What does COVID-19 stand for, anyway? A complete coronavirus glossary

We’ll teach you all the terms

A clinical support technician extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analyzed and identified. (WPA Pool, Jane Barlow, 2020 Getty Images)

Does anyone else feel like we’re in the midst of some pretty unsettling times?

Even if you’re trying to keep a level head about where things stand with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to turn on the TV or open social media and start to feel pretty overwhelmed, pretty quickly.

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These days are unprecedented. For some, you can’t go out to eat, you’re now working from home and your kids aren’t even going to school. And when you tune in to hear an announcement from the president and his team, or even your local health department, you want to understand the words that are being thrown around, right?


In times of grave uncertainty, knowledge is power. And with that, we thought we’d provide the following playbook. Yes, there is some science jargon involved here, but we tried to break it down for you in a way that’s easy to read and digestible.

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