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Useful coronavirus words and what they mean!


A time and date when you will meet with your doctor.


A new coronavirus has been discovered and its name is COVID-19

Chief Medical Officer

  • There are four people in the UK who have this job, and they are responsible for improving our mental and physical wellbeing.
  • They work in each nation: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • You might see them on TV, giving advice to keep us safe and telling us what we need to know about Covid-19.


You will probably have heard about the different ‘phases’ we are in. This means the ‘plan’ for what we’ll do next.

The first part of the plan was to ‘contain’ the virus, which meant finding out where it had come from and making sure anyone who had been around it was okay.

We then had the ‘delay’ part of the plan. This tried to slow it down and to stop lots of people getting it all at once.

Flatten the curve

This is what the Government are hoping to do by introducing the different phases of the plan.

It’s trying to stop lots of people catching COVID-19 all at the same time. This will help hospitals to make sure there are enough beds and nurses to look after everyone.


This is when we are all asked to stay at home except for buying essential food, groceries or medicines. We are allowed to get some exercise outdoors for an hour a day, but we are not allowed to meet up with anyone who we do not normally live with.

High temperature/fever

When you have a cold, and you feel hot and then cold and a bit shivery, this is because you have a high temperature or a fever.
When you’re well, your temperature is 37C (98.6F). You can take your temperature with a thermometer if you think you might have a fever.


You might have to do this if you have a high temperature or a cough, or if you have been to another country where they have lots of people already infected with COVID-19.
It means you stay at home and away from other people so you don’t give them the illness as well.

Self isolation

You might have to do this if you’re unwell, or if you’ve been with someone who has the coronavirus. There are some people who are at higher risk of serious illness if they catch the coronavirus. This includes:

  • Anyone over 70 years old
  • People who have moderate to severe asthma
  • People having treatment for illnesses such as cancer.

Women who are pregnant. Anyone in self-isolation needs to stay away from other people, and not go outside or have visitors to your house. You would need to try and stay at least two meters (about three steps) away from other people in your home.

You should use your own towel and toothbrush and if your family is having shopping or parcels delivered they would have to be left on the doorstep for you.

The UK Government are saying that if you do have a high temperature or a new cough, that you ‘self-isolate’ and stay at home for seven days.
Here is some advice on what to do if you need to self-isolate:

Social distancing

This means trying to stay away from other people when we are in public
The UK Government have said that they want us to:

  • stay away from people who might be ill – if they have a high temperature or a cough
  • avoid using trains or buses if we don’t have to, or try not to when they are really busy
  • work or study from home In supermarkets and chemists, make sure you use the markers on the floor to help stop you getting too close to another person.

It’s really important that you stay in touch with your friends and family, but you can do this in other ways – you can Facetime them or have group chats.


The things that show you are not well – for example, a temperature.

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The World Health Organisation is made up of lots of different health experts. These people come together to share their ideas about how to keep people safe from disease and make sure everyone has good physical and mental health. They work with countries to help with any problems or emergencies and they do research when a new virus, like Covid-19, is found, to understand it better.

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