Knowing what these words are and what they mean can help you to be part of the conversation.

  • Pandemic: You have probably heard this word and others like it such as epidemic or outbreak. Pandemic means that it is an epidemic or outbreak on a worldwide level. So this means that this outbreak of illness is affecting the entire world in some capacity.
  • Quarantine: This is staying inside away from others. This means that you are staying inside your home except for limited trips to the grocery store or pharmacy. You should be away from others except from those that live in your home with you.
  • Mass hysteria: This is the panic that sets in with the masses. It means that everyone is under this same sense of panic and worry. There is a lot of uncertainty and worry, and so people tend to worry. This can get out of hand when so many people are so worried about all of the uncertainty.
  • Infect: This means if you get the illness. You may show symptoms and therefore your body is infected. You don’t want to infect others and you want to stay away from others with symptoms, so that you don’t get infected.
  • Hand sanitizer: This is the antibacterial liquid in a bottle. It helps to protect you from germs and potential infections. You want to use this after you go out in public and certainly if you touch anything that could potentially be infected.
  • Hygiene: These are the measures that you use to take care of yourself. You want to practice good hygiene such as washing your hands frequently. Good hygiene such as showering and brushing your teeth is always important. Hand washing is particularly important right now at this time.
  • CDC: This stands for the Center for Disease Control, and it is a government agency. This organization helps to set the standards and guidelines to protect all of us from Coronavirus.
  • Precautions: These are the things that you should do to prevent yourself from getting sick. These are the things such as quarantining and hand washing that can help to keep you healthy and safe.
  • Immunity- compromised immune systems: These are the people who have some issues with their immune system. This means that their immune system doesn’t work properly or as well as it should. This can be due to a variety of health conditions, but this makes you susceptible to getting sick more often or more easily.
  • Vaccine: This is how you help to prevent an illness such as Coronavirus. This is usually given through a shot and will help to protect you and build up your immune system. So if you were to come in contact with somebody that is infected, you have a greater likelihood of fighting it off and staying healthy.
  • Spread: This the disease transferring from one person to others. The disease is spread through coming into contact with somebody who is sick. It has spread to so many others and has spread throughout the entire country.

These words are very important to understand and use in conversation.

These are the words that you will hear used often on the news or in conversation.

They help to represent the state of things and how you can talk about it with others.

How To Talk About It

You will hear people use several words or phrases to talk about this.

You want to be able to use these phrases in your conversations about it since this is so relevant and current.

You may hear some of these words or phrases and you can use these as a starting point.

There are plenty of ways to stay in touch or keep informed of what is going on with this pandemic.

Are you following the news about the Coronavirus?

There are so many ways to stay informed through the news and many different news programs and channels.

Have you been taking any special precautions?

Think of ways that you can work to protect yourself and others at a time when it’s so important.

Talk to friends and family even if they are far away, as staying connected is so important to your well being right now.

Also, consider getting your mind on something else.

Stay busy even in quarantine because it will give you other things to focus on, as too much news can bring you down.

Work to protect yourself physically by staying in, but also be sure that you are taking care of your mental health as well.

We can’t let this ruin us and we have to live life! 


There are unprecedented times, and certainly circumstances that we will all remember.

Use these words to be able to talk about coronavirus, particularly at a time when there is so much going on.

Staying connected to others is so important right now, so be sure that you are doing this even from the comfort of your own home.

This is a conversation that’s happening a lot right now, and it will likely be current for awhile.

Try not to let it rule your life and take the necessary precautions.

So use this as a way of doing that, take care of yourself, and talk to friends and family about this using the words and phrases provided.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


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